Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Solution to the Name Game Conundrum!

Feminists, we have a problem:

If you get married and take your husband's last name, you're an appendage to said husband. And that's BAD.

If you DON'T take your husband's name -- either because you never married him or because you married him but kept your own name -- then you still have YOUR FATHER'S last name, which means you are an appendage to your dad. Which, honestly, is kind of creepy in an icky way... so let's not go there.

(Oh, and... if you happen to NOT be part of the monogamous heteronormative binary borg... well, you're screwed. We have no idea what to do with you. Sorry, polys, genderqueers, and lesbians.)


Because, really, ladies... who wants to be an appendage? Let's face it -- appendages only look good on the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who knows how to wear his noodley appendages with style. And we know neither your husband nor your dad are the FSM. (Really. Don't blaspheme. That's just not cool, dude.)

So, what's a gal to do?

We need to have a last name, but the two options open to us right now are YOKES OF THE PATRIARCHY. And we radfemz won't STAND for that -- WILL WE?

Didn't think so.

This leaves us only one option:

(Actually, it leaves us two. Because I am SO GOOD, I came up with TWO awesome solutions to this problem.)

1) We must make up our own last name.

And you can't pick someone else's name, because that's being an appendage to that other person. AND WE DON'T WANT THAT. (Remember?) Just pick something cool, that you like. And make that your last name.

For example: I shall heretofore be known as Criss L. Bananalaffytaffy. Freddy shall heretofore be known as Freddy Thebatman.

When Troy Emmitt is born, he'll hyphenate his parents' names (so he'll be Troy Emmitt Bananalaffytaffy-Thebatman*), until he's eighteen. On his eighteenth birthday, he'll pick his own last name, to replace the hyphenizationing.

*"Bananalaffytaffy" goes before "Thebatman" because you have to follow alphabetical order. Otherwise, chaos ensues.

Now, I know this option will not work for EVERYone, because some people like to have a little more continuity (or "lineage") in their families, so they can go on genealogy websites and find out if they're related to anybody famous. This is why I've designed Option #2:

2) Instead of a last NAME, everyone gets a last NUMBER.

For example, the last four digits of your Social Security number. Or your driver's license number.

So, let's say my number is 0805. And Freddy's number is 2010. I'd be Criss L. 0805, and he'd be Freddy 2010.

When Troy Emmitt is born, his last name number will be THE SUM of both his parents' last names numbers. (GENIUS, isn't it?) So he'd be Troy Emmitt 2815.

Let's say one day he marries a girl named Eugenia 3715. Their kids, my grandkids, would have the last name number 6530. See how simple it is? And you can totally trace family histories by subtracting. Everybody wins!

So, who's on board with this plan?


  1. Our solution: I tell people we both kept our names when we got always makes them stop and think for a minute.

    But as we get ready to bring our first child into the world we decided to give him/her their own last name that is a combination our our respective last names.

  2. You are hilarious, and right on.

    Also, I'm totally on board.

    kelly doubleespressowithashotofchocolate

  3. That would be interesting, Nicole!Unfortunately, though, that wouldn't work with my brother and his wife's last name. Because my brother actually thought of that, but his wife ixnayed it in the bud right away. Understandable, since their last name would have been Clones, then. ^_^;

  4. I have a friend whose parents made up a last name when she was born. Just... randomly. She was quite happy to then change it to her husband's when she got married, since she saw no emotional/family connection to her maiden name at all, saw no reason to keep it.

  5. Um, my family's ancestors come from Germany. They changed their name from Hecht to Heck. You can imagine the teasing and whatnot that many of the children who first had to adopt that name would have had at their expense. But they still have an emotional connection to that name, simply because it was the one they grew up with.

    I think the emotional connection depends on what your personal experiences with it are, not on whether it was a different last name or not...?

  6. Because I am so very with it, I completely MISSED THAT YOU'RE PREGNANT. So, belated congratulations, and all that.

    As to the last name conundrum, I think it's acceptable to choose your spouse's family name if you like it, or it has entertainment value. But it must be a choice.

    And actually, one does not really NEED a last name. Once can go the diva route like Cher...I'm embracing my inner diva these days (on alternate days I embrace my inner bitch. Keeps the spouse-thing guessing.)

  7. @freewomansholyinheritance: "I think the emotional connection depends on what your personal experiences with it are, not on whether it was a different last name or not...?"

    Exactly. This is why it's up to each individual person to decide what to do with hir last name, and it's not up to anyone else to judge or call names about that decision.

    Thanks! :)

    And, yes -- embracing divahood also is a most acceptable (and encouraged) solution to the conundrum.

  8. Love it! Off to think of my new last name.

    Amanda TBA

  9. This reminds me of the episode of "Friends" where Phoebe changes her name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock.

    -MeggRo No New Last Name Yet