It’s fine if you want to get married, as long as you do it our way!

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Generally, I like to write a blog entry as soon as possible after seeing whatever it is that the entry is about. If I see a ridiculous feminist meme, I write about it that night. I do this for two reasons: 1) It allows me to get the ideas out of my brain and on to paper while they are still fresh, relevant and cogent and 2) it means I don’t have to spend longer than necessary with the frustrations of whatever hysterical, hypocritical bullshit is being spouted in my mind. The sooner I can rant and move on, the better.

This one, however, has been sitting in that dark corner of my mind for days. I saw the article that is the focus of this blog about a week ago and, pretty much as soon as I saw it, sat down to write this very entry. One week, 3 partial drafts, one completely unrelated blog entry (‘What About The Boys?’), an article for www.mhro.ca and a serious case of writer’s block later and I’m trying draft number 4. Never spent so much effort on a blog that, in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn’t even call one of the ‘big 4’.

Not that I have a ‘big 4’ or anything, but there are some entries that I think are better, or more important and relevant, than others. Some of them are just general comments, some of them are real digs at what I consider to be the victimhood that feminism enshrouds women in. This entry falls in the middle, the general topic of the article I’ll be referring to is so miniscule in the whole picture of humanity as to not require much attention, but it also highlights, quite well I think, the way that feminism, as a whole, seems to be made up mostly of small battles, as opposed to big ‘wars’.

If you consider the reasons the feminist movement was set up – the right to vote, equality with men, etc, etc, most of that stuff has been won. There’s very few, if any, ‘big’ issues the feminists can still fight over. They can work, they can own property, they have the right to vote, they have the right to compete in sports, they have the right to drive, there are numerous laws and resources that benefit them and various other big battles. So what do they have to look forward to now? In order to keep the feminism flame alive, what battles are left to fight? Well, if this blog has shown you anything it’s that there are very few true battles left. Instead, they like to focus on little trivial instances, or twist things to suit their agenda. It’s very frustrating to read article after article that takes something either very trivial, or something that equally applies to both sexes and try to spin it to portray women as the victims.

The focus of this particular entry is the following article:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/07/women-stop-changing-your-name-when-married?commentpage=2

This is something I’m torn on. In one sense I absolutely agree that if a woman doesn’t want to change her name, or if they both agree that they should take a double-barrelled name, then she shouldn’t have to. Having said that, what I get from this article is the immediate sense of victimhood. Of course, the only reason women change their name after they get married is because of the great oppression they feel. What this woman so, predictably, fails to take into account is one particular reason that I have encountered personally – the woman wants to take the man’s name. No reasons why, no feeling the need to explain it to people whose business it’s none of, just the nice, simple reason of ‘I wanted to take my husband’s name’. You see, to some people, incredibly, taking the husband’s last name is still a major part of getting married, it helps complete and solidify the deal. You can complain all you want about it being oppressive, or how it links back to a time when marriage signified a man’s ‘ownership’ of his wife, but you cannot legislate for personal opinion. I’ve said this before, feminism seems to be of the opinion that only what they value is worth anyone. If you want to take your husband’s name for the sole reason of just ‘wanting to’ then you’re a failure of a woman, only caught up in oppression and nothing more.

The paragraph in which she lists some reasons that women give strikes me as odd. Those reasons sound, to me, like they are coming from women under pressure to think of a reason other than ‘I wanted to take his name’. Now, I could be massively off the mark, but it sounds like the author of the article isn’t happy with ‘I wanted to’ as an answer, which leads her friends no Facebook to think of other reasons so as not to be shamed for sticking to such an oppressive tradition. Once again, feminism shames women for having an opinion that just happens to differ.

The whole issue of identity is not one I have a problem with. I agree, names and identities go hand in hand, to some degree. However, a name only has as much importance as you put in it. Look, I’ve said numerous times, John Salmon is not my real name, I made it up, rather randomly, before starting this blog. It means nothing, it’s just two random words put together. However, my identity is much more than that. Admittedly, my real name carries much more importance because I’ve had it since I was born, but I have plenty of friends I went to school with who changed their surnames due ot their parents remarrying or something like that. It happens, things change and, honestly, it only affects your life as much as you let it. I could change my name tomorrow from John Salmon to Mr Twinklypants and nothing would happen. This blog would contain the same material. In this particular situation I am not identifiable by my name, I am identifiable by my views. If anything, this account proves just how little a name can truly mean.

I’m not saying that’s the same for all people. Sometimes, a lot rests on a name, big business for example. And I get that some women don’t want to automatically change their name to their husband’s after marriage. I get it. But that’s not what this is about. If they want to change their names, great. If they don’t, great. The problem I have is with feminists like this author who try and shame those who do stick to the traditional customs of marriage. Shame them for no other reason than they don’t agree, and then present reasons that are pure subjective but presented as absolute truth. I wrote in a previous blog about a feminism who publicly berated my future girlfriend within the first 2 weeks of university. Her crime: wanting to get married and be a good wife. You see, some people have differing views. It’s not a bad thing, feminism doesn’t have to make a battle out of every little thing. They particularly don’t need to be alienating the people they are claiming to help. By all means, offer your support, but to pontificate on a subject as if yours is the absolute truth, the only opinion worth giving two shits about is a cast-iron way to drive away the people you should be aiming to make the backbone of your movement.

The thing that pisses me off about this is the fact I have firsthand experience. I was best man at my mate’s wedding not so long ago and his wife, while in no way a traditionalist, couldn’t wait to take his name. IT wasn’t through a patriarchal indoctrination or feelings of oppression, nor was it because ‘his name sounded better’ or any other bullshit reason. It was the simple reason of ‘I wanted to’. For whatever reason, this woman decided she wanted to take her husband’s name. She’s intelligent, she has a degree, she’s not a pushover, she changed the vows they made so she wouldn’t have to use the word ‘obey’, yet she wanted to take his name. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Unless you’re a feminist of course.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that having an opinion different to that of feminists is somehow the worst thing ever, she decides to finish her article with some typical feminist rhetoric about ‘several thousand years’ of discrimination. Way to void your point in one sentence. So, what we have here is a feminist who doesn’t like the idea of taking the man’s name after marriage, doesn’t think there are any reasons good enough for those that do, and believe men’s feelings on the issue don’t count because they’ve not been oppressed since the dawn of time. Sounds fairly typical to me.

Girls, if you want to take your husband’s name when you get married, do it. If you don’t, don’t do it. It’s your decision, and it’s only your decision that matters. See, I think I make a better feminist than the feminists. Fuck, that’s not good!

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