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Pickle Me This

September 21, 2007

I am right

While we’re on the topic of feminism, and women’s choices, how about the reponse to this rather silly article in The Globe today about whether women should change their name when they get married. 115 comments, last count. My friend Jennie, who often contacts me in a fury tearing her hair out about idiotic online comments, must be bald tonight. How can so many people be absolutely sure they’re right about something that is absolutely none of their business? How, especially, considering that I am right: women should or shouldn’t change their name based upon what that name is, what their partner’s name is, if they like their dad, love their family, if they are established professionally, if they are especially fond of their name (as I am), if they want to change their name, or if they don’t, or if they can’t be bothered, or if they can, because they think names make a family or because they don’t, or based upon the weather report, if they damn well want it to be. It’s none of my business, and neither is it Matt M’s from Edmonton, or Nancy’s from Toronto. Good night.

5 thoughts on “I am right”

  1. patricia says:

    129 comments now. Yeah, I thought it was a pretty darn silly article. Who is she to tell me what to do regarding my name? Her arguments are all based on her own personal experiences. That is how she should have directed this piece, rather than what is clearly a didactic feminist soapbox rant.

    My reasons for taking my husband’s name are very personal. My maiden name is strongly associated with a very unhappy period of my life, a time when I felt helpless, vulnerable, defeated. Even the sound of my maiden name, to me, sounded weak. How could I resist taking my husband’s name? ‘Storms’ to me speaks of power, stength, and as strange as it may be to Ms. Hampson, independence. I’m not one of those ‘new-agey’ kind of people, but I must confess that I truly did change for the better once I changed my name. I love the name Patricia Storms. I love how it sounds, how it looks when I write it, and how people respond to me when they hear it. Taking my husband’s name was to me, akin to jumping into the phone booth as Clark Kent and coming out Superman.

    I must say that I often wonder what her ‘wasband’ thinks of these articles she writes in the Globe…

  2. Crissy Calhoun says:

    Kerry, you are right. Plus your name is hella cool.

    As is Patricia Storms. (I may change my name to that too, K?)

    Or just stick with my made-up last name. Cause I like it. Especially when people mistook it for my married name and called Russ “Mr. Calhoun.”

  3. Kerry says:

    Exactly. How could you turn down having a name like Storms?

    Unless, of course, you just make up your name. (Ms Calhoun, you are brilliant.)

    Which is not to say that my own husband’s name isn’t perfectly nice, because it is, and if we have children they’ll have it too. And not that I don’t love him, because I do, and I have never been more committed to anything than I am to our “us”.

    But I like being Kerry Clare, and as I married (relatively) young, I felt as though I wasn’t ready to turn into someone else just yet. My name also comes with a certain euphony which my married name would be lacking. And so it goes. Not such a big deal, but it matters to me and shouldn’t to anybody else.

    It’s very easy to be threatened when other women make decisions which are different from ours though. I don’t know anyone who is as self-assured as she would like to be.

  4. rona says:

    I like my name: Rona Maynard. I like the way it looks, and I like the way it sounds. If I’d had the bad luck to be born Rona Slutsky (my great-grandmother’s surname), I might have jumped at the chance to leave it behind. But Rona Jones just doesn’t cut it. No poetry here! (Unless you count the unfortunate internal rhyme.) It’s a matter of choice, as far as I’m concerned. And I’ve known many women, long divorced, who chose to keep their ex’s name because they liked the way it sounded and had made it a part of their professional identity.

  5. The Chapati Kid says:

    I like my name too. I don’t think I’d change it for anything. In fact, I don’t think (whoever he is) my husband will EVER have a cooler last name than mine, even if he tries. And honestly, I can’t imagine my name being anything other. I’d rather change my first name than my last. But that’s just my personal aesthetic choice. Did you know that in Germany, a man can take his wife’s name? Yup. They marry and he can take her last name. Which ever’s cooler wins.
    And then there’s What’s in a name.

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