"A friend is considering proposing to her boyfriend. I am against it, not because of gender roles but because a man will commit to you when he is good and ready. How do you feel about women proposing to men?" —Anonymous
In theory, I’m not against women proposing to their boyfriends. I was once a girlfriend who discussed marriage with her significant other and was anticipating a ring. It did trouble me that because I chose to abide by tradition, the entire timeline of the future we were planning together was being determined by him.
I was wondering and waiting and hoping for a ring while he was the one with the option to take action. It was one of the few times in my life when I didn’t feel like I was being an active participant in it. For women who feel a similar way, I absolutely understand why they would take the initiative to propose.
That said, I never considered proposing. I consider myself a modern woman, but in many ways I’m very old-school, and I like the idea (and romance) of a man going after what he wants and doing the asking—whether it be a first date or proposing marriage. It seemed contradictory to me to want a man who is a leader and then not let him lead by asking him to marry me. For women who want a leader type of spouse—and not every woman does—I wouldn’t recommend proposing.
But those are my thoughts. What really matters most here is how guys think about this scenario, since sometimes they are the ones being asked the big question. I asked several what they thought about being proposed to by a woman, and I’m glad I did. I’d guessed that most would find the idea emasculating, but many of the men who shared their thoughts—on the condition of anonymity— weren’t turned off.
“Women talk about ‘leaning in’ and all this empowerment stuff, yet sit around and wait and hope that their man proposes to them is the most ass-backwards thinking around,” one man responded. “You champion liberation and equality, yet feel that it’s a man’s place to propose because ‘that’s the way it should be; that’s the way it’s always been.’”
Another gentleman echoed similar sentiments: “If we’re in a mutual relationship and heading in that direction, why shouldn’t either one be able to propose the next step? I think this is another vestige of our society’s paternalistic approach to relationships. My manhood would not be threatened by this.”
He added, “All of that said, if you never in all the time we have been seeing each other reached for a dinner check, don’t all of a sudden get liberated.”
But other guys weren’t so on board. In fact, they were adamantly opposed.
“I would not want to be proposed to, and if I was, it would be indicative of a bigger problem,” one man responded. “I’d wonder if she thinks I’m a bitch, if she thinks I pussyfoot around, if she thinks she has to take control of a situation. All of that epitomizes emasculation. These are not ideas that I want my wife to have in her head about me.”
Most of the men who responded implored women to wait for a proposal. “There’s something to be said for some traditions,” one man said. “Let us have this one, please.”
Read the full article on The Root