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Am I a Bad Feminist?

I married fairly recently which meant changing my name and putting a stop to 37 years of a mispronounced surname. Now I've changed it, I wonder if it was the right thing to do

31/07/2015

 

I think I might be...

I was on Facebook the other day and a very successful friend of mine had commented on a post about women changing their names after marriage. She hadn't changed hers. In fact most of the comments seemed to agree that it was an unnecessary thing to do. One person referred to it as 'archaic'.

Yikes, am I a slave to patriarchy?

I changed my name. Yes, I'm a feminist, but I really didn't take umbrage with this one. Although it was a total pain in the butt to do, especially since I was living in London, but had to change all my stuff in America. Nothing like a holiday to New York and having to say, "I'd love to see you Thursday. Can you meet me at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)?"

I blame the silent 'H'

I have a few reasons I did it. The first was it really mattered to my husband... total feminist fail! But to be honest, it was a nightmare to spell! It's 'Klahr' pronounced 'Cl-arr'. I used to dream of the day I could just say my name and not get the 'how the hell do you spell that?' look.

If I could get the time back that I wasted trying to spell it for people, I could probably build a house by hand. I would say, "K...L" and I'd watch people start to write, 'Cl' "No", I'd say, "K..L''. "Oh, sorry!" they'd say and write, 'Cl' again. I actually still have close friends who put the 'h' in the wrong place. Meanwhile, 'Coey' is four letters and none of them are silent. Score!

Maybe not a  bad feminist, just a bit lazy

I like the fact that my husband, our daughter and even the dog have the same last name. Like I said, I'm not into time wasting and I don't even want to think about the whole 'my daughter has a different last name' hassle at school and airports.

Sure, there is some cache in my last name, I've been published with it, and yeah, it can sound cool. At my first job out of university I worked for an advertising agency that specialised in toys, so you know, protracted adolescence for everyone! All the creatives said Klahr was the perfect Klingon name. Whenever I walked down the hall I would be greeted with "General Klahr", and the Klingon salute. Which is so much better than a boring 'hello'.

As I was 37 when I got married, I'd had Klahr for a really long time. Actually most of my friends still call me Klahr as a first name (even my husband). But I changed it when I got married - I'm so sorry Ms. Steinem, I still think you rock.

Well, I kind of kept it

I got rid of my middle name which was Tracy. While in the U.S. 'Sharon Tracy' is a perfectly normal name, for some reason it's hilarious in the UK. So, Sharon Klahr Coey it is, I have Klahr in honour of that part of my identity without the annoyance of having to spell it all the time. My daughter and I can breeze through the airport when we travel to the States on our own (well, as much as you can 'breeze through' an airport these days).

And really, I care less about surname choices and more about equal pay for equal work.

Sharon, Working Mom and Native New Yorker

 
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