Without doubt, as February 29th arrives, that one day that only happens every four years, the news will feature at least one heart-warming story about a woman proposing to a man, unfairly apparently the only time this reversal of customary roles can ever be done. The news story will always report a happy ending and we never catch the end of our local news bulletin to hear about a man storming out of a restaurant in a fit of rage as his girlfriend is left inside on her knees, hurt and confused.
Yet in 2012, living in an era where the traditions of marriage are already blurred and questioned, how do we really feel about women proposing to men and is it right that there is only one day every four years that is dedicated to this?
If there is a happy, loving moment at the end of our favourite romantic movies and chick lit (and there usually is), it predominantly involves the male who sweeps the female off her feet, providing us with that Prince Charming moment. And speaking of this lothario, he has dominated our culture and been proposing to women since long before the tale of Sleeping Beauty. We watch these films and read these books as an escape from our real, mundane lives, like a fantasy. So the idea of being proposed to is possibly an extension of this, allowing us to feel like we are in our very own fairy tale, and if it is us that does the proposing, then it does not quite feel this way. Then there is the issue of unconfidently never knowing if that is what he truly wanted as he was not the one who asked, not to mention the judging comments from all his friends and family thinking that he didn’t step up to and fulfil his ‘traditional’ role.
Yet, do we really care about this anymore? How important is the proposal? Some girls have it all figured out in their heads with the ideal setting, the dream ring and even the conversation scripted in their minds, whereas other girls are rather hoping that they never have to go through this awkward, pressure filled situation and would rather walk the streets with no clothes on than have a man spring a ring on her. Perhaps instead of there being only one specific day for the woman to propose to the man, getting engaged should be a mutual agreement and the question asked from both sides.