A similar version of this article was published at the Washington Examiner.
I have a proudly progressive male friend who married a feminist some years ago who asked him to take her name. They didn’t end up going that route, but my friend seriously considered it.
I thought of him when I read this recent article headlined, “He said ‘yes’! Why aren’t more women proposing to their boyfriends?” and when I came across this new Booking.com commercial that shows a woman proposing to a man.
Both are examples of rejecting tradition in the name of sexual equality.
When it comes to love and marriage, couples typically fall into one of two groups: those who embrace tradition, and those who do not. Those in the latter group believe conventional sex roles make a woman “less than” and thus seek to make men and women interchangeable.
In other words: they’re feminists.
“I take every opportunity I can to smash the patriarchy,” writes Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, author of the article above, “and my proposal felt like the perfect opportunity.”
Anyone who enters marriage believing the institution is oppressive to women will never be successfully married. Your attitude, or mindset, toward anything, but especially toward marriage, will make or break your success with it.
If you believe sex roles are a result a patriarchy designed to disempower women, rather than on what they’re actually based on—the biological differences between the sexes—your relationship is doomed. A successful marriage relationship demands a deep understanding of male and female nature.
A strong marriage is in fact predicated on sexual inequality, or on how much couples let their differences shine. Unfortunately, many couples don’t recognize this until years later when children come along. Because when we remove reproduction from the table, men and women do live very similar lives and thus appear “equal,” or the same. But once they become parents, sex differences become glaring.
Almost every one of my coaching clients learned this lesson the hard way. Their marriages are all mired in conflict for pretty much the same reason: they believed in sexual equality and approached their relationship accordingly.
No one told them men and women have different body parts for a reason: because they’re designed to fit like a puzzle. If you want the puzzle to fit outside the bedroom as well, you need to know how the opposite sex thinks and why they behave as they do. The mind of a man and the mind of a woman are as different as their genitals.
Polarity in a relationship is the engine that makes it move. Masculine energy conquers and cogitates — it likes to do things. Feminine energy nurtures and verbalizes — it likes to talk and to feel. That’s why feminine energy is the receiver of masculine energy. It’s why men typically make the first move in a relationship and why the man proposes to the woman rather than the other way around. The male acts, and the female responds.
When the roles are reversed, everything falls apart. Yes, most couples today are malleable when it comes to work and family matters—some overlap is inevitable and even good. But the more men and women move away from their masculine and feminine cores, the harder or the more impossible it will be to make the relationship work.
Sexual equality insists that it doesn’t matter who does what, but it does matter. Indeed, it’s no coincidence my friend who nearly took his wife’s name is now divorced—I saw it coming a mile away. And for poor Prince Harry, it’s just a matter of time.
These folks are in a fight with human nature, and that never ends well. Men and women don’t need to think and behave the same in order to be equal in value; they need only work together toward the same goal using their respective strengths, temperaments, and desires. Forcing men and women into the same box in order to score political points, when they naturally want to go in different directions, will almost always pull them apart.
It may take ten or more years to happen. But rest assured, it will happen.