Should men be the only ones to propose marriage?
Of course I still believe that men should be the ones to propose—I grew up in a very traditional Indian household and my values were set like this from the start. I know that perhaps I should be progressing with the times since I run my own business, but I still believe that men should be the providers and the caretakers of the family.
And I don’t think it’s just me. I feel all men would agree that they take pride in their masculinity, in being able to protect and take care of their woman. Therefore, I do believe that men should be the ones to make the proposal of marriage, as they are the ones looking to take on the responsibility of looking after their woman for the rest of their lives. Call it chivalry, if you will.
Even though the times have progressed, it’s still an innate need from both sexes that the man steps in as the dominating sex to say to a woman, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you; I am emotionally and financially prepared to start a family.” And let’s face it—as women, we say that we’re ready for marriage all the time because we just can’t contain our emotions!
Harilela is the co- founder of PR firm Bonvivant and Bellavita, which she started with her sister Shirley A woman should certainly be able to pop the question, instead of waiting to be asked. We have fought long and hard for gender equality. These days, couples in committed relationships have probably already discussed marriage as equal partners. What difference does it make who decides to make the formal proposal? A woman shouldn’t feel beholden to cultural stereotypes, and a man should feel secure enough in himself and the relationship not to feel threatened if a woman proposes.
Women are strong, independent and more financially autonomous than our mothers and grandmothers were. Why should a woman have power over all the other areas of her life, such as career, mate, friendships, body and finances, and not over the decision to ask for someone’s hand in marriage? A woman should be able to propose without society seeing her as aggressive or desperate. Also, it seems silly that a woman can terminate a union but doesn’t feel comfortable proposing a union. Many people argue that when a man proposes it’s a romantic gesture and the cultural norm. But I think a woman can be equally if not more romantic—and probably better organised.
Tung- Chou is a luxury brand consultant and a guild member of the Hong Kong Ballet