SPINOFF: Asking for father's permission/blessing?

posted 10 months ago in Family
Post # 46
1749 posts
Bumble bee

anonomee  Totally agree. I think it’s so odd that some people have problems with some sexist traditions (and claim the reason they have a problem with it is sexism), but not others. It makes me think that it’s not actually about sexism.


Post # 47
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I think this is dependent on the relationship between parent and child. If I knew my dad would have misbehaved when fi asked then I wouldn’t have expected it. However, my dad is the best dad. I would seriously trust my dad to pick a partner for me. I wanted him to have the opportunity to talk to my partner without my interference. My dad wants what is best for me based on my standards, not his, and I want to allow him to be a dad. If my dad was harsh and cruel, I wouldn’t have asked my fi to talk to him. But my dad and I are very close. My fi could not stomach to “ask for permission,” so we compromised on a “heads up.” Dad understands very well what it means to allow his grown children to be grown. He doesn’t overstep. It creates a really great balance so he can be a big part of our lives, but not be a decision maker. My fi also gave a heads up to my mom. I would add, as well, that my parents are a huge part of my life. I trust their judgement and input, and I want to be able to speak up. That is as true at 30 as it was at 13. Adulthood doesn’t change that. 

Post # 48
2412 posts
Buzzing bee

 Can someone please explainto me why asking the bride’s father for his permission or blessing is a gesture of respect rather than supplication/sexism?  I truly do not understand it.  

Would it be equally respectful for my boss to ask my dad’s blessing or permission before offering me a promotion?  

For context, I’m in my 40s and have lived on my own/supported myself/owned my own house since I graduated college.  My parents have very llittle involvement with my life.  

And to those who think that I am picking and choosing/it’s not really about sexism?  No one is walking me down the aisle, we split the cost of engagement rings (and both have one), and I’m not wearing white or a veil. 

Post # 49
7287 posts
Busy Beekeeper

anonomee :  I see it as more of sliding scale, not an “all or nothing” attitude that makes you a hypocrit if you don’t do it all exactly one way. To me a dress is just a dress – no one was under any delusion that I was a virgin at my wedding, but it still looked pretty and I picked it out. That’s nowhere to the level of men deciding what I can do with my own life for me. 

Post # 50
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

anonomee :  I would also add that there can be traditions that are born out of horrible practices but can also be reclaimed. Also, I, as a woman, asked my fi to talk to my mom and dad. I wanted them to have an opportunity to have a conversation with him without me, and to talk specifically about our engagement. Maybe this is sexist, but I can accept that, because they matter to me, and I want them to feel important. Had my fi asked me to chat with his dad, I would have. You are getting a lot of unnecessary crap for making a really good point. 

Post # 51
984 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I would have been moritifed if my now husband asked my father or parents for a blessing or permission. My parents would have been equally weirded out and probably think this guy clearly doesn’t know our daughter at all.

I don’t judge people who think its nice and do this though. For the record, I also didn’t have only my father walk me down the aisle or have the officiant say the line “you may now kiss the bride.” We made the decision to get engaged together and exchanged a ring for me/watch for him. I also fail to see how engaging in a thoughtful discussion on sexism equals “having your panties in a twist.”

Post # 52
46 posts

Definitely not. If Fiance had asked my father I would have been really upset. My parents don’t own me, we’re 29 and 30, living together for 2 years, dating for 3, and they have no say in my relationship. The only one that should be getting asked is me, my parents aren’t getting married with us. I find the whole thing kinda icky tbh. 

Post # 53
9245 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think it’s outdated and sexist. I’m not a piece of property being handed over.

I honestly would have been extremely offended if Darling Husband had asked “permission” to marry me.

Post # 54
2367 posts
Buzzing bee

I didn’t think it was necessary and I told my fiance that.  

Post # 55
2914 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I’m kind of surprised at a lot of these responses, but I guess I didn’t see my husband talking to my mom about getting engaged as him “asking permission”, I know he doesn’t view me as a piece of property and neither does my mother so the whole thing isn’t offensive to me whatsoever. I wouldn’t have really cared if he didn’t, but I thought it was a sweet gesture to include her and show the ring to her, tell her how he was going to propose, etc. I think it was a bit of a bonding moment for them since we don’t see my mom often.


Post # 56
447 posts
Helper bee

I think this is a “know your audience” kind of thing. Darling Husband talked to my parents before he proposed because he knew I wanted them to approve and give their blessing (not give permission, I’m not a third grader going to the science museum). I have a really great relationship with my parents and trust their judgement. Wish I had sooner about a previous relationship my mom knew from the start was a mess but I totally knew better…then wasted 4 years on a loser. It had nothing to do with properly exchange or sexism and every thing to do with my parents having been the most important people in my life prior to Darling Husband and wanting them included. He also gave his parents a heads ups,though that apparently didn’t go as well as the conversation with my parents because Father-In-Law is a control freak who was used to being able to get Darling Husband to bend to his will and was miffed Darling Husband wasn’t actually asking his permission. 

It doesn’t make one any less feminist, more supporting of sexism  or a hypocrite to want and enjoy traditions that may have their roots in less than perfect things. I would actually argue that judging a woman because her choice was different than your preference is way less feminist. It’s all about having a conversation with your intended partner and letting them know what is important to do (or not do) for you. 

Post # 58
1453 posts
Bumble bee

I mean if we’re going to go down the sexism route, marriage (and definitely the concept of a wedding) in and of itself was bred out of sexist tradition. Only in the last 100 yrs of human civilization (and that is being generous) has it been about “love” and “partnership” rather than a contractual transaction.

With that in mind, to each their own.

I did not want my dad’s permission and Darling Husband did not ask for it. It would have been too weird for me.

Post # 59
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2019 - City, State

My fiance asked my parents. He knows how close I am with them and how much they mean to me. To me it was more of an “I’m including you in this huge step in your daughters life” rather than a permission sort of thing. 

I think it’s so sweet that he asked. My mom said she cried haha. And then they had to keep a secret for three more weeks before he asked me!

Post # 60
2125 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ll skip the sexism soap-box rant (really fighting the urge today), but I’d be pissed if my SO asked my parents in any way. Sure, he can tell them “I’m planning on proposing, just wanted to keep you guys in the loop”, but that’s even still too much for me. My parents have literally 0% say of how I live my life, so why is their input needed?

Asking them feels almost infantilizing to me, as it gives the illusion that they actually have a say in the matter.

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