Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's your name?

There was a time that a woman would marry a man (often against the best advice of her friends and his parents) and quit her job and change her name to his and become a full-fledged housewife and that was that.

All good, and it's still done, but there are options. If a woman wants to get married at all, she may change her last name to that of her partner, or not.  Or she may hyphenate the two ("Mrs Cecilia McDonald-Berger").

There used to be this weird thing in which married women were known by their husband's full name, as in "Mrs Drew P. Weiner," which made no sense to me.  "Mrs Otis Campbell"?  A woman named Otis?

I have seen married couples in which a man will take his wife's surname, and same-ex couples who exchange last names.  All cool with me.

I bring all this up to say that there is still mumbling going on about the woman formerly known as Amal Alamuddin, a 38-year-old British-Lebanese woman who is a lawyer, activist, and author, universally respected as a force for good and an expert in several fields.

She also happens to be a married woman, who married an American actor named George Clooney.

And people are losing their grips because she wishes to be known as Amal Clooney. That's how she is listed on the website for Doughty Street Chambers, the London-based law firm by which she is employed. 

"But she's a femininist!" came the cry, and I say that being a feminist is more about allowing women to choose to do what's best for them than following some vague list of rules and regulations.

Amal and Geo. were married in Venice, and own a 17th-century manor on the River Thames in the British countryside, so it's safe to say they know their ways around the world and did not just ride into Tulsa on a turnip truck.

George Clooney is most famous for his starring roles in "Ocean's 12", "Ocean's 13", and "Ocean's 127" (coming to theaters near you in 2028). No, seriously, he is a fine actor, with lots of good movies and even more worthwhile statements on the world as we know it.

Read the list of Amal Clooney's educational and professional accomplishments, her awards, honors and appointments here. By any measure, she is a woman of great stature in the world.

And here is the list of all the people in the world who should have any say in the matter of what Amal Clooney's name should be:

1. Amal Clooney


eefer said...

Men do NOT own women in the West...keep it in mind. And while we are on the subject of the term mind, how about "mind your own business"!

Mark said...

Exactly, eefer! We don't own people or have the right to tell them what to call themselves.