Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's In a Name?

First, a little exercise.

Suggest to a man that upon marriage, he should change his last name to yours.  Study his reaction.


I do not want to and will not be changing my last name when Wes and get married.

Why won't I?

Well. . . why would I?

Is there any practical purpose to changing your name midstream in your life?  Why are women, for the most part, expected to do it?  Is there a point to any of it?

Beyond that, I do have several reasons for not wanting to change my name (and only one of them has anything to do with avoiding the DMV)

  • By the time Wes and I get married, I will have been myself for 28 years.  I'm not a beta version with kinks that still need to be worked out.  I'm the real deal.
  • My name doesn't define me, but I have struggled to define myself, live for myself and carve out my own identity.  I know, from first hand experience, how easy to lose yourself in the roles you play.  I'm thinking particularly of women who identify themselves as "Mommy" or "Wifey" or whatever.  I find that very creepy and weird.  Like being vegan.
  • I know there are services who will deal with the paperwork for you.  They call themselves cutesy things like Miss Now Mrs.  Nuff said.  NEXT!
  • I know people like to think of it as creating a new family.  A family is a family whatever it's called and trading one family name for another isn't really creating a new family.  Now for those daring individuals who mishmash their last names into something completely new. . . touche.
  • I find hyphenation kind of pretentious and in our case it would be definitely pretentious.  Let's just say Wesley-Franklin or Franklin-Wesley would make you think our children would be named things like Muffy and Biff.  Also who gets to come first? (Dirty! LMAO)
  • A variation on point number one. . . it's just not me.
  • Yes I am a feminist.
So . . . what are we going to do?

*And a note, I recognize that this name I'm so attached to came from my father.  Here's a shocker. . . I have absolutely no problem with that patriarchal tradition.  I think of it as an honor that men who accept the role and responsibility of parenting should have.

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