Making Unthinkable anti-feminist choices!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Now I have a bit of a reputation for being a bit "ranty" but what other people call ranty I like to define as passionate! I could go on a rant about the use of the word "ranty" itself, I could point out that much like it's cousins "bossy" and "bitchy" it is most often used to refer to a woman. I could point out that it is the type of word that belittles the entire point of an impassioned speech or viewpoint, and I could point out that it is just a bloody stupid word, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about something that came to my attention yesterday, something that truly annoyed me and made me want to fight my corner, and the corner of those who may not have a platform to fight their own. Today's post is about a response to an "article" written by one Polly Hudson in The Mirror it here if you wish

Now as you probably know I am getting married this year, in 19 days actually (exciting stuff!!) and apparently one decision I have taken in the lead up to my marriage is shockingly sexist and very anti-feminist of me! Yes dear readers I am taking my husband's surname! Not that shocking right? I would hope it wasn't that shocking, in fact the thought of my decision being anything other than completely natural bemuses me. But Polly Hudson seems to think that I am less of a feminist for making this decision, she seems to think that I haven't thought it through and that in fact my whole wedding is just a lesson in bowing to patriarchal ideals left over from a bygone age. And in response I couldn't help but ask "Is she for real?". 

Ms Hudson assumes that all of us brides that are taking our husbands' name are just doing it blindly without a second thought, because it is the done thing. She also calls it basically medieval, I wonder where she studied History because if that's her takeaway from Medieval studies I'd be worried she wasn't getting a well rounded education. 

I can't speak for all brides but I can assure you that there was A LOT of discussion around this name change issue, I was worried my family name would disappear if I didn't carry it on, but there are many many more cousins who can further our family name, so why should the task fall to me? I was also worried that I would lose my identity if I gave away my name so easily, and then I remembered that our identities are tied up in what we consume, what we believe and who we are, NOT what name we write on documents.  We discussed a double barrel compromise but come on Amanda-Jaied McCahery-Wathern is just bloody ridiculous!! But in the end the decision to become Amanda-Jaied Wathern was simple, I'm not taking my husband's name to bow down to him as my superior, I am not taking my husband's name because he said I had to, I am taking my husband's name because I want to! I want the world to know that I am married to that gentleman that just held the door open for me, I want the world to know that the happy guy that just made me piss myself laughing over something only we find funny is mine forever, I want to get that warm fuzzy feeling every time I write my new name and remember that a great man loves me enough to want to put up with me forever, and finally I want me, my husband and our children to be one unit, with one shared surname. This does not make me a bad feminist, this does not make me a dipsy woman that doesn't understand the choices I make in life, this simply makes me an ecstatically happy, future Mrs Wathern.

I think Polly Hudson should remember that feminism is not about bashing men, and fighting them every step of the way but instead it should be about giving women the freedom to make any choice that may impact on their lives. By writing a piece that belittles these choices and tries to make us feel bad for making them she is showing herself to be one of the worst kinds of feminists...the kind that believes that only her choice is the choice other feminists should be making. 

And one final thing she should probably think about is, if someone, somewhere along her family line hadn't done the unthinkable and taken their husband's name she wouldn't be the Polly HUDSON we are responding to today. 

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