Allow me to suggest an even stronger push: If it’s important to you that your family all share a last name, make it the wife’s. Yes, men, that means taking your wife’s name. Or do what this guy did and invent a new name with your wife. And women, if the man you’re set to marry extols the virtues of sharing a family name but won’t consider taking yours? Perhaps ask yourself if you should be marrying someone who thinks your identity is fundamentally inferior to his own.
The suggestion that men change their names may sound unfair given everything I just wrote about the value of your name and identity, and the psychological impact of growing up in a world where your own name for yourself is impermanent. But men don’t grow up with that sense of psychological impermanence. They don’t grow up under the shadow of several thousand years of gender-based discrimination. So if you’d rather your family all shared a name, it actually makes much more sense to make it the woman’s. Or we can embrace a modern vision of family where individuals form social and legal bonds out of love and loyalty, instead of defining family as a group coalesced under one male figurehead and a singular name.
Thank you. Exactly.(via sarahchristine)
I hate that the narrative around this is so black and white. Mainly white mind, you.
Also tired of meeting women that identify as feminist telling me how unfeminist it is that I took my husband’s name. Infantilizing the process we went through to come to that decision, disrespecting the notion that we could have possibly had motivations more nuanced than this tired, color-by-numbers politics of middle class womens’ studies.
Because I’ll tell you right now: I’ve had more “feminists” get in my grill about the name change (not to mention the marriage) than any other personal decision. So yeah.
When I returned to San Francisco the first time, I laid flat on the floor of my 1-bedroom Tenderloin apartment with my bare chest on the hundred year old wood flooring. Just so I could feel my heart beat out the rhythmic of freedom from over half a decade trapped inside a grey, cloud-filled bell jar up north. Being free from Seattle didn’t feel like the ending of a chapter so much as it felt like a fucking jailbreak. I laid on that floor and said a rosary of apologies to the beat of my own ill-tempered heart.
Every bad and beautiful decision I made in the past decade has an epicenter of the same 10 block radius. Here’s the building where I took him back under false pretenses. There’s the corner where I got into a knock-down screaming match with your “real” boyfriend. Over yonder, I can see the Huntington Hotel sign, under whose light I’d lay out under when I was trapped on your roof for the 19th time. Every strange and beautiful character, every sobbing night on a fire escape or door stoop, every single resolution to stop wasting time torturing art school kids and their endless fascination with the manic pixie dream girl I could casually take off as put on.
When I left you, I did not leave my heart behind - I left every goddamn shred of who I was. I left it all on the pavement, on the hills, inside the crevices behind post boxes where I left you unsigned love letters. I limped back and forth across the bay every day and told myself that this was progress. But we both knew that was a lie. Abandoning you was just another way to run away from myself.
When I came back to San Francisco this time, I looked for us. In all the normal places, in all the regular haunts, in the spaces between my youth and my fading. But you had moved on. And when I return to the heart of where I remade myself, after pulling myself off that bare wood floor, all I see is a slight impression we left behind. You, with your new honesty, and me, with my incision still fresh. I can’t be honest anywhere but inside of you. And you don’t feel the same. It’s the last great lesson for a girl who has been so afraid of being wrong that she gave in.