Confession: when I sign my name, I write Mrs. Husband’s-First-and-Last-Name. And I like it.
I think I’m the only person who still does that, and I don’t actually know how we got so far away from it as a nation. It probably happened soon after the Kennedy assassination, when the hippie girls stopped wearing lipstick and let their hair go flat. The 1960s counterculture movement may have brought about necessary social change, but it also set in motion 40 years of bad hair, from which we are only now beginning to recover.
My theory on women’s equality is that there’s an inverse correlation between hair volume and general feminist rage at society: the flatter the hair, the bigger the rage. It’s nearly impossible to maintain curl and volume under a hand-knitted pussy hat. Here’s a helpful hint for my friends in the #Resist movement: you’re screaming for a blowout.
I sign my husband’s name because I’m proud of him, and proud to be his wife. I don’t see it as diminishing me. I chose to take his name.
But here’s my existential question for a Tuesday: can a blowout blonde who signs her name Mrs. Husband’s-First-and-Last-Name be considered a feminist? Or would someone like me, who has happily leaned out of the workforce for the past ten years and fixes a hot dinner for her family each night be rejected from the movement on those grounds alone? Would my conscious choices be considered valid to a movement that professes to celebrate the women of diverse experiences, backgrounds, and lifestyles? If feminism is truly about choice, then why aren’t my choices considered valid by some?
I’m not worried about whether or not I can call myself a feminist, actually. Mrs. is the only title I’ve ever aspired to.