If it’s OK for women to propose, why don’t they? by C. Cass
- If a man is marrying a woman somewhere in America, odds are that he proposed to her.
That may seem obvious, but consider this: Three-fourths of Americans say it would be fine for the woman to do the proposing, in theory.
In practice, only about 5 percent of those currently married say the woman proposed, and the figure is no higher among couples wed within the past 10 years. Attitudes actually seem to be trending the other way, an Associated Press-WE tv poll shows.
Young adults are more likely than their elders to consider it “unacceptable” for a woman to do the asking. More than one-third of those under age 30 disapprove.
…. A woman who proposes also risks criticism for her boldness, said Katherine Parkin, an associate professor of history at Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Parkin researched the folk tradition that claimed women could propose only during a leap year. She found that the idea triggered mockery every four years for much of the 20th century. Postcards, ads and articles portrayed women who would propose as desperate, aggressive and unattractive. The leap year joke has faded, she said, but the stigma lingers.