The comments on this article at feministe
make me so angry.
The article is about how choosing to take your husband's name on marriage is not a feminist choice, and that, essentially, the reasons many people give for doing this aren't really great feminist reasons (which doesn't make women who do this unfeminist, just that this isn't a feminist choice) and that feminism isn't actually about 'I'm a woman, it's my choice, therefore it's feminist.' The comments are full of people raging
at the author for daring to say that the choice they made isn't a feminist one, and their reasons aren't feminist. That she's attacking them for their choices. That she's going after 'low-hanging fruit' and has chosen a totally ridiculous 'hill to die on.'
And reading it, I just think - could you even acknowledge how fucking lucky you are that you can marry the person you want to be with? And that there's convention for what happens to your name afterwards? And that you can make a choice to adhere to tradition, because it exists? Without being judged for that decision (and no, what the article says is not judging)? That your relationship is steeped in centuries of privilege for being a woman who wants to be with a man, and this is the one thing about it that you're going to be told is maybe not so ok?
Because, right now, my country is debating whether I even have the right to marry a hypothetical future woman I love, or whether I should carry on having a second class ceremony. People are arguing that religious beliefs (by which they mean Christian) trump what should be rights. That letting gay people marry will somehow damage young children. That it's OK to publicly say 'I think that if you're gay you should have fewer rights,' without fear of any kind of actual real reprisal. Because, basically, homophobia's OK.
Right now, I wish my biggest problem around marriage was whether a feminist on the internet thinks that my decision to follow tradition isn't very feminist.
Two name-related anecdotes...
My sister got married a little over a year ago, and it honestly never occurred to me that she'd take her husband's name until a few months before the wedding. I don't know why not, since she's very traditional. I remember saying to my mum that it's like she's no longer identified with our family - because it is. She's not identified as a new family with him, she's identified as part of his birth family, not ours.
I want to change my last name. I want to take my mother's maiden name, for many reasons, including practical ones like it's a lot easier for people to spell than my current last name, and ideological ones like, I have a troubled relationship with my father and his mother, and my blood-grandfather, who died long before I was born, sounds like someone I would be scared of, but I love my mother's family, and want to show that I belong to them. When I told this to my mother, she said that if I changed my name, it would be like I no longer identified as her daughter. Totally not the same when my sister does it though, because she's marrying a man and that's what you do.
Is my choice more feminist than my sister's? I have no idea. But it's a hell of a lot less acceptable, less normal, more likely to be commented on, more expensive, more complicated.
But yeah, what sucks is being told that your choice to take your husband's name isn't feminist.