Every day women are critiqued on what they wear, where they work (or don't) and how they carry out their lives through a multitude of other ways. A few months ago, I was given my great grandmother's engagement ring. Since then, I have worn this ring on my left ring finger, which is traditionally reserved for engagement rings and wedding bands. I don't usually wear rings, so it's fairly noticeable that I have this ring on; my wearing of this ring has caused lots of comments from friends and family members who believe I shouldn't wear a ring on the finger reserved for a wedding ring. While not all women who choose to wear a non-wedding ring on their left ring finger may experience these comments, I'm positive I'm not the only one.
Stop telling unmarried women they can't wear rings on their left ring finger.
For me, my ring is a symbol of everything my great grandmother represented to me. This woman helped to raise me and showed me how to live to be a remarkable woman. This ring was made to be an engagement ring, so I'll be damned if I wear it on any other finger.
Even if a ring doesn't have as much sentimental value as mine does, it's the right of every woman to wear whatever she wants, wherever she wants. The idea of an engagement ring may now be seen as a sign of commitment, but historically engagement rings had a lot more to do with the possession of women by the man to whom they were betrothed, so I see absolutely no reason why women should be forced to follow a custom that is rooted in their oppression.
Some people seem to think that by wearing a ring on my left ring finger I am "sending the wrong message" to all the men that could ever possibly consider dating me. I had a family member the other day go as far as to tell me that I was "scaring off prospects" by wearing this ring, as if any man who didn't know me well enough to know why I wear this ring and to know that I'm not actually engaged would ever be a prospect.
In addition to the fact that any man who may want to date me better know me well enough to know I'm not engaged, I see no reason why I should feel the need to consider what a man may think about what I'm wearing. If a man or any one else doesn't want to take the time to get to know me well enough before assuming I'm engaged, then let them think what they want because their opinions don't matter.
Any person who wants to (or doesn't want to) wear a ring on any finger shouldn't have to deal with negative comments from other people, because it is their body, their life and their choice. If a person decides they personally don't want to wear a ring on their left hand ring finger because of its traditional meaning, then good for them—that is their choice and one that those around them should support. Moral of this story: if it's not your body, then it's not your choice and if you have nothing nice to say you should probably just keep your mouth shut.