A ladyfriend of mine and I were recently exchanging romantic glances through the light aromatic steam lifting from our morning cups of coffee when mine slipped from my hands and fell to the floor, breaking into a million tiny telltale pieces. The scalding coffee seeping through my pant leg and melting the skin on my shin were but an afterthought as I pondered the untimely death of yet another promising relationship.
In this “fight,” no tears were shed. No epithets were yelled. And no dishes were thrown. But a single offhand comment was made, and that was more than enough. It was when “I won’t take my husband’s name when I marry” wandered out of her mouth that our relationship lost its footing. And it’s a damn slippery slope to climb back up.
Of course, I’m young and I am far from ready to declare myself as looking for a long-term relationship, let alone one that involves a ceremony. I will hopefully enjoy many romantic liaisons over the coming years and share unforgettable nights and never-ending mornings in bed, but principle differences are the strongest interpersonal contraceptive.
Call me old fashioned. Call me traditional. Call me chauvinistic. Call me whatever you will, but don’t emasculate me. Leave my manliness in tact.
I do understand that for centuries women have struggled in a patriarchal society and that the last name is one of the final fronts. But please understand our plight. This isn’t about establishing a hierarchy in the relationship or taking possession of you. As deeply rooted as it is in our societal traditions, it is even more so in the man’s bible. It is a privilege for a man to take a woman’s hand in marriage, and an even greater honor of offering our family name as a token of our undying devotion. Arguably more so than a ring.
Funny enough, The Gloss fancies itself a “progressive outlet” and this is what they have to say to potential advertising partners:
“The Gloss has launched. Now, a growing audience of savy, sophisticated women now have a place to visit for the latest on fashion, career, culture and relationships”. (“Now” redundancy is verbatim, and I wonder if such bad copy editing practices are not a reflection of something else at play).
So this is what passes for progressive women’s outlets nowadays? I think Luchino Visconti’s character in The Leopard pretty much summed it up: “Surely some small thing had to change, so that everything could remain the same”.
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