Considering the history of our relationship and the circumstances of our engagement it seemed perfectly natural for us both to have engagement rings and I was very confused by the happy but quizzical looks I was given when I told people I was looking. “Oh really?” “Huh, I’ve never heard of that!” and “I wish my husband was like you, I can’t even get him to wear his wedding ring!” are just a few of the many responses that I’ve received from friends and family. But my question is why should that be the natural response?
What do we immediately think of when we think of engagement rings? (I’m being intentionally heteronormative/gendered here, bear with me)
- A man professing his love and commitment to a woman with a physical object.
- A man proving that he’s financially stable enough to support his wife in their marriage.
- Visually affirming to the world (or at least other men) that a man has claimed this woman as his property.
- All the “unity” and “commitment” and “eternity” feel-good fuzzies.
But almost all of these things just serve to perpetuate our society of gender inequality!