(Oh, there’s a Mad Men recap coming…not that I’m outraged about it…. anyway I just really liked that line and this is all prelude to my reaction to the following)
Call me old fashioned. Call me traditional. Call me chauvinistic. Call me whatever you will, but don’t emasculate me. Leave my manliness in tact.
I do understand that for centuries women have struggled in a patriarchal society and that the last name is one of the final fronts. But please understand our plight. This isn’t about establishing a hierarchy in the relationship or taking possession of you. As deeply rooted as it is in our societal traditions, it is even more so in the man’s bible. It is a privilege for a man to take a woman’s hand in marriage, and an even greater honor of offering our family name as a token of our undying devotion. Arguably more so than a ring.
Step 1. Ok, what if I call you emasculated? Because if any scrap of your self worth depends on what your romantic partner calls herself, you already are. In fact, you are a traditionally old-fashioned chauvinist whose entire concept of manliness is sad and outdated and unoriginal and SUCKY
Step 2: "The man’s bible" is just the regular ol’ Bible, fyi, and the first man who tries to take my hand anywhere and marry it is getting a smack to the face.
Step 3: Marriage is definitely a privilege in this country (as evinced by the fact that only hetero people can do it), but you wanting to rename me after yourself and your manly man ancestors isn’t so much an honor as an act of domination. If that’s what your devotion looks like, you can put in a box and mail it to Abu Dhabi, because it’s not wanted here.
I’m quadruply nauseated by the comments, in nobody says that instead of it being women’s job to set aside what’s important to them to cradle their delicate spouse’s man-ego tenderly in their nurturing maternal arms, it’s actually the man’s job to suck it up and recognize that he is 50% of the partnership, not 75% or even 52%.
Dudes (by which I mean women)…do you think John Proctor went all crazycakes in The Crucible over his name because "well, um, whatever"? No. He got himself executed for witchcraft (which everyone knows only blonde housewives can do anyway) because his name was as dear to him as anything else on earth. Apparently dearer than some things. I.e. breathing.
We might have an ever-so-slight family superstition going in the MKP genealogy that lends emphasis to my stance (i.e only one wife in the previous generation didn’t change her name except to the extent she lets me call her Mom); plus my name is awesome. It has 20 letters, I share a middle name with my mom, it sounds really cool when you pronounce it like you’re British, if you google me with my middle initial you find me and nobody else, unmistakably (for better or for worse)….
The Women’s Movement is about choice, so I don’t say a word when I see facebook friend after facebook friend from elementary school becoming Mrs. Husband, Mrs. Hyphenated-Husband, Mrs Marriedpants Von Husband. I try not to mention it to friends who are getting married, friends who have chosen differently than I would, friends who just liked their husband’s name, friends who bowed to in-law pressure, friends who Did It For The Kids, friends who didn’t think twice about it.
And if you’re married and changed yours, please don’t feel this is an attack on you from which you need to defend yourself – this is absolutely an individual decision for womankind. What with you being the women who are doing the marrying.
But I’ll tell you what does make me spit-take my Paul Newman lemon-aided iced-tea, and that is a Man Type asserting His Right to Spew Patriarchy all over his intended and then act like he’s just trying to strike a blow for embattled masculinity everywhere.
That’s gross. If you can’t articulate a better reason than "it makes me feel like less of a man" and "I really like my name," I’m not even going to bother coming up with a better retort than "it makes me feel like less of a human" and "not only do I like my name, but I hate your name"
Speaking of whom, you know who was an awesome manly specimen of manhood? Paul Newman.
You know what his wife’s name was?
Joanne Woodward. <— (not Newman)
They were married for 50 effing years.
Still think your last name is the only way to express your devotion, Michael Woodsmall?
Oh, and you can keep the ring. I’m betting you have crappy taste in jewelry.