This whole birth control kerfuffle has my inner feminist in an uproar.
It’s serious. I’m even more worked up than that time I watched a marathon of “Sister Wives” and “19 Kids and Counting” and then started screaming at Seth the moment he walked in the door: “I wear pants because I LIKE PANTS! And if I wear a skirt, it’s not to show deference to you because you’re a guy! It’s because it’s hot outside and I don’t want to wear pants! I don’t need to show deference! I am woman, hear me roar! You don’t wear the pants, I WEAR THE PANTS!”
Hear that Washington (and the rest of the free world)? Leave my uterus alone. I’ll stay out of yours, Congress, if you stay out of mine. Deal?
And it’s even worse because I’m not really much of a feminist. I’m more of a “whatever”-ist. A “why can’t we all be friends”-ist. A “do unto others”-ist. And “it’s none of my business what you do”-ist.
But lately, my friends, I have been wearing my ovaries with pride.
It all started when I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about a woman who decided not to take her husband’s name when they got married because, as a reporter, she felt she’d already established her professional identity using her maiden name. Then, a few years later, her husband was pressuring her to take his name and she was rethinking the idea.
“Hold your horses, dude,” I thought. “Why don’t you take HER name? She’s the one with the public career. You’re just Mr. Mom.”
Yeah, I went there. Reverse stereotypes are fun!
Apparently, I am the only person in America who thinks like that.
How do I know? Seth and I were sitting in Corks in Bluffton, enjoying a few middle-of-the-week cocktails and discussing a friend’s wedding, when I started wondering: Why did the world assume our friend was going to take her now-husband’s name? Would Seth expect me to take HIS name if pigs started flying and we somehow ended up married? I don’t like his last name! I don’t want to be left out of my family because I’m no longer a Harman! Where’s Dear Abby when you need her?
Seth, oblivious to my matrimonial panic, was pretty surprised when, instead of telling him what I wanted for dinner, I told him I wasn’t going to take his last name when we got married and that I thought he should take mine.
I’m chalking his immediate “Boys don’t take the girl’s last name. Nobody does that. The world would laugh at me” response to shock and surprise, because frankly, it made me mad enough to burn my bra.
The bartender jumped in with her 2 cents (she’s pro-guy’s last name, in case you were wondering. Her tip went down), and the old guy two barstools down laughed and called me a “crazy little gal.”
I know what you’re thinking: Oh no, he didn’t. Oh yes, he did.
Why, exactly, am I “crazy” for wanting to hold on to that part of my identity? Why, exactly, is it “crazy” for Seth to consider taking my last name? I know there are women who are excited about taking their husbands’ last names, but that’s what they WANT. What’s so wrong with me wanting something different?
And If Seth wanted to become “Mr. Ellis Awesome Last Name,” why does that make him less of a man? I don’t remember anything in wedding vows that say “until death do us part, so long as the bride takes the groom’s name.”
News flash, world: it’s not 1887; women can wear pants, too.