I was reading one of the most amazing Essay I’ve read that was authored by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie titled Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen suggestions. This book was a letter in response to a friend of Chimamanda who asked how to raise her daughter, Feminist. I learned so much from this book that I will be breaking down some lessons in upcoming blog posts, today’s focus is on marriage proposals.
Isn’t it odd that in most societies in the world today, women generally cannot propose marriage? Marriage is such a major step in your life, and yet you cannot take charge of it. It depends on a man asking you. So many women are in long-term relationships and want to get married but have to wait for the man to propose- and often this waiting becomes a performance, sometimes unconscious and sometimes not, of marriage worthiness. If we apply Feminism Tool here, it makes no sense that a woman who matters equally has to wait for somebody else to initiate what will be a major life change for her. – Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen suggestions.
This part of the book got me thinking deeply about what it is about; marriage proposals. My mind went back to the video of the lady that got rejected by a man at Shoprite in Lagos and was trending, I don’t know why I remembered but for some reason I did.
It was generally frowned upon that the lady should not have proposed because she was a lady, so women should not go for what they want even if they desperately want it because it makes them look unladylike? Should women continue taking the back seats at the important decisions in their life to look acceptable to the society?
I asked myself, will I propose to a man? Why yes? Why not? Will I leave such important decision in the hands of my partner?
I thought about it deeply and said I don’t think I will propose. Why? Let me explain.
Me choosing not to propose is not because of the way it is perceived in the society but because I choose to be proposed to. Before the marriage proposal, there will be the conversation about marriage, that’s how mine will be and that is what I expect should be the norm.
The conversation assures the couple that they are ready for this and will make it work, I will clearly state that I want to be proposed to and want to be surprised, there’s something about proposals that get me. If I choose to get married that is, I can just continue to admire them from afar. Innit? And if that conversation has happened and my partner is not ready to propose, will I do it? No. if he’s not ready to propose that means he’s not ready for marriage, which translates to me leaving if that is what I want or staying to help him prepare.
Now does this make me less a feminist for not choosing to propose? No!
If I have a girlfriend that wants to propose to her man, will I cheer her up? Absolutely. It’s her choice and she can do what she wants.
While proposing is not my cup of tea, if it’s another sister’s cup of tea’ it is fine by me.
Her choice. Her life