My Father's Name

[originally written as a rant on my tumblr]

I swear to dog the next time I hear someone talk about a woman taking her husband's name as a contrast between "her husband's name" and "her father's name" I AM GOING TO BITE YOU. VERY VERY HARD. NOT IN THE SEXY WAY. 
Because this name that I have right now, the one that’s been on all my paperwork for twenty fucking seven years, THAT IS MY NAME.  Mine.  MY name.

My father shares it, yes.  As does much of his extended family.  This is true.  And it is also true that I share a last name with his family, rather than with my mother’s family.

But that
does not
make it

I have not been going around in the world for twenty-seven years answering to a borrowed name.

Every time I wrote it on a piece of paper for school,
every time I answered to it in roll call,
every time I responded to it at rugby practice,
every time I have entered it on DMV forms
and medical forms
and tax forms,
I have claimed it as MINE.

If (when, gods willing) Ozz and I get married someday, if I choose to change my last name*, it will be me choosing to exchange my name for his.  Not me giving up my father’s name in order to take on my husband’s name.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t you fucking dare act like my name doesn’t really belong to me, just because it belonged to a man before me.  He doesn’t keep ownership of the name we share because I bear it, any more than he keeps ownership of my body or life because I bear his genetics.  When you act like it’s still *his* name, you’re also acting like I’m still *his* in some way.  And I may be slightly touchier than most about this because my father and I have some truly epic Issues, but you imply that I’m somehow *his* in any way beyond what allegiance I freely choose to give him as an independent adult in my own right, and I will fucking cut you.

We clear?

*Spoiler alert: I won't.  Or at least, it won't be a straight mine-gone-take-his-instead.  I don't even like his last name and it sounds terrible with my first name.   We'd been considering hyphenating, which would probably be my preferred choice.


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