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Picture this. A beautiful woman professes her commitment to love and cherish her boyfriend, then gets on bended knee and presents him with a ring. To conventional lovers, the visual may seem far fetched. But, why? Before the proposal, should she have asked his father for permission? And, upon this imaginary guy hypothetically saying yes, would he take the woman’s surname? Let me address these typical narratives of gender based proposals without delving to deep into the sociological perspectives.
Men getting on bended knee to propose to women has been a widely known tradition for centuries. This act supposedly symbolizes an everlasting commitment of the time at which the man plans to provide for the woman as a husband.
Women have been progressive in feminist and liberation movements. Public figures like Hilary Clinton have debunked gender norms by running for the United States presidency. To go further, public figures like Singer/Songwriter Mariah Carey and Entrepreneur Oprah, are known to be the breadwinners in their relationships. These women are examples of women who bring home the bacon and probably make the bacon at home. The point is, these women defy gender scripts by working their way of the socioeconomic ladder. It should be the same when it comes to marriage.
We have to challenge the discourse of domesticity and traditional gender roles. When did it become unacceptable for a woman to take the initial step in taking a relationship to the next level? Yes, the man proposing signifies that he’s serious about the relationship, but that goes both ways. The woman may not be ready. Historically, women are given to their husbands by their fathers. After marriage, women assume the normal gendered role of a submissive housewife. Uhhh this vintage way of love and marriage is no longer of the essence.
Besides, today’s high rising hook up culture isn’t necessarily of tradition either, people are doing it. The fact that a woman wants to propose to her man is not only positive but it could be empowering to other couples. I think its fair to say that when it comes to marriage, couples should not do it for the culture. It’s totally okay to create your own traditions as you are the ones who have to live with whatever decision you make. Additionally, its really not that deep. We are too progressive as a society to fall into gendered scripts because unconventional proposals just don’t seem right to the majority.
To each is own but if society can allow women to have agency and drop the masochism that men display, the idea of a woman proposing doesn’t seem so bad.