Breaking traditions and glass ceilings

Now that my oldest is no longer doing virtual schooling and is back out in the masses, she comes home with all the questions. Apparently one of her old teachers got married recently, so she is no longer going by the same last name as she previously was. Emerson noticed that all the kids were referring to her by a new name, so she was naturally confused.  

When she came home yesterday, she asked me why her name was different now, so I told her that she and her husband got married. 

Thinking that that pretty much explained things, I just went on with finishing supper. A few minutes later after she had time to further ponder on this subject. She asked me what her getting married has to do with her getting a new name. So, I explained to her that most women take their husband’s last name after they are married. 

Once again, thinking this conversation is over I finish supper and we all sit down to eat.  

Emerson says, “When I get married, I’m not changing my last name.” I told her that some women do make the decision to keep their last name, or they use their last name and their husband’s last name by hyphening them.  

She said, “No, I am going to make my husband take my last name.” 

The woman in me was like, “Yea, you go girl.”  

The subject got me wondering if this was even possible, so upon further research I discovered that it is possible, but a lot harder to do so and incredibly rare mainly because it is just not the traditional way of doing things.  

Being a mom of three little girls, I am all about “girl power” and breaking glass ceilings over here. Feminism has been a tough subject for me over the years. I guess I am what you would call an “old school” feminist. Of course, I believe women should have the right to vote, the right to receive equal and fair pay. I believe women should have every right that any man does. I completely believe in gender equality.  

Being a woman myself, it is hard not to support certain aspects of the movement, but this new wave of feminism, seems to be more about how women are better, instead of equal. I believe in the overall goal. I just do not necessarily agree with how we are trying to achieve the goal, sometimes.  

In my opinion, you cannot expect to be given this special treatment just because you are a woman and then get mad the same instant because you are not getting treated exactly like a man. (Make it make sense.)  

Without a doubt, I will fully support my girls as they forge their own paths in this crazy world. If Emerson wants to try to persuade her future husband into taking her last name, that is her prerogative. If my girls want to stay home and raise their babies and manage a household, I will support them. If they want to be career driven and work full-time, I will support them. 

I can also say I will support my girls whether they are feminists, anti-feminists or have zero interest in either of the two, but I cannot support the “man bashing,” getting angry when a man opens the door for me or parading the streets wearing certain body parts on our heads, that is where I jump ship.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mom and digital journalist for The Webster Parish Journal.)