I’m back, bitches!
I moved into my Chicago apartment on LaSalle Drive and am happy as a clam. I opened my mail box for the first time this week and received three pieces of mail. The first was a bill, of course. The second and third were cards. One a belated “wedding card” (whatever) and the other a holiday card. The two cards were addressed to Mr. & Mrs. X. They were from two of my husband’s relatives (my family knows better). I wish I could blame this on the fact that these relatives are of an older generation of people who don’t get that many women keep their names now. However, they are more indicative of the status quo than we would like to believe. I recently read a survey that said 70% of Americans believe women should change their names when they marry. A whopping 50% said that it should be required by law. When I showed my husband the cards he sighed and told me that when he saw these relatives at Thanksgiving, he told them that I did not change my name when we married.
Now some may think this is not a big deal but I do. It’s one in a series of assumptions that people have been making since I got married. They think that I will change my mind about not wanting children now that I am married. They think that I will “settle down” now that I am married, whatever that means. They assume that I cook for my husband. His mother has asked him more than once whether I cook for him and my mother even suggested that I do as a way to get him to eat healthier. My husband is a grown man. He is capable of taking care of himself and whether or not he is eating healthy is his responsibility, not mine. Besides, I only enjoy cooking for one. Cooking for more than one person takes too long and is too big of a time commitment. Call me selfish. Fine. Furthermore, my husband and I are two separate people. We do not like the same food. I don’t enjoy meat very much – he loves meat. I like various herbs and spices that he hates. We both do our own grocery shopping and cook our own food. I am not his mother. He is an adult. He was making his own food before I came along – why do people think this would change just because we are married?
So what’s in a name? A lot. This female name-change crap is a loaded issue. It is a representation of the NEW person that you are supposed to become when you marry. The assumption that I should now be known as Mrs. X is the Marriage Cult saying: “You’re doing it wrong.” Singlism is also part of the Marriage Cult. You are berated and pitied for being single, but when you do marry, the Cult shames or annoys you into silently acquiescing to a Stepford-esque marital persona that is designed to make everyone else comfortable, despite the fact that it is the furthest thing from an authentic version of you. There are things you are expected to do, wear, feel, think and buy in order for the community to feel that you are a real married couple.
To the above I respond: The Marriage Cult can kiss my Name-Keeping ass!