Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ringless Men

It's sometimes an awkward conversation explaining to the unaffiliated or non-Jewish why most Jewish men don't wear wedding bands. 

One of Owen's friends starting wearing one to work because an amorous secretary kept hitting on him. Double aaaaaakward. 

But it seems, there are enough non-Jewish men nowadays not wearing wedding bands either ("Men Who Don't Wear Wedding Bands—And Why" by Abby Ellin)—not even Prince William, and it's not like he's trying to pretend he's not married. Martians tuned in to the royal wedding.
See that left hand? Notice something?
So I did some lazy googling. While the practice for women's wedding rings have been around since the Egyptians, and the concept of the left fourth finger being designated for such a purpose from the Romans (because of a mistaken belief that the "love vein" runs through that digit), male wedding bands are very recent.
"Vena Amoris"
The jewelry industry, as they did by popularizing diamonds for engagement rings, tried to make it a "thing," but it didn't take off until World War II when men wanted a memento of their loved one to take with them into battle. Then man bling came into style during the '60s and '70s.

As this letter attests:
I don’t think you can call men wearing wedding rings a “tradition” since it didn’t become common until fairly recently. I think it’s more of a fad that’s winding down.—Kevin Cunningham
It ain't even tradition! It's a newish stunt!
So breath easy, my coreligionists: Just shrug and claim a disinterest in trends, like "the fade" haircut.      


Altie said...

My brother wears one because he works in an extremely public sector and I guess better safe than sorry. Then again he wears a kippah and has a beard so it's pretty hard to mistake him for a Jew. Listen, as a single girl looking out for a suitable mate, sometimes I wish more married guys would wear rings so I don't accidentally hit on them in my head.

Princess Lea said...

True. I have had more than one awkward experience . . .