What does it say about me that until last year I honestly did not realise that men regularly wore wedding rings? Last year I made the decision to wear a ‘wedding ring’ to go to Peru as part of my standard lone female traveller protection kit…yeah ok I was travelling with FJ but I have a whole load of habits to do when travelling and one of them is to wear a ring on my fourth finger. Someone told me it was a good idea when I was eighteen and headed off to Ecuador, I don’t know how true it still is but in some parts of the world people do seem to look…in anycase when FJ made the comment that didn’t that mean he ought to be wearing one I did something of a double-take. Then remembered that actually my Dad does wear one.
My reaction? Well, I’ve had conversations with FJ back at uni about how he’d be happy to change his name on marriage (and how I couldn’t really make my mind up) and my Dad is, in many ways, a product of his hippy sixties adolescence. It somehow still didn’t enter my head that it is normal for men to wear wedding rings.
As a result of my feminist twitching I parse marriage through a filter. Most of the language used in a CoE wedding ceremony seems to me to be hugely possessive (and yes the language is negotiated between couple and priest so some services this is more-so and some less-so). The nice equality of men wearing wedding rings (apparently common since the second world war) somehow passed me by until the newspapers decided they needed to make a thing about Prince William not wanting to wear one.
So why did it not occur to me that men did? How did this nod to equality pass me, a feminist in no small measure, by completely? How was it that I, a feminist, still associated marriage with some sort of possessive ceremony where the female submissive…I mean woman…oh…right…
So, because I do associate marriage, especially Christian marriage, rather than being a meeting of two loving equals, with being a possession ceremony I’ve bunged it in my brain with a whole lot of BDSM rules. No wonder it never occured to me that the Dom would wear a collar!
Being as I am a woman born in 1982 (same year as William) I was brought up knowing that relatives and family friends would at any time see fit to make a ‘you’re going to marry the prince’ comment I shall now take a moment to imagine that his reasons behind not wearing a collar are the same ones my subconcious filled in.
Excuse me, I may be some time.