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Should Women Propose to Men?

Should women propose to men?
Should women propose to men?

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about gender role reversal and whether or not women should propose to men.

First a quick update:

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Now, let’s talk about the reversal of gender roles and whether or not women should propose to men.

“Girls are outperforming boys at every level of education. Women are overtaking men in the workplace in both status and pay. More men are becoming househusbands. Girls are becoming more assertive and aggressive whilst boys are becoming more feminine. Females are poised to become the dominant gender in trousers, whilst males will find themselves as homemakers and obliged to wear skirts, high heels and make up. This is the future.” Read more.

The above description is somewhat extreme when the author states that men will be “wearing skirts, high heels and make-up”, although, more and more men are wearing very baggy pants and baggy shorts that simulate dresses while women are wearing tighter jeans. However, the author is correct when stating that women are becoming a dominant force (and men are also being ridiculed particularly in the media.) Read my articles “Women are taking over” and “How stupid are men”.

However, in this article, I would like to focus on one point: “Girls are becoming more assertive and aggressive” and explore how that pertains to love and marriage proposal.

Traditionally, it is men who chase women and propose marriage, and often, the reverse is frowned upon, with two exceptions. The first relates to Irish tradition believed to have started in the 5th century, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait so long for a man to propose. St. Patrick obliged by saying that the longing females could propose on February 29th – the leap year.

The second move towards gender role reversal relates to a 1937 comic strip and character created by Al Capp. Sadie Hawkins is a 35-year old spinster who is so desperate to find a suitor that her father holds a foot race with Sadie in hot pursuit of the town’s eligible bachelors — and matrimony as the consequence. Subsequently, Sadie became a cultural phenomenon with women and girls taking the bold initiative on “Sadie Hawkins Day” by inviting the man or boy of their choice out on a date, almost unheard of before 1937. A Life magazine headline in 1939 read “On Sadie Hawkins Day, Girls Chase Boys in 201 Colleges” and printed photos from Texas Wesleyan.

The 2010 romantic comedy movie “Leap Year” further popularized the notion of women chasing men and proposing to men on leap year. Anna (played by Amy Adams) is aggressive and assertive – a control freak who doesn’t like surprises. Anna thought her boyfriend Jeremy (played by Adam Scott) was going to propose to her but he didn’t and so she heads to Ireland in order to force him to accept her wedding proposal by making it on February 29, leap day, when he can’t refuse due to the country’s tradition. Of course, along the way, she meets Declan (played by Matthew Goode) who laughs at her saying “That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

‘No. it isn’t. It’s a tradition. It’s a romantic tradition’ responds Anna.

“It’s a day for desperate women trying to trap themselves a man who clearly doesn’t want to get married. You gotta know if your man wants to propose, he would have done it already. Fact.”

Thus the question arises, as women become more powerful, and as many stereotypical roles are being dissolved or reversed, should women propose to men? Should women be the aggressors? Is it wrong for women to chase a man and thus reverse traditional gender roles?

Stereotypical roles can easily result in claims of superiority by one gender over another or can result in victimization. But for the purposes of the question as it relates to romance, men need to chase; men are hunters.

If a woman chases a man or makes the first move, the male fragile ego will easily be stroked and flattered and most likely, the man will concede but, usually the concession is simply one of instant gratification that requires little or no commitment on the part of the man. In other words, for simple, pleasurable benefits, the man will say ‘yes’ to a proposal or move by a woman but not if it involves a relationship or long-term commitment or vow such as marriage – unless it is something he really wants.

Because men are innately hunters, they value the chase and the conquest. Men need to feel that they have worked hard to achieve and attain something of value. Remember, too, that many of the major differences in gender relate to hormonal makeup – testosterone in men encourages and promotes action, assertiveness, aggressiveness and competition.

Further, when a man wants something he will chase it; he will find a way to make it happen. Thus, if he is not asking or pursuing you, then that signifies that he either doesn’t want to get married or simply isn’t ready. If a man is forced into a corner, to make a decision, he will still do only what he truly wants. Anyone forced against their will still holds the same opinion and desire i.e. we can’t make someone love us or want us. Yes, if a woman proposes to a man she will learn quickly whether or not he truly wants to be with her but more so, she will learn whether or not he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Accordingly, a proposal by a woman becomes an ultimatum to the man. Read my article “Ultimatums & reverse ultimatums in relationships”.

Remember, that when you propose the question, be prepared for the answer because it could mean a change in your life that you were not expecting.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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