Old time leap into marriage becomes less attractive for post feminist women
HAVE post feminist women become less assertive? Efforts to persuade women to propose marriage over the airwaves on the Gay Byrne Show today have met with a "lower than usual response", according to the series producer, Mr Ronan O'Donoghue.
Even some of those brave enough to have originally agreed to do so are reported to be having cold feet.
Traditionally today, Leap Year Day, has been a time for role reversal in the marriage stakes. Instead of the young man arriving with a bunch of flowers, getting down on one knee and "popping the question", the prerogative devolves upon the female.
But today's young woman is unlikely to bow the knee to anyone, and a bunch of flowers seems an unlikely gift for a man about to be asked the $64,000 question.
A pair of socks, a tie, or a bottle of aftershave perhaps, but flowers might be just that little bit too romantic.
Precise reasons for what has been described as an "ancient tradition" which permits women to propose marriage on February 29th are difficult if not impossible to come by.
The addition of a day to the month first took place in 46 BC with the establishment of the Julian calendar which, with the notable exception of the Russian and some other Orthodox Churches, has fallen into disuse and been replaced by the more accurate Gregorian Calendar.
Should any male reader be approached by a female adherent of the Russian Church today, he should be able to get off the hook by informing the supplicant that in the Julian Calendar it is still February 16th. But it is doubtful if the "Leap Year Day" tradition is strictly adhered to by Slavic women judging by the abundance of marriage proposals which appear every week from Russia in the Buy and Sell magazine.
And if any male reader has the question popped to him over a pair of socks today he might be well advised to inquire as to precisely what the young woman has in mind. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica marriage is "A legally and socially sanctioned union between one or more husbands and one or more wives that accords status to their offspring..."
If you wish to avoid becoming a "wife swapping sodomite", check it out.