I can't believe that at a time when the right wing is spending its time obsessing about rape, and Iowa legislators are hoping to send women to jail for having a period
, and NARAL has spent the last twenty years so paralyzed with fear about Roe
being overturned that they've refused to contest any of the misogynist laws being passed in the Bible Belt states, that anyone is still talking about marital name changes.
And yet here we are
. Still. After all these years.
Want to know why I changed my name when I got married lo these twenty-six-and-a-half years ago? It's not because it's easier, because it isn't. It's not because of any kind of retrograde patriarchal notion of assuming my husband's identity, because it isn't. It's not because I wanted to pass for Italian. It's not because it would be an easier signature, because my last name has two "Z"'s smack in the middle. It was really very simple. I spent my entire childhood being at the front of the line when it was by height, and at the back of the line when it was by last name, and I wanted to shake it up a bit.
My name isn't "Bernstein" because my mother changed hers when she married my father. Her name wasn't "Brum" because HER mother changed HERs when she married my grandfather. And that's about as far back as I know, thanks to Hitler and his minions. So what does the name I grew up with really mean as a "feminist statement"? Nothing. Unless we can go back and find an ancient relative who never changed her name, or who had a baby out of wedlock from whom we are descended, our names that some so-called feminists are trying so hard to keep are derived from the patriarchy anyway. So you might as well pick the name you want.
After all these years, and all the backward-pedaling that far too many legislators want us to do, why does anyone still think this is important?
Labels: faux feminism, tempests in a teapot