Diamond Engagement Rings

Good Essays
Imagine a picture perfect proposal. Is it a man getting down on one knee and presenting a sparkling diamond ring to his now fiancee? While there is nothing wrong with a grand romantic gesture like a proposal, there are a few issues revolving diamond engagement rings. It has become a tradition for female brides-to-be to flaunt them, but how did this originate and why do we still do it today? Because they serve no real meaningful purpose, diamond engagement rings should not continue to be used in proposals. Engagement rings were originally viewed as insurance. A “Breach of Promise to Marry” law gave women the right to sue men for breaking off engagements. In this time, it was the social norm for women to be virgins when they got engaged. If …show more content…
According to Vicki Howard from Hartwick College, author of “A ‘Real Man’s Ring’,” “For young men, agreeing to marry and wear a wedding ring could be a way to assert a mature male identity and allay cultural anxieties over homosexuality. Unlike the woman’s ring, the groom’s wedding band expressed his ability to support a wife, to enter into the adult world” (851). A woman’s engagement ring, however, simply symbolized that she was taken by a man and would not one day be an old maid. Men’s wedding bands were only accepted once they displayed a mature transition into manhood, while the widely more accepted women’s engagement ring displayed a man’s ownership. Engagement rings original intent was to create revenue for jewelers while showing a man’s affection for a woman, but they simply turned into a symbol of male empowerment. In today’s society, feminism plays a major role in focusing equal power between men and women. Engagement rings, however, have a history of going against these strides. David Schweingruber, co-author of “Audience Judgments about Engagement Proposals” writes, “...the man is expected to initiate the ritual, suggesting his leadership in the relationship...with an expensive piece of jewelry, suggesting that his role is to be a provider. The woman’s role is...to wait for the man to propose, suggesting her passivity, and then she is to wear the engagement ring to display that she is taken” (166). In a mutual …show more content…
Mandy Burrell, author from Conscious Choice, discusses, “...no independent, third party organization exists to ensure honest certification. Also, the agreement defines ‘conflict diamonds and gems’ as products tied to rebel violence, a narrow definition that turns a blind eye to wrongs committed by corporations and legitimate governments” (3). Many issues surrounding Africa include some form of government or corporation which excludes their diamonds from the category of “conflict diamonds.” While they may not have the official title of “conflict diamonds,” there is still much conflict surrounding them with things like unsafe working conditions, forced labor, and destructive practices. When it comes to engagement rings, it is impossible to know whether the diamonds are truly conflict free unless they come from places like Canada. Purchasing a conflict diamond to begin a new step in a relationship seems quite counterintuitive. Many diamond rings are causing more harm than good in some parts of the world, so they should not be used in engagement

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