Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm still not changing my name.

Buffy the Name-Taker, by Ann at Feministing.

As a fifth anniversary gift to her husband, Freddie Prince, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar has changed her name to Sarah Michelle Prinze.

"On their anniversary, she showed [Freddie] her new driver's license," the source tells Us. "It was so sweet."

Despite the fact that Gellar Prinze has said she isn't a feminist, I was still pretty surprised by this. Does the concept of giving away your own name as a birthday gift seem a little fucked up to anyone else? It doesn't strike me as weird to change your name of your own accord, even several years into the marriage. But framing it as a "gift" makes it seem like a sacrifice rather than something she wanted to do for herself. Kind of like the difference between "I got a boob job because I wanted one" and "I got a boob job for my husband's birthday."

From the comments section on Defamer, Bufflekins weighs in on this announcement:

If only Reese Witherspoon had changed her name to Reese Phillippe...perhaps it could have changed so very much. Sigh. Oh well, so much poignant history.

String_Bean_Jen sums up my sentiments in the Feministing comments:

My insides always sag a little when I hear about women changing their surnames to their partners' upon marriage. It is practically the only 'choice' confronting women that I remain absolutely rigid on saying no to when it comes to calling one's self a feminist. I think it is a practice that needs to die and I have yet to hear/read a smart, solid argument about why a woman should or would choose to change her surname to her partner's upon marriage (or in this case, 5 years after marriage), even on this fabulous blog/forum.

And another gem from cherylp:

If it was really free choice, maybe the majority of society would acknowledge that I even have a choice... Yes women have a choice. By law. But in fact, the patriarchy places so much pressure on women to make one particular choice...

You are awesome, antigone. If it was truly a choice, wouldn't people choose things at about the same rate? But they don't, suggesting something else is going on.

This reminds me of the argument I've had a bazillion times about marriage with my mother (I'm not keen on participating). By all means, 'technically' I have a choice about that... but then why do 95% of people still do the same thing? I mean, wouldn't it be like 50/50 if it was a real choice?


Stephanie said...

Well I think you can still be a feminist and change your name. I don't care that she changed her name, I'm more upset at her claiming to not be a feminist when she portrayed one of TV's most pro-female heroes. (Don't think that is the correct term I'm going for but you catch my drift.)

I personally like what Annie and Patrick decided to do on Men in Trees. They didn't hyphenate, they combined both last names to create O'Bachelorton. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, its a sign of respect to her husband which feminists like yourself hate to show.

Never submit, never obey - the code of feminism. Everything you say reeks of that. You are so into yourself and your feminism that you are entirely uninterested in the pride/insecurities of your spouse. Wait, I stand corrected. Potential mates.

Stephanie said...

But what about showing respect for the female in the relationship? Our name is our identity too. What about our pride/insecurities? Why should females always be the ones to compromise and shed our identity?

I really get distressed that so many women misunderstand what Feminism MEANS!! It means a desire for EQUALITY between the sexes. It means we want MEN AND WOMEN TO BE EQUAL! You say never submit, never obey. I call it compromise between spouses or partners, which would have to happen in any type of relationship if it's going to work.

Chrissy said...

I am wondering if she is going by Sarah Michelle Prinze professionally now? Cuz Sarah Michelle Gellar rolls well and looks good on posters. Changing it to Prinze just looks funny.

It IS weird that she gave it as an anniversary present. I would be like "that's a lame present, all I need is a card." Hehehe.