I think we should try to enliven the first week of the new year with a debate. Here is a fascinating question I found:
Women often debate whether to take their husband’s last name upon marriage.
Shouldn’t men have a right to ask for it back upon divorce?
I’m serious. If a woman doesn’t want to be married to a guy anymore, why should she be allowed to keep his last name? It wasn’t hers before they married.
I’m sure everybody knows what my opinion is, right? 🙂 For me, both people who relinquish their names upon marriage to mark themselves as some sort of an object belonging to their new lord and master and people who want to bear the last name of somebody who is out of their life are incomprehensible, weird creatures.
Come to think of it, the situation of these name-changers is especially ridiculous upon divorce. I’m a divorced person myself and I can’t really imagine wanting to introduce myself with my ex-husband’s last name to people. It would be the same as saying, “This man wants nothing to do with me but I’m still his possession. I won’t let him shake me off until some new guy picks me up and brands me as his acquisition.” Bleh.
Of course, having my ex-husband strut around with my last name would be even more bizarre. If I divorced him, it means I had become disappointed in his personal qualities and arrived at a conclusion that he is a shitty human being. I wouldn’t want to entrust said shitty human being with my name. God knows what weird things he might undertake while hiding under it. Then he moves on to the next owner, and I’m stuck with a last name he’s tarnished.
I think the best solution to the entire issue would be to have the courts decide which of the ex-spouses gets to keep the custody of their formerly shared last name. This would make both participants in the weird name-shedding ritual think twice before they choose to reaffirm patriarchal values in this bizarre way.
What do you think?