I am a woman who is engaged to be married. But unlike lots of your friends who are busy posting photographs of their diamond engagement rings on Facebook, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at my left hand.
This is because I told my fiancée many times before we got engaged that I wasn’t interested in getting an engagement ring at all, diamonds or no. There are a lot of reasons I feel this way, including my particular indifference to jewelry. “Honestly, I’d rather have an iPad,” I told him.
Diamond engagement rings are a translation of a much older sexist tradition of putting a down payment on one’s bride. This is, incidentally, still legally the case. In many states a bride-to-be can still sue her fiancée for breach of contract if he breaks off the engagement, as a Georgia woman did last year. After all, it is only women who are marked with an engagement ring as taken, suggesting that the balance of power doesn’t lie with the one who wears it. Keep reading »