Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who's Your Daddy ?

I think it’s time for all us rational human beings to sit down and take stock of how we name ourselves, and this idiotic bow to post modern gender sensitivity that is going to make it nearly impossible for genealogists in the future to trace family origins. I’m speaking of course of what I see as the ridiculous tendency of marrying couples to hyphenate their names. Actually, it isn’t the hyphenated couples themselves that present the problem it’s their little hyphenated spawn that I have a problem with.

Seems to me that John Lennon started all this nonsense when, in an act of contrition for being a man, and in so being having made woman “the nigger of the world” (which of course was a Lennon/Ono song before it was illegal to use the “N” word), he agreed to take Ono’s name when they married. Or maybe they were going to swap names. I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. But what happened is that it set off (along with the women’s liberation movement) a discussion about how unfair it is that a woman should take her husbands name when marrying. I mean after all, it’s a partnership right? Who can argue with that? Certainly not me. I couldn’t care less what a couple wants to call themselves. They can follow whatever tradition they like: matriarchal, patriarchal…. they can swap names, they can hyphenate, or they can be creative and make up new name for themselves. I don’t care. But what do you name the children?

Just for arguments sake, lets say that Man A marries Woman B and that she decides to hyphenate her name converting her to Woman A-B. Man A will keep his name because it’s already on his business cards and the title to his Trans Am. Now, when Man A hugs Woman A-B in special way, he’s overcome with a powerful feeling and ……. well, you know the rest. Next there’s a child who they call Child A-B.

As luck for Child A-B would have it, at about the same time Man C and Woman D meet on FaceBook, marry, hyphenate and procreate with the result being Child C-D. As a point of clarification, Child A-B is male (straight) and Child C-D is female (not sure).

They also meet on FaceBook, marry, hyphenate and procreate. Woman C-D converts to Woman A-B-C-D. And again, Man A-B retains his name because of the business cards and the car title. The resulting offspring is Child A-B-C-D. The next generation will be A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H, and the next A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P. The next generation will be out of alphabet and will start having to use subscripts.

You might say this is ridiculous, but this is exactly where it’s going and no one in our post modern touchy feely society has thought of it.

My position is that children should, for practical reasons, carry the name of their father. Actually, I don’t think I’d mind if it were their mother, if that’s the way everyone else did it. Libbers will claim that there have been and maybe ARE matriarchal societies and I would say, “fine, where are they”. They must not have been too damned successful, or that’s the way we’d be doing it. It’s hard to argue with five million years of evolution.

I can, with a few mouse clicks trace my father’s family to the Kingdom of Hanover in Germany, and my mothers to a 1647 landing at Plymouth. This, all because of Bill Gates and a unified system of genealogical identification.

Please America. Think twice before you saddle your children with a hyphen which could eventually do them more harm than that recessive gene for one blue eye and one brown that you’re carrying.

That’s what an average guy thinks.

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