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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Here we go again

Another intelligent woman who is going to change her name when she marries coming up with a whole list of bullshit intellectualized reasons to justify it. We are in a full-swing backlash period for sure. Everytime I read one of these, the real reason for the name change is lurking underneath the host of intellectualized reasons--the husband-to-be asked for it and she doesn't want to be the bad guy and say no. And the namby-pamby downplaying of how it's asked for is just irritating:

My fiance made it clear a few months back, in a surprise revelation, that he'd prefer it if I took his name. I promised to do my best to be open-minded about this decision, which I hadn't previously considered.

Uh-huh. I'm glad you're a big person, "open-minded" and all. Really, I am. But how open-minded are men being when they presume to tell their brides to change their names? I cannot fathom telling a husband-to-be, "Dear, if it's all the same, I would prefer it if you would change your last name to mine. It would mean so much to my family. It's nothing personal, you know." I can just imagine the reaction that would get from 99.5% of men who heard this from any woman--a swift negative. Half would think it was a big joke and the other half would probably be offended. So why is okay for men to put this kind of pressure on women?
I guess that's what bothers me. I don't care if women change their names or not, but I do get annoyed by the endless intellectualized bullshit reasons. This woman and Kate Roiphe are so full of shit I want to throttle them. They are changing their names because they don't want a fight and they want to please their men. But since they know, and we all know, that men feel zero obligation to please women in this way, they have to obscure that fact. We can all sympathize, I'm sure. Relationships are all about compromises and often our partners ask something of us that they would be offended if it was asked of them. But if you're a weenie or he's an asshole and therefore you can't confront your man and say, "You are asking something of me that you would never do for me," don't run around pretending otherwise. Own up to it.

Via feministing.


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