Loading...
The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Happy Proposal Day! Should women pop the question?

The times might be changing, but apparently, some traditions are here to stay.

By Kristin Wong Mar 20, 2013 2:06PM

It's long been tradition for the man to get down on one knee and ask for the woman's hand in marriage. But traditions change, social norms progress, and gender roles evolve. So we can't help but wonder — is it time for women to propose marriage? Isn't it OK for ladies to pop the question?

Surprisingly, most people say no.

Photo: National Proposal Day / Tara Moore/Getty ImagesMore on MSN Living: GQ's foolproof guide to online dating

The University of California recently conducted a study about gender roles among 277 of its students.  Two-thirds of subjects said the man should "definitely" be the one to propose marriage in a relationship. Only 2.8 percent of women said they would want to do the proposing — and they weren't even completely confident. Those women said they would only "kind of" want to be the one to pop the question.

Not a single man in the survey said they would prefer the woman to propose. And not a single student, male or female, "definitely" wanted the woman to propose.

"Kind of" was as close as it got.

More on MSN Living: Men reveal 7 biggest first date complaints

"No one, not a single person, expressed that type of a preference, which was surprising," researcher Rachael Robnett told LiveScience. She also pointed out that the University is liberal leaning, and the students have flexible views on gender roles.

In this case, tradition wins.

"A really commonly cited [explanation] was a desire to adhere to gender-role traditions, so this is something that is coming through very explicitly, straight from the mouths of our participants," Robnett added.

LiveScience conducted its own informal poll, and we were surprised that only 2.19 percent of readers said the woman should propose marriage. But to be fair, the majority (63 percent) responded: "Either one — it's a free country." Still, 33.92 percent stuck to the tradition that only the man should propose.

Although men and women alike seem to agree on this issue, some refer to this outlook as "benevolent sexism" — what LiveScience describes as, "attitudes that women should be cherished, protected and given special treatment."

A possibly less benevolent argument is that women proposing "castrates men of their last traditional role as the one who wears the pants." As one AskMen.com contributor put it:

"Proposing…is our last vestige of dominance over women. There are more women in college than men, their numbers continue to grow in the workforce and now they want to own us—because that’s what marriage is, ownership."

In that case, neither gender popping the question sounds terribly romantic. And don't even get us started on the college and workforce bit.

What do you think — is it out of the question for women to pop the question? Or does this tradition need a gender transformation?

More from The Heart Beat:
In honor of 'Proposal Day': Engagement by the numbers
Bride and groom adopt new last name
Proposal planners help guys pop the question

Subscribe to The Heart Beat

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest.

Photo: National Proposal Day / Tara Moore/Getty Images

106Comments
Mar 20, 2013 10:27PM
avatar
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman proposing to a man...not at all.  After traveling the world, I've learned that most of these social norms existing in the USA are backwards and needs to be addressed.  For example, with me women on a daily basis makes passes that involves body language expecting a response leading to a conversation, number exchange, or even having some sexual exchange.  And if I don't respond...they get very angry and storm off, laugh, talk dirty about me to their friends...I mean the list goes on.  On the other hand when I traveled throughout Africa, Mexico and Europe, women approached me...it was shocking and a learning experience for me.  Women outside of the US says that women here are crazy for doing that...and they are right.  So with this being said...if a woman likes a guy, wants to marry him, have sex or just strike a nice conversation, then she should approach and speak...otherwise she will most likely miss out...
Mar 20, 2013 6:49PM
avatar
Only, if she'll pick-up the tab for the engagement ring ... I'll say YES!
Mar 20, 2013 6:47PM
avatar
Thats too much like the executioner asking you if they can pull the switch
Mar 20, 2013 6:41PM
avatar

yep, it's fine. why should WE men be the only ones who do this? if ya love someone that much, just say it. we'd never know unless ya said so.

Mar 20, 2013 6:28PM
avatar
It depends on the couple.  My mom asked my dad (bonus dad / step) on Sadie Hawkins and they were together until death.  And they shared the pants in the family, they both worked and we all did the chores, cooking and babysitting when needed.  It was a wonderful and loving childhood.  And I got lucky to have a bonus dad not a step dad. Thank You Mom for asking.
Mar 20, 2013 6:27PM
avatar
if a woman proposes to me i know it is real and they are in it for love, not my money, power, nor social status. the woman would have to be libertarian or no dice.
Mar 20, 2013 6:20PM
avatar
My wife proposed to me 40 years ago.  She is the best thing that ever happened to me and we have enjoyed 40 years of marital bliss. Our two sons were a blessing, they are both lawyers today.  She obviously knew what she was doing.
Mar 20, 2013 6:10PM
avatar
I'm not the one to ask this question of - I firmly believe in all the traditional gender roles.  I believe that my husband should make more money than me.  I would love to stay home, but society has him convinced the woman should work, too.  Ugh. I needed to be a wife in the 50's.  I hate how it is now. It has all been ruined for us traditional women.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Sign placement/"10 Most Outrageous Wedding Photos"/Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

    10 outrageous wedding photos

    The typical wedding: A white dress, tiered cake, floral centerpieces and a cute flower girl -- you know the drill. Every once in a while, though, a couple trades in tradition for a quirky, never-seen-that-before idea. Here are a few of the most out-there wedding photos that made us do a double take.

  • Hot wedding trends for fall

    9 hot wedding trends for fall

    There's a lot to love about weddings this fall, like cocktails served in copper Moscow mule mugs, industrial-inspired lighting and pheasant feather details. See what's new!

  • Monique Pean Mineraux diamond and rose gold ring, $3,400; barneys.com

    Why single ladies are rocking a wedding ring

    Do you have to be engaged to sport a ring with bling?

  • ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images //  ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images (​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images)

    Majority of Americans are single

    124.6 million haven't gotten hitched.

  • least expensive places to get married

    These are the 25 least expensive places to get married in America

    Even though the national average wedding is $29,858, that’s just an average. If you live in a smaller state like Idaho where the average wedding costs $16,159, you may find yourself saving a little more than half of the national spend! Check out some of the other least expensive cities to get married in below:

  • M Swiet Productions, Getty Images // M Swiet Productions, Getty Images (M Swiet Productions, Getty Images)

    Americans have nostalgia for summer romance

    Summer is winding down, but the ubiquitous summer romance lives on.

  • 8 signs it's time to break up

    8 signs it’s definitely time to break up

    For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.

  • Actor/"Why we love an older man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love an older man

    He’s confident, distinguished and anywhere from 4 to 20 years older than you. Age is just a number, but there’s something about older men that we love. Here are eight reasons why being in a relationship with an older man is tops.

  • Actor/"Why we love a younger man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love a younger man

    While a younger man may have less life experience, that doesn’t mean he’s not emotionally mature. Here are the eight reasons why being in a relationship with a younger man is tops.

  • Other woman (Courtesy YourTango)

    5 reasons the other woman slept with your man

    Have you ever wondered what the 'other woman' was thinking?

  • Apple picking

    6 fun fall date ideas

    So fall is coming and you need some romantic inspiration now that long walks on the beach are out of the question. Well look no further! From apple picking to pumpkin carving, these are some great fall date ideas from girls just like you!

  • Go to a theme park

    8 cute celeb date ideas

    Getting bored of the same dinner and movie date night? Take an adorable cue from your favorite celebs and try something new! From dancing to boxing you can't go wrong with these awesome date ideas.

buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
Loading...
the heart beat
Loading...