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Does Your Engagement Ring Mean That Now You’re Owned By Someone?

So he liked it and put a ring on it, but isn't the wedding ring another patriarchal statement? Or does it have another meaning?

Women are taught from an early age that the right thing to do is to get married, and that our future husband should wear a ring as a symbol of that commitment. We learned this behavior at home, every time we watched a princess movie or read a fairy tale. So, yes, it should come as no surprise that getting a diamond ring is many women's greatest dream and aspiration, even the ones who consider themselves strong and independent. But what if this ring is simply another example of machismo?

Colombian journalist Matilde Sascuín brings to the table the issue of the engagement ring, in particular, in her controversial column "Sin pelos en la lengua" (roughly translated as "No Beating Around the Bush"), where she argues that the mere act of receiving the ring turns us into objects that belong to the other person.

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For Sascuín, the meaning of wearing an engagement ring goes against feminism and against being a woman. She claims that the ring is a symbol of a number of things that are completely contrary to the idea of the independent and autonomous woman capable of making her own way in life, so Matilde says it's a way to belong to someone else who is not you.

Sascuín also states that the engagement ring, beyond symbolizing union or love, is a way to bring to light the economic solvency of the person in charge of giving the ring. This is because the bigger and brighter the diamond, the more value is given to the woman who wears it. For her, this fact seems extremely serious because it means ascribing monetary value to a woman, and the value of a woman goes beyond the economic, of course.

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The journalist says that for decades we have been teaching women to see marriage with the sole purpose of getting a man who has enough money to buy the best diamond, put it on our finger, and show the world that we belong.

These statements and conclusions might seem to come from a woman who was never received an engagement ring, but the truth is that Matilde Sascuín was married twice and never wanted to be given that object. Her ex-partners agreed, since there was a conversation prior to their engagement. It was a mutual decision on both sides, and they shared the same point of view.

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Although these statements sound very logical, all women are free to decide what they want. So, if you consider yourself a strong and independent woman, but you dream that the love of your life will give you an engagement ring as a sign of your union, there's nothing wrong with that. The only thing that defines our female strength is our way of being, of thinking and acting, not just a ring.

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