I was recently involved in a discussion on Facebook about the dilemma of what to do with your surname when you get married. As a man, this is usually a no brainer, you just carry on as normal. As a woman however, we are faced with all kinds of options. Should we, as tradition dictates take his surname or do you just keep your own because that’s who you are or do you do something completely new and make up a whole new surname. As the discussion went on one of the participants commented that maybe we, as women should stop trying so hard to be equal to men.
“I do to a degree feel that we as women must be careful how much we take away from our men in the efforts to be ‘equal’ (not referring exclusively to the surname thing as who cares what my surname is)… I feel that sometimes we try so hard to be equal that we don’t give the opportunity to our husbands to treat us that more than… My hubby feels good about himself doing things for me and the family. Sometimes the woman needs to give away some control to her husband so that he can take the lead.”
This sexist comment really made my blood boil. In fact, for a few minutes I just sat staring blankly at my screen while I tried to gather some composure and respond to her in a way that wasn’t similar to a scene straight out of Alien v Predator. In the end, I decided that attacking someone else’s friend over their opinions was probably too troll like for me and I left a fairly blah response about how we should all just do what makes us happy. Truth is, that’s absolute bullshit. I certainly don’t want to be in a marriage with someone whereby I “let them” have power over me in some weak attempt at helping them feel like a real man.
Personally, I wouldn’t have married a man who could so easily feel undermined by my desire to be independent. I often say, I don’t need to be married or in a relationship and my marriage is by choice not because I felt the need to follow tradition. I want my husband in my life and I want to be married to him. I hope that’s why he married me, so that we could be two whole units together, not some sort of misguided half that found our missing other half and made us whole.
Remember when I wrote about loving yourself (if not, you can find that post here) well I think this is a part of that. Marriage should be a union of two independent people, who choose to be whole together instead of some sort of desperate need to “fix” each other.
So dearest husband of mine, I’m happy to be married to a man who does not feel the need to be married to a woman who tip toes around how much control he has. A man who is happy to be equal in our relationship instead of king of a castle with a wife only there to serve.