Why Women Do Not Propose on Leap Day

woman-proposing-to-manHappy Lead Day!

According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men every four years.  The idea was introduced as a way to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way that “Leap Day” balances out the calendar. While this may seem like a step in the right gender equality direction (made thousands of years ago by a nun nonetheless), statistics show that very few women are making marriage proposals–inside or outside of a Leap Year.  Is breaking gender roles in the area of matrimony a bigger risk than we would like to admit?

Not so fast.

According to a recent Refinery29 article by Caroline Stanley, the reason the kind of women who would be more inclined to propose are not proposing is because “they are not entirely sure how they feel about the institution of marriage altogether.”  It has less to do with a gender equality power struggle and more to do with the array of choices and options women today have regarding their own lives.  “We are no longer defined by the men we marry,” writes Stanley. “If a woman wants her partner to propose, fantastic. If she wants to be the one driving that moment, she shouldn’t have to worry about society judging her for it or him feeling emasculated — privately or publicly. A declaration of love shouldn’t be a coded power struggle.”

Stanley adds: “Millennials have been unfairly stereotyped in many ways, but if there’s one thing the media gets right, it’s the fact that we’re a generation that disrupts things, that refuses to be put into the same old boxes and told what to do. I believe we’ll be the ones to change this, too. Imagine living in a world where a woman proposing isn’t the subject of a trend piece in The New York Times. It’s simply the way things are done approximately half of the time.”

What are your thoughts about women proposing to men? Do you think there is still a gender divide in the area of proposals and marriage?