Friday, January 26, 2007

What century are we living in again?

Today's Carolyn Hax column quite frankly made me want to vomit. It is not her advice that I object to--in fact I think she answered the question correctly for once. It's the fact that the question was asked at all that makes me want to scream.

The topic is the "tradition" of asking a woman's father for permission to marry her. Don't get me wrong--I love my Dad, and I respect his opinion a great deal. But if any man is ever stupid enough to ask his permission to propose to me, my answer will be no. I have no idea what Dad would say in such a situation--my guess is that he would be fairly bewildered at being asked. I would hope he would be fairly bewildered at being asked, because both of my parents raised me to be an independent woman. And while I do seek their counsel on many occasions, in the end my life is my decision.

I don't take offense easily. People don't always have to be politically correct around me. But the fact that this does still happen does offend me, and the fact that some women like and expect this tradition makes me sad.

In closing, I will leave you with one of the most awesome exchanges on TV ever, from the very first episode of Alias:

Danny: I'm calling because I'm planning on asking Sydney to marry me and... I was hoping to get your approval.
Jack: Danny, let me ask you a question.
Danny: Sure.
Jack: How well do you know my daughter?
Danny: Um, we've been dating for two years...
Jack: Because if you feel the need to ask me about this scenario, I have a sense you don't know Sydney at all.
Danny: Sir, I love your daughter and I want to marry her. That's why I'm calling.
Jack: First of all, Danny, the truth is this is just a courtesy call. Like when you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's all right with you." What you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."
Danny: Mr. Bristow...
Jack: Sydney doesn't give a damn what my opinion is. What interests me is that you do.
Danny: It's just a custom to call the father, that's all this is...
Jack: Well, then, I'll tell you what. I may become your father-in-law, that's just fine. But I will not be used as part of a charming little anecdote you tell your friends at cocktail parties so they can see what a quaint, old-fashioned guy Danny really is. Are we clear?
Danny: Yes, sir...
Jack: Good. Then welcome to the family.

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