strange_raptors: Profile shot of Utena from Revolutionary Girl Utena. (Utena)
[personal profile] strange_raptors
I try to be a conscientious person. Often I don't choose my words as carefully as I could, and I don't sometimes understand the significance of bits of fail. I like to think I'm more aware of problematic issues than the average person. 

This makes it slightly difficult when it comes to marriage. Happily, marriage is no longer a solely religious ceremony and we are, of course, having a civil ceremony. However, even there seems to be a problem, in that I find the dichotomy between "marriage" and "civil partnerships" to be outdated and arcane. And in some way, even though I am aware of this and it is an unintentional by-product, I think that getting married supports this dichotomy. It's similar to the way that sending ones children to a private school supports the dichotomy between state and private education.

I am not conscientious enough to not get married because of this.

The second convention I could fight would be changing my surname. There are a multitude of reasons for and against this. I haven't finished weighing them all up. There are the high-level considerations, as in the marriage issue. Things like does my changing my name make it harder for other women to keep their surname? Does my changing my surname reinforce the patriarchal notion that I am now the property of my husband?

Of course, I would like to think not. But everything we do in public has an impact (minor or major) on other people and on society in general -- such decisions cannot be simply considered in isolation. Ultimately, of course, the aim is for women (and men) to feel free to keep or change their surnames when they get married. Having the same name as one's partner makes things like surnaming children much easier. But whether a matter of hypothetical convenience should influence the matter of supporting what is effectively an oppressive convention is up for debate also.

Footnote considers it to be sharing a surname, rather than my taking his name. And of course, to us, this is what it is. I would like to have the same name as him, he would like to have the same name as me. It is, along with the ceremony of getting married, a further commitment to one another. We would be happy to think up a completely different surname and both change, except that that almost seems wasteful when he has such a good surname already. And, superficially (that is, to people who don't know us now, or to society), that option is exactly the same as my taking his surname.  

There seems to be a dilemma between what I would like to do, and what I think I should do. I'd be interested in other people's opinions on this.


strange_raptors: And then raptors came through the stargate ... (Default)

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