Happy Proposal Day! Should women pop the question?
The times might be changing, but apparently, some traditions are here to stay.
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.
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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.
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"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?
Photo: National Proposal Day / Tara Moore/Getty Images
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.
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