I'm a feminist but I'd NEVER propose to my boyfriend

Like many teens, I was what you might call ‘feisty’ in the same way you might call a rampaging Rottweiler ‘spirited’.

If anyone had predicted being a woman would ever stop me from doing something in life, I’d have quoted The Female Eunuch at them until their ears bled.

Even as an adult — after the hormonal mayhem of adolescence fizzled out — I’ll still happily call myself a feminist.

Popping the question: But many men would prefer to do it themselves

Popping the question: But many men would prefer to do it themselves

But even though I am blissfully happy with my boyfriend, there’s one step I would never take: ask a man to marry me.

Why not Because even in the 21st century, if a man really wants to marry you, he will ask.

Whether we like it or not — no matter how enlightened they are — most men still think of proposing as their job. Nine out of ten proposals continue to be made by men.

A quick question of my male friends made it clear that most wouldn’t thank you for doing it for them — one said they’d feel ‘robbed of a defining moment in life’ and another that it would ‘steal their thunder’.

I know some might think I’m simply not brave enough, or not as liberated as I think. But this is not what the hard-fought battles of feminism were about. We never fought for the right not to be swept off our feet by the men we love.

As with anything in life, there are, of course, exceptions. A friend’s mum proposed to her dad because she didn’t want to ‘live in sin’ — and 38 years later, they’re still together.

It also strikes me that if you’ve turned a man down once, you could hardly expect him to keep coming back for punishment. In that case, you’d better start rehearsing your speech.

But for my part, if a proposal is ever on the cards, it will be him who makes it. And I think if most of us are entirely honest with ourselves, that’s the way we’d prefer it.

All The Single Ladies by Jane Costello is out now, priced 12.99