I had a lot of strong opinions about surnames that I only recently sorted out and this really strongly reinforced them!
I have a surname from a father who was never a father and I hate being tagged by a man's name that I didn't choose, who did nothing but hurt me, and have always thought I'd, for simplicity sake, take my partner's name when I married. That's becoming a bit more real as I get older and I felt like I was losing part of my identity, like I wanted to preserve that part of me and my family. I didn't feel like I could just change my name to something else without having to explain, millions of times, that my father was a deadbeat.
Long story short, a friend suggested taking my superstar mom's awesome surname as my middle name, which I will be doing. It's a small change -- but it helps me feel more like me -- and I am inclined to think every little bit helps. Taking mom's names, even if subtly, is the best. Go you!
As I finished this, Frozen's "Let It Go" came on my Pandora channel and it felt very appropriate. Also, this was very beautiful and I hope your write more here!
@cuminafterall oh, I feel like it's all choice! If you like your name, that's awesome! My sister likes her name, despite our shared experience with a shitty dad, and intends to keep it. Honestly, I wish I could just make up a new name. But I don't think that's my man's style, and he has a lovely name, so I think I'll be taking his when name changing times come around.
@Father Brown I don't think my actions should be seen as right without critical analysis. But I do think I should be free to make decisions for myself -- one's that don't affect anyone else -- without being condemned by people under the auspices of feminism.
And for the record, I thought Megan's overall point was thoughtful and insightful. I just really objected to that one point. Frankly, I would like all feminists to stop judging mine and others' decisions for myself in the name of feminism.
"“I’m taking his last name because I hate my last name,” stated as though it’s a fresh and free-willed motive, totally uninfluenced by orthodox, for effacing a piece of one’s identity;"
Woah. So it's ok to take our father's names but not our partner's? Next time you want to snidely assume someone is effacing their identity, consider that these ties to our fathers (hi patriarchy!) isn't something everyone wants. I say I hate my last name, but in reality I hate being legally tied to a man that emotionally abused and abandoned me. And adopting the name of someone I choose and love -- versus someone we don't and didn't-- seems a lot more like choice to me. Isn't that what feminism is supposed to be? Choice and freedom?
@blueblazes Nice! I used to use pig tails as my dude repellent, because they look crazy nerdy on me. Then one day a dude was like 'man, you look awesome in braids.' Still with him, two years later.
The keepers are just like that, I think.
Ahhhh yes so many times over. This was beautiful.
I wonder, Jia/other ladies, if you notice the flip side of this: when you're with a dude (even just a friend!) do you ever feel like people are ONLY leaving you alone because of the dude? I do. It sort of drives me bonkers, because, no, I'm a person! You should bother me either all the time or not at all, but not just when I'm dude-less. At the same time, I sort of revel in the break of obnoxious looks, conversations, touches, etc. whenever I'm with dudes. It's a bummer.
@Rock and Roll Ken Doll @j-i-a -- true points all around and i've seen those stories and all the others out there, probably, but for me, hairpin has always been my respite from the snark and one-upping jokes of the internet. my favorite parts of hairpin have always be its thoughtful, honest, irreverent at times, and even earnest pieces and conversations (interviews with virgins! my favorite of yours! i read those, and their comments, like two times over)...this felt like snark, less of that real talk vibe.
and oh yeah, journalists are good fun at parties, @hallelujah.
It's a pity that instead of having a serious conversation on why the country is rejecting and freaking out over this story (or at least the image in front of the story) and whether that's appropriate or right, we're making fun of a story that looks at the human side of violent radicalization -- a story that gets to the core and most terrifying aspect of home-grown terrorism. Instead,this just petulantly pokes fun of the magazine's pop culture side.
"I remember at camp, we had this yearbook that we put out at the end of each summer, and every year there would be a list of kids whose names and pictures couldn’t be in it, because they had a parent who wasn’t supposed to have any contact with them or know where they were. So we’d have to black out their faces. In retrospect, those poor kids. I can’t imagine"
Wait, what? Like, parental witness protection? Confused but mostly sad, this sound so sad.