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Friday, February 29, 2008

The Ladies' Privilege

Friday's Urban Legend: TRUE

According to legend, girls can propose to their boyfriends on February 29th. says this is a true custom known as The Ladies Privilege [The Privilege of Ladies]. Back in the thirteenth century a man had to accept a proposal on February 29th or pay a fine. This probably explains why so many men were off fighting wars at the end of February during a leap year.

It's based on the idea that February 29th is an unusual day and unusual things are permitted on that day only. One of the unusual things that is allowed is for women to propose marriage. Nowadays this is much more common on all the other days but apparently there was a time when only the man could propose marriage. I wonder what those times were like when men were in control?


  1. That picture brings back memories..

    What comic is that from?

  2. What about April Fools' Day?

    Anonymous said...
    >>>>> That picture brings back memories.
    What comic is that from? <<<<<<

    Li'l Abner by Al Capp.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Doctor Feelgood says:

    In this post Prof Larry has encoded his anxiety about the outcome of the atheist confrontation with religion. The latter is symbolized by the female in the picture he has chosen to accompany this post. Females are stereotypically intuitive, emotional and irrational. Rationality, on the other hand is represented by the frantically escaping male whose angular shape, in comparison with exaggerated womanly curves, is reference to the linearity of rational, as opposed to the seductive and mysterious convolutions of the irrational. In using the symbol of womanhood to mobilize an atheist conception of temptation and original sin, Larry is employing a time-honored device where the lure of the female form signifies extreme temptation. We can see this device being used all the way from the Garden of Eden to the religious whore of the book of Revelation. Thus, paradoxically the concept of original sin tainting a pristine world is an imagery that even has a place in the atheist Weltanschauung. The use of the 29th of February is highly significant here. 29 is a prime number inserted to reconcile the underlying irrational numbers of the solar system. Moreover, as a prime number it is a number missed by the regular integer sequences running through the number system. In this context, then, the 29th, when females pursue males, signifies the triumph of the irrational over the rational. Prof Larry in his final wistful reflection of what it must have been like when men were in control is a grudging but subliminal recognition of the dominant place religion has in society. The whole dream like sequence that Larry has assembled here is indicative of the remarkable intelligence of an unconscious mind that is capable of superimposing on top of apparently prosaic discourse a whole realm of sublime and deep meanings.