If you look for book recommendations amongst my blog posts, you will see I recommend Jennifer Weiner again and again. I have read all her books and would consider myself a HUGE fan. I dream of becoming a published author and if I could become a writer with 1% of her gift and success I would exceed my wildest dreams.
She is a guest columnist for the New York Times and normally I enjoy what she has to say. But her latest column, J-Lo Is Now Jennifer Affleck. Why That Matters, kind of pissed me off. She takes issue with J.Lo referring to her self by her new husband's surname:
"Ms. Affleck may be surrendering to the power of love with this, her fourth marriage. But given the cringe-y history behind the practice, a woman taking her husband’s last name feels to me like a submission — a gesture that doesn’t say “I belong with him” so much as “I belong to him.” And at this fraught moment for feminism in America, a woman like the former Jennifer Lopez deciding to change her name feels especially dispiriting."
UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH (also, note the dig "this, her fourth marriage")
I thought fighting for everyone to have choices, to be able to make their own decisions without fear of retribution or punishment, is what progressiveness is all about.
Jennifer Weiner writes: "Maybe the question of whether or not a pop star-slash-global-brand changes her last name feels unimportant...But these gestures matter. Names confer identity. And married women continue to give theirs up, while married men rarely reciprocate."
I really don't care what name anyone goes by - keep your name, change your name, hyphenate your name, use a symbol -- do whatever makes you happy. My choice doesn't mean your choice is wrong -- it's just a different choice.
But this constant requirement to navigate the "right" choice among all the potential choices, of all the very many things we need to worry about, in a way that doesn't upset others or worst case, "cancel" you, is exhausting.
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