I’ve always been fascinated by the topic of marriage-induced name changes. Especially as a feminist (not the self-professed kind who will vote for a war criminal just because she has a vagina, but an actual feminist). To me, taking your husband’s name seems a mere tenet of The Patriarchy. So it’s hard for me to justify. But maybe it’s not that simple. Let’s discuss.
To start, what are names for? Identification purposes, mainly. If we didn’t have names, people wouldn’t know how to address us, and communication might break down. Names categorize us—they indicate what family we belong to, oftentimes where we come from, our gender, etc. But more than just logistical purposes, I think names serve to construct the subjective parts of our identity. Like, when a mom and dad decide to name their girl “Cash,” it’s because they want her to be different from the average “Rachel.” They want her to live up to the name she’s given, and I guarantee you that as she grows up, her name will help shape her. There’s no female “Cash” walking around who isn’t tragically hip, effortlessly attractive, and mysteriously unattainable. Rachel, on the other hand, wears lots of predictably solid-colored cotton shirts, has no layers in her hair, and her favorite flower is a red rose (with some white baby’s breath thrown in if she’s feeling frisky).
Names mold our identity so much so that some of us even change the ones we were given. If people feel like their names don’t represent who they are—whether because they’re gendered (or, in my case, androgynous), have some negative societal connotation (“Dick”), or everyone who shares them seems to be a massive tool (like, why is literally every individual named “Emma” a complete narcissist?)—they’ll re-brand themselves. And while I’ve always found this to be a foreign concept, (although to be fair, if my parents had named me Mark Sinclair, I would’ve changed it to Vin Diesel, too—mainly because Mark Sinclair sounds like a stuffy accountant and I don’t think Vin Diesel can do math), I at least respect the autonomy of it.
But when someone changes their last name to their spouse’s, that seems like anything but autonomy. Why basically label yourself as belonging to someone else? And of course the burden to change the name befalls women—but even in the rare cases where the man takes it on (please see: Marco Saldana), I would still argue that it’s wack. Because it signifies possession. And last I checked, humano a humano ownership isn’t considered cool (anyone remember a little thing called slavery?). But seriously. Taking someone’s name is in essence taking on their identity as your own. Why is that necessary?
And back to the gendered nature of it, because it’s impossible to ignore—it’s not that name-changing is problematic just because it’s a way to mark territory, but it is even more so because it is expected of women and not men—and thus just one more way the patriarchy reigns. It signifies that a husband possesses his wife; that she concedes to his ownership by way of his identity. I realize this sounds like some crazy conspiracy theory shit, and that’s because it is! On its face, women changing their last names to match their husbands’ is precisely a methodology of imprisoning them in their gender roles—the docile, subservient, agreeable wives.
I call bullshit. Why is this antiquated tradition continually practiced in our society? I, for one, won’t be changing my last name when I
never get married. And I salute all who’ve kept theirs—way to be strong, independent women who don’t need no man’s name. It is principled stands like this, aimed at establishing equality, that define feminism. (That said, if you were born with the last name “Hitler,” “Bieber,” or “Seaman,” then by all means, change that shit.)
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/should-women-change-their-name-when-they-get-married-lets-discuss/
You’d think the infinity “reunion specials” for each season of each Real Housewives franchise would be enough to answer any questions I have for them, but nope—I’ve got more. So here’s what I would ask the “Real Housewives” if I was ever graced with the chance to interview them.
1. Are you ever confronted with the utter meaninglessness of your existence and everything you hold dear?
2. Studies show you’ve singlehandedly kept the taffeta industry in business. Why?
Part b) Why?
3. Have you ever eaten bread?
Part b) And kept it down?
4. How many Chinese children did it take to bedazzle everything you own?
5. What’s up with your face?
6. How many homeless people have you hit & run with your Bentley?
A) At least 3
B) Approx 10
C) Def in the teens and Suge Knight’ed at least 4 of them too
7. Who will get to keep the offshore accounts when your marriage falls apart on national television—you or your husband?
8. Do you ever worry that your children will take after you?
9. How much do you pay your Mexican nanny/maid/personal assistant/cook/gardener/parent to your kids?
10. Are you jealous that your husband has more Botox than you?
11. Marry Fuck, marry, or
marry kill: Donald Sterling, Donald Trump, and Hugh Hefner?
12. How much money did you spend last year on throwing “charity events” and how much money did you actually raise for charity?
13. Is tax evasion an acquired skill, or are you just born with it?
14. Can you really be considered human if the majority of your body is composed of synthetic materials?
15. Which of the choices below would you use to describe your skin color?
16. It’s fair to say your marriage is a form of prostitution, correct?
17. But seriously your face though
18. Which of the below would you say best describes your fashion mantra?
A) “Every day is prom night!”
B) “If it’s not chunky, it’s not jewelry. #likevomit #asincannedbeefstew #see:myassbeforeIhaditreplaced“
C) “Your clothing should always be more expensive than the cost of clean water for any given impoverished country. Otherwise, how can you be sure you’re better than all those brown people?”
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/questions-ask-real-housewives-ever-chance-interview/
Existential crises: we all have them—some of us
every moment of every day more frequently, others who are kidding themselves into thinking they’re mentally stable less so. They may be triggered by a jarring experience or unexpected event, like you making one small, miniscule, arguably immaterial typo on a government application and having to pay thousands of dollars as a result (ONE LETTER—IT WAS ONE FUCKING LETTER WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO RUIN LIVES), or they may simply occur because existence makes absolutely no sense. Either way, you can survive them, despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Take it from someone well-acquainted with the existential crisis—here’s how to get through it.
Give your life a point
Because it doesn’t really have one, right? We all die eventually and the world will end one day, too (pls see: science). But if you don’t decide to make up some reason for which you’re living, you’ll just devolve into madness. So, yes, we accept the premise that our lives are pointless, but then we choose to move on from that, overlook it, and assign a meaning to things—one that we can believe in enough to make us buy the lie that we’re telling ourselves, that our existence isn’t futile. Whether it’s to be a crusader against corrupt insurance companies (some of us have accepted that this is apparently our destiny), or to create art that brings others relief, or to be the best barista this side of the Mason-Dixon line (but for real does anyone know where that is?), go after something, or multiple things, that you feel will have an impact you would like to make, even if it’s just in the short term.
To the crazy mess that is everything. Literally nothing makes sense. But the less you resent that, the more enjoyable life can be. I’m not saying you have to be thrilled with the everyday drudgery, but maybe, by accepting things the way they are, you’ll open yourself up to experiencing happier things, tiny and insignificant as they may be. Like if you forget for a moment that you have no direction in life, you may be able to genuinely laugh and find humor in something, like someone tripping on the sidewalk, or Donald Trump’s “hair,” or the stupid thing your boss just asked you to do [make sure to laugh uproariously right in their face for this one].
Remember you are most certainly not alone
Everyone is fighting their own battles all day every day, and you’d be surprised at how similar peoples’ struggles are. So take comfort in the fact that life is shit for everyone, not just you! We are miserable and we do love company.
You’ll realize that many brilliant minds have tackled the issues you’re facing (which is all just a way of saying you’re brilliant, of course—your apathetic disillusionment is a revolt against the hollow delusions of society at large and totally enhanced by your wardrobe of exclusively mismatched thrift shop clothing). Read some Kierkegaard, for fuck’s sake.
Preferably on the floor, as usual. Also preferably over the phone to someone—because for all their idiocy, people can sometimes be helpful/comforting. But def do not cry to someone in person because then they’d see your ugly cryface (is there any other kind?). Cry. it. out. And then pick up the pieces and move on. To your next existential crisis. Because they never end. #settlein
Remind yourself it could always be worse
Whatever spurs your existential crisis, try to remember all the things that could be worse. Even if yours is pretty bad, there’s always further down to go. At least in the
white first world. Like, I get it, but Flint; homelessness; no access to healthcare; no access to education; deportation; oppression; war. Look at it like you’re fortunate enough to even be able to have an existential crisis. People with real problems don’t have time for that shit. #tbh #don’tgetyourpantiesinatwistoverthefirstworldcomment #Iknowafewwhitepeoplehaverealproblemstoo
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/survive-existential-crisis/
Mon very kindly nominated me for the Brotherhood of the World Bloggers Award, which is appropriate considering I am often mistaken for a male given my generic, asexual name–thank you so much!
Here are my answers to Mon’s questions:
What is your favorite book?
The Catcher in the Rye
What’s one inspirational song?
“I’m a Little Teapot”
What made you a better person?
Literally nothing–I am a giant POS.
Your favorite quote?
“I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.”
Your favorite book?
Again? Or a second favorite? Probably Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf is my spirit animal.
Fitfortheroad kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award and it’s taken me too long to post about it–so sorry about that, and thank you! Please check out her wonderful blog!
Since I have previously done the Liebster post, I’ll just answer the great questions she asked in her post here 🙂
1. What’s your earliest memory?
I actually don’t remember… I feel like maybe it was playing on a rug at a family gathering of sorts when I was 1 or 2 ish? How lame is that.
2. What’s the one thing you secretly wish your current or future significant other would do, at least once – but you would never outright ask for? (example – sending flowers to your work or planning a weekend away and just “kidnapping” you for it)
Tell me everything he is thinking–literally everything–basically allow me to read his mind.
3. Pizza or Bacon?
4. Would you rather be rich and single or poor and married?
Poor and single.
5. A year with no internet or a year with no TV?
Year with no TV, because you can get TV on the Internet (see what I did there??? 😉 )
6. What’s your dream job?
7. What was the last movie that made you cry?
8. Have you ever had to order pizza (or some other takeout) because you burned/messed up cooking dinner?
No, I’ve just skipped the attempting to cook dinner part and gone straight for the takeout.
9. Describe your life using a movie title
He’s Just Not That Into You
10. How many tattoos do you have? How many do you want? (If you want any)
I have 6 or 7 and would like a few more I think.
Another nomination I am shamefully behind on–apologies! The wonderful, amazing, witty, hilarious Mindy nominated me for this–thank you so much, and everyone PLEASE check out her blog, it’s SO FANTASTIC and such a pleasure to read!! She’s the bees knees–honestly–and she’s a definite STAR and more than worthy of this award. As are so many other bloggers, but simply in the interest of time and making things easier on everyone, I’ll opt out of nominating others and will complete the questions-portion of the nomination (I know I’m breaking the rules about breaking the rules here, so again, sorry I’m the worst!).
Questions from Mindy, along with my answers:
1. You’re on a crowded train, and you’re no longer sure whether that’s the metal armrest from the chair behind you jutting into your upper thigh or someone’s hand… but you’re sweaty, famished and you no longer care. You’re five stops from home when the train comes to a screeching halt and the power goes out. The operator says it could be a while… luckily for you, you’ve got a bag of stale pretzels, an apple and a mealy peanut butter protein bar with you, along with half a bottle of water. 1. Do you think you should have reconsidered your food choices? 2. In what order do you consume your food and do you share?
2. Protein bar, pretzels, apple–healthiest last to increase the chances I won’t have room for it–and NO, especially not with someone who’s sticking their unwanted boner in my upper thigh.
2. You’re taking a bubble bath because you fucking deserve it, okay? You’re sitting there with complete disregard for the fact that baths are actually kind of gross because you’re sitting in your own filth, and you smell something starting to burn. What the hell, right, because you’re pretty sure you turned the oven off. Now that you think about it, you did turn the oven off. Go you. What scented bubble bath did you use and why?
Probably actually had to use unscented bubble bath because I have extra-sensitive skin 😦 Leave it to me to make what’s supposed to be one of the sexiest things into the least sexy version of itself possible.
3. You’re standing in line at Subway. The line is kind of long, giving you time to really think about what kind of sandwich you want. You’ve decided on a footlong honey oat with turkey and American cheese but you feel like spicin’ it up. You get some avocado simply because you can. After getting a coke and chips to go with your order, you sit down in the far corner, as the lunch rush really comes into swing. Upon taking your first sip of your drink you realize they gave you Pepsi. What do you do? And how long do you think the smell of Subway will stay in your clothes?
I really can’t tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke, so I probably wouldn’t do anything except keep drinking it. And ETERNITY.
Thanks for great questions Mindy!!
Crumpled Paper Cranes nominated me a while ago for the Liebster Award, but unfortunately, as I was saying in a post yesterday, I didn’t realize until just yesterday–so sorry again about that, and thank you so much for the nomination, I really appreciate it! Also, please go check out her wonderful blog!
1. Do you like black coffee? If so, why and how?
Yes! I’m in love with coffee–I’ll really drink it in any form. There’s just something so comforting about it.
2. If you could sing a duet with anyone in the world, who would that be?
Are we allowed to bring people back to life for this one? If so, Amy Winehouse.
3. Do your parents know of your worst childhood deed?
I don’t even know what it is–maybe I blocked it out because it was so bad? Oh god I hope not…
4. What is your latest topic of fixation/obsession/fascination?
5. You find yourself awake on a park bench, naked in a highly populated area. What do you do?
Apologize to all the onlookers for what they have to see.
6. Do you know how to cartwheel?
7. As a child, did you have a pogo stick?
Also no 😦
8. Who were the pop culture icons at the time of your childhood/teenhood?
‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, TLC, Destiny’s Child. You know, those 90s greats.
9. What makes you anxious?
10. Hummus, or guacamole? Your dip of choice.
Hummus ALL day. Replace “bass” with “hummus” in Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” and that’s me.
Aaron over at The Confusing Middle very kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award FOREVER ago and I took super long to do my post, for which I’m so sorry! But thank you very much to him for the nomination–and please go check out his blog, it’s wonderful!
Here are the rules… I modified some, so feel free to do the same!
- Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
- Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post.
- Nominate other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award and notify them of their nominations.
- Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
- Copy these rules in the post.
- ALL THE NOMINEES ARE FREE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE NOMINATION.
Here are the questions Aaron asked:
1. What is the greatest movie of all time?
Ooof, that’s a tough one. I’d say SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, if I had to choose one.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, I don’t remember. I feel like maybe a chef?
3. Have you become that thing you wanted to be? Why or why not?
I hardly cook now, so no. The microwave is my best friend (although I guess that counts as cooking, right??). I guess because I don’t love cooking as much as I used to or as much as I thought I did. Frankly, at this stage in my life, I don’t have the energy for it.
4. If you could live your life in a TV series, what would it be?
The Golden Girls.
5. You find yourself in an old school arcade and you have one quarter. What game do you play and why?
Pinball because it’s such an invigorating challenge.
6. How many of your Facebook “friends” do you actually consider to be friends?
I don’t really know (sorry, worst answer ever!)
7. Where is the farthest you’ve ever been from the place you call home?
Probably Europe, but I’m really bad with geography, so no promises.
8. What was your first pet and what did you name it?
I have very clear memories of having a hamster named Timothy, but my mom and sister say I made that up.
9. Coke or Pepsi?
I guess Coke just because I’ve had it more, but I can’t tell the difference. And actually they’re both made by terrible corporations so I should say neither.
10. What song do you hate to get stuck in your head? (It’s there now, isn’t it? Sorry. Not sorry.)
Lol, good one. Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.” Like, get real, Bruno, we all know you wouldn’t touch anything less than a 9.5 with any length of pole.
My nominees are (please check out their fabulous blogs! And apologies if any of these are repeat nominations and I didn’t catch that):
Crumpled Paper Cranes (she very kindly nominated me for the same award a long time ago, which I just accidentally stumbled upon today as I was looking at her blog and getting ready to nominate her here! So I won’t ask her to do another Liebster post, unless she wants to of course, but wanted to make sure I gave her the recognition she deserves here!)
My 10 questions for you are:
1. If you had to pick the thing you most regret not saying thus far in your life, what would it be?
2. What makes you cry?
3. Vanilla or chocolate?
4. If you had to die to save one person, who would you choose?
5. What one food item will you absolutely not eat?
6. Coffee or tea?
7. Book you wish you could un-read?
8. If you had a free pass to say one thing you wouldn’t normally say to your boss, what would it be? (Feel free to not answer if your boss will be reading this).
9. How many more times do you need to watch INTERSTELLAR before you understand it? Cause I’m currently at infinity.
10. If you had to get a tattoo of a saying, what would it be?
When it comes to questions job interviewees should ask their interviewers, people have it all wrong. None of this, “What day-to-day responsibilities would the position entail?” or, “What are you looking for in prospective candidates?” nonsense. There are much more pressing issues to be addressed. Such as:
1. What kinds of snacks do you keep in the office kitchen?
2. Will I have an office with a door I can shut more often than not?
3. Are leggings acceptable?
4. ^ That was rhetorical.
5. What are your feelings on nap breaks?
6. Define “sick day.”
7. On a scale of Bill Lumbergh to Michael Scott, where would my boss land?
8. Are the office supplies up for grabs (namely the tissue boxes and sticky notes)?
9. What’s the deal with maternity leave? Like, just purely hypothetically, if I got pregnant, how much time would I get off? And would I be required to carry the baby to term?
10. What’s the policy on in-office wet bars?
11. You give employees all religious holidays off, right? Like, it’s only fair. For example, I’m a scientologist and we are a legitimate religion because we bullied the IRS into giving us tax-exempt status and we consider Mondays and Fridays holy days–it would be blasphemous to work on them. You know, in the name of volcanic aliens.
12. I’ll need sufficient time during the work day for personal tasks. Will that be a problem?
13. Is crying in a ball on the floor an accepted practice at this company?
14. Infinite coffee breaks. That’s non-negotiable.
15. How well-received is hostility in the workplace here?
16. Will I
I refuse to be referred to as a “team member”?
17. Will words like “constructive” and “productive” be used in staff meetings
neither of which should ever happen?
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/17-questions-asking-job-interview/