opinion | No, Jennifer Affleck’s Identify Change Is not ‘Feminist’

(Ellen Weinstein for The Washington Post)
(Ellen Weinstein for The Washington Publish)


Twenty-five years in the past, my soon-to-be husband and I made so many decisions for our wedding ceremony: the place, when, by whom, what to put on and what to say.

One was straightforward: whether or not to alter my identify or not. To be trustworthy, I by no means severely thought of it.

My father used to explain a former pupil attending this or that marriage, solely to the girl he taught as “Miss Particular person”, resumed after the ceremony, basically, “Mrs. Man. Manson.”

“And identical to that, she disappeared,” he would say.

I took it to coronary heart once I was youthful — and was reminded of it not too long ago once I learn that Jennifer Lopez modified her identify to Jennifer Lynn Affleck after marrying Ben Affleck.

Christine Emba: Neglect the Affleck-Lopez wedding ceremony. What about that identify change?

Altering her identify joined Affleck née Lopez to the overwhelming majority of American brides. Surveys have discovered that solely between 11 per cent and 16 per cent hold their names. The remainder select to observe a naming custom primarily based on a literal medieval perception that wives are legally subordinate to their husbands.

But some declare that altering his identify is definitely a Feminist Like.

“Taking my husband’s identify is a feminist act” is the de facto title of a 2021 essay, wherein Kimberly Atkins Stohr argues: “The core of feminism is the concept that ladies ought to have company over their lives and make their very own selections. . What is correct for them.”

Defenders have taken on Affleck’s new identify related Nail “True feminism means each girl has the liberty to make her personal decisions, together with J-Lo,” tweeted One. A author for the Irish journal Picture mentioned, “Feminism revolves round equality, and a girl’s freedom to make selections as she sees match.”

you get the thought. Feminism is about selection; So Affleck’s selection have to be feminist.

no sorry. it is reverse.

Every selection in keeping with sexist societal norms makes it troublesome for different ladies to decide on in any other case. Each girl who has had cosmetic surgery or botox or dyed her hair or sure, altering her identify makes it troublesome for different ladies to not do the identical.

Some argue that what issues is how a girl feels, not what she does. As one blogger explains, “Non-feminists in all probability shave as a result of they suppose they should do it for others, whereas feminists shave as a result of they need to do it for themselves.”

Goodness, no. The feminist is aware of that the explanations she desires to shave are deeply compromised—and whereas males should not anticipated to take action, do it for your self is an phantasm.

“Feminism gave ladies the liberty to decide on what they need to do with their lives,” declares one columnist, “and so they can select whether or not or not they need to put on excessive heels.”

not once more. Feminism isn’t one thing we did and have carried out now. Feminism is continually naming and countering the restrictions positioned on us by a male-oriented society.

Sound like arduous work? it’s. I definitely have not all the time managed it.

Alyssa Rosenberg: The usage of a surrogate by an actor raises radical-feminist questions

At our wedding ceremony, I as a bride did not need to do something the groom did not anticipate—no bouquet toss, no engagement ring.

Regardless that I appreciated the way in which sharing a single identify turned a pair right into a household, I objected to the truth that nobody anticipated the particular person to “sacrifice”—as in J-Lo. described in 2003 – to create that household. Only a few males do. So I did not.

However nonetheless, as a feminist, I stumbled a number of instances on my method down the aisle. I misplaced weight for my wedding ceremony, shaved my underarms, wore heels and lipstick and virgin white.

Guess what sort of choices these have been. Sexist ones. positive i may Say I regarded good in white or I cherished the texture of easy armpits. However any excuse past “I gave up” would disrespect ladies who Doing Get up for patriarchal traditions, cut back the overwhelming energy of the forces stacked in opposition to us, and disrespect the potential injury carried out by my sexist decisions.

Higher to confess I got here up quick.

It occurs – even for superstars. Within the music video for her music “I Luh Ya Papi”, Affleck tries to champion feminine empowerment, if not feminism, with a video-making metastory. Irritated that his director’s views objectify ladies, Affleck dreamed up a situation involving less-dressed, well-muscled males – And Her personal low-dressed, super-toned self.

The result’s a severely combined message. I do not blame him for this. Affleck is navigating a mighty sexist business and tradition. Merely being current inside these forces is exhausting, removed from combating them.

On this context, a person could select to decorate like different women in highschool, capitalizing on her appears if she will increase kids or keep house. What if she decides that Botox will assist her really feel higher about herself in a tradition that claims getting old is unhealthy? I understood.

Generally we won’t or do not need to maintain again. Generally we make sexist decisions. However in that case, as feminists we nonetheless have an actual selection: Name it what it’s.

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