Don’t worry, I’m not about to get married, yet. 😉 But a little thought on proposing, and who gets to do it.

My orchestra conductor recently got engaged. She has a humongous ring. When I say “humongous,” I mean, fucking gorgeous. Her fiancé really spent some time picking out a ring, and he did a magnificent job. (I have respect for that man. At least for ring-picking.)

However, she’d been griping for ages because he hadn’t yet proposed to her. They had dated for 1 year and 8 months. On the day he finally did, she missed teaching because they went on a trip to a local tourist town. In class the day before, she’d crossed her fingers and addressed the class, “Maybe he’ll finally do it this time!”

You can probably tell where I’m going. Why didn’t she propose to him, if she was so sure they were going to get married? Perhaps she’s conservative and traditional? Not totally. She told the class a conversation they’d had. “Did you ask my parents for permission?” She’d asked him. “Nope,” he had apparently replied. “I was so glad!” She bubbled. “That’s such an outdated tradition! Women can do things on their own now.”

But not everything, it seems.

Which made me think. Would I be willing to ask a guy to marry me? It was painful to discover that, yes, I am reluctant to turn a tradition the other way around. It is so romantic for a guy to get on one knee and propose. At least, in my perspective. I wonder what guys think about it.



Filed under feminism

2 responses to “marriage.

  1. dew

    Proposing is just so HARD for either gender that I wonder how many of us let the guy do the asking just because we’re chicken and can tell ourselves it’s really his job to ask. One time, a guy friend proposed to me, and thinking he was joking, I laughed! But he was serious. What a terrible thing to do, but I really had no idea he was serious.

  2. Julia

    “Women can do things on their own now.” Mmhm. Ten bucks says Orchestra Teacher 1) doesn’t call herself a feminist, 2) denies the existence of the patriarchy, and 3) thinks surviving gender differences in our cultural practices are cute or otherwise desirable.

    (I don’t actually have ten bucks.)

    (If I’m being too harsh, let me know.)

    Speaking of outdated institutions, what about marriage itself?

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