(Closed) Why do men propose and provide engagement rings? Why not women?

posted 4 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
7633 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

@Supersleuth:  It’s tradition. In the past, women were seen more as property. I agree that it doesn’t make as much sense for only men to propose in this day in age. Many women propose back to their FI’s and a lot of women are actually the ones that do the proposing now. It’s still a bit taboo; I wish it wasn’t.

Post # 6
1936 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Supersleuth:  I consider myself a feminist. I got a lovely engagement ring, and in turn we’re currently researching my fiance’s engagement watch. 🙂

Post # 7
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Supersleuth:  Because it’s a tradition that began when most women didn’t work, and it represented that the man could provide for her instead of her family. It is a bit anti-feminist, but I think most couples view it today as a fun tradition, a lot of men still like showing that they can provide for their woman, and a lot of women like the sparkly symbol of commitment that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t provide for themselves as well.

My FI wears sort of an engagement ring, he says his finger felt naked so we found an inexpensive ring for him to wear until the wedding. I wish I could have purchased it and/or his actual wedding band for him myself, but unfortunately I’m broke as hell, but when he got it I did kind of propose back to him. 

Post # 8
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Because it’s my hot body and I do what I want.

Post # 9
1402 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@Supersleuth:  It’s just a tradition.  Nobody has to do anything and many women actually do propose now a days.  Many with an engagement ring.

Post # 10
1383 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MissMarple:  I think she was just looking for a variety of opinions from women who talk about rings a lot… a reasonable quetsion I think one can answer without snark… or, just scroll on by! 🙂


@Supersleuth:  I absolutely agree it is unfair, and while I don’t necessarily see it as anti-feminist (becasue feminism should always allow for the choice to be “traditional” without judgement) my now-husband and I personally felt that our own values and our own interpretation of feminism in our lives was best served by each proposing to each other in a unique way! We both got rings too, even though he ultimately wore his on a chain, as a necklace, because he didn’t want to wear somehtingt hat looked like a wedding ring before he was married. But one could always get their partner an engagement watch, or whatever… or it could be a ringless engagement for everyone involved.

The great thing is that I believe societal norms about this are starting to change, however slowly, and if you look on the “Proposal” board here on the bee you will find plenty of women who proposed!

Post # 11
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2000


They don’t. There are no actual rules here. No one’s going to come knocking on the door if you don’t tick certain boxes. And boxes that seem to be ticked 100% of the time, well that’s often just how we percieve them because they’re common.

We discussed getting married in an on-going conversation over a period of time. There was no proposal and we don’t have any rings, including wedding rings. And we’re no über-politcal try-hards. We’re just us. It’s how we roll.

A lot of people like certain traditions, some don’t. I don’t really mind either way. Whatever makes people happy!

Post # 12
277 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I myself don’t see it as anti-feminist at all but then again everyone has their own viewpoint, I know women who are infuriated when a man will go out of their way to hold a door open as they are “de-humanizing them” when really it should be appreciated. I think the only thing anti-feminist about the whole thing is the women who settle for waiting for years on end for a ring when they can do something about it!

I see more often now that it isn’t always the man getting down on bended knee with a huge ring… and even when they do the woman now is actually involved in discussing if they are ready for marriage (and even picking their own ring) instead of just sitting around wondering. 


@MissMarple:  that really just made my day!

Post # 13
2184 posts
Buzzing bee

@FutureDrAtkins:  Hahaha, thanks I’m feeling really sassy today. 😉

Also, I honestly think that reading articles written on the topic of why engagement rings are given (such as this one or this one) is more informative than reading posts people will write here in 10 min, no offense to anyone here.

Post # 14
2573 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Supersleuth:  FutureDrAtkins above mentioned that it was still taboo. I think that part of the reason for the taboo is b/c while we may have advanced from a societal perspective, men still have the biological urge to hunt/chase. That’s why dating books will tell you as a woman not to be too available. Yes, of course, there are exceptions and plenty of cases where the women proposed and all was dandy. But the male proposing still remains the popular option.

Also, many women grow up wanting to be proposed to. I am extremely feminist, but I wanted my guy to propose to me. It was important to me just like it is for many other women.

Lastly, there are plenty of happy stories about women proposing and everything ending up great. However, the elephant in the room is that there are some sad stories where the woman proposed b/c the guy wasn’t proposing… and well, it turned out that the guy 1) wasn’t ready for marriage or 2) didn’t actually want to marry the woman in the first place.

Post # 15
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

The fact that it is sexist is exactly why we decided to get engaged together (and the ring was also a joint decision).  He did “traditionally” propose but only because it was important to him that he formally ask me (on one knee, the whole deal) because he saw it as a romantic gesture after we both made the decision together.  I would have been upset if he proposed in the “traditional” sense with a ring without talking it over with me first since I would feel like property.  I would have hated to hear how “lucky” I was that he surprised me with a marraige proposal since those types of proposals make the decision to get married the man’s instead of the couple’s.  Sure, women can say “yes” or “no,” but it puts them on the spot and they have no say in the timing of such a huge decision.  I know many people won’t agree with me (and that’s ok too, to each their own) but this is just my opinion.  

Post # 16
2184 posts
Buzzing bee

@MrsSnowMountain:  As I said above, it’s actually more informative to read an article. I don’t see people mentioning breach of promise laws here, for example. Most people are saying it’s a tradition, and yes that’s true but the OP wanted to know where that tradition came from.

Sure providing a link to LMGTFY is kind of sarcastic, but I don’t think it’s truly snarky. IMO true snark is cruel or attacking someone and this is neither. 😉

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