I don’t understand the prevailing assumption that all women dream of the day someone finally proposes and know what their wedding dress will be from the age of 4. I don’t understand why the majority of women that do want to get married just sit around and wait for their partner to make the big move, hinting – at best – their wishes. Diamont rings, rose petals and champagne glasses, dinners at expensive restaurants, sunsets, kneeling down and violins playing, tears of happiness. Oh, the happiest day of our lives girls. Or is it?
Getting married is a huge, life-changing decision for both parties. The general admonition that the man is always the one that is responsible to make such a decision unilaterally, by posing in essence an ultimatum, is extremely unfair and sexistic. It hurts both men and women.
Society puts all the presure of “popping the question” on men: they have to decide when to ask and how, they have to find a ring, it has to be romantic, if it’s too early she will be indimitated, if it’s taking too long she’ll think you don’t want her enough. In the meantime, women are only allowed a small role at the finale, in saying the big yes or the small no. Asking your partner to marry you if you are a woman will be seen as desparate, pushy, akward, shameful and vastly a no-go. In what it is supposed to be a union of equals, this seems rather like starting off on the wrong foot.
Don’t you feel the injustice? Because it burns me deep. We are supposed to sit around like prizes on our self, being nice and quiet and cute, not too overwelming, not to pasionate, mother figures before we even conceive. If we are good girls, if we just smile and wait, we’ll get the big prize: a ring on our finger, a white dress and the satisfaction of being a married woman. By the way, do you often hear the term married man used in the same way of marking social accomplishment? It even sounds a little funny, right? That’s because in the social arena, men are accomplished through their careers, through their achievements, through their individuality. On the contrary, a woman will only be good enough in the eyes of society if she gets married and breeds happy, healthy children. If she dares have a career, we will target her as an indifferent mother. If a woman does not marry, she’s a springster, a sad, lonely, hysterical creature that lost the train of reproduction. If a man does not marry, he is a bachelor and no matter his age he will be still eligible to find a partner/ have kinds/ avoid social seclusion.
Break the circle of injustice girls: just propose! If you feel that you really want to marry, don’t hint it, don’t push it, don’t just sit around and wait. Ask him first. If you are too indimitated to ask straightforwardly, if you don’t want to use the big ultimatum, do discuss your wishes like adults, like equals. Because you are, you must be. We are not talking prince charming and white horses and castles here, this is real life. And if you want to share yours with this specific person, you should be able to tell him you want to, without being afraid. This is going to be your life partner, for better and for worse and you should be open and honest to each other, if you want this to really work.
I know it’s difficult, I know it’s stressful, I know it may feel weird. Because I have done it too. And we agreed that if and when we decide to marry, it will be a mutual, equal, adult decision. But if I decide to propose first, out of the blue, he asked me for a diamond ring and a bouquet of red roses. For real. 😛