Monday, March 11, 2013

Name Changing: Part 2320402384?

Jill Filipovic wrote about name changing last week and we all know what that means. I actually really liked her piece. Particularly:

The cultural assumption that women will change their names upon marriage – the assumption that we'll even think about it, and be in a position where we make a "choice" of whether to keep our names or take our husbands' – cannot be without consequence. Part of how our brains function and make sense of a vast and confusing universe is by naming and categorizing. When women see our names as temporary or not really ours, and when we understand that part of being a woman is subsuming your own identity into our husband's, that impacts our perception of ourselves and our role in the world.

We need to not spend so much time infighting and seeking cookies for our choices, whatever they are because ultimately they are each our own, as they should be. Let's question why women are automatically assumed to change their name upon marriage. Let's question why it's so expensive and difficult for a man to change his name upon marriage. Let's put these questions on the table and start doing something about them, especially since not all marriages are comprised of a man and a woman.

And then Kate Harding wrote this:

You know what I’d rather focus on until we all get sick of talking about it again? That “50% of Americans think it should be legally mandated” thing. Half of us! Half of us think women should have NO CHOICE AT ALL in the matter.

So sometimes, even when a decision is right for you, you still need to recognize that you made that decision within a social context that overwhelmingly supports your choice, and punishes women who make a different one.

But on the other side of the coin.....from Shakesville:

Especially when we acknowledge there are women who change their names for immensely personal and sometimes traumatic reasons.

This resonates with me because my last name links me with my abusive father. I don't judge women who change their name. The point is not to judge women, the point of these name changing conversations is be active and demand change so people, regardless of choice/gender/etc don't feel judged or alone in their choice. I worry that listening and trying to enact this change gets lost each time this conversation is had.

But again, as important as personal stories are, rehashing them every few months doesn't really help to push this issue further. Let's take action so women aren't judged regardless of what they do.

And then this morning, from A Practical Wedding:

I do tons of things that are not the feminist choice and make my life easier, but I need to fully respect people taking the harder road, even if that’s not my fight.


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