Social media was buzzing after it was announced on Christmas Day that Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn had proposed to NHL star P.K. Subban. Vonn chose to make public this aspect of her private life by posting the news to her social media channels, including a photo of the happy couple smiling in front of their Christmas tree with Subban showing off his apparent engagement ring.
“Women aren’t the only ones who should get engagement rings!” Vonn insisted in part of the post.
Racial and gender dynamics aside, Vonn’s proposal was a curious development for another reason: The couple’s engagement was already announced this past summer when, according to Canadian news outlet CBC, “Subban said he picked up the ring from a Beverly Hills jeweller on Aug. 14, and proposed that day.”
Considering that fact, it appeared that Vonn’s social media post may have actually been meant to showcase her gift to Subban and to bring awareness to women proposing marriage to men, not the actual [re]engagement.
Victoria Uwumarogie of Madame Noire, which gears its content to Black women, wrote in 2017 was nothing new. Uwumarogie wrote that while some women — especially Black women — might say they would never propose, “more and more women are taking matters into their own hands and popping the question. Instead of waiting for their men to come with a ring and a proposal, they’re making it happen and sharing it, proudly, on social media.”
It would appear that Vonn followed that script to a tee on Christmas Day.
Josie Pickens made a similarly compelling argument in Ebony that women have been proposing “in the form of ultimatums” for centuries, noting that “[f]requently women lead their relationships towards marriage” anyways.
Alyssa Rachelle also wrote in Madame Noire that she was more of a traditionalist and confessed that after watching a viral video of a Black woman proposing to her man she did “not agree with a woman proposing to a man,” adding that to her “it just doesn’t look or seem right.”
Rachelle contextualized her opinion by citing the Bible (“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22) and warning women who choose to propose that doing so may be stepping on some figurative toes by “taking away a memory from your partner that he would otherwise hold dear.”
As the Atlantic wrote this past summer, “it’s still exceedingly rare for women to propose in heterosexual couples.” But as Brides.com noted, attitudes toward women proposing are shifting even if they are more likely to be the targets of criticism surrounding those proposals. Not to mention, for some couples, who proposes to whom just doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal as it’s been for tradition’s sake.
Only time will tell how far the rend catches on moving into 2020 and beyond.
In the meantime, Black Twitter has chimed in on the matter. Scroll down to see some choice responses.