Thursday, June 09, 2005

Can someone say "consciousness raising"?

Over at arse poetica, a few of us are having a discussion about the names women use after they are married. I know...again, but this time it is because ae is fed up with the way the press treats Cherie Booth (or Cherie Blair, depending on who she is that day, and that drives me crazy, too). But it is a subject that never fails to frustrate me. In this discussion, we are also talking about the offensive term "maiden name," which no one wants to let go of, and which, it seems, only a few of us complain about.

Women still keep (or, refeshingly, don't keep) their "maiden" names. Girls still talk about their fathers' "giving them away" in marriage. This is the stuff of the people who "hate us for our freedom," but then--thousands of them live right here with us. Their numbers are growing. But what about the ones who are not anti-feminist? They simply accept phrases in our language that subjugate women and keep using those phrases. To point out that "maiden name" is offensive is to be "politically correct" (a social sin) or to be preoccupied with "unimportant" things.

I beg to differ.

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