Today we have a guest blogger! This is brought to you by V. (V stands for very talented). We didn't know eachother before yesterday but we both wrote about the same thing. Check out my take on this topic here.
A lot of people seem to like to get up in arms about women’s last names. Many people expect that I will, in fact, because I did not change my name when I got married. But it was far more than just a fem statement, it was a statement about labels.
Your name is your most basic label, isn’t it? People will label you in all sorts of ways. I know I’ve been labeled a few things I like, and many that I do not. Generally, they are constraining, no matter what, even if complimentary. I was always the smart kid, and I am sure many of you know, very personally, that “smart” usually comes in a package deal with many other labels which would be more fun to toss in the sewer than wear around through school days. I have been “new kid”, a “nerd”, “daddy’s shy girl” (barf, gag, ick), “musical”, “artsy-fartsy”, a “hippie”, “liberal” (haha…shocker there….) and many, many others. Hell, my dad even tried to pin me with “lesbian” several times, if I went too long without a boyfriend (I imagine this one will surface again soon.) He doesn’t mean it as a redneck would….he’s just dying to be Mr. Radical-Accepting Dad (a serious label he is strives to fulfill almost everyday), but sadly, all his kids are basically socially acceptable and there’s nothing too radical to have to accept about us. Poor dad. Anyway, where was I?
Right….names…labels….Of the many, many labels that all of us will wear during the course of our life, our name is the only one that we can keep forever. It can be a security blanket, a life-line tying us back to our roots and our history. It can trigger our memory to realize from where we have come, or a measuring stick to show how far we’ve come.
And it is the one label that you get, that only one that you can fulfill and define completely as you like. Very few people have my name, even fewer of my own generation. It’s mine and I didn’t want to let it go when I got married. I didn’t want anything to do with a symbolic gesture that made me feel like I was losing myself, or my history.
That being said, the whole married name debate really falls into the “choose your battles” category with me. I wouldn’t volunteer to change my name if I remarried, but it wouldn’t be an issue to make or break a relationship. If it came down to some seriously strong feelings or the Mr.’s side, I’d probably stuff my name into the middle name instead of losing it all together, and get on with life. Because as much as it’s me. It’s really only a label, and at this point, I’m pretty secure in the fact that I am no label, and I can survive beyond any names or labels that I gain or lose.
(V detests bios, but loves her daughter, knitting, and is always up for a new random project. She likes to blather on about all of these things at Spells With...)