Here’s something that I’ve been chewing on for no particular reason lately:
In the chapter on marriage in How to be a Woman, Caitlin Moran says this (from page 194): “When else do you get named something else? On joining a nunnery, or becoming a porn star. As an ostensibly joyful celebration of love, that’s bad company to be in.”
But here’s what I’ve been finding confusing (it doesn’t even affect me! Why, brain? WHYYYYY?!): women who - for damn-the-patriarchy reasons - refuse to change their surname when they marry usually have no problem keeping their original surname, WHICH IS THEIR FATHER’S SURNAME, thus continuing the whole patrilineal thing for at least their generation. AND some of those women also go on to give their children their husband’s name. The only way to get out of the system, therefore, (for those who want to) is to either change one’s surname upon signing up to feminism or to sit with one’s husband-to-be and a phone book* and pick one you both love.
Free advice. And tonight I’ll be able to fall asleep slightly faster.
*And, possibly, if you really want to think ahead, a baby names book to make sure that your current favourites match any potential new surname. If you’ve always loved the name Tom, for example, it helps not to have the surname Morrow. You’re welcome.