Monday, 28 December 2015

Special Post: PSA Why can a man ask, but a woman is not allowed?

Getting hitched.
Popping the question.
Saying goodbye (forever) to singledom.

However you word it, when someone opens their heart to another person and asks them to be with them it's no small feat. No small question. No small act of love.
It's heart wrenching to do and even worse to hear that you're the "wrong gender to be popping the question to him".

Wait. 

What?!

Why does the tradition of a man asking a woman to be his wife exist?

Has this tradition changed in the modern love story?

For me I have always thought that asking for a woman's hand in marriage was a big deal. Something I dreamt of happening to me. But the negative for me is the asking her father for her hand in marriage. That part of the wedding tradition feels so outdated to me.

Women of the twenty-first century are no longer property for one man to trade to another. 


So for me the discussion with my father is a bit odd.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm being too strong about my thoughts and feelings about this.
I haven't talked to my parents (or his Mum for that matter) about my feelings about this part of the marriage tradition. I don't know if I have these feelings about handing over the bride as a possession to be outdated because of my lack of religious faith, or because of my feminism views (which to me is just my everyday life).

After a period of time, there have been more questions about getting engaged too. From friends, family and colleagues. They find out we have been dating for more than three years, and go "sooo, ah, any plans for marriage?" or "where's the ring?" Over time it was hard, we laughed it off or changed the subject. Sometimes we would reply like we do when people ask about child rearing: [laugh and say] "Nah, not for a long time, if ever!" or "Not in this lifetime."

But more recently,  after hitting the four years dating mark... I started to question what we are doing together. Where does he see us in the next two years? Where do I see us in the next two years? I've got a year of study at university to go, as well as about six months study for my ESOL teaching side of things. He's working fulltime and has been for ~ six months longer than we have been together. We have also both been offered potential roles overseas, with open dates for taking them on. It's exciting and another period in our lives of changing things.

Is it time to buy a ring?

Dan was asking recently why do women get two rings for marriage - one for the engagement and one for the marriage ceremony. Men only get one at the marriage ceremony. I don't know why we do engagement rings for women only. It seems sexist, right? Not allowing men to have the same opportunity as a woman?*

It all goes back to tradition apparently. Based on Jewelry stores who tried to continue diamond sales during the 1930's depression (among other times of financial drops of the past). . . As for the tradition of "three months salary for the engagement ring"... yeah, same thing, for jewelry sales.

In fact men's engagement rings have been around since the 1990's or so and increasing in popularity even more so in the past ten or so years. Many jewelers will now stock a range of engagement rings for men as well as the more traditional looking ones with diamonds and so on. 
I call the women's engagement rings more "bling", while the men's ones seem more plain. 
Same deal with wedding rings actually. Although the wedding bands seem to be more plain for both genders.

On the future.

I think it's time for us to buy some rings and ask the question - I see us having a longer relationship lasting into the future. Maybe both of us will ask. Maybe one of us will. 
At the end of the day I am not sure if there even is a one-size-fits-all solution to this dilemma.

* - Sarcasm.

*** Dan and I have been dating since July 2011. ***