What Katie Couric said about sexism -- and how one mom feels it every time she mentions her daughter's name.
The United States' first female anchor woman, Katie Couric, told Israeli paper Haaretz, "I find myself in the last bastion of male dominance and realizing what Hillary Clinton might have realized not long ago: that sexism in the American society is more common than racism -- and certainly more acceptable or forgivable."
When we brought this up in the momlogic offices, moms were yelling out examples of the sexism they feel every day. Here is one of those stories...
"Before I would say, "yes" to getting engaged, I made my husband agree that when we got married I'd keep my name. Furthermore, he had to agree to hyphenate our kids' names. After some debate, he understood my argument, agreed to the condition and we eventually got married.
When we had our daughter we went ahead as planned and both of us proudly placed our daughter's hyphenated name on her birth certificate.
I have since learned that this really offends people -- and they aren't afraid to tell me. I've been accused of being cruel to my daughter. I've been warned that I'm setting her up for a lifetime of mockery and that she'll take twice as long as her peers to learn how to write her name. I've been told that I'm ruining a very important tradition and that I'm emasculating my husband. I have another word for all of these reactions: sexism.
I always wondered why women just automatically give up their names. Why is the man's name more important? Isn't a marriage supposed to be an equal partnership? And if you want to get technical, I'm the breadwinner in my relationship. And when it comes to kids, I'm the one carrying the baby! Even the most feminist women I know don't give a second thought to giving their children the father's name. I'm not sure why this is such a blindly accepted practice. How come people think it's OK to tell me that making steps toward my daughter's equality is cruel?
People often pat themselves on the back when they come up with this one: "What's she going to do if she marries a guy with a hyphenated name? Have four last names?" Honestly, I have no idea what she'll do. I hope that by the time she is an adult, (she's 11 months old) women will have noticed this type of bullying. As a mom, I hope she'll feel comfortable and strong enough to choose whatever name she'd like.
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