At lunch with a (male) friend recently, I was discussing problems I’m having with Nigel. My attraction to other men (not all of them, just a few!) was brought up, and my friend had this to say:
Maybe [Nigel] needs to put a ring on your finger to solve all this.
What an absolutely insane thing to say on so many levels!
First, the idea that the solution to problems/wandering eyes (or hands or whatever) is to get married. That has disaster spelt all over it in a bright red marker pen in capital letters. Honestly folks, that’s how divorces are made. I moved out less than six months ago. The solution is not to get married. And I would absolutely not stop being attracted to other men just because there was a ring on my finger.
Secondly, the phrasing. With the words my friend chose, he completely annihilated my agency. Nigel should put a ring on my finger. Not, “you should marry him”, or “the two of you should get married” or even “maybe Nigel proposing would solve some problems”. Just that HE should PUT a ring on my finger. I don’t even have a choice in this phrasing. I’ve disappeared as all but an object for Nigel to do with as he pleases. And, trust me, that’s definitely NOT the reality of the situation. But the (most likely unintentional) phrasing gets to the heart of the matter as far as my (male) friend is concerned. If I have a ring on my finger that clearly marks me out as ‘owned’ (and that’s what it does ladies and gentlemen), no other man will come near me. They’ll know better than to touch someone else’s property. The problems inherent in this idea should be obvious to anyone reading my blog. If they’re not, please head on over to Feminism 101. If you need clearer instructions on what to look for once you’re there, let me know and I’ll be happy to oblige.
Thirdly, I’m TWENTY-ONE. Marriage at my age would be a stupid thing (for me) to do. I have the whole rest of my life to decide who I want to spend it with. I don’t need to decide right now. I haven’t even finished my Bachelor degree at uni. I’m in no way ready to settle down. I wasn’t even ready to live with the guy full time. Why on Earth does this friend assume I’m ready to marry him??
Just two final side notes on this entire thing. 1) Nigel and I have had marriage talks. The reason he hasn’t proposed yet? He knows I would say no. We’re not ready for it, I haven’t finished uni (something I wanted to happen prior to marriage), and we haven’t solved all our problems. 2)My friend (who incidentally doesn’t have the link to this blog or he’d be kicking himself) is 25 and has never had a serious relationship. This should have told me enough to not take what he said seriously, but it still pissed me off.