Every Girl Should Have an Engagement Ring

Rant 30

At least one woman is over the whole engagement ring business. Writer Shannon Rupp argues that the giving of engagement rings is an “unsavory custom, given that it began in an era when women were chattel,” and “it’s hardly romantic.”

I think someone peed in her Cheerio’s. Engagement rings are so much more than a “lease-a-womb” scheme, as Rupp cleverly and wrongly describes the transaction that occurs when a man presents his lady with a ring in exchange for her acceptance of his marriage proposal.

When I was little, my dad used to tell a story about a young Indian brave that wanted very much to marry a girl in his tribe. He went to the girl’s father to ask for her hand, but the dad told him that if he wanted to marry his daughter, the young man would have to bring him 100 horses.

It took the man many moons to gather all the horses, build pens for them, feed them, and care for them, but he finally did it, and made the exchange for his bride (who was very happy about all of this by the way). When he asked his father-in-law what he planned to do with 100 horses, he responded, “Keep them if you want. Or let them go. I don’t really care.”

“Why would you ask me to bring you 100 horses for you daughter just to let them go?” The young man asked.

“It was never about the horses -- it was about your determination and dedication to my daughter, and your willingness to work hard for her that I cared about.”

And that’s why engagement rings matter.

(That sound you just heard was feminists’ heads exploding.)

Seriously though. People can say all they want that engagement rings are “barbaric” and like “a down payment on a virgin vagina,” but I’m probably never going to agree.  

To me, an engagement ring is a symbol of a man’s willingness to work hard and sacrifice for the woman he wants to marry, and to put his bride-to-be’s desires ahead of his own. He could’ve bought some pretty nice man-toys (new media center maybe?), but instead he bought a ring.

A pretty, sparkly, absolutely nonessential and totally necessary ring.

Every girl that wants a ring should have one. She’s worth it.

Do you think engagement rings are barbaric?

Image via Wavebreak Media LTD/Corbis

commitment, dating, love, marriage, proposals, weddings


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

nope, i think it's a very romance and sweet tradition.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

I have a feeling this article is going to make for a good debate lol. But anyways- I don't care much about engagement rings one way or the other. I've been engaged for seven years and have two kids, and just got an engagement ring earlier this year. And it's something I picked out that is a reflection of me. I didn't pick it for the price tag or carat size. I didn't hound my boyfriend for one either. I let him figure out everything himself, when he was ready. A ring doesn't guarantee happiness or security. It's nice to have, but not necessary with me. Of course now that I have it, that thing isn't leaving my finger lol. 

nonmember avatar Cynthia

I don't think they are necessary, or barbaric or that they should cost a fortune either! I think they are a wonderful gesture from one person to another about the commitment you want to make. I know couples who have foregone the engagement ring in favour or something like towards the downpayment on a house too. I picked mine and picked a small simple ring that was chanel set on purpose because my career wouldn't allow me to wear a 'huge rock' and I didn't see the point of spending that kind of money on it! I've also always been far more interested in the marriage than the engagement or wedding too!

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

@lovinjersey: lol I was thinking the same thing. 

of course my Mom's is just a ring my dad gave her after the fact.  They got married in the army so didn't have a big traditional wedding.  They've been married 43 years (44 in Dec) so i guess it proves you don't need one to make it last


Vanessa Poholek Fasanella

I think the engagement ring is more important than the wedding ring. I know more than a few women who just wear that, and never took it off or even bothered putting another ring next to it.

nonmember avatar J. Garrett

Why a man's devotion to a woman? Why not a woman's devotion to a man? THAT'S where the gender roles come in, which is why I don't agree with a man being socially obligated to give a woman an engagement ring. The idea that it is the duty of the man is gender roling.

LitNut LitNut

Yeah, my husband worked really hard to get me that $200 engagement ring, haha. If the ring is a symbol for how hard a guy is willing to work for a girl, I'm obviously not that great. I don't like jewelry, though.

keelh... keelhaulrose

I don't see why an egagement ring is necessary, but it's certainly a 'to each their own' situation.

I don't put any significance on a particular piece of jewelry, or have it represent my relationship or his commitment to me. A ring does not necessarily promise anything (the wedding plans could fall apart, infidelity isn't stopped because of a ring), it's symbolism is different to different people. I have an engagement rng. It wasn't a set with my wedding band (my wedding band was designed and made by my MIL so it's more important to me) so I don't wear it much anymore. To me it was nice that he got me one, but we were engaged before I had a ring, and getting that ring didn't make me feel any more engaged or anything.

Freela Freela

I don't think it's barbaric, but I think that spending vast amounts of money on a shiny rock is kind of silly.  I know guys who went into heavy debt because they (or the girl) wanted a huge ring, and I think that's a little ridiculous.  It's a symbol, but it doesn't have to be a status symbol and a bigger ring doesn't mean a better man or a stronger relationship.  I have an engagement ring- it's not huge but I love it.  Dh and I got engaged really young (I was 18, he was 20- yes, we were clearly insane!) and even though at this stage he would probably buy a bigger ring, I would never upgrade it for anything.

smurf... smurfielette13

I honestly never wanted one but my fiancée insisted and got me one anyways but quite frankly I don't need a material object to show/say he loves me. He shows me that everyday. Idk maybe I'm just weird.

1-10 of 30 comments 123 Last