It is my extreme opinion that Diamonds are bullshit for a couple of reasons. One is the way they are obtained and the other is the “purpose” they serve.
The way they are obtained
I’m just going to write some of the bare facts that I have gleaned from obvious sources. This is NOT in-depth investigative journalism… or even research. I’m just scraping this together to make a point. It’s not comprehensive, I’ll be the first to admit.
So, diamonds are largely mined in Africa, where, historically at least, much of the profits go to fuel wars against the people. Ever heard of “blood diamonds”? According to Wikipedia, a blood diamond is a “diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity” and a large number of diamonds have been mined this way.
So, that’s not really surprising. Nobody in the west is ever surprised about African warlords doing these things. But who would ever have thought that transnational corporations are also involved.
“But it is not just African warlords who profit from this bloody trade. According to Amnesty Magazine, “Arms merchants, feeding on the diamond trade, bankrolled local armies and made fortunes for transnational corporations.” (Wiki)
“a fortune in raw diamonds have made their way from the deadly jungles of Sierra Leone onto the rings and necklaces of happy lovers the world over. Many of the prisoner-laborers who work Sierra Leone’s open-pit mines end up in shallow graves, executed for suspected theft, for lack of production, or simply for sport.” -Amnesty Magazine.
Happy lovers the world over. Happy white lovers flaunting their diamonds. But at what cost, my friends, AT WHAT COST?
A website called realdiamondfacts.org describes the horrors of the diamond industry.
Now, according to various other sources, conflict-free diamonds have become plentiful, thanks to “The Kimberly Process” which was a certification procedure developed by the UN, that supposedly ensures that only ethically produced diamonds are exported legally.
A website called diamondfacts.org outlines all the benefits that diamonds bring to Africa. This is the website of an organization called the World Diamond Council. The WDC is made up of… diamond manufacturers, mining companies, and diamond retailers. So, draw your own conclusions from that.
If, according to the WDC, diamond production is now “ethical” in that maybe people aren’t getting shot, it’s entirely possible that worker conditions are still horrendous.
Having said that, worker conditions in all kinds of manufacturing industries are horrendous. That must be acknowledged.
The diamond industry seems to me more insidious than others, for reasons I am about to explain…
Wait, why do we really need diamonds again?
The whole culture of diamonds truly… disgusts me. I’m just not down with diamonds, even if they are ethically gotten. One word folks, “marketing”.
The advertising for diamonds is something that I find completely nauseating. The subjects in the ads are “beautiful”, opulent, white women. (Okay so those are the subjects of most ads… But bear with me…) The assumption is that the diamonds have been given to the women by their handsome, rich, white husbands or suitors.
The taglines on the ads declare universal truths such as “A diamond is forever” or “Nothing says forever like diamonds”.
Diamonds are the epitome of white wealth (in modern times, it may not always have been thus). White status. Diamonds are inextricably linked with the notion of wealth. Everyone knows they are expensive. Diamonds are the ultimate symbols of western wealth and extravagance.
When you have everything you could possibly “need” in life, you then acquire expensive, “luxurious” frivolities, the likes of diamonds -if you are a woman, that is. If you are a woman that’s apparently all you want. You want diamonds from a man. The diamonds let the world know of your “elevated position” in society.
Women are told to love diamonds. They are taught that if a man really loves her, he will buy her diamonds. Women want to wear diamonds because the diamonds symbolise their wealth and their status of being loved by a (rich!) man. The whole idea: so grotesque.
Women want diamonds because they are told they do and they covet the supposed wealth and status it gives them. and somehow this wealth and status is inextricably tied up with… love??? Diamonds are somehow considered the universal symbol of love. When did diamonds become the universal, immutable symbol of love?? What marketing genius was behind this?? How did so many women get taken in by it?
So there is the phenomenon of “engagement”. Diamonds are an important symbol of “engagement”. A man “proposing” to a woman is expected to present her with a diamond ring. Anything less is considered second rate.
First up, I want to say that I don’t really understand the purpose of “engagement” in the modern age. I think it served a role in the past when people had to get betrothed, but now I don’t know what role it serves other than to sell diamonds. If you are getting married, just get married. Call me a cynic but “engagement” always seems to me like a corny way of maximising the attention you get for your marriage… or, as said, to sell diamonds.
Now, an interesting fact about diamonds on engagement rings is that this is a relatively modern phenomenon. (I have Beth to thank for this enlightening information. Thanks Beth.)
In the past, an engagement ring featured a ruby, which symbolised the giving of the man’s heart to his beloved. Sometime in the early half of the 20th century, the diamond industry put the hard word on Hollywood to promote diamonds to women. Diamonds were portrayed in Hollywood movies to be the most desirable stones a woman could receive. You don’t need to think hard to recall movies rife with diamond propaganda: Two notable examples are “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (featuring the song “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”) and “Breakfast at Tiffanys”. All about diamonds.
Read about this phenomenon here
(A similar campaign took place in Japan, where a diamond company promoted diamonds to Japanese people making them a coveted symbol of western values. Advertising and cultural imperialism, together forever.)
We have since been fed, through Hollywood, an onslaught of propaganda promoting the romantic virtue of diamonds. Women are told to want diamonds. Men are told that women want diamonds. Men should be able to afford to buy a woman diamonds. Women should choose men who can afford to buy them diamonds.
In this way, diamonds are construed as “symbols of love” – this meaning has been given to them through advertising and Hollywood. Much successful brain-washing through advertising and Hollywood has firmly concreted this truth in the minds of women everywhere.
So I will tell you the other truth:
Diamonds are not symbols of love.
They are symbols of WEALTH. They are symbols of POWER. They are symbols of EXPLOITATION.
They are expensive rocks with blood all over them.
They are not symbols of love. The idea that diamonds are symbols of love disturbs me to the core of my being. I do not believe it or buy it. I don’t buy that crap for a second.
People create their own symbols of love that can’t be bought… they have their own meaning that doesn’t come from advertising and clever marketing and dirty cheesy Hollywood propaganda.
-YES YOU WILL.
I would take my man wrapped in a bow for christmas any day over these useless diamond earrings.