So the great news in the blogosphere today is the fact that Michael Buday is now Michael Bijon. This is awesome-- not only that he was finally able to win the lawsuit, but that he wanted to take her name in the first place.

Engagements are tricky, and having "the talk" about the name change is one of the trickiest parts. I always pictured myself keeping my name, without ever really thinking about it. My number 1 reason was fighting the patriarchy, but in a conversation I had a couple of months ago with a (fellow engaged feminist) friend of mine, I realized that keeping my own name is not any better for me than taking his. My name, after all, is my father's name, and my mother's name is her father's name, and I can go down the line as far as I can and all of those names will be men's names. So what, exactly, is the difference?

I've caught some flack already about taking his name (which is odd, since I've also caught flack for not wanting an engagement ring). But why? Isn't the point really to think about it?! To not take the other person's name blindly or to keep your own name just to make a point. That's like the career mom v. stay at home mom drama. One is not necessarily fundamentally better than the other. The important thing is that we now have a choice (however limited that is) to do one or the other. We should not bully each other over these things.

Of course, I still think about whether or not I should take his name or why he should take mine. I think about our future children having to live their lives with a hyphenated name, but that seems long. I even think about coming up with an alternative last name a la Father of the Bride Part 2, but our names don't mesh very well. So in the end, it's just a name anyway. *shrug*

1 comments:

At Tue May 27, 11:17:00 AM Al said...

You have hit the nail on the head. It's about choice. Just like Obama v Clinton. The point is not that you choose Hillary blindly, but that you actually have the choice.

I would also ad that your friends who have given you flack, ask them what they have done in the last year or so to combat anti-women sentiment. I only say this because they are most likely "tide-riders", meaning they go with the tide. Now that the "in" thing to do is to have a hypenated name, they are for it. But, the "in" thing to do is to still have that huge ass rock. So, they are "for" that, even though it represents everything they pretend to fight against with their hyphenated last name. Classic.

At the end, the battles between races and genders cannot just be power struggles. They have to be understandings of equality. This means not only casting aside the very policies (last name, voting rights) that hurt us, but also letting down those that benefit us (affirmative action, big diamond rings).

 

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