Sidetracked



Beautiful Feminist Soapbox

I'll only bore you with one topic this evening, although I have many churning in my mind that can't wait to spew out.
I realize that marriage is in the distant future for me, if at all, but as I get older and see my friends get married or hear them discuss marriage, I can't help but think about the whole name change situation.
The question, of course, is why? Why forfeit your name?
I would do a little more research before discussing this, just to be sure I knew what I was talking about, but I am so tired, and this is MY blog. So, if anyone reads this and thinks that I'm full of crap, please feel free to say so, but with something to back it up.
The whole name changing thing started a long time ago as a way to show property ownership. Women took their husbands' last names so that everyone would know that they belonged to their husbands. Basically, these men were marking their territory. It would be no different than claiming land or livestock as theirs.
It wasn't until recently, when women began acquiring some rights of their own, that people began to romanticize taking the husband's last name in order to justify it.
When you really think about it, and study the history of conquering groups such as the Native Americans, taking away a person's name is the first step in taking away their identity.
I've heard the argument that taking the husband's last name is symbolic for the two individuals becoming one. Why give up your individuality? What is so great about becoming "one"? And if a couple is so caught up with the notion that becoming one is romantic and symbolic, how about men take women's last names. For any men that read this, would you consider taking a woman's last name? I kind of doubt you would, because that would imply so many things. Perhaps people would think of you as less of a man. They might think that you are dominated by your wife; that your wife "owns" you. And women, when you are thinking about marriage, I urge you to think about these traditions before you act them out.

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