Posted in Dating / Relationships, Gender

“Pandoragate” Shows Men Still Objectified as Providers

You would think that a woman sharing the picture of her engagement ring on social media would be met with nothing less than delight. You would think that most people would be happy for her. You would not expect that woman to be the subject of a personal attack for her choice of ring. That is what happened to poor Ariel McRae.

You might have heard this story about a woman shamed for the engagement ring her fiancé bought. But despite the fact that she was the subject of the personal attack over the choice of ring – few people have picked up on or even noticed the side swipe at her husband to be. The ring cost her just $130 (or about £105 give or take) and is made from Sterling Silver and cubic zircon (imitation diamond). Yet one of the employees in the Tennessee shop said to her.

“Can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic!”

Naturally, she was mortified, as any right thinking person should be. Now while she was certainly (and understandably) deeply offended at this, it lays bare the sort of casual sexism that men put up with but often goes ignored by most people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here – while women are objectified for their bodies, men are objectified for their ability to provide. We excuse it as “oh, but I want stability” – but ultimately, you place your value in a man on what he has.

Too many people still buy into this. Her husband’s reaction is one that most of us men have felt when challenged on our financial status – that we’re a failure, that we’re not good enough, that we’re cheapskates and the best way we can demonstrate our love is by spending all of our money on trinkets.

I wrote an article recently about how my girlfriend’s mother and sister felt entitled to know my financial situation. The reaction of this sales person demonstrates how, once again, men’s financial information is considered public property and up for evaluation and judgement.

The Bride To Be Responded Perfectly

“It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters”

The above quote is what she actually said to that woman. She went on to say that she would have been happy with a 25c gumball machine ring if that was all they could afford and good for her. Speaking later she asked why things have got this way, but I would argue for men that things have always been this way. No, not every woman is a gold digger but I would put my life savings on the bet that every man has been approached by one.

Even those who are not gold diggers still value a man for what he has and what he has accomplished. Men who are low skilled and low education have their dating options limited. Even highly skilled and qualified men who are unemployed will often find that potential dates shy away from that.

This latest shaming of a woman with a cheap ring is not the first time a man’s worth will depend on the financial value of a trinket and I sincerely doubt it will be the last.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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