Log in

On Last Names and Marriage - Note of the Living Deb [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

On Last Names and Marriage [Feb. 13th, 2017|01:13 am]
[Tags|, , ]

I'm not married, so I haven't had to decide for sure whether I would change my last name. I do kind of like the idea of everyone in the family having the same last name, just because it makes things easier for other people.

But what would my whole name be? First Middle NewLast? First OldLast NewLast? I decided I like the idea of First Middle OldLast NewLast (two middle names) and if I married multiple times, I would keep adding the new names on to the end. At least so long as I still liked the people attached to my old name.

But what if the groom had some horrible last name like Roachbutt (not a real last name I've ever seen)? Or what if he had a last name that sounded ridiculous with my first name, like Bippert? Maybe I would think twice.

One cool thing is that my maiden name is very common, short, easy to spell, and has no connotations, so it's safe. I figure if the groom had a long, hard-to-spell or -pronounce name that he was sick of dealing with, he could change his name to my name instead of me changing my name to his.

Apparently, that notion is pretty alien in my country.

I just read (in Bustle and Working Mother) that 70% of US adults think that a woman should change her name and half think it should be illegal for married women to keep their last names. I am horrified and irrationally enraged by this statistic.

Apparently, the main reason people give is that changing one's name "prioritizes their marriage and their family ahead of themselves."

So many reactions:

* Making it the law would mean that people who change their names are prioritizing following the law ahead of themselves, not prioritizing the marriage. If you make it illegal, you lose this easy way to figure out who the selfish people are.

* I don't see how my name has anything to do with how I treat my other family members.

* Does it just go without saying that men are also prioritizing their marriages? Or do they not have to?

* What about same-sex marriages--I guess these people are opposed to them and think they should be illegal and so the point should be moot. But I thought we finally had a majority of people not being opposed to them.

I feel like everything I was raised to believe about my country that makes it great was wrong. My parents and all my schools (yes, including ones in Florida and Houston suburbs, not just the ones in California and Chicago suburbs) taught me that freedom was important here.

But apparently, only freedom for property-owning Puritan men was important. And the rest of us can just be their slaves.

No, that's not it either. Even white property-owning religious men should not be free to become women, to marry men, to wear eye shadow, to question their church, to show fear or sadness, or to break HOA rules about too-tall grass, visible laundry lines, the wrong paint color, etc. Even they have to fit into a one-size-fits-all culture in this "ideal" world.

Obviously, names are not that important in the grand scheme of things and it's not like I even picked my current name. But like I said, my emotions reared.

(And now I'm thinking about irrational reactions. I'll change my name to the opposite of his--that will show them! My current boyfriend has a last name that means bald. So I'll change mine to a last name that means harry. So ha!)