Monday, March 12, 2012

Feminist Relatioships: Put A Ring On Him

Especially in the age of Facebook, nothing marks an engagement like a closeup of a big, shiny ring on a girl’s finger.  Men propose to women, they give them shiny jewelry, and women go into “bridezilla” mode.  Thus is modern courtship.  Righ?  That’s how it’s supposed to be?

There’s the stereotype that women are the ones that chase down marriage.  They practically beg for engagement rings because they want to get married and have lots of babies.  And the men hold the elusive ring—it is to be doled out a their discretion whenever they want to.  And women are supposed to sit around and wait to be proposed to.  Because it is no ladylike or proper for us to be the aggressors, especially since we want marriage and babies from day one of any relationship.  Right?

What if it became socially acceptable for women to propose to their male partner?  What if we could finally, without scrutiny, get down on one knee and whip out a ring for our boyfriends?  We could take over control of when it is acceptable to enter into an engagement, a control that has been male-dominated for a very long time.  No to say hat couples should no discuss how prepared they are for marriage before they enter into an engagement, but it would be nice to get to initiate it, right?

And what about how unfair it is that we get to carry around this little platinum dog leash on our left hand while guys can walk around with no physical indication whatsoever that they are engaged?  All things being equal, isn’t it only fair that either both of us have o wear a ring or neither of us do?

Thus enters the popularity of “mangagement rings”.  They’re engagement rings for men.  That way, both of you get to have a ring!  You’re both officially taken!  Awesome!

Of course, there’s a style difference between engagement rings for men and women.  Sparkly diamonds are jus too feminine for the manly men, they need plain bands.  And women would be so bored without something shiny on their fingers to distract them and announce to the world that their significant other was willing to spend a small fortune on a rock.  Personally, I prefer non-diamond engagement rings.  Beyond that sticky blood diamonds thing, I think that the appearance of an engagement ring—be it for a man or woman—should show that person’s individuality and style.  Heck, if you would rather have an engagement toe ring, more power to you!

I hope that mangagement ring trend will really pick up here in America.  I think it’s a fantastic way to equal out the power dynamic, and make men feel like their engagement and wedding are about them and not just their female counterparts.  It would be more fun for everyone!  

If you're interested in reading up on the history of engagement rings, this is a very interesting article from Slate, and this is a fascinating, condensed timeline that shows some interesting parallels between the uses of rings or wedding jewelry and a man taking ownership of a woman.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Wedding and engagement rings are symbols of ownership. However, if at least they both get rings of equal cost, they are equally owned.