I was musing about various things a while back, and stumbled upon a fairly strange thought: i will almost certainly never be bought/given a diamond ring.
It inspired a variety of emotions, but i was impressed at the amount of sadness. It’s not like I’d been brought up to expect one in any way, but it still was surprising powerful. A part of me *really wants* the expensive bauble representing that someone thinks I’m awesome enough to spend the rest of their life with.
There’s a variety of social and gender-role related stuff there, as well, and there’s no possible way to disentangle it all here. But i do have a suggestion for an awesome patch fix:
Engagement swords! In conventional gender roles, you accept the engagement by presenting a sword in return! Can be fake/plastic/whatever, but it seems fitting, and then the guy has a symbol to wear around as well. (You can sword first, 2 swords, 2 rings, and so on for semi-conforming, or do whatever you want, obviously)