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29 February is when women could propose to men. Here's why we still need it

Sneha Vakharia | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:50 IST

February 29, besides being Leap Day, is also Bachelor's Day. And according to English tradition, this is the day, if a woman so chooses, she can propose marriage to a man.

If she is refused, she gets a silk dress. Or a fur coat. Or an object fancy enough to distract her from the fact that she just got rejected. But she could only do it on 29 February. Which is 0.00068 of all days.

Yes. A woman had a window to propose 0.00068 times a man had - assuming she still wanted to be considered a proper woman. Of course, it's 2016 and all that's archaic and no one really cares much about being thought of as proper and women in the world have moved on.

Reality shows are a good place to start looking

Think back to every television reality show with a wedding proposal in it. Try really hard.

Now play with television proposals. Now to the movies.

Yes well, you've just gotten to the heart-breaking conclusion that I have. Women are simply not doing the proposing.

(The closest things to an exceptions are Bridget Jones in The End of Reason and Kate Hudson in Bride Wars. But they don't quite count - both were socially inept and didn't quite do the actual proposing. Aggressively nudging your partners in that direction does not count.)

Now go through the best wedding proposals on YouTube. You'll reach page 15, and a single instance of a woman proposing marriage to a man won't pop up.

And if you're still looking - your Facebook friends list is a great statistical tool. You already have enough married friends to constitute a large enough sample set. How many of the married women you know did the proposing?

I can count two - and that's including myself.

Get the party started

The circumstance of a woman proposing is despairingly rare, even in literature. Huffington Post's listicle about female proposers, could only think up eight women. And Judge Judy is on this list.

That's right. So rare is the phenomenon, that Judge Judy made it to a listicle about it.

Pink, who proposed to her Motocross husband Carey Hart, mid race. By holding up a placard that asked her question.

Elizabeth Taylor is on that list too, but there's a caveat. She only proposed in one of her eight marriages.

Which leads me to the rather unfortunate conclusion - we do need a Bachelor's Day.

Because encouraging women to get down on one knee, even if on one out of 1,461 days, is many times better than having no day at all.

First published: 29 February 2016, 8:10 IST
Sneha Vakharia @sneha_vakharia

A Beyonce-loving feminist who writes about literature and lifestyle at Catch, Sneha is a fan of limericks, sonnets, pantoums and anything that rhymes. She loves economics and music, and has found a happy profession in neither. When not being consumed by the great novels of drama and tragedy, she pays the world back with poems of nostalgia, journals of heartbreak and critiques of the comfortable.