Globe: asking permission to wed all the rage, maybe

Globe trendspotter Irene Sege has a scoop: asking Dad for permission to wed is back!

Before Bob Hunt dropped to bended knee on the famed Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I., and asked his high school sweetheart to marry him, he’d taken her father to dinner at a Chili’s restaurant and sought his permission.

‘‘Because I have such a great relationship with her family,’’ Hunt says, ‘‘it makes it that much more important that I ask for permission.’’

Reviving a tradition that seemingly went the way of the flapper and Prohibition, young men like Hunt these days are talking to their intendeds’ parents before popping the question. While there are no numbers to track the trend, call a bridal store or wedding venue or otherwise inquire among the betrothed and the newlywed and their parents and it is easy to find examples. Jenna Bush’s fiancé, Henry Hager, reportedly had a private tête-à-tête with her father, the president, before he proposed one summer morning at sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain in Maine. What these young men embrace as a gesture of courtesy and respect has roots in an era when women had few rights and little opportunity. [emphasis added]

On the one hand, you've got to give Sege credit. Good for her for acknowledging that this is basically about treating women like property. Kudos, too, for covering her butt (inspired by Jack Shafer?) with that "no numbers to track the trend" line.

But still, Irene.... What "no numbers to back the trend," how can you say the Bob Hunts of the world are "[r]eviving a tradition that seemingly went the way of the flapper and Prohibition"? It's kind of confusing. And the more you think about it, the less sense it makes.

P.S.--Nice choice of venue, Bob.
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