My ears are still ringing: Gender and Circular Bands of Metal

I’m reading away- chapter 3 of ‘Gender and Pop Culture’ for my gender studies class- and it hits me. As Patricia Arend is describing the groundbreaking success of jewelry company De Beer’s slogan Diamonds are Forever (which is a whole other rant), it hit me that

men don’t get engagement rings.

I mean, I’ve noticed the stark gender role of the proposal process, with the man down on one knee and the ring-envy scene with the woman’s best friends. But how could I have missed that the man doesn’t wear an engagement ring? Maybe I thought he got one after? 

I mean, at least they get a wedding ring?

Even take a look at the ideals portrayed by this image!

Historian Vicki Howard went on to inform me that the jewelry industry finally was “able to encourage men to wear wedding rings” after WWII as a “symbol to connect soldiers to their stateside brides” or to “allay cultural anxieties over homosexuality” in the Golden-Arched Age of McCarthyism (McDonalds seems like such a perfect symbol for McCarthyism).

How have I never picked up on this? I feel kinda bad for men. Are women ever shown in that classic dilemma of the poor lovestruck man who cannot afford the gorgeous ring for his beloved? No. Would women have to work 22% longer to afford the same ring? Yes. (see 78 cents on the dollar)

What an example of how the media normalizes things for us. My mind. Is blown. What does this all mean- I don’t know, but I’d better get back to my readings.

What are your thoughts on this? Why don’t men wear engagement rings?

People with male fiancés- would your partner want an engagement ring?

Men out there- what do you think of engagement rings?

The book that made this all possible: ‘Gender and Pop Culture‘ by Leavy & Trier-Bieniek.

Arend, Patricia. “Chapter 3- Gender and Advertising.” Ed. Adrienne Trier-Bieniek and Patricia Leavy. Gender and Pop Culture. N.p.: SensePublishers, 2014. 54-55. EBSCO. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.

Check it out- a really engaging collection of discourses on the relationships between gender and pop culture. Not your everyday textbook!


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