Saturday, June 19, 2010

I call Bullsh*t

I read a blog post not long ago on one of my favorite blogs. This blog has multiple bloggers and this particular blogger, Silvana, is not one I am familiar with. However, this blog post totally hacked me off the minute I read it and, since it is still pissing me off a month later, I will respond here.

Go ahead and read it. I'll wait.

Okay. Let me start by saying that my grandmother, who was born in 1923, used her maiden name (yes, I hate that word, too, but it's less awkward than "her last name at birth") as a middle name from the time she was married in 1945. Her name was Sarah Jane Lastname but she had always gone by Sally, so the middle name was basically meaningless to her. When she got married she became Sally Lastname Hislastname.

My uncle married an educated, professional woman who kept her name. They had 2 kids, and while I think she was often referred to as Joyce Hislastname because of the kids or whatever, it was and is clear they are a family unit regardless of last name.

When I got married I thought long and hard about whether or not I was going to take Rob's name. In the end, I did, signing my marriage certificate Jennifer Middlename Lastname Hislastname. My last name has 9 letters, as does his last name. They are both very rare names that would identify our families with one Google search.

I reject Silvana's lame arguments and I say this: it is a valid choice to change one's name because it is a choice. I don't have to justify to Silvana or anyone else, including my husband, that choice. When I made my decision, I told him what I'd decided, and that was it. Had it been the other way, he still would have been fine with it. We had discussed it and, essentially, he told me I should choose what I wanted to be called. And isn't that the REAL point? Making the choice of what to be called is empowering. In choosing, I took that power for myself, even though I took his last name. It's frustrating to have my (in my view) feminist choice reduced to "you shouldn't make that choice because I think it's wrong." Grrr.

I didn't want to deal with being called the wrong name by people at school; I don't deal well when people call me Jen rather than Jennifer. I hate it. I would not be happy about the wrong last name being tossed around. I felt like I was still maintaining my ties to my family (what with genealogy, that's important to me) and that if I chose to use both names at some point (as I do now on Facebook) it would be legitimate.

And in the completely frivolous department, Hislastname was way ahead of mine in the alphabet and I had something of a complex constantly being stuck at the back of the classroom, the end of a list, and the last one called for EVERYTHING.

If you didn't read through the comments, my favorite was from username "errr" and it hits the nail on the head. I recommend a read of it. Go ahead, I'll wait again.

Is it just me who gets so worked up over this stuff? I see feminism as empowering, and it is really frustrating to see lame, shallow arguments dissing fellow women presented in a manner in which someone is bound to say, "Well, she has a Ph.D. and is this famous blogger and I am just a (fill-in-the-blank) and so she must be right and I am not really a feminist or an independent woman but instead I am a lame, sniveling harpy who buys into all the patriarchal crap of this society."

So, Silvana? Shut up. You don't know me, you don't know what drives my choices, and you sure as hell have no right to tell me I am wrong. I made the right choice for me. I made it after a lot of thought and discussion, and after 14 years I still feel it was the right choice.

You can do whatever you want in your own life, and when I want your opinion, I'll be sure to ask. Until then, bite me.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you called a bullsh*t!

    The whole last name thing is a choice and that woman shouldn't criticize others for their choices that would best suit them, not her!