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The eternal question October 13, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in humor, ideas.

There was this post from marginal revolution about whether it okay for women to do this ! As one would expect from a reasonable person ( or to redefine the ‘reasonable person’ ! ) , I sent out this link to a whole lot of my gal-friends. I guess that list included some who are married. ( so that their daughters will inherit some good sanskaras ! )

Actually, the comments section of that post has something interesting :

Interesting. I don’t have an opinion on Dutch or English auctions but I did read last night in Stephanie Coontz’s “Marriage, a History” that in the late 1800s, and at least into the 1910s, it was men who had to wait for invitations to “come calling” at the woman’s home (where the couple would be hosted, and chaperoned, by her parents) rather than the other way ’round. Coontz quotes from the Ladies’ Home Journal where “a young man asked the advice of a columnist whether it would be all right to ‘call upon a young woman whom I greatly admire, although she had not given me the permission.’ He wondered if she would be ‘flattered at my eagerness… or would she think me impertinent?’ The columnist warned that such a presumptuous act would certainly incur the girl’s ‘just displeasure.’ It was the ‘girl’s privilege’ to ask a man to call.”

She says the dynamic changed when dating replaced courtship. Dating took place away from home and involved money. And because girls typically had few sources of income the boy had to pay, which meant by conventions of the day a girl couldn’t invite a boy out for a movie or a soda while expecting him to foot the bill.

Ofcourse I send out articles and links regularly and dont ever expect people to comment, infact many may not even read them. But in response to this article, one of my friends wrote back to ask if that was my way of asking her to ask me out ! Wow, sounds straight out of a movie !

With a different ending, ofcourse.



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