But it took two years, a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination and a change in California law before he picked up his new drivers licence in the name of Michael Bijon on Monday.Yup, while it is free for women to take their spouse's surname, the Bijon family was told "it would take a $US350 (A374) fee, court appearances, a public announcement and mounds of paperwork to make a change on his driving license." So he and his wife Diana went to the ACLU, and now it won't be so hard for men to take their spouse's name in the future. Thanks, guys!
All this talk of name changing has me thinking about my own situation, though. I've been married for nearly a year now, and I haven't taken any steps to legally change my name. I get one of two reactions when people who know me find out that I haven't filed any paperwork yet:
1) They assume I never meant to change it in the first place, due to my feminist philosophies
2) They assume I got cold feet, brought on by my feminist philosophies
Who knows, maybe they're right. Certainly I've always identified with my last name. Since my first name, Lisa, is so common here in the States, I was called by my surname throughout high school and college. For the first 21 years of my life I was rarely called Lisa - I went by my surname or Lis, the constant abbreviation. So it does feel a little weird to cast my old name off completely.
Yet, I don't think my reluctance is prompted by a deep philosophical objection. Certainly I would tell you that feminism is about opening up doors for women, not creating new rules. Yet...
So I'm curious to hear what other self-identified feminists (male or female!) have done with the Partner's Name Game. If you are married, did you change your name? If engaged, will you? If fate or discriminatory laws are keeping you from such decisions, do you think you could?