Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Triflin' Hyphen Strife

Recently I’ve been thinking about a trend that I really don’t like in today’s society, and that’s the hyphenated conjunction of the male and the female’s last name upon marriage. You see this mostly among liberals and feminists. The idea behind such a "progressive" merger of last names is that the man's name should not dominate the woman's, that traditional last names are symbolic of this oppression, and by joining the two it symbolizes their equality...blah blah blah. Is this really the most practical place for feminists to take a stand? I'm all in favor of the woman keeping her old last name as is, not merging or altering it at all, especially in cases where she has a workplace identity she wishes to uphold; I suppose printing off hundreds of new business cards and the like can be a hassle! But I fail to see the miraculous newfound freedom that formerly oppressed females receive from longer surnames. The only thing such mergers truly serve to do, in my opinion, is stick up your nose at your barbaric, unenlightened, draconian one-named peers. The movie Hot Tub Time Machine, rife with high-brow social observations as it is, expands on this theory.

Now obviously, don't take offense if you have such a name and my speculation as to your intentions is misguided. In fact one of my Aunt's is named as such, and she is a very nice lady (although she lives in San Francisco...I told you!!!) But there are better ways to unleash your inner-feminist by protesting our chauvinistic society. When speaking in the second person plural, say "you folks" instead of "you guys". At your marriage, have a female do the service instead of a male. Better yet, let the girl pay for her own dinner and movie ticket (hey, I might get used to this feminism stuff after all). Have your daughter try out for the baseball team for all I care, just don't make it so that her name(s) won't fit on the back of her jersey.

But as annoying as this trend is at the moment, it would be a nightmare if it ever caught on into the mainstream. Because what happens when Barbara McIlvaine-Smith's daughter falls in love with my Pastor's son, Vanya Seamon-McGowan? We'd have a cute little married couple of Barbara and Vanya McIlvaine-Smith-Seamon-McGowan. And then their daughter would marry my aunt's son, Ian Doris-Bates, and their daughter Mary Lou could marry my neighbor Brendan Hayes-Oberest, and Ta-Da: we now have a Mary Lou McIlvaine-Smith-Seamon-McGowan-Doris-Bates-Hayes-Oberest running around.

We're not just talking inconvenience, I'm pretty sure this trend has doomed many a once-great empire. Maybe Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii would have been able to keep her throne had her generals been able to address her by name. Maybe Soviet Russia would have endured had they been able to fit names like Nataliya Alexandrovna Ivanova on the welfare checks. Maybe the sun would still never set on the British empire if the King's didn't have to waste their energy saying sentences like "I hereby knight you Sir Terrance Michael John Adamson Lee Cavendish the Sixth, the Valiant, of Shropshire!" Ok, maybe not, but names that can be uttered in two breif grunts still work just fine for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment