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

  • The Viceroy Anguilla

    Great getaways for a spring-summer honeymoon

    As a general rule, any island that offers great weather year-round is going to attract the most visitors in the winter (high season) when we’re all trying to escape the snow. Once summer rolls around, many islands see a sharp drop-off in tourism since many people have beach weather right in their own backyards.

  • Getty Images

    The top 10 complaints from unhappy husbands

    And how you can attack the issues together.

  • 25 wedding photo bombs

    25 wedding photo bombs

    A wedding is an exceptionally special day. Sometimes, an opportune photo flub makes the occasion even more memorable. Here are 25 awesome wedding photo bombs.

  • He takes you on nondrinking dates.

    7 signs he’s getting serious about you

    Somewhere between the first few butterfly-inducing dates and the committed-for-life stage, there’s the period of wondering if you’re both on the same page about how serious you feel about a future together. If you’re not quite at the point of "that talk" but you’re looking for a few clues you’re heading in that direction, here are some signs he’s in it for the long haul as your relationship progresses.

  • 'Have you tried online dating?'

    15 things single people are tired of hearing

    What’s that sound? It’s white noise blocking out the well-meaning person proclaiming groundbreaking news about where you can meet someone, asking why you’re still single, or bugging you about when you’re getting married already. Don’t be that person. Here are 15 annoying things all single people don’t want to hear.

  • 1. New Hair Color

    11 things to avoid the week before your wedding

    With just a few days left before the big day, you already have a mile-long checklist of to-dos—now meet the don’ts! From impromptu skin treatments to all-night movie marathons, here are 11 things to avoid at all costs.

  • 'It’s a Wonderful Life'

    13 movie romances we can learn from

    A new study shows that watching and discussing romantic films can drastically reduce your chance of divorce. These flicks more than fit the bill.

  • About you and someone else

    10 things he’ll never forget you said

    These seemingly innocent phrases still have the power to wound… big time.

  • He or she is the first one you want to tell

    6 signs your marriage will last a lifetime

    Making "I do" last forever is one of the biggest challenges you'll ever face—and it's normal to worry about how you'll do it. But, if your connection involves any of these things, rest assured that you're in it for the long run.

  • Simone Becchetti, Getty Images // Simone Becchetti, Getty Images (Simone Becchetti, Getty Images)

    Can you stay together after a marital affair?

    Ultimately, as hard as it may seem at the beginning, a marital affair can be a turning point.

  • Biltmore/"Dream Wedding Recap"/Allan Zepeda/The Knot

    The Knot Dream Wedding recap

    Five months after the Boston Marathon bombing, The Knot reached out to Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino and offered to throw them a dream wedding. They said yes, and on April 4, 2014, the two married at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Rebekah and Pete exchanged vows on the tennis lawn amidst the cherry tree blossoms and then celebrated with all of their friends and family at a beautiful reception tent right in front of the estate. All of the details were perfectly executed by a team of talented and generous wedding industry pros, including celebrity wedding planner Marcy Blum. Here, a few highlights from Rebekah and Pete's wedding day.

  • The dress code was too strict

    Top wedding guest complaints (and how to avoid them)

    Your wedding is your special day, but you want to keep your guests happy, too. Here are 20 typical wedding guest complaints and what you can do about them.

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...