Our society has seen many changes in the last 50 years. Societies always change of course, but the rate and scope of change has been immense. The sexual revolution was a shift in thinking about sex. But since the meaning of family, masculinity and femininity, and of life itself is always tied up with the meaning of sex, all the others changed with it. Some laud the changes as necessary and good; others reject them. There is much about the sexual revolution that I myself reject. I didn't find being used for sex particularly liberating. I didn't find using others liberating either. I think there is an increasing number of women who agree with me. The effects from the sexual revolution, after all, have been hardest on women. More women struggle through single parenthood than ever before. This often means that without the benefit of another income, they live in poverty. Overall, the face of poverty is women and children. Primarily any side effects that occur from contraception and abortion are born by the woman. I think some people, in trying to reject all that, and in trying to restore an idea of protecting women from such hardships, wish to resurrect certain customs from ages past. I think their thinking goes something like this:
earlier customs = more respectful customs
So while their intention is good, I think it's important to remember that disrespecting women is not an invention of the last century.
One old tradition that gets under my skin, is the practice of a man asking the father of the woman he wants to marry permission for her hand in marriage. This hearkens back to a time when marriages were largely viewed as a business transaction. This transaction was carried out between the woman's father and the man who wanted to marry her. The woman was not a partner in the exchange; she was a good being exchanged. She had no legal right to say no to the marriage, no legal right to say no to her husband in bed, and no legal right to leave him. She was the property of her father until she married, and then she was the property of her husband. That doesn't sound too ideal to me, and in fact sounds rather like rape to me. Therefore, I propose that it's not romantic to propose this way.
I also find some people making this mistake:
a traditional custom = a good, Christian custom
I think there is biblical precedent for rejecting the custom in question. At the Annunciation, when the angel appeared to Mary, asking if she would be the mother of God's Son, we read that Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but still living in the house of her father. Since Mary was in her father's house, the angel could have asked him if he would consent to his daughter becoming the mother of Jesus. Or, since she was betrothed to Joseph, the angel could have also asked him if he would be okay with his fiance bearing God's Son. We read that the angel did niether of these. The only person the angel consulted was Mary herself. Once Mary gave her consent, her fiat, saying, "Let it be done to me as you have said." then she became the mother of God. Joseph was informed in a dream after the fact, and nothing is mentioned about how Mary's father was informed. I assume from Mary herself, after she was already pregnant.
I do think it is respectful to ask both parents blessing to marry, but as for permission, the only person the man needs this from is the woman herself.
Are you married or engaged? How did you/your partner propose and why?