Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links, March 22

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“The Retro Wife: Feminists who say they’re having it all—by choosing to stay home.” [via New York Mag]

Let me preface this next link by saying that I am, like, SO fucking over “feminists” who can’t stop bitching and moaning about how sad it makes them when other women take their husband’s names. As feminists they applaud a woman’s right to make personal choices, but then belittle or, worse, condemn whatever choices they think aren’t feminist enough (like changing their name, converting to their husband’s religion, quitting their jobs to be stay-at-home mothers, formula-feeding their babies, enjoying rom-coms)? Whatever. I’m a feminist and I not only support a woman’s right to personal choice, I applaud choices that differ my own (and for those not keeping track: kept name; did not convert; stay-at-home mom; yes on formula; and yes and rom-coms). “Why should married women change their names? Let men change theirs” [via The Guardian]

LOVE THIS: “I Am Not Your Wife, Sister or Daughter. I Am A Person.” [via The Belle Jar]

“The Perks of Crying at Work” [via The Daily Beast]

Count me among the viewers who were disappointed in the finale of “Girls” on Sunday. I thought it was hokey, though I do love seeing a shirtless Adam Driver as much as the next person. “‘Girls’ Ending: Season 2’s Rom-Com Final Scenes Get Mixed Reactions” [via HuffPo]

I sold my soul to Ricki Lake [via Salon]

“The color you need to wear on your dating profile” [via Slate]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

207 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I just came across this one…http://www.xojane.com/issues/how-not-to-be-a-dick-in-the-comments-section
    The opener is” A comment thread is over when names are called, especially if anyone brings up the Nazis.”
    Haha.

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    • avatar

      Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 2:39 pm

      Interestingly enough, when I saw the feminism article Wendy linked to, it reminded me that ages ago I think I had a back and forth with someone on the comment board of a DW article about feminism and it being about choice, and choosing to do what we want, and they misinterpreted my comment as me saying “I can do whatever the eff I want”. We worked it out, but it was my first ever experience with something like that in a comments section, so it’s funny you linked to this one! (Not that anyone was being a dick in their commenting, but I think some people, including me, came dangerously close to being offended!)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 2:42 pm

        I wonder if the commenters who never get worked up are like that in real life too. Like addie, someone could be totally rude to her, and she would not get worked up. I, on the other hand, get worked up way too easily depending on the topic. I think I wouldn’t get AS worked up in real life, but I can get hotheaded pretty quickly.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:04 pm

        I think it’s all about tone 🙂 And unfortunately, since you can’t determine tone over the internet, I think people get offended or worked up more easily if they trend towards generally hating dickheads and think most people are dickheads in real life. I know that I’m very sarcastic and off the cuff in real life, and the teasing tone of my voice definitely doesn’t translate well in email or the written word! In real life though I know I take a lot of crap and don’t fight back because I am so very non-confrontational. Last week I held the elevator door for a woman by sticking my arm across the doors, and when she got in she said really condescendingly “You know there’s a button for that, right?” (no thank you at all!!) What I Should Have Said: “Oh, I’m sorry I held the door for you in the wrong way. Next time I’ll be sure to let the doors close instead…you’re welcome” What did I actually say? I smiled and said “oh, haha, sometimes the button doesn’t work that well”.
        Plus, there’s always the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory as a way of explanation (disclaimer: not directed at ANYONE in the DW community, merely an internet phenomenon explained)
        http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/greater-internet-fuckwad-theory

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 3:10 pm

        I love the theory, haha. I think your probably 100% right about tone being the problem. I’m similar to you in real life,and as far as I know, I’m not offensive in real life.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 22, 2013, 3:40 pm

        Wait, was someone rude to moi?! Where, who, I wanna kick some ass!…. I’m kidding. Everyone gets worked up over things – serious things, little things, made up things! Everyone, even AP, I promise. I wanted to throttle that LW the other day who refused to give us details.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:09 pm

    GO WENDY on that article about feminists taking their husband’s last name!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary March 22, 2013, 12:13 pm

    ***spoiler** I was dying over what Hannah did to her hair in the Girls season finale. Like I had no idea that was coming and it was SO FUNNY. She looked like a monk. I couldn’t even handle it. So I fully appreciated the season finale.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary March 22, 2013, 12:16 pm

      Also, yes, it is a little depressing to see these women find hope in their exes instead of in themselves or each other (paraphrasing Huffington post). BUT. It’s completely realistic. Whose gone through a breakup only to run back to someone familiar when their life is a mess? And who has known a couple that is on/off again like Marnie and Charlie? And I love Girls because it shows all of the stupid mistakes you may make during your 20s but sometimes you are too embarassed to admit.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 22, 2013, 12:14 pm

    I don’t think people should cry at work. It happens sometimes, I understand, but to label it as a “productive tool” is eye-roll inducing to me. (And to be clear, I’m talking about a typical work environment, not professions that can naturally be heartrending like, the medical field?)

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:17 pm

      I agree. Sorry, but I’ll lose professional respect for you if this happens, unless if you get some horrible phone call about a family member dying or something like that. Crying about work? Find a bathroom to pull yourself together in.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 22, 2013, 12:19 pm

        Exactly.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 22, 2013, 12:19 pm

      And, even in the medical field, I’m not saying doctors should be sobbing left & right—I just mean that there are things that you witness & need to do that are actually worth of tears? Like giving bad news or whatever?

      Also, I remember my mom told me our vet cried as she put one of our cats to sleep. That’s the kind of crying that is okay, to me. Not co-workers in an office meeting crying together to form some kind of bond or whatever that article is talking about?

      (I realize I’m saying lots of problematic things, maybe, like “worthy of tears”—who am I to decide that? But this is just my take on it.)

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    • Stonegypsy

      the_other_wendy March 22, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Completely agree that it shouldn’t be labeled as a ‘productive tool’, that’s just silly.
      BUT, there’s something very wrong with me (my mom has the same thing), if I am in an especially stressful situation, it just… happens. I have zero control over it. I can bite my lip, pinch myself, I have tried everything to stop it from happening. I got to the point where I had to start taking anti-anxiety meds if I thought there was even a chance I might be in a stressful situation at work, because otherwise I would just burst into tears. I know I’m not the only one who has this problem. I’d like to think it doesn’t make me weak or unprofessional (though I’ll admit that I look both of those things when it does happen). Just another thing I have to plan ahead for, anymore.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 12:28 pm

        I cry too. I can’t help it. It’s so damn annoying.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Are you not able to just get up under the guise of having to use the ladies room though? I feel like in most situations, that would solve the problem.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 12:32 pm

        I cry at everything. Like when I gave my two weeks notice to quit I was a basket case. I’d never get anything done if I just hid in the bathroom all day. I also cry when I’m mad so that makes arguing/yelling weird.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:33 pm

        Hmm, I guess I can’t relate because I’m not a crier.

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      • Stonegypsy

        the_other_wendy March 22, 2013, 12:36 pm

        Same! And it sucks because if I get really worked up in an argument I start crying and totally lose my credibility.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary March 22, 2013, 1:54 pm

        I cry when I yell/get angry. It really sucks because it makes people not take you as seriously. Like I look like a hysterical freak when I’m actually feeling relatively calm, albeit angry. And then my boyfriend thinks I’m MORE upset than I actually am if I talk about something and I’m crying. And I’m really not even that upset or emotional, just crying. I was never a crier until like mid-college. It’s so stupid!!

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      • Stonegypsy

        the_other_wendy March 22, 2013, 12:34 pm

        Well sure, unless I’m on a conference call or in a meeting with my boss (who will not let you leave his office until he is finished talking). And even if I’m just at my desk, I have to walk through a fairly large office full of people who will stop me with “Are you okay?” and “What’s wrong?” before I can get to the bathroom.
        Though, I’m talking about all this in the present tense and I actually left that job on Monday, so… Hopefully finding a job I don’t totally hate will help

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 12:37 pm

        No, because people can tell that you’re upset and if you run out, it makes it clear thathey can’t act in the way that they did around you, because you’ll respond in tears. Retreating is terrible in that instance; if you can, stand your ground and ask them to give you a few moments to compose yourself. Do not apologize for being emotional, but for being emotional at an inoppurtune time and then continue. Most women will cry at the office at one time or another and it is not something we have to run away from and hide, or be mortified about. If women belong in the workforce and most women cry when faced with a threshold amount of stress or negative treatment, then crying also “belongs” in the workplace. It is inapporopriate, just as it is inappropriate for a man to yell or punch something, but it is not considered “Taboo.” Only through not retreating, “owning” the crying, normalizing it, addressing it and moving past it can we take the stigma out of it, and the negative inference regarding our abilities to handle high stress work.

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      • Stonegypsy

        the_other_wendy March 22, 2013, 12:38 pm

        I had honestly never thought of it this way before. Going to have to take that tack next time it happens (there’s always a next time).

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 22, 2013, 12:42 pm

        But, but. I don’t see yelling as normal, either? I guess I’m just of the opinion that NO extreme emotional reactions should be happening at work? (Again, in a typical “office-y” environment.)

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:16 pm

        Haha, you don’t have my boss. He yells so often that sometimes I have to yell back just to get him to shut up and listen (he also is showing signs of Alzheimer’s, so you really do need to police him and make him listen to you or he messes things up. Yes, I’ve told the higher ups and they’re trying to figure out what to do with him). I’m not a yeller and I hate yelling, but I’ve found it’s the only way to get him off his self-important, I-know-all, everyone’s an idiot but me rants. I even had a conversation with the VP about how I’m worried it’s affecting my reputation at work, but he said that everyone sees me as the only person who can handle “the beast” and they’re grateful that I have the balls to go to bat against him.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:42 pm

        Idk, again I’m not a crier so I can’t really relate fully, but couldn’t you just say something quick, put your head down and make a quick dash to the bathroom?
        I do think its very unprofessional. I get you can’t help it, but I would not take the stance you do that its totally natural and not something to run and hide from. Owning crying at work? I disagree. The workplace is simply not an environment where crying should happen (whether you are a man or woman) in my opinion.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:43 pm

        I’d much rather my employees simply say excuse me for a moment and walk themselves quietly to the bathroom or outside until they can pull themselves together.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 12:53 pm

        That may be true, but while they are going to the bathroom or outside, all the secretaries and others are watching, and will gossip about it.
        Also, if someone asked me to excuse them while they ran to the bathroom and cried, I’d say that we should probably do this another time and end the meeting. But I would also take that reactioin to mean that that person could not handle the feedback i was giving them or the assignment I had given them. Male bosses especially have that reaction. They don’t want to deal with the crying so they avoid talking about that stuff, and they’ll treat that person wiht kid gloves. But when it comes time for promotions, they’ll remember that, and even if they don’t, they’ll see that person won’t have had as many tough assignments or showed as much progress. The crying will translate into “not able.”
        But women don’t (just) cry when they can’t handle something — sometimes, they just cry in that moment. They can handle it and they can beat the challenge, but after 2 mins of letting themselves cry. The disconnect between people thinking that crying means can’t handle it, and the root of the actual crying is the issue. By standing firm, literally not ceding any ground, and insisting that the meeting continue exactly as before shows the person that the crying is irrelevant to their ability to handle the job.

        If you literally never cry from stress, then it makes sense you don’t understand this. But I almost guarantee that if a woman did this while you were giving a negative review, (asked you to leave for a second, came and got you and asked you to continue what you were saying) , you would end the meeting being impressed with her, whereas if she asked to go to the bathroom, came back, you would not continue to say the things that made her cry, and you would end the meeting feeling weird and thinking worse of her.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 1:02 pm

        I’d rather have secretaries gossip for 2 seconds if they notice, than my boss think I can’t control myself at work.
        I have cried before plenty, just wouldn’t describe myself as a crier, or at least a public crier.
        I can promise you that if my employee asked me to leave my office bc she/he wanted to cry, I would not be thinking highly of them to put it nicely.
        I hear your point and its good, but you should also consider that many, many people do not feel the way you do. I wouldn’t want someone to read that, assume you are right, and feel free to do what you are saying because it may turn out very badly for them.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar March 22, 2013, 2:50 pm

        Someone asking me to leave my office because they wanted privacy to cry? Not happening… and now instead of being ’emotional’ or overwhelmed you are an idiot with no respect for boundaries or hierarchy in the office.

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      • avatar

        LuckySeven March 23, 2013, 6:17 pm

        @ the_other_wendy and GG, I have the worst tear ducts and work in mental health, so I am right there with you. I have come a long way, can tell what situations will get me teary, and on the rare occasion have to leave a client session, when it is a trauma victim, to collect myself. However, when it comes to getting teary eyed with my supervisor and colleagues, it does happen. I would never want it to be used as a productive tool, but I am glad that I have been able to explain to them and still look professional.

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 12:28 pm

      I attended a wonderful seminar for women, which addressed what to do if you cry at work . It certainly wasn’t advocating it, but was a “what do you do if…” it occurs. The suggestion was that if you are with others, no matter where you are, you ask for a few moments to compose yourself. In fact, if you are in your bosses office, you very politely ask THEM to leave for a few moments to compose yourself, and if you are in yours, you also ask THEM to leave… because one of the worst things to kill your reputation is the gossip that will happen from leaving the office crying, where everyone outside the office can see it. Once you have composed yourself, you invite them back in, you apologize for your emotional outburst and ask them to continue saying whatever it was that they were saying, that you want their feedback. And you continue the meeting. Do whatever you can to continue the meeting; do not reschedule and do not let them move on without finishing whatever it was that they were telling you. This way, they understand that you had an emotional reaction but it doesn’t affect the way you do your job or your ability to handle whatever they are dishing out.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:31 pm

        Wait, you would ask your boss to leave her office so you can cry in it? That seems worse than crying!

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 12:40 pm

        No, it is way better. It shows that you are handling it. And it will probably take them by surprise, so they’ll just do it, and they won’t gossip in the hallway because they will be too confused/surprised at what is going on. Running away from it (asking to be excused) means that you can’t handle the feedback — taking a moment, without retreating — means that you can.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:45 pm

        I can tell you that for me, if you worked for me, I would NOT ever consider that better.

        Obviously, differences of opinions, but you (all the yous, not specifically you) should understand that many employers would disagree with what you’re saying and proceed cautiously.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar March 22, 2013, 3:00 pm

        They may not gossip but they will hold it against you. Telling your boss to leave their own office just sounds like hubris gone awry. And bad advice. If you need privacy – seek it out. Don’t demand other people – particularly your boss – inconvenience themselves to accommodate your needs.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 4:08 pm

        this is assuming you are in a meeting with your boss, and they have said something to you that makes you cry. I guess I don’t see it as hubris, I see it as strength — it shows that you are not an emotional person running away, but someone who takes stock, deals with the problem and moves on. I work in one of the most hierarchical businesses anywhere, I have to say, I think most bosses would be impressed by the secure-ness it takes to ask someone to leave their office for a second, rather than seeing it as hubris and not understanding the socal order. Especially to a male boss, who would be so uncomfortable if you left the room trying not to cry and then came back, face all puffy.

        It surprised me the first time that I heard it, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Especially because the secretaries wouldn’t be gossiping for 2 mins, it’d be a permanent thing — you were the girl who cried. The boss who was asked to step outside for a few moments wouldn’t gossip about it at that moment, and if they were impressed with how you handled yourself, wouldn’t “gossip” about it at all after. And I really see the higher ups being impressed, rather than insulted — you had an issue, you solved the issue and continued as planned.

        Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t tried it. It was just advice from the seminar lady and I thought it sounded awesome and rang true.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:11 pm

        But if you’re not running away, you are asking someone else to leave you alone. I don’t see how one is better than the other.
        I seriously tried to think about this more to see if my opinion would change, but I can’t do it.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 4:18 pm

        I’ll try to find the handout i had from the seminar and see if I’m messing up some of the details.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:22 pm

        That’d be cool if you could find it. Curious what else it would say.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 4:22 pm

        But the real point that I loved was that the seminar was about “making being a woman be acceptable in the office” — not “how to act like men to get ahead”… it acknowledged certain biases and dealt head on with how to deal with them, while not just succombing to the instinct to “act like a man.” I loved that she said — women cry. Ok, maybe you don’t, but generally, women cry. and they cry in the office. so you should learn what to do. because you probably will. and it doesn’t make you weak. and you shouldn’t be embarrased. It is not ok but it happens and it isn’t extra-super-special not ok, it’s just regular not ok. And here’s how to handle it when you do”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:25 pm

        I’d rather women be taught to just act professional, not like a man, not like a woman, but like a professional. You should be embarrassed if you don’t act professional, and its unprofessional to cry in most office settings.

        I don’t say this to make any criers feel bad. I understand 100% that one cannot always control that.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar March 22, 2013, 4:21 pm

        I’m an employer and it would not impress me. Just the opposite. You would escape gossiping assistants but you do so by inconveniencing your boss. It doesn’t speak to strength because you have not handled anything. You just asked me to leave my own area instead of you excusing yourself. And as between an employer and an employee, the employer should not – literally – be put out because an employee is emotional over an issue. I think that seminar lady did a disservice to the people she was talking to. I asked two friends with their own businesses and one told me he would be more likely to let a person like that go because of the conceit involved in telling your boss where to go so you aren’t embarrassed by secretaries.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 22, 2013, 12:40 pm

        Yeah, I dunno— the advice makes sense, but asking people to leave the room because of the emotional reaction you’re having seems…disruptive, let’s say? Is it not possible to turn your head to the side for a second, take some deep breaths, & say “Excuse me one moment, water seems to be emerging uncontrollably from my tears ducts” until you can compose yourself?

        I mean, I get it. I tend to keep my emotions very, very under control, so I’m not really a public crier (unless I’m drunk! All bets are off, then!). But if I AM having an emotional reaction, yeah, tears happen. But most adults are able to control it still, right? (Even once the tears are flowing?)

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 12:41 pm

        Not in a room full of people, but if it is one on one, like a review.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 1:07 pm

      We’ve all cried in my office (but not together like a bonding thing. Is that what the article is about? I haven’t read it). We’re a small group of 5 women. We’ve cried about personal stuff, tough clients, and work stuff. Yep, I think all of us have at one point or another. There have also been big blow-out fights (which makes me super uncomfortable – I’ve never been personally involved) but everyone just gets over it and moves on like it never happened. It’s definitely a strange work environment.

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    • avatar

      Clee March 22, 2013, 4:46 pm

      I also don’t believe in work crying. Except when it’s necessary to win some sort of toxic work pissing contest. I once had a terrible coworker who basically bullied and undermined me at every possible moment. I complained to our boss (no HR dept), but my horrible, sexist old man of a boss thought I was sensitive because I am a lady. You know, a lady who doesn’t like totally false emails circulated about her work and who takes umbrage at having her major projects dropped in the trash where Chinese food gets spilled on it. One day I got super frustrated while filing another complaint no one would act on and burst into totally uncharacteristic tears. I left the boss’ office with a raise and an official reprimand for my bully. I cried every single time he bullied me after that. They eventually forced him to apologize to me in an organization-wide meeting. It was awesome.

      I can’t recommend it for everyone or every situation. But I already worked for a man who thinks a smart woman is an amusing novelty like a dog who rides a bicycle, and my position was in serious jeopardy because of the bully’s rumormongering and undermining. Nuclear option, is my point.

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  • avatar

    Amber March 22, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I think that feminists should respect the choices other women make. If I choose to take my husband’s name, it’s because a) I’d rather we all have the same name, and b) my last name does not define me.

    And it’s not some big statement on my views of women, sheesh.

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    • avatar

      FancyPants March 22, 2013, 3:03 pm

      I think I’m an interesting case because my name is legally my maiden name, and that’s what I use everywhere… except on Facebook. I use my husband’s name socially, partially because I like the work/life divide. Over eager interns can’t friend me to ask me to help them get a job because they can’t find work me on facebook. Old high school acquaintances aren’t familiar with new married me and don’t friend me when we never talked in high school. It’s great.

      I got a bit of flack for it from some noisy feminist friends, and it was kind of funny to be able to pull the “You actually have no idea what you’re talking about.” card.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 12:25 pm

    UGH, screw that woman and her “I’m a feminsit” bullshit. Feminism is women making their own , empowered choices. UGH people like her are why I hate the word feminist.

    And what’s with her little BS rant about marrying early before you have established your name in your feild? I mean what? I’m not “rejecting a fundamental part of myself [themselves] before it’s even had a chance to grow”…what??? My name and my career do NOT define me. I could legally change my name to fucking ham sandwhich and I’d still be the same person. UGH. And not everyone has a career where they are defined by their name. I’m a glorified secritary, no one cares what my name is.

    Seriously pissed me off.

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    • avatar

      Amber March 22, 2013, 12:28 pm

      me toooooo.
      ]

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:32 pm

      Yep. Totally agree. And I’m not planning on taking Peter’s name either. (not for any of the reasons described though)

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 12:33 pm

        I totally support YOUR decision. Just like I hope you would support MY decision. Why do women like to go around and bash each other about dumb shit like formula or taking their husbands last name? (Yes we are all guilty of it occasionally, myself included but this self rightous rant on the internet just boiled my blood.)

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:35 pm

        Yes, that’s what I was trying to say. Taking or not taking could be for a millions different reasons, many of which may have nothing to do with what the writer presumed. I hated the article.
        I’m not taking it because I prefer to have the same name as my daughter (who took my last name when she was born). It has literally nothing to do with him at all.

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 12:39 pm

        That’s what I assumed was your rational. I’m pumped to take his last name to create our own family unit with a cohesive last name (which is something I personally value) as I have my step fathers name (legally changed it at age 10) and have like ZERO attachment to it. UGH. pissed me off. nfourhfirfabf.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:47 pm

        I’m a little sad to not be taking his name to be honest.

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      • avatar

        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:11 pm

        Can I ask why your daughter does not change her name too? It seems if having the same name is whats important, rather than which name, this might be a solution?

        I know I am in the minority on this thread, but I promise I’m respectful of peoples choices and this isn’t a trick question!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 1:14 pm

        Very good question 🙂 You are exactly right that the same name is the most important thing for me (although it is pretty cool she has MY name). The only reason we’re not doing that is because he’s not adopting her, because we would need permission from the bio-father for that as well as a name change only. I’d rather the bio-dad just stay far away.

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      • avatar

        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:19 pm

        Gotcha. Thanks.

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    • avatar

      MJ March 22, 2013, 1:22 pm

      I’m going to get slammed for this, but here you go:

      Taking your husband’s name is not a feminist choice.

      It’s a choice. And it’s yours. And it’s fine. But don’t claim that it is feminist. It’s perfectly fine to make whatever choice you want to make. It’s yours, it’s your life, etc. But some choices just aren’t feminist. (Not speaking specifically to you, GG. Just in general.)

      I’m probably going to have my dad walk me down the aisle. Is that feminist? Well, no. Not really, because it reinforces a bunch of stereotypes. But I am choosing to do it anyway, for practical reasons, and because I love my dad.

      Not every choice has to be a feminist choice. Not every choice is.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 1:40 pm

        I disagree. Making a choice on something like this is feminist by nature. There isn’t one answer that’s more feminist than another. Feminism is making the choice to do what you want to do, whether that falls into cultural norms or not. If your choice is the norm, that’s not any less feminist than it is to choose something different.

        I think if you said “There is no other option than to take my husband’s last name. It is morally reprehensible, and it is completely out of the question” that would be avoiding the choice, which is not feminist IMO.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 2:29 pm

        I feminism about making a choice? I thought it was just about equality. Like, we’re all given the same rights. Obviously some choices fall into whether something is equal or not.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 4:09 pm

        I agree, it’s about equality. I think “choice” comes in because in the process of gaining equality, women have been given a lot more choices – like taking your husband’s last name isn’t just a “given” anymore, or having kids, or being a SAHM.

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        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 4:13 pm

        Some people are more equal than others.

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        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 4:17 pm

        Four legs good, two legs bad

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 4:49 pm

        AWESOME!

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 4:14 pm

        It’s about both. If the main point is equality, choice has to be a major part of that. If we’re “equal” but don’t have choice, we just end up oppressed in a different way. Just to use today’s example, we might be free to keep our own names now, but if it becomes unacceptable to change our names if we want to, we’re still oppressed. So it’s about equality, but equality is nothing without choice.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 1:38 pm

        Fair. But taking his name or walking with your dad down the aisle is not an ANTI-feminist choice. It’s just a choice. (Unless you’re doing it because you actively support the patriarchy and want to become your husband’s property, in which case it is an anti-feminist choice…)

        What’s frustrating is that if you don’t take his name, women of a certain generation will give you shit. If you do take his name, women of a different generation will give you shit. And I think the most feminist choice is to choose not to give women shit about their choices.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 1:40 pm

        perfect response. I wish I’d seen yours before I started typing.

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 1:49 pm

        MJ- I don’t get your argument. I’m not saying I’m advancing women’s rights by my decision or even really that it’s a “feminist decision”. Just that it’s bullshit that other women judge me for it. It’s my right to choose and to think independently and make the best decision for me, regardless of everyone else (other than my fiance in this specific case). SpaceSteph’s statement “I think the most feminist choice is to choose not to give women shit about their choices.” is exactly what I mean. Why do other women feel they have right to judge a decision I make, and say it’s “sad” and that their decision is so much better ? What is that doing to promote feminism?

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        MJ March 22, 2013, 4:34 pm

        Maybe I shouldn’t have posted as a reply to you, GG, since you don’t care if you’re feminist or not. But women who say “it’s my choice and that makes it feminist” are who I’m addressing.

        No, sorry, it doesn’t. And that’s FINE. Own it. It was freeing to me to realize I could just say, “nope, not a feminist choice. Possibly reinforcing the patriarchy. Oh, well.”

        But overall I do try to make feminist choices and blind submission to tradition that reinforces the patriarchy makes me kind of nuts. Especially when it lets young men off the hook about things like name changes. They don’t even have to THINK about it.

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 4:56 pm

        I do actually care if I’m perceived as a feminist.

        You still haven’t explained why making the choice isn’t feminist. How is it not feminist to be able to make a choice equally?

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        MJ March 22, 2013, 6:04 pm

        I see why you are choosing to take your husband’s name, and it makes a lot of sense for you in terms of your relationship with your dad and stuff. But the very IDEA of taking a man’s name…where did that come from? Why is that a thing? Because…patriarchy. It comes from a time where women were considered the property of men (even a generation ago it was considered nice to write Mrs. John Smith as your signature) and subsumed in the man’s identity.

        So choosing to run alongside that tradition seems unfeminist to me. You’re reinforcing some gender and social norms that are not feminist, IMO. But you can! I do it too! I just want people to be conscious of what they are choosing.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Maybe we just need a new term for it.
        If Patriarchy = encouraging, sometimes to the point where no others options seem to exist, choices that reinforce men being superior to women, and
        Feminist= encouraging, sometimes to the point where no other options seem to exist, choices that reinforce women being exactly the same as men then…

        _____ = women choosing to do what works best for them and not making every life choice as a competition between men and women for the upper hand?

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 5:45 pm

        Example:
        Patriarchy -> insists women wear skirts
        Feminism -> insists women wear pants
        _______ -> insists women wear whichever makes them comfortable.

        Patriarchy -> insists women stay home and raise babies
        Feminism -> insists women work outside the home and climb corporate ladder
        _________-> insist women choose the role(s) that will leave them fulfilled.

        Because essentially that’s what this article does. It pits feminism as the enemy of the patriarchy, pits men as the enemy to women. But what I want is a movement that pits “everyone being happy with their options” against “forced gender roles based on a desired norm.”
        I thought that WAS feminism, but it appears I was mistaken.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 5:51 pm

        You are saying everything perfectly that I’ve been stumbling all over trying to say today. You are awesome.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 5:59 pm

        Sleep deprivation brings a certain kind of clarity. 🙂 I’ve been up since 7pm. Yesterday.

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        MJ March 22, 2013, 6:01 pm

        Feminism is the enemy of the patriarchy! That doesn’t mean it’s the enemy of MEN.

        But feminism says that women are equal to men. Therefore, they shouldn’t be expected to take men’s names. (Men don’t have to take theirs, either, but why is it a default assumption that women will, throughout all time.)

        Skirts and pants? Meh, wear whatever feels comfortable. I don’t think feminists insist on women wearing only pants.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 6:12 pm

        Well I didn’t know it insisted that women not take their husband’s last name. I thought it insisted women have the option whether to take it or not. I thought it was all about women having choices.
        Apparently, it’s just about shoehorning women into a different set of gender roles.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 6:19 pm

        My point was not that feminism actually thinks women shouldn’t wear skirts.

        My point is that this author is peddling a brand of feminism that I’m not interested in. One where you HAVE to choose the option opposite the patriarchy, rather than the option that works best for you.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 7:01 pm

        That’s what feminism is to me: doing away with forced gender roles based on a desired norm (in your words). This means that both men AND women should be able to do what they want without being forced to stay within the boundaries of what is perceived as “feminine” or “masculine”. So like what you said above about women choosing to wear pants or a skirt – I think the same should go for men, as well as men’s choice to stay at home with kids to be seen as an option as valid as working outside the home (and paternity leave for crying out loud!)

        To me, that’s one of the last hurdles (besides rape culture). Like I said below, men doing anything that is considered to be feminine is still seen as somehow “degrading.” Women can have many masculine qualities, but men still aren’t “allowed” to be feminine, and until they are then I think the fight for equality needs to continue.

        (And for men or others who argue that this is why we need “Men’s Rights” – I say that the stigmas holding men back from certain things are a direct result of the patriarchy that forces gender roles on individuals, so feminism covers it and is definitely not the enemy of men).

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 7:15 pm

        Completely agree.
        Also agree that getting mainstream men to take traditionally feminine roles will be much harder than getting mainstream women to take masculine roles.

        I wish I knew where, but I was reading an article that discussed how the problem is that so called feminine roles are traditionally undervalued- cooking, cleaning, raising children even as jobs are not paid as high as jobs that are so called masculine. If a woman succeeds in a man’s field, she is praised. If a man succeeds at child rearing, people call him “pussy” or “kept man” or so many other awful things. Really, if feminism wants to succeed, it should focus all of it’s efforts on this and not on whether women are changing their names.

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        Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:22 pm

        You just put my thoughts into words, when I was struggling to get it out cohesively. I’m gonna quote you from now on, you rock!

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    • Paki

      Paki March 22, 2013, 1:58 pm

      I really want to change my name to Ham Sandwhich now…

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 2:03 pm

        This makes me think of Princess Sophia Bananahammock!

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    *HmC* March 22, 2013, 12:32 pm

    I’m still traumatized by Hannah shoving that Q-tip into her head and screaming… only to do it AGAIN! Seriously, the image haunts me.

    As for the rest of the episode… yeah I guess it was a little hokey. And I mean, what’s the message… stalk your ex and don’t let him move on and he’ll take you back? And, call a guy who stalked you and treated you like crap because you are having a bad day, and he will run into your arms and love you the way you always deserved? As a demonstration of positive role models that show sucks… but I love it anyway! The writing is too clever in a world where nothing is clever anymore, so I can’t help myself.

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      Amber March 22, 2013, 12:34 pm

      ew I had totally forgotten about the q tip.

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      Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:29 pm

      This is probably a hugely unpopular opinion, but I just don’t like that show. I tried it and it’s not for me. I just can’t relate. I don’t know why…I’m in my twenties, although not for much longer, I went through the same things, but…I don’t know. I should be able to relate, but I can’t. It just feels different from my experiences. Maybe I should give it another chance? If I had to choose a show that my life relates too the most it would probably be How I Met Your Mother.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 3:34 pm

        I don’t like it either. I only saw a couple episodes, but I might’ve liked it a little better had the character not been nude half the time.

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  • theattack

    theattack March 22, 2013, 12:37 pm

    I don’t get why she wants men to change their last names if she thinks changing the last name is so awful. That’s kind of putting feminism in reverse and giving us all a bad name.

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      Nadine March 22, 2013, 12:51 pm

      You cant ‘put feminism in reverse’, because we live in a patriarchal society.It is not equal, therefore reversing an action does not make it an equal reaction.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 12:57 pm

        But that’s not a sustainable way of looking at things, and it’s not in the spirit of feminism. Feminism is about gender equality – not promoting women. If doing X is unfair to women, then women should stop doing it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not unfair for men to do it too. It really undermines the movement for feminists to say that men should have to do something that women don’t want to do either. This is the exact sort of thing “Men’s Rights Activists” latch onto and use as evidence that we hate men. Hypothetically, if men starting doing X too, a thousand years from now they would just be stuck in an unfair cultural norm too. The goal of feminism should be to make a sustainable fair playing ground for the longterm.

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:09 pm

        But thats what I’m saying. I think we agree here, but slightly differently (is that possible?)
        We dont make decisions in a vacuum. It isnt the same when a man changes his name as when a woman changes hers, despite it looking the same on paper. A woman changes her name and its completely understood, if not expected, if not demanded. But when a man does, he does it because its his choice, period. There is not a prejudiced history backing up his decision.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 1:34 pm

        Definitely. I think it’s a very good topic for discussion, but the author just rubbed me the wrong way with her approach. It’s very dangerous for feminists to analyze macro trends and promote macro changes by pointing at individuals. One of the most important facets of feminism, IMO, is that individuals should do what is best for them and their situation. We should get to the root of the problem and look at why one solution seems to be best for everyone, and we should try to move culturally to fix it. In this case, remove the stigma from men making the change. But we can’t do that at the expense of individual choice. We can’t look at someone and ask them to do something that affects them negatively for the sake of a very large cultural factor.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 1:09 pm

        Well I think that if a couple wants to share a name when they get married, it should be equally as likely that a man would change it for a woman than vice-versa. When we get there, then I’ll call it equality. Whether a woman changes her name, keeps it, hyphenates, whatever – I don’t care. But it does seem unfair that the changing is almost always on her.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 1:15 pm

        I totally agree with you. But I think we get there by very slow cultural changes. I don’t think it’s fair to say that individuals who want to share a last name SHOULD take the woman’s just because women have done enough sacrificing for cryin’ outloud, and now men need to do their share! That was just the impression I got of the author’s attitude.

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      Lydia March 22, 2013, 1:10 pm

      I don’t think she is saying that men should change their names. She is using that as a way to show that, even with non-patriarchal reasons behind a name change, men still don’t change their names NEARLY as much as women do, and that it’s weird that men apparently don’t have to think about this as much as women do.

      For example, an often citen reason for name changing is “his name was better”. Well, I have a WAY cooler last name than my husband (mine translates to “lion”, while his is the name of a small town), yet changing his name never even crossed his mind, while he was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t change mine or even hyphenate.

      I think it’s great that women make their own choices and I do think that is what feminism is about. At the same time, I also think it’s good to ask WHY so many women are still choosing differently from men, and whether that is a good or a bad thing (not on a personal, but a societal level).

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:23 pm

        Yeah. I think for me, when we get this equality thing sorted, it will be when the discussion goes:

        Shall we get married?
        Yeah.
        Shall we have the same name?
        Yeah.
        What should it be, mine, yours or a different option?

        So the focus is on having the same name/or not, not ‘taking the others name’. Its a small difference, but it would change the historic complications of ownership etc. Thoughts?

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 1:25 pm

        I completely agree that we should talk critically about the trends on a macro level, but if she was trying to do that, I think she failed pretty miserably. There’s a huge difference between saying that society as a whole should shift so that men change their names too, and saying that an individual person is making a bad decision because they didn’t do it that way. I know you’re agreeing with me there. Maybe it’s just the way this woman wrote it, but I think she’s approaching a good question in a wrong way.

        I’m totally jealous that your name means lion. That’s awesome!

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        *HmC* March 22, 2013, 2:10 pm

        I don’t know… the more I think about this issue, I think about the other important changes that have occurred in terms of civil and human rights. And those changes usually happened on a micro level first. Like, Rosa Parks sat on that bus and didn’t give a damn what society was ready for or whether that particular bus driver was actually racist. It was a statement about a system that she was not ok with. And for some women refusing to change your name is like that. I’m not advocating attacking anyone personally, but maybe if women were inspired to actually consciously consider their decisions in the context of patriarchy they would start making different decisions?

        I guess it’s a tricky balance between wanting the world to change for the better and needing people to be brave and go against the grain to do that, without alienating people by judging them overly harshly. But, without any judgment or questioning, how can we move forward?

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    *HmC* March 22, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I think on a micro level you guys are right- feminism is about women making their own choices and there are a lot of legit reasons that a feminist would choose to take her husband’s name (same name as kids, doesn’t like their own name etc.). BUT. On the macro level, it’s still an indicator of patriarchy that men essentially NEVER take their wife’s name. I mean, I don’t know the numbers, but it must be pretty damn close to zero. And I think that is a question we should ask ourselves. I don’t care if you just want the same last name as your husband. That’s your business. But the fact that it is ALWAYS women and NEVER men to make the change? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with questioning that practice.

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    • theattack

      theattack March 22, 2013, 12:51 pm

      I definitely agree that it’s unfortunate men don’t take women’s last names more, but I think that has to do with stigma on the male end of that. Women don’t have control over that, so it seems odd for the author to use that as a reason that women shouldn’t change their names. As for why men don’t make the change, I think it’s easier to break the norm by asserting yourself (ie: not taking his name) than it is to break the norm with appearing submissive. I think men are grasping onto the ideas of traditional masculinity as tightly as they can, because as women’s rights become more advanced, they are losing what they learned being a man was all about. New cultural norms are taking shape, and they will continue to change.

      It is an interesting issue on a macro level, but I hate when people point fingers at individuals for just participating in cultural norms. Change is a slow process. And if the goal is for women and men to make their own choices for what’s best for them, sometimes it’s best for them individually to participate in the majority. It’s better to think of people as tiny dots in a large shifting image than to look at them and analyze their choices.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 1:43 pm

        There is such a stigma. A friend of mine and her husband both hyphenated when they got married. They are now Mr. and Mrs. HerName-HisName. Which I think is awesome.
        But I know that he must get a fair amount of ridicule about it.

        Also, when they went to the Social Security office to change it, the woman said to them “I recommend you reconsider, sir. When you get divorced, all you (girl) need is the divorce decree to change it back. But you (guy) would need a court order.” She was like ‘Just file the damn paperwork.’

        So it’s twofold- the system is slow (a man can’t even use a marriage license to legally change his name in all states) and the people are slow to see it as an equally likely and acceptable thing.

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 1:53 pm

        “When you get divorced” that mentality annoys the SHIT out of me. Why is divorce the platform we’re starting marriages on these days? Talk about setting yourself up for failure.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 2:01 pm

        I completely agree. I have a theory that our generation is gonna turn it around. That we’ve learned from the mistakes of our figurative (or sometimes literal) parents and are gonna get the divorce rate back under control by going into marriage with eyes wide open. A girl can dream!

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 2:05 pm

        I agree actually. Part of the reason we dated for 4 years and chose to live together before getting married was because we don’t beleive divorce is an option. A lot of our friends feel the same way. Divorce is not on the table, if you get mad talk it out etc etc. In my fiance’s immediate family there has been like 10 divorces in his life time…crazy.

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        Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:43 pm

        Yeah! My parents are each 1 of 5, and they’re the only set of spouses who stayed together. So that’s one marriage out of 9 that is still intact.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:04 pm

        Never thought of this before now. My parents are both 1 of 5 too. My mom is the only one divorced out of her siblings. Every one of my dad’s are divorced at least once. Weird.

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        Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 4:08 pm

        This is weird too:
        My mom is oldest of 5, 4 girls one boy. My dad is youngest of 5, 4 boys one girl.

        I am oldest of 3, 2 girls 1 boy…and my husband is youngest of 3, 2 boys, one girl. The differences in age with each of our siblings is the same too-6 and 7 years.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:12 pm

        That is weird!! My dad is the baby, and he remarried a baby (in more ways than one, haha).

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      • theattack

        theattack March 22, 2013, 2:05 pm

        There’s some truth to that though. There are some studies that show that’s happening. The older generations wonder why younger generations are dating so long before marriage, or why we’re living together, or why we have more dating partners before marriage than they did. They think we’re scared of commitment, but really we’re just cautious. I read those studies too long ago to remember accurately, but I think I remember reading that younger people are still very likely to marry eventually, but we’re less likely to get divorced.

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        applescruffs March 25, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I’m late to the party, but it is starting to turn around. If you wait until you’re both over 25 to get married, the 50% statistic is cut in half. It also goes down if the woman is college educated (I think the guy being college educated has a negligible effect). Average age for a woman to marry in this country is now 27. 29 for a man. I think the tide is turning.

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      Nadine March 22, 2013, 12:53 pm

      Yes yes yes. We are allowed to question. It ought to be an equal decision, but its not yet, and it never will be if we shut down all conversations about it.
      I really want to know why it never occurs to people that men might change their names? Or even why its important an immediate family has the same name? This isn’t the card game Happy Families. It takes two seconds to say ‘I’m ms holmes, and this is my daughter anna baker’.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 12:57 pm

        Its nice saying We’re the Smiths. Would it be the end of the world to say I’m Sue Smith and this is my kid Tom Jones? No, course not. Its just a preference. Feels more family-ish to me. It bugged me growing up and having a different name than my mom and some of my siblngs. Plus recognition. Oh, you’re so and so’s kid? Idk, I like it.

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:04 pm

        I guess life just is usually harder than that anyway. Like mine name is long and hard to pronounce (oh and double-barrelled 🙂 ) and I always have to repeat it anyway. My parenst have always had to say their names twice, what with being long and not usual words (like Smith) .Whats an extra second to say ‘And thats my kid, the tall one, Emily Johnson-Mushroom?
        I mean, I would never tell anyone what to do with their own name. Its too freaking personal, and to me important. I just, in all honesty, on finding out my friends are changing their names, that we arent as similar as I thought we were.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 1:08 pm

        I wish my name was Emily Johnson-Mushroom!

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:16 pm

        well, obviously we all do.
        That girl is totally keeping her name upon marrying 🙂

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 1:17 pm

        Feminist or not, I will judge you to the end if you give up a last name like Mushroom.

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:24 pm

        BRB, going to float the idea of a mutual name-change with my boyfriend to Mushroom……

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 1:53 pm

        Kidding aside, mutual name change is actually a perfect solution for the brave new world where men and women change their names equally.
        Then it’s not his name or her name, but our name for the brand new family we created by getting married. I would have loved to do that.

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 2:24 pm

        exactly.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 2:31 pm

        By mutual name change, do you mean Mylast-Hislast, or a whole new last name? I know its judgmental, but I think its weird to just come up with an entirely new last name that has nothing to do with you other than the fact you think its a cool name.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 4:44 pm

        But not always do you come up with one that has no meaning. Maybe your grandmother had an interesting life story so you choose her maiden name, or maybe you have names that work really well to combine into a new name. Like his name is Goldstein and her name is Bloomberg so you go with Goldberg.

        I don’t mind the hyphen either. I think a good solution is you both change your name to be the same thing.

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      MsMisery March 22, 2013, 12:57 pm

      Thank. You.

      Have you ever asked a dude you’re dating if he’d change his name upon marriage? The reaction is visceral. They’d rather put snakes down their pants. But they just assume you WILL, without discussion. I mean, if your boyfriend just assumed you were going to quit your job to be a housewife after marriage, you would at the very least sit him down for a little chat. Times are changing and there’s nothing wrong with discussing WHY this little nugget of tradition persists.

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        MsMisery March 22, 2013, 12:59 pm

        And futhermore, the femi-wars bother me more than the mommy wars (prolly because I am not a mommy). Can we stop trying to decide who is the Best Human Ever and just talk to each-fkcing-other?

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        Nadine March 22, 2013, 1:05 pm

        I hate the Fem-wars to. All wars. But when people are choosing their choice, I think its best if they know the history of their choice 🙂

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 1:26 pm

        I dated a guy for a couple years (a long time ago) and one night we were joking about what our names would be if we got married. He HATED his last name – the sound of it, and the fact that it was father’s – and said he wanted to change it. I said, great so if we get married you can just take mine since I want to keep it anyway. Uh, NO. WRONG. He was going to change his middle name to his last name and I was supposed to take that one.

        My most recent ex wouldn’t change his last name for various reasons that I understood, and so he extended that same courtesy to me.

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        *HmC* March 22, 2013, 2:02 pm

        My boyfriend is a feminist and a strong supporter of human rights and equality of the sexes, but even he was like “oh, erm, changing my name to yours would bug me”. And I totally get it, and I think it’s a sad statement about the society we live in, not something wrong with him specifically. He grew up in this patriarchy same as me. Perfect example of how stifling the sexes into forced boxes hurts everyone, not just women. Feminism is anti-patriarchy, not anti-men. In fact in my opinion it is very much pro-men. Men should have all the choices they want without ridicule, and so should women!

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      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland March 22, 2013, 3:03 pm

        I ended up discussing this concept with my BF the last time it came up in the forums. He said he really didn’t care about ANY of it. Us both having his name, me keeping my name OR him taking my name (and my last name is very feminine!) I just kept being like, “Really, like you would seriously take my name?” and he was like “As long as that’s what you wanted and it isn’t an insane amount of work to change it.” I guess I don’t really have a preference about it, and we are both lazy so we will probably just keep our names as they are. And then we will have to figure out what we are going to name the little parasites later.

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      • avatar

        Eagle Eye March 22, 2013, 10:15 pm

        Further reason why my bf is a feminist without really knowing it – just asked him that if I had a cooler last name (mines really boring) would he ditch his to and take mine (he doesn’t like his) and he just said yes, in an off-handed, I’m playing Plants vs. Zombies kind of way!

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Oops, I just said the same thing above. Jinx!

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    • avatar

      Lydia March 22, 2013, 1:11 pm

      I should’ve just scrolled down before I typed my little comment-essay above because this is exactly what I wanted to say.

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    • avatar

      Matcha March 22, 2013, 6:32 pm

      I agree. I think the author specifically put that title there because most men would think, “HAH. What.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s because 1) Men have an attachment to their names-just like women 2) They would feel emasculated to take their wife’s surname.

      Reply Link
  • lynn

    Lynn March 22, 2013, 12:58 pm

    I am so fucking sick of labels. I mean seriously? Feminist this, feminist that, liberal this, liberal that, conservative this… etc. etc. ETC. At the end of the day… we’re all just people who are going to die one day.

    You know, I am very much looking forward to taking my future husband’s last name. And that Jill woman can cry me a fucking river for all I care. I’m not a “feminist.” My beliefs would probably irk a lot of women. But you know what, I don’t care what you are… all I know is that people like Jill Filipovic and Jessica Wakeman (and most of The Frisky for that matter) give “feminists” a bad name… they certainly leave a piss poor taste in my mouth.

    Obviously it hasn’t been a fabulous Friday. ;ahfajkfhn.sekg

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 1:07 pm

      I heard a line today…

      I live for two reasons. I was born, and I haven’t died yet.

      Reply Link
      • lynn

        lynn March 22, 2013, 1:48 pm

        Hahaha I like that. I’m feeling cynical today… which never happens.

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 2:32 pm

        Happens to all of us. Hope your weekend is better!

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      • lynn

        lynn March 23, 2013, 11:21 am

        Thanks LBH! It’s a little better.

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    • avatar

      Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:54 pm

      I hear this said of Jezebel.com too. Once I linked an article from Jezebel in an email to friends. I think it was about the whole racist thing where people said they didn’t care a certain character died in The Hunger Games because she was black. Before my guy friend even read the article he went off on Jezebel and how they were a bunch of man-hating so and so’s that give feminists a bad name so he wouldn’t even read the article…lol. I didn’t even know, I just saw it on aol.com! (Yes, I still have an aol account, I use it when I sign up for stuff I know will send me a lot of spam!)

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    • avatar

      Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:55 pm

      Also, I hope your weekend is great if your Friday was sucky! 🙂

      Reply Link
      • lynn

        lynn March 23, 2013, 11:21 am

        Thanks Jessibel!

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  • the_optimist

    the_optimist March 22, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I love how in article about changing one’s surname, the author goes “Of course, I would never say any of this to their faces, because it’s none of my business. That’s just rude” and then just disses everyone who’s ever done this ON THE INTERNET. If *that’s* rude then hiding behind a keyboard is just plain cowardly, lady.

    Furthermore, her reasoning stems from a very conservative Mormon upbringing. So what? It’s just acceptable to push her strict upbringing on the rest of us? Not every woman (or man, for that matter) changes her name as a sign of submission. Sometimes original surnames are painful or insignificant or too damned long or whatever. But really, what business is any of that of hers? Grrrr.

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 12:22 pm

      I honestly don’t get this logic… That if it is none of your business, you aren’t “allowed” to have opinions on things. Why not? We aren’t allowed to think about things that don’t pertain to us directly? While I didn’t read the link and I will take it on faith that she was annoying, preachy and pretentious about it, I have a problem with your assertion that she can’t have an opinion on it because it doesn’t affect her. I might agree that she shouldn’t TELL the person about her opinion, because no one asked her, and it isn’t her business. It’s like the people who walk up to parents on the street and say “you shouldn’t be doing X.” That’s totally bullshit — it isn’t your business to TELL those parents anything. But the assertion that a person isn’t allowed — in their head– to be thinking “it’s too cold for that child not to have a hat” — that is also bullshit. And yes — we post things on the internet that it is too rude to say to the people we want to say them to — thats what a lot of people use the internet for; it’s the same thing as “in their heads” because if someone doesn’t care about that person’s opinion, they don’t have to read it! The poster isn’t walking over to the mother with the hatless child and berating them — that mother has to click on the poster’s page voluntarily — they have to “ask” for that opinion.

      I refuse accept that I am somehow “not allowed” to HAVE an opinion on things that don’t directly affect me. I can accept that I am not supposed to SAY that opinion in most settings, but the internet is not one of those settings.

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      • the_optimist

        the_optimist March 22, 2013, 1:54 pm

        I’m not saying she isn’t allowed to have an opinion. Of course she is. But she’s judging people and making false assumptions about them based on her upbringing. How is that cool? How is it cool to be close-minded about other people’s choices in order to try and escape from your own close-minded upbringing? And maybe read the link before you jump on ME for expressing my opinion on the internet, where apparently everything is allowed.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger March 22, 2013, 3:59 pm

        I didn’t need to read the link to know that I disagree with an assertion that someone is not allowed to have an opinion on something because it is none of her business. It didn’t matter what she said — I was responding to your comment, not hers.

        You say: “But she’s judging people and making false assumptions about them based on her upbringing. How is that cool? ”
        I guess it depends on what you mean by “cool.” All judging is going to be made on some assumptions, and sometimes they are going to be false in particular situations. Like the baby not wearing the hat — maybe its a baby that has a higher than normal body temperature and shouldn’t wear hats, lest it overheat. No way for the passerby to know that. Which is why (among a host of other reasons) she should keep her mouth shut. But if she goes home and blogs about the baby that she saw with no hat, and how “babies should wear hats” — that’s not necessarily bad. It is GOOD for people in general to know “when it’s cold out, babies should wear hats” — even if there are good examples when they shouldn’t.

        We all have “false assumptions” of some people based on our upbringing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to have opinions on general topics, because there are some exceptions. It’s good for people to bring exceptions up and discuss them, and to discuss whether or not the presence of exceptions invalidate the truth of the general understanding, or if they can co-exist.

        You say “How is it cool to be close-minded about other people’s choices in order to try and escape from your own close-minded upbringing? ”
        Because changing one’s believes and opinions towards an issue is a gradual process that doesn’t happen in one step. How else are you going to get to a better understanding on an issue other than taking what you know and what you’ve learned, and applying it to the world, and being called out it when you’re wrong, learning more, applying what you now know, etc. etc. rinse lather repeat? That’s how opinions evolve. The way you present it, it’s an either/or — and I think it is way cooler for her to be close-minded about others for the moment as she tries to escape from her upbringing, then just to remain in her close-minded upbringing — mainly because the former is temporary and the latter is not.

        Lastly, me disagreeing with your opinion doesn’t mean I “jumped on you” for it, nor does it mean that you’re not allowed to have it. I just don’t get the logic behind it.

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      • avatar

        Amanda March 23, 2013, 10:12 am

        I think the_optimist is saying that it’s fine to have an opinion, but maybe it’s not the best idea to share many of our opinions on the internet. We all have opinions, but that doesn’t mean that every opinion should be shared with others.

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      • the_optimist

        the_optimist March 25, 2013, 10:32 am

        Thank you Amanda. That is exactly what I was trying to say.

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  • avatar

    rachel March 22, 2013, 1:58 pm

    I LOVED the Girls season finale. FWIW, in terms of the “camps” the article describes, I’m in camp 3. The two couples getting back together *was* very “end of a rom-com” and it’s supposed to be what every woman wants. But Hannah and Marnie’s stories don’t end there. There will be, I imagine, realistic fallout as it’s shown to us that life is not like a rom-com. Once the guy sweeps you off your feet, you’re still a mess, and he’s still a mess, and there’s real life to deal with. And it’s really predictable (like real life predictable, not movie predictable) that as these girls’ lives fall apart, they reach out to the person they KNOW is bad for them, for comfort.

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    • avatar

      *HmC* March 22, 2013, 2:13 pm

      Good points Rachel. I think that was mostly why I was ok with the rom-comy ending, because it’s not really the end is it? Kind of like how when Jessa got married… you just KNEW that was going to blow up eventually.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary March 22, 2013, 2:52 pm

      Like I said above, I loved the Girls season finale. Even though Adam coming to rescue Hannah was rom-comy it was really sweet. Like having that person you can call who will just be THERE. Isn’t that what everyone wants? I do agree that it’s not the end, but it was a laugh for me and it made me feel good for the time being. I don’t like to take my Girls too seriously.

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      • avatar

        *HmC* March 22, 2013, 2:59 pm

        I think that’s exactly the problem… people take that show way too seriously! As some big statement about a GENERATION or about ALL WOMEN omg it’s just not perfect enough! And what show could be with those sort of expectations on its shoulders? It’s a show for entertainment about flawed young people. It’s entertaining and smart. Can’t that be enough?

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray March 22, 2013, 4:07 pm

      I’m in camp 3 for sure too. If Marnie and Hannah had figured their messes out on their own? Well that’s too much self growth. We needed them to fall back on these dudes like crutches or a bandaid. Otherwise would mess could we enjoy next season?

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  • Jess

    Jess March 22, 2013, 2:00 pm

    I plan to take my fiancee’s name and I expect push-back ESPECIALLY because I am in my mid-30s with a good career. Whatever. My fiancee is perfectly ok if I don’t change it but thinks it’s “nice” that I have chosen to. For me it’s pretty simple. I want us to be a family and, for me, that means having the same last name. Sure, he could take my name or we could choose our own new name. But I don’t feel very strongly about those options so the path of least resistance –the path that requires the least explanation, is the one I’ll take.

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  • avatar

    Friend of Beagles March 22, 2013, 2:16 pm

    I guess I consider myself a feminist, but I took my husband’s name, ’cause it’s awesome! Srsly. (My maiden name is fine too, but it is always mispronounced and misspelled, and that got old.) I don’t feel like outing myself here, but it’s the technological equivalent to having Skywalker as a moniker. Teenage boys swoon when give our name at the video game store or the pizza parlor. A coworker once proposed to my sis-in-law, sight unseen, so they could hyphenate their last names (trust me, it would have been awesome). If my daughter marries a gamer, I bet you dollars to doughnuts they’ll stick with her name. To me, eh, it’s just a name. It doesn’t change who I am, whatever I call myself.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 22, 2013, 2:36 pm

      Okay, I am insanely curious now what this name is, haha

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      • avatar

        Friend of Beagles March 22, 2013, 3:08 pm

        🙂

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    • avatar

      Grilledcheesecalliope March 22, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Sega? Is it Sega that would be cool.

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      • avatar

        Friend of Beagles March 22, 2013, 4:02 pm

        Let’s just say Dr. Evil loves us. 😉

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      • avatar

        Amanda March 23, 2013, 11:20 am

        Laser? Minime? Rocket? Now I’ll have to watch the Austin Powers movies again…

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      Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 4:04 pm

      That is kind of the same line of reasoning that led to me changing my last name to my husband’s. His is impossible to mess up, but mine was mispronounced all the time (despite being shorter and only on syllable), people added extra letters constantly, and there was even a time I was emailed by someone who said I looked foolish when I spelled my own last name wrong, because they thought the extra letter was supposed to be in there.
      Granted, I was the only person with my name in the world (that I could tell). Now I’m one of many with my new name…but it makes it easier for you not to google me!

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    • avatar

      Matcha March 22, 2013, 6:37 pm

      Is your name Friend of Beagles Nintendo?

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  • avatar

    Michelle March 22, 2013, 2:25 pm

    Let’s not argue, then, that the reasons for not changing one’s name after marriage are as equally invalid: whether or not a woman changes her name, her name is still a man’s last name, either her father’s, or her grandfather’s, or even her great-grandfather’s. The identity is still tied to a man’s.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 2:35 pm

      See, but what’s so horribly wrong about that? I love my dad. I love my grandpa. I also love my mom and her family, but just because something has man tied to it, doesn’t make it bad. Right?

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 2:48 pm

      But that name has equally as many women tied to it. Why does the man own the “rights” to the name infinitely? I am choosing to change my name to that of the man who will soon be my husband, but after I take it, the name becomes my own. I’ll be passing OUR last name down to our children, not just the mans name. This argument makes zero sense to me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 2:50 pm

        Way better point than I made.

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        Samantha March 22, 2013, 3:01 pm

        Well-said! Your name is what you make it! You’re taking ownership of a new identity that includes the relationship and family that you and your partner are creating together.

        Sure, there’s a history behind surnames, and it’s patriarchal, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Some people want matching names for their family, some people appreciate the family history or the way a name sounds, some people want hyphens. It’s exciting that we have options for creating our own identities, and it’s exciting that a surname doesn’t equal ownership anymore, but instead implies partnership.

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 3:15 pm

        Thanks. Few things annoy me more than this subject. And, FWIW, in relation to this man’s last name thing- My faince’s dad is an ass. The dad just sucks at life, drug addict, abusive, etc etc. So my fiance has always sort of hated his last name, because it ties my fiance to his crap dad. When I told him, the first time, how excited I was to take his last name, he was a little stunned. Like why would you want to be associated with a name that symbolizes that guy? And I had to explain why I was excited (it would be our families name) and how I loved the sound of it and the promise it had for our family etc etc. He’s finally come around to seeing this as us choosing our family name rather than me just tacking on his asshol dad’s name. (And had my last name not been 8 letters long opposed to his 4 we might have used my name for our family name. But I hate spelling it all the damn time.)

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        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 3:17 pm

        I love that GG. I’m happy he’s able to have a new take on his name.

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 3:26 pm

        Thanks, I think it’s been pretty liberating for him to realize he isn’t defined by this name or the actions of that man. We’re going to take the name and make it a source of pride for us, so to speak. Plus he’ll be published under it so he should learn to embrace it before it’s in print!

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    • avatar

      CG March 22, 2013, 2:52 pm

      No. F that. My last name is MY last name. Sure, my dad has the same last name, but I’ve had this name my whole life and it’s MINE now. And I will never change it, and any children I have will have my name too, either as a hyphen or because I’m a single mom. BTW how come no one ever says that to a man? “Oh, your last name is just your dad’s anyway so why not change it?” That’s such epic BS. It really makes me stabby when someone tries to use this argument!

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      • avatar

        Nadine March 22, 2013, 3:54 pm

        This argument really pisses me off too, way more than people just changing their names! My name is my name! I’ve had it my whole life!

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 5:25 pm

        The reason for this argument is to counter the argument that you shouldn’t take your husband’s name because that implies ownership.
        And it did, back in the day, in the same way that giving children the father’s last name implied his ownership. So if the argument is that the woman shouldn’t take the man’s name… well, it’s too late, you already have one. And so does your husband.
        However, that’s not really how the world works anymore. And so, whatever name you have it indicates a family tie to important people in your life. Whether that’s a tie to your mother, your father, your great aunt Sue, or your husband… you’re tied to men and women in your family with that name.

        Unless you want to be Ham Sandwich for the hell of it, and then I guess you’re tying yourself to sandwiches. 🙂

        But the point is that pointing out that taking your husband’s name is a patriarchal symbol as if that’s ammunition, ignores the fact that if you got your last name from your father’s father’s father (etc) then it is also a patriarchal symbol. Both arguments are equally spurious. Whatever name you choose is your name. And the identity you have is bigger than what your drivers license says.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 1:55 pm

    This is awesome as I just got home from spending 2 (!!!!) hours at the Social Security office to begin changing my last name. Yup. The patriarchy has won. (No it hasn’t.)

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 2:09 pm

      ew, why did it take that long? Just waiting in line? I’m not really looking forward to the paper work to change mine.

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        Jessibel5 March 22, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Get there before it opens and wait for them to open it. Seriously. At the DMV too. That was my trick, and it worked, I barely waited 10 minutes each time.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 4:48 pm

        Yeah the paperwork seems awful. This was step 1 so I’ll keep you posted.

        Unfortunately I didn’t get out of work early enough (I was on the night shift) so I got there an hour after it opened. I do agree if you are waiting when they open, you should get in and out quicker. Also someone said this “Wasn’t bad for a Friday” which probably means Fridays are a more popular day so maybe go on a Tuesday or something. (Also I’m scared to think what “bad for a Friday” looks like!)

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      SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 2:00 pm

      Oh and rant on:
      “Instead, the defense of the name change is something like, “We want our family to share a name” or “His last name was better” or “My last name was just my dad’s anyway” – all reasons that make no sense.”

      I was really waiting for her to tell me why “We want our family to share a name” makes no sense. Or why “His last name was better” makes no sense.
      After all, Lydia has a convincing argument for her last name being better. Can’t other people?

      I’m not saying they have to be good reasons for HER, but I hate that she just dismissed them as poor reasons for anyone. Makes me wanna go all “Bitch, u don’t know me!”

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones March 22, 2013, 3:16 pm

    Re: retro-feminist – look everyone does what they need to do here. While there was a period of time when my son was young that I would have loved to have stayed home, I went back to part time work when he was 4 months old. We would have gone bankrupt had I not, and now that he is in school all the time (and I have ZERO interest in homeschooling him) I have work that I enjoy. And we live a nice lifestyle. If you want to stay home, great! If your husband wants to stay home, great! But to be so divisive with the whole fictitious and fabricated “Mommy -Wars” is ridiculous. I am so tired of hearing about this NON-ISSUE!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy March 22, 2013, 3:25 pm

      I totally agree that one decision — either to work or to stay home with your kid — is not better or more right than the other. I don’t, however think, that the idea of “mommy wars” is completely fabricated though. I think many women naturally feel guilty about whatever decision they make — if they work outside the home, they feel guilty that they aren’t spending more time with their kids; if they stay home, they feel guilty they aren’t contributing more financially to the household — and a way to deal with the guilty is to belittle or even sometimes mock the path they didn’t choose. I cannot tell you how often I have heard working moms tell me how lucky I have it that I stay home — how much easier it is for me. And, yes, I am absolutely lucky that I have the option of staying home. But as someone who does work part-time and has a nanny a few mornings a week, I can say without hesitation that the easiest part of my week is when my son is in the care of someone else and I am working. It isn’t even comparable in the least.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 3:27 pm

        Please find a way to end the guilt and share it with me!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy March 22, 2013, 3:28 pm

        And, again, that’s not to say that I’m in any way better or whatever than any other woman or that the choices that have been right for me and my family are superior. That’s absolutely not true. But I am saying that I see how women — all women, no matter what choices they’ve made — can feel the need to defend themselves against each other because I have felt that defense mechanism come up a lot since I had a kid and it’s almost universally when another mother is saying something sort of offensive to me (like how easy I have it. Ha!).

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      • beelzebarb

        beelzebarb March 22, 2013, 7:32 pm

        My friend is a stay-at-home mom and when people say that to her, she says “Wow, you get spend your day with people who wipe their own butts and have a rudimentary grasp of the English language? You have it so easy!” It’s a serious pet peeve of hers too, obviously.

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  • avatar

    Grilledcheesecalliope March 22, 2013, 3:25 pm

    I think my so and I are going to make ourselves a new name. I like Prufrock, he like Destructotron. We are not taking it seriously.

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    • avatar

      Aksumite March 22, 2013, 3:35 pm

      I attend Rutgers University, where one of the advisors changed her name to “Muffin Lord”.
      Literally.
      Although she is a very nice person. 🙂

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        Grilledcheesecalliope March 22, 2013, 3:51 pm

        That’s marvelous.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 22, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Rutgers in New Bruns (there is no other one, right)? I’m like 10 minutes away from there RIGHT NOW

        (sorry, is that creepy? I just feel like there’s no fellow New Jerseyans on this site, so I get excited when there is one)

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        Aksumite March 22, 2013, 8:00 pm

        Nope; you’re not the only New Jerseyan. 😀

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 3:53 pm

        I used to go to church with a lady named “Rainbow Sunshine”. When she married her husband changed his name to Mr. Sunshine.

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      bethany March 22, 2013, 4:14 pm

      I tried to convince my husband to do a hybrid name. He wasn’t into it 🙁 I was kind of kidding… But I think I still would have done it if he said yes!

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  • avatar

    Aksumite March 22, 2013, 3:34 pm

    This is random, but I really do appreciate the weekly links you post Wendy. Thanks so much! 🙂

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:02 pm

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      lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:08 pm

      Ugh, some jerkity jerk wrote a mean comment! I tried to downvote, but it won’t let me without having a profile.

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      • avatar

        bethany March 22, 2013, 4:16 pm

        Probably Fake Rachel! 🙂
        Or Addie Pray. She’s such a bitch. heheheheeh

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        GatorGirl March 22, 2013, 4:28 pm

        Totally Fake Rachel!!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 22, 2013, 4:45 pm

        No, different name.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy March 22, 2013, 5:09 pm

        It’s Maynard, a former reader who got all pissed off that I banned her from commenting and is still, apparently, mad about it. I get it, this is a fun site to comment on. I’d be pissed if I got banned from commenting too. The funny thing is, she seems to think she was banned for disagreeing with me, because as you all know I ban EVERYONE who disagrees with me. The truth is, she was banned for being a bitch to me.

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  • avatar

    oldie March 22, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I think the take his name/keep your own and the Mommy wars have a lot to do with the stages of social change. Those who were in the earliest change and fought for the right to adopt a new life choice for the first time seem to feel at some psychological level that they are being dissed by a younger generation who views this new right as a ‘choice I can make based on my own needs’ rather than making the choice their predecessor generation fought for. In a way, the predecessor genration is still fighting that war and it has defined their social outlook so much that they aren’t willing to admit it is won and the decision to accept or not accept a spouse’s name is no longer freighted with the political significance that it was for them. Likewise, they fought to be able to have careers other than nurse, teacher, cosmetologist, etc. and Mommy. To them the only feminist course was to keep elbowing into the prior all-male careers, so they view their successors who choose to be stay-at-home moms as traitors, failing to recognize that the whole issue was about choice in the first place. Also, most of them never became doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, accountants, investment bankers, they were the English, Art History, and Education majors who pushed from the too-late-to-change-for-themselves age of life for younger women to plow into these new frontiers.

    Social change starts with a new choice being legal for the first time, but half the sky will fall on you from your friends, family, and potential employers to you can make an atypical legal choice and the sky remains above you, to finally you can make the previously bizarre avante garde choice and nobody gives a shit. The old-line feminists are still locked in the first stage and can’t accept that the world has moved on to stage three in many areas. They view the choice other than the one that was politically correct in their revolutionary day as treason, while the young view the suggestion that there is any ‘right’ choice other than the one that works for each individual as the substitution of an old coersion for a new one.

    It takes a lot of work not to get mentally frozen in the period of your life, when you were forming your ideals and fighting against what you viewed as a perverse, nonsensical authority.

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    • theattack

      theattack March 22, 2013, 4:42 pm

      You are so right on.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 5:09 pm

      I wouldn’t say it has been “won” yet though. A Florida man was recently accused of fraud when he changed his name to his wife’s after getting married. Didn’t someone above say it would take a court order to legally change a man’s name after marriage? And the fact is, women can now do pretty much anything a man can do, but there is still a stigma if a man does anything considered too “womanly” – like being a stay at home parent, taking his wife’s name, or working in a female-dominated profession. Just because women have more choices now doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a need for progress.

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        SpaceySteph March 22, 2013, 5:32 pm

        According to Wikipedia only 7 states let a man change his last name using a marriage license, in any other you would need a court order.

        I’m amazed that of the 7 states, Texas is one of them. We’re so backwards all the time, this is when we choose to be progressive?

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 22, 2013, 6:54 pm

        Interesting! Thanks for doing the research, haha.

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        oldie March 22, 2013, 7:21 pm

        Three points. First of all, you are largely correct. The ability of men to make unconventional choices has not grown nearly as fast as it has for women. That is for a number of reasons. First, the legal push to female and minority empowerment forces schools and employers to make an effort to be more inclusive of women and minorities. There is nothing that prevents them from discriminating against nonconventional men or feeling they have to improve the work/home balance for their male employees. Traditional older male managers are free to force younger males to hew to the old standards or fall behind. They’d whack back the threatening women too, but suspect they can’t get away with it. As companies have tried to recruit and advance women to nontraditional jobs in order to look progressive or avoid legal problems, a lot flexibility has been added. At the company where I worked working from home, working part time, shared jobs, ability for young mothers to get acceptance that they weren’t expected to travel were forced on managers. Some accepted with good grace, some with poor grace and efforts at sabotage. These opportunities were not open to males generally and the change came later. Second, FL and the south are way behind the rest of the nation in acceptance of social changes. Finally, males still grow up very threatened about deviating from gender norms and being labeled gay.

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    AliceInDairyland March 22, 2013, 6:44 pm

    I didn’t enjoy the Retro Wife article… and not because I have a problem with SAHMs or their choices at all. It was the attitude of the piece, and honestly the disrespect towards women and men that kind of put me off. ” She believes that every household needs one primary caretaker, that women are, broadly speaking, better at that job than men” <— Whaaa? Women are intrinsically better at what exactly? "Girls play with dolls from childhood, so “women are raised from the get-go to raise children successfully." So what? I didn't really play with dolls, and I don't think that will make me an unfit mother. She surprises him with his favorite recipes, massages him, and buys him crap. She tells her daughter to have a job that "she can leave at the drop of a hat" WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!

    I guess I was just raised with the imperative that every human being should be able to do some sort of skill that will allow him or her to take care of themselves, and possibly any other little ones that come along. I have been thinking a lot about my future, and I may decide to pump out a few parasites early in my career. Possibly working nights, and or part time if we can afford it. Then after they are in school getting back on the "fast track" so to speak.

    But what I really, REALLY hate is all the one-uppy mommy blogger pinterest crap that is rampant everywhere. I don't care if you hand crocheted your baby's hat. It's great, and it's great that you can afford to use your time to do that. 100%. But you don't need to put badly edited instagram pictures of it up on facebook. I just don't get it. I only post pictures of baby animals and my cats, though.

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  • Miel

    Miel March 22, 2013, 10:06 pm

    Well, Hi everbody, it’s my first time posting here. I just wanted to join the conversation.

    I’m from Quebec, Canada, and I will have to say, I thought no women were still changing their name in 2013. I’m now dating an american guy so, yeah I’ve learned that it is totally not the case, but I can tell you, I was shocked !

    From where I’m from, women cannot change their name for their husband name anymore (and it has been like that for at least 30-40 years I would say). The law says that changing your name to FirstName HisLastName is the same process as changing it to Paula Handsome or Jenny Kittens. There are no shortcuts. So well, women do not do it. Actually the last women I knew that had changed her last name was my grand mother, married in 1949. My mom never changed her maiden name, neither has any of my aunts, neither will I, neither will 90% of the women my generation (I’m in my 20’s). This is all so very “old” for us. Nobody does it anymore really.

    Somebody said here “these societal changes take time”, well not necessarily. Here it took one generation to go from 100% changing your name to something close to 0% (ok maybe not 0%… maybe 5-10%). For us it came with the feminist movement, but also people leaving the catholic church, and people switching from marriage to common-law union (Quebec has the highest rate of common-law union in the world). So yeah, those movement happens. I don’t think the US are there yet, but changes don’t “need” time, not even on this issue.

    I’ve learned that I shouldn’t tell people from another country than mine “your culture is not doing things right” because that’s not respectful. So I will stay away from saying what american women and men should do. I just want to say, there are societies, even in North-America, where women don’t change their name. My family name is the family name of both my parents, hyphenated. It is very typical for people my age to have both family names. When people designate a family unit, they call them “The HisLastName-HerLastName”, which usually correspond to the family name of the kids. We also have kids with one family name only, but there are examples of it being only the mother’s name (even in case where the couple was and is happily married).

    Since my boyfriend is American, I had to tell him I wouldn’t change my family name if we were to marry. That would make no sense to me, and since he was ok with that, the debate didn’t go further. I also wish we will pick a family name for our kids that will be his or one of the two I have (I don’t want to hyphenate three family name, that would be ridiculous).

    So yeah, that’s just what I wanted to share on all of this. I didn’t think the article was shocking or anything. I guess I’m just very used to what some of you guys thinks is so “out of the ordinary”.

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      SpaceySteph March 23, 2013, 5:14 pm

      So are there a lot of kids now who have 4 last names all strung together? Or do a lot of people, when they name their kids, just pick one of each of the last names?

      Not trying to be rude, just genuinely curious about the logistics.

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      • Miel

        Miel March 23, 2013, 9:03 pm

        I never heard of a kid with four family names. There are already people with two first names and two last names (like Mary-Jennifer Hawking-Johnson or equivalents…) and that’s already very long. What needs to be understood is that women were still changing their name 60 years ago. The first generation when women stopped that are now in their 50-60s, and the generation of kids with two family names are something like 10-30 years old. So, it’s not out of control yet.

        Also, it is not a tradition, or the only way to go, far from it. It began as a way to show that “this kid has two parents, the mother’s name is equal to the father’s name”, but now that point has been made, so nobody is going crazy about it. Some people pick two family names out of the 4, some people only gives one. Some will choose the name of the parent with a single family name, so it’s shorter or nicer. Some will choose the name that fits the best with their choice of first name… Basically people do what they feel like doing.

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    Sasa March 23, 2013, 6:41 am

    I love MJ’s comment above about the name taking issue. I think it’s so contentious because whatever you do, some people are going to judge you for it, which is so annoying. The feminist bitching about name changing is something I don’t want to be associated with (even though I’m a feminist), on the other hand I think it goes both ways: Whenever someone writes an article in which they criticize that we still live in a society in which men almost never change their names and a lot of women do, you will find tons of comments from women who changed their names arguing that they personally made a feminist choice by taking their husband’s name. I don’t get this. Either don’t respond to articles – because it’s really not about YOUR personal choice, but about a societal trend – or accept that people will start questioning your personal explanation. So, in short: People shouldn’t ask women who are changing their name about their reasons, but women who ARE actively giving their reasons and engaging in that conversation should accept that their reasons will be called into question. For example if you say “I wanted all of us to have the same name”, naturally people will tell you that your husband could have taken your name as well.

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