I realize this is a very philosophical conversation, but that's what CathInfo is for, right?
I was thinking about the whole "white veil" discussion, and it got me thinking about "white wedding dress = virgin", and all the various cultural guidelines that helped to express and make clear various realities.
Ring on left ring finger = married
wearing black = widow, still in time of mourning
white veil, wedding dress = virgin
Nowadays, many people are offended if they don't deserve or merit all the "good" insignia.
Even something like admitting one's faults -- how many of us can do that easily? But it's even harder to admit the things that make us not-so-desirable.
Isn't it just ...reality?
It seems like men of the past were more sanguine about their state in life, status, situation, etc.
They accepted hard realities, even when it totally "stunk" to do so. They were more resigned, I guess you could say.
Another example: some people are more talented, or more intelligent, than others. Nowadays, everyone wants to go to college so we can ALL be "smart". See what I mean?