Permission to pop the question?

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Joined: 05/31/06
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Permission to pop the question?

Thanks Jess for the Pinterest inspiration!

is a man asking a woman's father for permission to propose a sweet and honorable tradition that would please you.....or a backwards and sexist tradition which implies that a woman is property to be passed from one man (her father) to another (her husband). Thoughts?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

It doesn't bother me one way or another. Seamus didn't ask my father for permission. Totally fine with me.

I do see it as backwards and sexist if people feel the need to genuinely do it...as in literally ask for permission. So for that reason it doesn't bother me when people don't do it. But at the same time, some people do things for traditions sake and I'm not going to get all freaked out about it. My SIL's now husband asked my FIL before he proposed. And because i know him well, i know he is not a sexist backwards thinking man....it was simply traditional and he thought he should do it.

You know its kind of one of those things, you theoretically only do it once. Its not like you typically have experience and 'know' if its kosher to just skip that part. I could see people going through the motions, including the father, almost cermonially without putting any true meaning into it. I really think thats what happened with my SIL and her husband. Besides, Seamus' family is pretty modern thinking overall. His father would never dream of thinking he truly had any decision making in who his daughter married.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I will admit it. I find it backwards and sexist.

I suppose there are circumstances in which it wouldn't seem like that, but I can't think of any. I think it's time to move on.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

I have no issue with it. My husband asked for my dad's blessing (not really permission) to marry me, because he felt it was the respectful thing to do. We already knew my dad liked him and was fine with us getting married. It is a tradition, more than anything, and I like it the idea of it. It doesn't make me feel one bit like anyone's property.

Asking for Her Hand in Marriage - The Do's and Don'ts of Asking Parents for Their Blessing on Your Engagement

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Lots of wedding ceremony stuff is pretty sexist when you think about it. My dad walked me down the aisle, the JP asked "who GIVES this woman....", etc. But whatever. Mike didn't ask my parents' permission but the other stuff didn't bother me. I was 35 with a baby and a mortgage when I got married. We didn't need anyone's permission to any of that stuff and the ceremony, at least for us, was mostly symbolic for the older family members. Wink

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I guess for me those traditions are sexist and I can't relate to them so we didn't do any of them. I was 32 when I met Dave, we got married a few years later. My father would have been appalled, as would I, if Dave had asked permission.

I didn't walk down an aisle, we had a non-traditional wedding, but I've been to many many weddings where both parents walked their daughter (and son) down the aisle. I have never related to the "giving your daughter away" sentiment.

I feel the same way about engagement rings though...never understood why the man buys the woman an expensive ring and she is marked as engaged but he is not.

It's tradition, I know, and I also know it's harmless, but it's not something I'd ever be comfortable with for myself. Same for my siblings.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"SID081108" wrote:

I have no issue with it. My husband asked for my dad's blessing (not really permission) to marry me, because he felt it was the respectful thing to do. We already knew my dad liked him and was fine with us getting married. It is a tradition, more than anything, and I like it the idea of it. It doesn't make me feel one bit like anyone's property.

Asking for Her Hand in Marriage - The Do's and Don'ts of Asking Parents for Their Blessing on Your Engagement

Is your mother alive? Curious why he wouldn't want her "blessing" too if so?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I guess for me those traditions are sexist and I can't relate to them so we didn't do any of them. I was 32 when I met Dave, we got married a few years later. My father would have been appalled, as would I, if Dave had asked permission.

I didn't walk down an aisle, we had a non-traditional wedding, but I've been to many many weddings where both parents walked their daughter (and son) down the aisle. I have never related to the "giving your daughter away" sentiment.

I feel the same way about engagement rings though...never understood why the man buys the woman an expensive ring and she is marked as engaged but he is not.

It's tradition, I know, and I also know it's harmless, but it's not something I'd ever be comfortable with for myself. Same for my siblings.

Plenty of women I know were quite happy to don that rock and never gave the symbolism behind it a second thought. Smile It wasn't like "Look at me, I belong to someone", it was more like "Look at my bling. I want you to be jealous and make comments about it." Wink

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Well you know my feelings on this topic! hahaha.

I'm not a fan of permission. It's weird to me unless the person is under 18 or something (which is weird to me too). I made it very clear that I did not want him to ask my dad's permission and my dad didn't care.

I do have an engagement ring at his insistence. He was bummed though that by societal norms he couldn't have something to say to the world that we were engaged. He does wear his wedding ring. My dad "escorted" me down the aisle and I wanted my mom but she didn't want to (I think she was thinking of tradition). He did not "give" me away. Both sides of the family announced that we were joined together in front of the priest. It was beautiful. I also did not wear a veil over my face because I thought it was sexist.

Do I think most people do this actually think that the woman is of lesser value..no...I think most do it for "tradition" sake. I just want people to realize how tradition can really be sexist and non feminist.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

My husband took both of my parents out to lunch and told them he was going to propose to me and asked them if they would help be in one the surprise as he wanted to make it a whole family weekend at the beach with my sibs and parents and all. I really liked that.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

To me, that isn't asking permission. Just letting them in on it and asking for help to surprise you.

In my head, asking permission, is to go to my dad or my parents and ask them if he could marry me. That's just odd. My parents aren't in charge of my life decisions. Why would you ask them?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I agree that a lot of things about weddings are sexist. Its like really, i can't be bothered to try to buck tradition because of the sexist origins. I'm more interested in just doing what I enjoy doing as long as I know that in general and in lifestyle the people in my life are not overly sexist. I say overly because i know my 80+ year old father has some sexist views that he's never going to shake. Fortunately they aren't too severe.

I like my engagement ring. I don't live my life like i'm someones property and no one treats me like property...so I will continue to enjoy my engagement ring.

I did have both my mother and my father walk me down the aisle, just because it felt good and right to me.

Maybe if i was worried that these things were really things holding women down I'd care more. But in my experience they are ceremonial in nature and people just enjoy the traditions for traditions sake.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

"Potter75" wrote:

Is your mother alive? Curious why he wouldn't want her "blessing" too if so?

Yes, she is, and she was already planning our wedding (literally) before he actually proposed to me. The tradition is to speak to the father, and that's what he did. In his culture, (as well as ours, I believe) that conversation is a sign of respect to the father as the protector of his children. That is not to disrespect the mothers....I am the one having that conversation with her...making sure that she feels good about the choice I've made as the nurturing figure in my life. With my parents having had a long and wonderful marriage (46 years this year!), we both wanted their blessing as we began ours. I knew we had it already, but he still wanted to have that formal conversation with my father. Anyway, after that brief "man to man" conversation, which I was very comfortable with, we both talked to both of them (we were in NYC and they were in Arizona) and began the full-on planning (we got married less than a month after we got engaged).

I am very comfortable with gender roles, in general, as I believe they are rooted and established in how God made us. Men are (typically) the protectors, while mothers are (typically) the nurturers. It makes perfect sense to me that a man would have a conversation with the father of the girl he loves, to essentially agree that he will protect her now. I was also in my early 30's when I got married, had a great career making great money and a mortgage solely in my name as well. I wasn't a weak woman who was looking for a man to "take care of her" and I don't think this tradition implies that in any way, unless people are twisting it to mean that.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

"KimPossible" wrote:

I agree that a lot of things about weddings are sexist. Its like really, i can't be bothered to try to buck tradition because of the sexist origins. I'm more interested in just doing what I enjoy doing as long as I know that in general and in lifestyle the people in my life are not overly sexist. I say overly because i know my 80+ year old father has some sexist views that he's never going to shake. Fortunately they aren't too severe.

I like my engagement ring. I don't live my life like i'm someones property and no one treats me like property...so I will continue to enjoy my engagement ring.

I did have both my mother and my father walk me down the aisle, just because it felt good and right to me.

Maybe if i was worried that these things were really things holding women down I'd care more. But in my experience they are ceremonial in nature and people just enjoy the traditions for traditions sake.

For some reason I don't have a "like" button under your reply, but I like it!

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I don't think anyone should stop enjoying their engagement ring.

In fact, I think people should all have the proposals, engagements, and weddings that make them happy.

But I am not comfortable with any of those traditions that I see as sexist, those aren't the choices I would make for myself (and I didn't). I also come from a pretty non-traditional family, so it's not as if I was raised a certain way and had to rebel against it. My dad's gay, my mom took her maiden name back after my parents split up and she dated a lot while she was building up her career, and this was way back when, in the 70s. (My parents split in 1973.)

I love my wedding ring and I love that Dave has one too. That's symbolism and tradition I can relate to completely.

I never thought about my wedding as a kid, I never wanted to wear a bridal gown or walk down an aisle, just not my thing. (I do want to wear a gloriously fancy dress to the Oscars one day, though!)

Dave and I discussed marriage for the first time because he brought it up, but I was the one who officially proposed. We were both in our 30s so it would have been weird to ask permission of anyone, and since we didn't do a big proposal/event, there was no need to enlist anyone's help.

I guess I like to pick & choose the traditions that I can relate to. I really loved having the person who married us say the traditional vows: Do you, Laurie, take Dave.... I LOVED THAT. I loved the kiss after our ceremony. I loved going on a honeymoon, although we didn't go for several months. I love being Dave's wife and asking him to lift really heavy things and kill bugs that I am afraid of.

It's all very personal to me. The traditions that are more sexist just don't have any appeal for me at all.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226
KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Laurie, I didn't think you were saying other people shouldn't enjoy it. I was simply stating why it doesn't bother me personally and why i don't let it bother me. Because I can't personally deny the sexist origins of these traditions.

In regards to the pin, do people really think that everyone who does this, does it with genuine intent of getting an official yes or no and acting upon the answer accordingly? Because i don't. I know its just a pin, but for the sake of debate the "I would nevery marry" statement is rather strong IMO.

I think a ton of people who go through the whole "asking the father" thing don't truly believe the father has symbolic possession over the daughter. Heck they probably only bothered to ask because they were pretty sure the reaction was going to be a happy one...not because they really needed to be sure the father approved.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Does anyone think a guy, if he is sincerely wanting the approval, should NOT marry the girl if one of her parents says no?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"SID081108" wrote:

Yes, she is, and she was already planning our wedding (literally) before he actually proposed to me. The tradition is to speak to the father, and that's what he did. In his culture, (as well as ours, I believe) that conversation is a sign of respect to the father as the protector of his children. That is not to disrespect the mothers....I am the one having that conversation with her...making sure that she feels good about the choice I've made as the nurturing figure in my life. With my parents having had a long and wonderful marriage (46 years this year!), we both wanted their blessing as we began ours. I knew we had it already, but he still wanted to have that formal conversation with my father. Anyway, after that brief "man to man" conversation, which I was very comfortable with, we both talked to both of them (we were in NYC and they were in Arizona) and began the full-on planning (we got married less than a month after we got engaged).

I am very comfortable with gender roles, in general, as I believe they are rooted and established in how God made us. Men are (typically) the protectors, while mothers are (typically) the nurturers. It makes perfect sense to me that a man would have a conversation with the father of the girl he loves, to essentially agree that he will protect her now. I was also in my early 30's when I got married, had a great career making great money and a mortgage solely in my name as well. I wasn't a weak woman who was looking for a man to "take care of her" and I don't think this tradition implies that in any way, unless people are twisting it to mean that.

Your mom was planning your wedding before you got engaged? How.....interesting.

I was 29 when I got engaged and owned my own home, but I don't now and didn't then think of my daddy as my protector. That thought actually makes me feel uncomfortable. THough my parents and I have an extremely close relationship, protector is not a word that I would use to define his role, nor would it define why my husband had to ask his permission or would it be a role that passed from father to husband.

Laurie I love it that you don't like engagement rings Smile I love them. But not pictures of them on FB, remember!!! Smile My Dad didn't "give me away", that one totally gives me the creeps. I did take my husbands name, that one was important to me, mostly for the fact that we knew we were going to have children.

eta: was getting the same "blessing" or transference of protection/nurturing from his parents done?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Yeah, I didn't take his name either. My sister kept hers, my sisters-in-law kept theirs. And most of us have kids. My kids have my husband's last name. . .gotta give the poor guy SOMETHING.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Does anyone think a guy, if he is sincerely wanting the approval, should NOT marry the girl if one of her parents says no?

Well...yeah. If it means something to ask, then it means something to be told no!

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I think if a guy asks the father and the father says no then the guy has to decide for himself why he asked in the first place. If he wasn't truly asking for permission then the sooner he speaks up and clarifies that the better.

And if we are talking about a culture where it is expected and you really do want the father's permission then i guess they shouldn't marry then!

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

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