As many of you don't care about, Ashlee Simpson (better referred to as ASShole Simpson on my beloved dlisted) married her longtime beau Pete Wentz. Great for them. (Unrelated--they've finally confirmed that she's knocked up as well.)
But imagine my irritation this morning when on multiple sources, including from Moxie I learn that ASShole Simpson truly earned her moniker with this gem of a comment about changing her last name:
"I think that that's something that a woman should do when they're marrying a man," the pop star lil' sis of Jessica Simpson told the magazine. "It's a tradition that I think is a great tradition."Ugh.
Why is it that we're going backwards? As many of you know, though I am married I have not changed my name. There are a number of reasons why for me, personally, this was the right decision. Not the least of those reasons was the fact that the historical reasoning behind the requirement that a woman change her last name to that of her husband was the same reasoning that saw her as property without any rights. Granted I don't feel that way in my marriage (and if I did I'd never have entered into it), but the "tradition" that ASS speaks of isn't a great tradition...it's a sad one.
I could tell you stories about the hassles I encountered when telling people I wasn't changing my name. I will let you know that Mr. SG isn't a fan of me keeping my name at all. And, as the priest that married us pointed out, a woman is either stuck with her father's name or her husband's name. That being true, this is the name that I have made for myself in my career and my life and it was staying that way. (Though I did compromise to add Mr. SG's last name before mine...something I have been too lazy/busy to do as of yet.)
Regardless, though I don't usually take comments from such an asinine source so seriously, I must say that this really rubbed me the wrong way. Not only was it a stupid comment, but it insinuated that women like me are wrong in some way for choosing not to change our names. Instead of being praised for showing that a heterosexual marriage doesn't have to be steeped in barbaric traditions of property ownership and female submission, we are looked at as if we are the loonies in the room.
These are the ways in which it makes me sad that my generation has not stepped up to the plate to accept feminism as a way of life. We take for granted the strides that were made to give us what we have and make asinine comments like the one above without recognizing what the 'tradition' truly means.
If it's the woman's well-intentioned and well-informed choice to change her name, then so be it. But if it's without any recognition that it was used for millenniums to ensure the second-class status of women, then I'll be damned if I sit by quietly and watch progress eroded right in front of me.