After a heads up from Feministing, I learned that the American Sociological Association put out the results of a recent study showing that about 70% of Americans believe that women should take their husband’s last names when they get married and 50% think it should be a legal requirement. Wow. Although I am not one to put too much stock into polls (I, nor anyone close to me has ever been polled about anything remotely significant so I have no idea where they get these people and their opinions), that’s a large percentage for something so traditional and antiquated. And BY LAW? Why?
I am at that age where more and more of my friends are getting married. I’ve noticed a trend among the women to keep their own last names to the complete exclusion of their husband’s or to take their spouse’s name name in addition to theirs (with and without hyphens). That’s not to say that the majority of women in America don’t take their husband’s names, but maybe it’s a generational thing that not too many of my peers feel obligated to take their husband’s name.
One common characteristic of the women who haven’t totally forsaken their own names is that they are extremely ambitious. Maybe they’ve already accomplished a significant amount in their lives and certainly plan to continue doing so. In my opinion, it’s just not fair to assume (or in the case of any legislation, mandate) I will change my name and erase this identity that has existed for 27 or more years. An identity that has been through a lot and accomplished much more. I agree with Jessica at Feministing when she says
What’s really distressing about this news – Laura Hamilton, the study’s lead author says that when respondents were asked why they thought women should change their last names, “they told us that women should lose their own identity when they marry and become a part of the man and his family.” Continue reading
Girl, let me be your manager, er, lawyer!
Leave me at the altar and I’m not going to kill you (á la the recent, so-called “angry women killers” in the Gatti and McNair cases). No, I’m going to get you where it really hurts. I’m going to sue your ass (or at least try to).
So by now maybe you’ve heard of how San Antonio Spurs player Richard Jefferson (formerly of the NJ Nets) notified his bride-to-be 2 HOURS before their wedding that he wasn’t coming. Although the wedding party made the best out of a bad situation, they partied and charged up his Black African American Express Card, I’m sure fiancée Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols was not a happy camper. Being the litigious recent law graduate that I am, I read this story and immediately thought about how I would find some remedy in the courts for this. It’s just not right. When I took a course called economics of divorce, we talked about whether a person could claim for a broken engagement but didn’t get around to being left at the altar. While in most places you cannot sue for a broken engagement, I think taking the “promise to marry” up to the point where all of HIS friends and family are waiting at the wedding location takes the agreement to an almost finalized place. Here are the three ways I would try and go Judge Mathis on his ass: Continue reading
I’m wondering if some of us are looking for something in relationships that is just plain unrealistic and which does not exist? Maybe we need to get real and lower the bar a little. But how do you do that without feeling like you’re settling?
I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend tonight. My girl called me up and we talked for over 3 hours. We’ve known each other since 6th grade, but we became friends in 7th grade after she got into some fight with another chick who was beefing with me. She’s been married for about three years now. As we were catching up, the conversation got around to who I was seeing and all that. I said no one and we started talking about dating since my last relationship (which was nearly two years ago). All of that led to a discussion about what’s more important and what to look for in a partner.
I was telling my girl about a couple of really good guys that I know. These guys are what you would call the practical choice. They’re smart, independent, doing well in their respective careers, family-oriented, funny, sweet, and most importantly, they deal with my crazy ass. On paper, they stack up pretty well and if you were hiring for a husband, well you’d definitely invite them in for a second and third interview. Still, there is something holding me back from seriously trying to build anything with them. There’s a piece missing. I always say it’s a certain je ne sais quoi. I guess I mean there’s no spark. Isn’t there supposed to be a spark?
By that I mean isn’t there supposed to be some kind of passion there? I was having a similar talk with another close girl friend who was telling me about a guy she knows who just gets under her skin every time. He’s totally in her system. The problem is, he really ain’t shit. That’s when I realized that that is the way it always seems to go. I can definitely identify. I’ve met men who, just the thought of them, could get me excited, make me smile and make me think back to… well, shared moments. Usually, it’s the guys who really get you going (usually for some reason you can’t even explain) are the ones who lack all of those other practical qualities one would want in a partner. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to combine those men together? Can’t you have a man with all of those practical, stable, desirable qualities who you also can’t stop thinking about for a single day? A man that gets under your skin? A man that makes you feel silly and giddy and girly? Continue reading
I have no concept whatsoever of what it’s like to be a child of divorced parents. I just saw this girl on the show Private Practice crying because she thought her parents were going to get back together. I really can’t understand what that must be like. My parents were never married to begin with. Where I grew up, I can’t recall ANY of my friends’ parents being married. Well, wait, I just thought of one, but that’s it. I can usually empathize with people on a number of things but that one I can’t.
I know it’s harsh, but sometimes I want to be like so what. In situations where your parents both still love you and still want to see you and likely don’t live that far away from one another, why does it hurt so much if they don’t love each other anymore? Maybe it’s not that deep. People love each other and get divorced. Perhaps they can’t get along or someone was cheating. Either way, I can’t understand why kids get so bent out of shape about it. I’m not talking about little kids either, because I can see why they might bug out. I’m talking 12-17 year olds. Hell, even adults bug when their parents break up. Folks end up in therapy for years over their parents’ breakup!
I’m not saying they don’t have a right to be sad or angry. Not at all. I’m just saying I have no frame of reference for that and therefore I cannot empathize or understand where that sadness/anger stems from.
I never wished my parents were together. Clearly they don’t even like each other that much. I just wanted them to be better parents independent of one another. My grandparents were married but ended up being separated. They never got divorced but saw other people. My grandad had a child with another woman. Nobody got bent out of shape. That child, my aunt, is just as much a part of the family as anyone else. It was just understood in my family and neighborhood that relationships don’t always work out. People have kids but don’t get married. Marriages that do happen are not long lasting.
I want to get married. I want to be married once and that’s all, preferably. I don’t think one should rush into divorce, but sometimes I do believe it’s necessary. Yet if I didn’t get married, no one would fuss. I have friends whose parents pester them about when they’re going to get hitched. My family has never ever ever asked me that question. Ever. They could care less I think. I don’t know why I want to get married or why I have these strong ideals set around marriage but I do. Maybe it’s a push in the opposite direction from what I’ve known for so long. I do a lot of things opposite from my family.
Are your parents divorced or together? What’s the big deal about it all?