Sometimes ago, a video of veteran actor, Pete Edochie went viral on his disagreement about men kneeling to propose to women. In his words, “If you kneel to propose to a woman, you are a fool.” This viral video got many people talking and while some, especially older people, agreed with him, others thought he was pulling down women’s self-esteem.
At the point when the video was viral on all social media platforms, I didn’t give much thought to it until recently. One of the comments I read stated that kneeling down to propose to a woman was alien to African culture.
I can still accept this excuse compared to the one saying the worth of a man decreases when he goes on his knees to propose to a woman. I hate to be gender-biased but the role of a good woman in the life of a man cannot be overemphasised. Every woman needs to be properly loved, appreciated and respected and I think going down on one knee should be the least of the special things a man can do for a woman. Whilst going down on one knee to propose to a woman might be the Western way, it should be seen beyond that, because it also exhibits the value the man has placed on his woman. Hence, in asking her in all humility and respect to spend the rest of her life with him, nothing should be too much to secure her consent in this regard.
On a second note, why can’t people pay attention to the significance or what the process of proposal represents? Reading through an article on LovetoKnow.com, bended knee proposal is attached to Royalty, relating to how Knights kneel while being awarded honours from either kings or queens. So, this can hold true for a marriage proposal and can be seen as an honour.
The tradition also symbolises a surrender; bowing in supplication before a victorious enemy is typically seen as a gesture of surrender. When proposing, a couple commits to one each other and surrenders to being part of a couple.
In the past, our grandmothers have told us stories of how men made them their wives and I can’t imagine that happening in this century; imagine walking on the street and a man kidnapped you to his house and officially forcibly made you his wife. Lol!
It did happen in those days! A friend’s mother told me that was how she was made a wife – she was kidnapped to her husband’s house and then he paid her dowry later. That to me is disrespectful to women and makes the woman looks like a commodity, a free slave that has no rights or opinions. I could only imagine the egos of our grandfathers then, especially the thoughts that they could have just any woman they wanted without her consent.
Consent? This should not be limited to relationships, you don’t just go assuming that because someone is in a relationship with you automatically proves that they want to marry you. Marriage is a deeper commitment, a lifelong affair, and it will cost you a lot more if you decide to back out. So, it is only fair that a man should seek a woman’s consent before making her his wife. It has to be talked about, they have to be in one agreement. So, what is the beautiful flaw in a man going down on bended knee to ask a queen, the future mother of his kids, his best friend, his backbone and support system to marry him and make him the happiest man on earth?
Western culture aside, this gesture of kneeling to propose to a woman doesn’t make the man less a man or diminish his value as the head of the house, as we Africans love to call it. It only shows his allegiance, obedience, loyalty and respect to his woman. It is the most courteous thing a gentleman can do for his woman – the one he has chosen to share the rest of his life’s journey with.
Oh, tell me who doesn’t want the love of her life to get down on one knee, reciting beautiful poems or enchanting words, reminiscing on the process triggering you to dive into some kind of paradise where you’re surrounded by roses, dimly scented lit candles, heart-shaped balloons, loved ones around and you standing there trying to control your tears all because you don’t want to ruin your makeup, just because the moment makes you extremely happy.
Many women find it appealing for a man to propose on one bended knee. The message behind the gesture can be that the man is offering himself wholeheartedly to the woman, without reservations, elevating her to an exalted position in their relationship, and offering her the choice to determine the course of their relationship.
Below, some men and women share their thoughts on what they feel about a man proposing on bended knee.
Lanre, in giving his honest opinion, says, “It’s a phenomenon and it’s the dream of most ladies to have bended-knee proposal surprises.
“But realistically it’s not worth the hype. We’ve seen cases of such proposals and it still ended up being messy. But as I said, most ladies will love to have one.”
For Hemjay, being proposed to by her man on bended knee would be a dream come true. “I would like my man to kneel. It looks romantic, looks like he wants us, and also go to prostrate in my father’s yard,” she says.
Honeypour gives an insight to how her proposal was done, saying, “I didn’t get to feel that because my proposal was done over the phone 😂 .A man going on one knee to propose to his fiancé or lady is a sign of respect and courtesy as I feel it…
“How can we adopt so many things from the Western world and feel it’s ok and then we feel kneeling on a knee to propose is not worth it?
“Then, looking at our culture, why do we bend to greet?
“Does that mean we bring ourselves down anytime we bow, kneel or prostrate to greet?
“So, whenever a man kneels to propose to his woman, he’s showing some respect, submission and some form of courtesy.”
Duni, who recently received her engagement ring from her man on one knee, says, “The joy I felt receiving the ring, OMG! It would have been awkward if he was standing.”
No matter where it comes from or what some men think of it, the idea of asking for a loved one’s hands on a life journey while on a bended knee is a highly symbolic gesture. It epitomises the very essence of committing one’s life to another.
So, in case you’re living in bondage with the fear of failed open proposals you have witnessed and that got you to write off bended-knee type of proposal, man there are many other beautiful and respectful ways of asking a woman to be your better half and making her feel cherished and adored. Please, do not hesitate to try these alternatives so long as they suit your purpose.
Cheerio, see you another time.