I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, but only when I’ve convinced me that I’m wrong.
So when I first heard about these QALO rings, I did a spit-take. This commercial ran as one of my ads on Hulu and my gut reaction to it was, well, not very generous of my spirit.
“What the fuck kinda bullshit crap is this?” I thought to myself, curse words redacted. “Is this commercial for yoga pants or diet pills?” I mean, it was a little unclear, right? Like those car commercials where a sexy model eats a steak. Or perfume commercials where Nicole Kidman stands on a rooftop. You think you get it, but like, maybe?
SO I TOOK TO GOOGLE, and learned that QALO is a silicone wedding ring, devised and developed by two cishet married men who loathed taking off their wedding bands to lift weights. I rolled my eyes a little bit at that — I mean, going ringless to do deadlifts seems like such a first-world problem, who cares?
But honestly, it was the marketing towards women that gave me pause. SURELY a married/engaged woman can go an entire gym sesh without the fourth digit of her left hand broadcasting her “TAKEN” status to the rest of the world? Audrina Patridge has spoken favorably of the brand, saying that she can’t imagine not having a ring on her finger for even a second! Even if wearing a ring while working out is actually a genuine health hazard. QALO to the rescue, right?
“Yeah, Right!” I scoffed. This is for sure a tool of the patriarchy, right? First came engagement rings, then came wedding rings, then came silicone “beware for I am yoked to a man” rings that you never have to take off. What’s next, forehead tattoos that say “Danny’s Girl”??
And then I thought about it, and honestly…it’s not too unlike what women do every day. Married. Affianced. Single. Widowed. An all-too-sad truth for women who have been pestered by unwanted male attention is that nothing makes a man leave you alone like telling him you belong to another man.*
What’s the surefire way to make sure you don’t get harassed on the street? Walk side-by-side with a man. What do you do in lieu of that? The “Don’t Fuck With Me” Ring.
All the single ladies, put your left hands up if you own a “Don’t Fuck With Me” Ring. I’ll bet most of you do. A simple band or a cheap glass fake diamond solitaire from Claire’s accessories that you wear out to bars or running errands that acts like a silent, passive force field to protect you from unwanted male attention. Don’t blame the bling, blame the system. Telling a man “no” is dangerous. Passively implying that you’re off the market is safer. Add it to the list of thousands of other things we do to
Now, I’ve never been in a gym in my adult life. “Gym” was a torture I mirthlessly endured until I was handed my high-school diploma. But I have been the target of unwanted male attention on the street, in the park, at the walk-in clinic, at work, on the subway, at my local polling place, from a cop. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to assume that unwanted male attention happens at the gym as well as, like, every other place on this planet. I wonder if the female scientists on the international space station had to make up fake boyfriends back on planet Earth to keep unwanted advances at bay? I wouldn’t be surprised in the least.
So, while the intended purpose of QALO rings may have been to showcase your devotion to your spouse while deadlifting, their unintended consequence may be to ward off undesirable gym creepers. If a ring on the left hand finger creates an anti-harassment forcefield around a woman, who am I to fault a fellow female for wanting some damned peace while she’s sweating it out on the machines?
I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong on this. No, it isn’t “silly” or frivolous to want a ring on your finger at the gym. In fact, it might actually be highly practical to wear a ring, for your safety! Could the QALO ring be the “spotter” you never knew you needed? The one who keeps sleazy gym-rats from making lewd comments about the tone of your glutes while you’re working out? Perhaps so, and for that, I ti my cap.
*this is not foolproof, and sometimes, this will get you killed, too.