The Old Coot doesn’t know your name

Here I go again, sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong. In the “Men are from Mars” – “Women are from Venus” arena. The compulsion struck me when the politicians and media pundits were embroiled in debate over the nomination of Amy Coney-Barrett for the Supreme Court. It wasn’t the politics that caught my attention; it was the double last name that she was saddled with, the hyphenated Coney-Barrett. 

Her original last name and her former identity were lost in the shuffle. Lost to her husband’s last name and a hyphen, placing her name in a secondary position. The old Amy Coney became a missing person. 

Here’s where I step in it; I just hope the water isn’t too deep. You be the judge. I throw down this gauntlet: you have a name – you keep the name, unless you go into a witness protection program. I’ve felt this way for a long time, ever since my 10-year high school reunion, back when you could pick up a phone book and find people. Locating the boys from my class was relatively simple, but not the girls, the ones who were married; they disappeared, left the planet so to speak, phonebook wise anyhow. 

I wonder how us men would react if we had to give up our last name when we got married? I don’t particularly like mine, but I wouldn’t want to lose it. Even to a hyphen. 

I get it, the history of the custom; it goes back to a time when women were considered property. First of their fathers, and then after they were “given” away in marriage to their husbands. Many wedding ceremonies still ask the question, “Who giveth this woman?” 

Do we still think that way? I don’t think so! So, why is it so hard to give up the practice? Just asking. Merlin Lessler-Cady (who I would be if the shoe was on the other foot).

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