Monday, May 30, 2011

Another post where I attempt to alienate my female readership

I've always been intrigued over the whole changing your last name after marriage thing. I'm not opposed to it one way or another. Hell, being a bloke, it doesn't even effect me, it's purely a female thing. Still, it's always given me pause for thought.

Lady Hem changed her name when we got married. For the record, I encouraged her not to. In fact, I wanted to do the Danish tradition and change my last name. But she wouldn't hear of it. She was proud of the fact that she was marrying me and wanted her last name to reflect that. Now she's had second thoughts and wishes she took my advice but she won't countenance doing it this far into the marriage. I'd still do it. I've always hated my last name. Hemingway - who'd ever get famous with a last name like that?

What's interesting to me, is the main reason that women don't want to change their name - they'll lose their identity. Of course, many women don't change their name, because their careers have been built on a name they've used for years. Some do, many don't. Doctors and other health professionals, for example. My boss didn't change her name after she got married. And a good thing too. Her husband's last name is terrible. The thing that really amuses me though is, for women who 'don't want to lose their identity,' it isn't really your identity in the first place. Your last name is your father's name. Unless, of course, you're in Scandinavia (or other countries I'm not aware of) where you take the mother's name. Even if your mother has a different name, you still are Christened with your father's name. It's not even your name, so to speak.

The main agenda seems to me to be, I'm not your property, so I won't change my name to yours. But, isn't it only a name? Are you saying that, if you keep your last name, you are then still your father's property? Is your identity solely wrapped up in your name? Or is there another reason that I haven't thought of? Listen to me: is there another reason that I haven't thought of? Ah...yeah. Probably about a million.

Anyway, that's my pathetic two cents on the issue. And what a pertinent issue it is too. What with all the wars and stuff going on. I'm really on top of the news this week. If my namesake were still alive, he'd kill himself.


Gorilla Bananas said...

The reason might be that a woman is genetically related to her father and not her husband. But why have last names at all? Just call people "Suzy the Flirt" or "Harry the Oaf".

tennysoneehemingway said...

GB, you're a gorilla after my own heart.

Juli said...

I didn't change my name. But my kid has his dad's name. So, there's that.