Saint Patrick was a remarkable figure. Captured by pirates at sixteen, he escaped slavery and went on to have a life spent punching snakes and druids, whilst still managing to come off as such a pious man that we spend a day a year celebrating him by drinking Irish stout until we pass out.
One of St. Patrick’s lesser-known achievements was coming up with the revolutionary idea that women can propose to men – on a certain day.
The story goes that Saint Bridget complained to Patrick that men waited too long to propose to their beloved and, rather than taking the hint and getting down on one knee, St Patrick hatched a plan. He said that women could now propose to men, providing they did it on the 29th February – a day that only comes around once every four years.
It reflects poorly on society that St. Bridget, a 5th Century nun, had more progressive ideas about gender roles than half of unmarried women today.
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