Good Lord, we’re finally married.

6 Responses

  1. Elia says:

    My opinion is that it doesn't make much sense anymore in the 21st century to adopt the husband's name. I met some women journalists & university professors in Africa (not in Benin) though, that had not changed their last names after getting married, even though they were still in charge of all the housework, raising the kids, etc. I don't think in this day and age a woman needs to change her last name, in the US or in Benin. There are other ways to show people that you're married.

  2. theresac says:

    3rd wave feminism is all about choice, right? This is mine. :)

    It's not really a question of showing that we're married. In our case, my partner left the decision entirely to me, although I knew he wanted me to change it. We also both knew that here in Benin, it would be an uphill fight for me to keep "Carpenter" instead of "Sondjo," not to mention that nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, would understand. Not family, not friends, not immigration officials, not anyone.

    We've already been through the hassles of trying to go through immigration and customs as a mixed family. First thing they do? Ask for passports to see if the last names are the same. Oh wait, they're not? Separate lines. We could fight the sexism of it, and we could spend our entire lives in a battle for the right of recognition for our marriage. But do we really want to? We have friends (also mixed couples) who've immigrated to several western countries, and the consensus seems to be that life is just a little bit easier with the same last names.

    Yes, I have the right to my own last name. However, with all of the other battles we fight daily, this is one I'm choosing not to fight.

    Also, it makes me happy to be "Madame Sondjo." And that counts for more than anything else.

  3. Elia says:

    I know this is a sensitive subject and that one is free to do as she pleases. I commented on your post because you asked for readers thoughts, and mine is firmly against name changing as I stated in a post in my own blog a few months ago in Spanish (although Google translate can give you an idea). From that post, I would recommend an article from Slate that I quoted, especially the last paragraph that calls third wave feminism "shallow, satisfying, lipstick feminism".

    • theresac says:

      Oh sure! I wasn't offended! Just clarifying that it was an informed,
      thoughtful choice.

      I think it's important to draw a distinction between women who make
      informed choices, and women who use feminism as an excuse to beat down
      other women in conforming to the patriarchy's outrageous standards of
      femininity. There's a huge difference between saying, “I want to look
      nice today because it makes me feel good,” and “I want to look super
      sexed up today because the male attention makes me feel better about
      my patriarchy induced insecurities.”

      We live in a patriarchal world, and there's no getting around it.
      Feminism is HUGE, and by huge, I mean that equality will only come
      with immigration reform, poverty reduction, an overhaul of the
      education system, reducing/ eliminating the “digital divide,”
      improving access to credit, etc. Sometimes, I feel like the only
      rational choice is revolution.

      But the thing is, there are things I want out of my life, and that
      means having to pick my battles.

  4. Matajak says:

    The whole purpose of feminism is to be able to make a choice, which is what we "could not do" prior to the "radical 60's and 70's feminist" revolution. To say that one is right or wrong about changing one's name (male or female) when one gets married is not what feminism touts. It's having the freedom of choice; of not being "forced" to make a decision one is not comfortable with, due to society's mores.

  5. Wyn says:

    I still read your blog from time to time!! Old habits die slowly. At any rate, just let me say congratulations on your marriage. I took my husband's name nearly 30 years ago because it just seemed easier in the long run. It had nothing to do with feminism (and I am one of the biggest proponents of women having choices) and yes, it was initially a hassle to change all documents. Hope your life continues on the positive note that I've been reading for many months. Wyn (Garrett's mom)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge