Saturday, December 31, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
A Lucy Stoner, that is.
For the past two months, I have been fixated on this fact. Regarding most other issues, I think people should make their own decisions and select the path that is best for them. Like picking your favorite ice cream, supporting a World Cup team outside of your own country, or living a polyamorous lifestyle. You can choose your choice. Be you. Do what you do.
Except changing your name.
Don't do it.
I am so "free to be you and me" about many things, but about this, I am adamantly opposed. I have strong words and feelings. I have blogged about this before. I recently reread the very post I made three years ago on Feministe, probably my most commented-on post ever, and I giggled at my clever condemnations. I'm funny.
I have had an increasing number of friends, classmates, colleagues, and people I may have met before, either message me or request to connect with me on various social media sites, after they have changed their last name. My immediate internal reaction has been a perplexed, "who are you?" I am genuinely puzzled by individuals whom I either knew personally or in passing as "Jennifer Chang", who are now contacting me as "Jennifer Valenzuela", and expecting me to know who they are, without a note or a picture attached. Dude, give me a heads up. I wasn't invited to your wedding, so how am I supposed to know that you changed both your last name and your cultural heritage? Unless you have a striking first name like Fantasia or Ivanka or AnnaSophia, I'm going to need more to go on before I can attest that we "went to school together" or "associate with the same professional organization."
If I was invited to your wedding, thank you, friends! I still heart you, and I will call you whatever you like, even Princess Consuela Bananahammock.
For more on this subject, I direct you to these posts on Weddingbee, a division of eHarmony:
How to *Not* Change Your Last Name, by Mrs. Prairie Dog.
On Having Second Thoughts, by Mrs. Parasol.
Maiden Voyage, by Mrs. Bruschetta.
Not Changing, by Mrs. Cinnamon Bun.
These ladies are all much more polite in their musings than I am in mine.
Readers, feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section!