Feminism and Anti-Feminism
I went and had a beer with the other Sociology grad students yesterday (and a bunch of evolutionary psychologists, but I forgive them for that), and the topic turned to feminism and surnames. When AB and I got married we didn’t take each other’s surname, but not for any ideological reasons – I don’t want her last name and she doesn’t want mine. We have always wanted a common last name though, if only to assert to unbelievers that yes, we are just as married as a straight couple would be. Our plan is to both take her great-grandmother’s maiden name, which wasn’t passed on, and which was given to AB as a middle name. For various reasons this has not happened yet (what? We’ve only been married for four years!), but will in the foreseeable future.
T, a female grad student with decidedly feminist sensibilities, shared that when her and her (male) partner get married, she will take his name. She’s never been all that attached to her surname, and it is important to her partner for his wife and kids to have his last name. She’s aware that her lack of attachment to her name and his attachment to his name is part of their socially constructed gender roles, but it’s not something that she particularly cares about. I can respect that, even thought it surprised me. T said that people have accused her of being anti-feminist because of her willingness to take her husband’s last name, which I think it bullshit. After all, feminism is about empowering people to make their own decisions, not dictating what their decisions must be.
So lay off telling people what isn’t feminist enough/is too feminist. It’s none of your damn business.
Badge from Feministing.