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Why do women want to be the "Second Sex" - Page 2

post #21 of 72

I was in car dealership. Loan paperwork from my credit union. DH was with kids in the car. Sales guy  asked to talk to my DH. I said "What for? It is my loan and I am the one choosing my car" ARGGGGGG

post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post

Quote:


I take exception.  The message I got was that the OP had an uphill battle all the time in this patriarcial society because other women don't back her up in trying to make changes.  Other women take offense/exception to that because most women are fighting the same battle she is.  When I got married my DH joined my existing bank account.  When he did, his name went first.  The IRS requires that his name is listed first on joint tax returns.  All of these things have been addressed to no avail.  It's a frustrating situation to a lot of people.  To have a woman say this situation exists because women don't back each other up is simplistic and just a way of blaming easy targets for the frustration at hand. 

 

What was truly insulting was the statement that:

 

 


 

Seriously, princesstutu, you can't see how this would be offensive to most women?  Whether or not they changed their name?  Especially if they changed their name?

 

 

I think to say that the OP is blaming this entirely on other women is missing the point.  What she seemed to be saying is that we aren't making the progress we need to because so many of us have assimilated into the oppressor mindset. 

 

The name part?  It seems to me she was referring to a specific (very specific) mindset demonstrated among a certain subpopulation.  If it doesn't apply to you, why be offended?  If I am not the type of woman who took her man's name and is slinking around behind him, taking on his identity as if it were my own, she is not talking about me and so if I take offense, that is not her fault, IMO. 

 

Can it be offensive to some?  Yes.  Many things can in this world.  Is it inherently offensive?  I don't think so.  Because of the reason I stated above.


Like any conversation, people focus upon what matters most to them.  What matters most to me is reading the intent and message as clearly as possible.  And, the OP obviously was not saying that every woman who takes the last name of her mate is pathetic, etc.  I think she was quite clear.  And, if I hadn't thought she was clear, I think I would have asked for clarification instead of choosing to take offense right off the bat. 

 

And, let's be clear: we actually don't stick together enough.  Of course, this makes sense.  We are taught that we are unimportant and so we treat each other and our own selves as such.  This is what happens in any oppressed group.  We have a lot of women who identify with the oppressive beliefs.  They believe the hype.  They think that simply because they can work if they choose to and go shopping on their own credit cards that we have all reached a level of liberation that is good enough. 

 

They fling "feminist" around like it's an insult. 

 

This thread has, so far, done a good job of expressing the OP's point.  It has also done a good job of showing that many more of us do see this issue as a problem and would like to address it.  It can be difficult to discuss matters like this because many women are protective of their families and they view subjects like this as an attack upon their families and their lifestyle choices. 

 

Healing can often feel painful while the dis-ease is worked through and out.  I hope that this thread brings more careful consideration than offense.  It's been my experience that when something in a thread riles me up, it's a good time to sit back and really contemplate what fears and sorrows are being touched by the thoughts expressed. 

 

post #23 of 72


I've never been asked my family status in job interviews, unless it was for a job that doesn't use my education.  My most recent job interviews, one group knew about my ds already (b/c I volunteer for them, so I know the people at the organization), and one didn't.  I stand a decent shot at getting both jobs, but I NEVER mention the fact that I'm a mother in a job interview, and I dodge anything that might bring it up.  Now, I also just graduated law school, and so all the jobs that I'm applying for everyone KNOWS thats an illegal question.

 

My law school also didn't penalize me for having a child in law school - the Admin was nothing but supportive, and even gave me special testing accommodations when I had to take finals at 37.5 weeks pregnant (since there was no way I could sit for 3-5hours at a stretch).

 

And, I don't feel guilty about my ds being in daycare.  It's what works for us, and he's an amazing little boy - whats there to feel guilty about?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleGriff View Post


Storm Bride - I'm sorry to offend you. I would like to clarify that my lack of backup from fellow women is not primarily about surnames. It's about sitting in a room with two women who rather than say, "gosh, I'm not sure why this form omits your name, let's fix it" laugh it off and tell me that's just the way it is until I insist that it's not fair. This is only the tip of an iceberg in which women more than men have seemed taken aback by my pursuit of financial gains, my desire to receive titles and pay equivalent to my accomplishments, my lack of guilt around leaving small children in daycare, my insistence that my graduate school not penalize me for having children during my studies, my being appalled by always being asked about my family status in job interviews.

post #24 of 72


Great post, I agree 100 %!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post



I think to say that the OP is blaming this entirely on other women is missing the point.  What she seemed to be saying is that we aren't making the progress we need to because so many of us have assimilated into the oppressor mindset. 

 

The name part?  It seems to me she was referring to a specific (very specific) mindset demonstrated among a certain subpopulation.  If it doesn't apply to you, why be offended?  If I am not the type of woman who took her man's name and is slinking around behind him, taking on his identity as if it were my own, she is not talking about me and so if I take offense, that is not her fault, IMO. 

 

Can it be offensive to some?  Yes.  Many things can in this world.  Is it inherently offensive?  I don't think so.  Because of the reason I stated above.


Like any conversation, people focus upon what matters most to them.  What matters most to me is reading the intent and message as clearly as possible.  And, the OP obviously was not saying that every woman who takes the last name of her mate is pathetic, etc.  I think she was quite clear.  And, if I hadn't thought she was clear, I think I would have asked for clarification instead of choosing to take offense right off the bat. 

 

And, let's be clear: we actually don't stick together enough.  Of course, this makes sense.  We are taught that we are unimportant and so we treat each other and our own selves as such.  This is what happens in any oppressed group.  We have a lot of women who identify with the oppressive beliefs.  They believe the hype.  They think that simply because they can work if they choose to and go shopping on their own credit cards that we have all reached a level of liberation that is good enough. 

 

They fling "feminist" around like it's an insult. 

 

This thread has, so far, done a good job of expressing the OP's point.  It has also done a good job of showing that many more of us do see this issue as a problem and would like to address it.  It can be difficult to discuss matters like this because many women are protective of their families and they view subjects like this as an attack upon their families and their lifestyle choices. 

 

Healing can often feel painful while the dis-ease is worked through and out.  I hope that this thread brings more careful consideration than offense.  It's been my experience that when something in a thread riles me up, it's a good time to sit back and really contemplate what fears and sorrows are being touched by the thoughts expressed. 

 



 

post #25 of 72

I have always had to indicate my family status as well as my children (men in Germany are NOT asked whether they have children) and which form of care I had for my children while working irked.gif.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


I've never been asked my family status in job interviews, unless it was for a job that doesn't use my education.  My most recent job interviews, one group knew about my ds already (b/c I volunteer for them, so I know the people at the organization), and one didn't.  I stand a decent shot at getting both jobs, but I NEVER mention the fact that I'm a mother in a job interview, and I dodge anything that might bring it up.  Now, I also just graduated law school, and so all the jobs that I'm applying for everyone KNOWS thats an illegal question.

 

My law school also didn't penalize me for having a child in law school - the Admin was nothing but supportive, and even gave me special testing accommodations when I had to take finals at 37.5 weeks pregnant (since there was no way I could sit for 3-5hours at a stretch).

 

And, I don't feel guilty about my ds being in daycare.  It's what works for us, and he's an amazing little boy - whats there to feel guilty about?

 



 

post #26 of 72

When I went on holiday with DS1 and DS2 the receptionist told me "We better wait until your husband arrives." When I told him that it's the 3 of us, he went "Oh.......". Same thing at the restaurant, we had worse service than anybody else, even my children noticed.

post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pupsnelda View Post

I have always had to indicate my family status as well as my children (men in Germany are NOT asked whether they have children) and which form of care I had for my children while working irked.gif.

 



One of the MANY reasons I'm glad to live in the US and not abroad, where it is perfectly acceptable to discriminate for any reason the employer see's fit.

post #28 of 72
I did get this thing from a professor in my Master's program. She basically came right out and said that if someone has young children, they should probably not be in a graduate program. She addressed it in the middle of class and it was clearly directed at me because I was the only one in that class with kids. The only time having kids affected my studies is when my daughter was in the hospital the day I was supposed to give a presentation. (It was a one-time thing, she wasn't constantly sick or anything.) I was a bit baffled. She was super anti-child, though - even anti-monogamist (she openly advocated childless, polyamorous relationships as the "ideal" and often waxed philosophical about it)... I didn't attribute that to feminism per se - more to her own issues. We didn't get along well before or after that, actually, and she was a big reason I ended up leaving the program.

Actually, without going off on tangent, I don't personally see that there's so much an anti-woman movement lately but anti-mother, anti-child, anti-family. That's what really riles me up. I seem to recall hearing how childless women tend to make as much if not more than men in their fields, but as soon as they become a mother their value plummets and never recovers.
post #29 of 72

I got this when we (I) applied for our mortgage - my husband's name was listed first on all the paperwork, even though I did 99% of the grunt work.  I did ask, and their explanation was that they put whoever makes the most first on the papers.  But we were *both* on all the paperwork.

 

I don't think it will change until people start demanding it change, and that sucks.

post #30 of 72

addressing several things

 

this thread is great, and i really appreciate the varied responses.  i think it is CRUCIAL to discuss things like this, even with taking chances of offending people, just to bring some of the issues to light. 

 

the name:  dh and i are feminists.  when we got married, in GA, we have the option of either of us changing our last name to the other (the only progressive thing about marriage in GA period) and i elected to change my name to DH's.  I honestly don't see how it is "more" feminist to keep the name of my FATHER'S patriarchal family, you know?  plus that side of the family can just kiss my ......  and i was glad to have a symbolic break from that.  we talked about picking a new name for us both altogether but that is legally more difficult.  plus, in a completely shallow offshoot, i like the way his last name was spelled and sounds.  now.. if i had a maternal family last name that was handed down and hadn't been named as society impresses upon us after my father (again.. that's patriarchy too!) i might have made a different choice.  either way, i don't think a name change is a non-feminist or feminist act. 

i'm not offended by OP's assessment; i'm pretty convinced i'm right and don't need approval ;) but i'm just that kind of human....

 

solidarity:  yes.  i totally agree.  i don't think it's from people trying to do things quickly or easily, but that most of us have been taught that to rock the boat is to receive scorn.  if you are a "stickler" people will treat you like an outcast.  people tend to ignore stupid crap like names on a form because it is "polite" to just cruise on through the process without causing trouble.  i think, fundamentally, that's what has been the stumbling block for the movement-- that from infanthood, people identified as girls are taught to be passive, and to be "nice."  it's not NICE to make somebody re-do a form or to call attention to some bs practice.  that is why young college-age women will tend to preface a complaint, if they can work up the nerve to actually voice a complaint about something, with:  "i'm not a feminist, BUT..."  

the misogynists have pretty well tied feminism to a huge rock of shame using every possible tactic.  if you stand up for what's right, you're going to get some funny looks and probably not be appreciated very much.  That's why many women will not employ solidarity.   It's very difficult to break from all that training. 

though princesstutu and i see feminism through some very different lenses (love you anyway) i think she really put it best: Of course, this makes sense.  We are taught that we are unimportant and so we treat each other and our own selves as such.  This is what happens in any oppressed group.  We have a lot of women who identify with the oppressive beliefs.  They believe the hype.  They think that simply because they can work if they choose to and go shopping on their own credit cards that we have all reached a level of liberation that is good enough.

 

the form:  i say F that business.  my name is first on our mortgage because we set it up to be that way.  we put dh's name on the tax forms first because his first name comes alphabetically first (and i am a humongous weirdo about alphabetical order.  virgo moon. )

i absolutely would have made a stink. 

but then again, as i get older i am getting MUCH less tolerant and folks are very likely to get an earful about that kind of monkeybusiness because i am just DONE with putting up with any of that kind of bs.

 

post #31 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seawitch View Post

Actually, without going off on tangent, I don't personally see that there's so much an anti-woman movement lately but anti-mother, anti-child, anti-family. That's what really riles me up. I seem to recall hearing how childless women tend to make as much if not more than men in their fields, but as soon as they become a mother their value plummets and never recovers.


This is spot on, and in my mind the sole reason for women's continued second class status. It impacts all women, whatever their family choice may be. Without totally blowing my cover, I wrote about this in more depth on a blog I kept during graduate school. This post in particular.

 

Study documenting that childless female MBAs make just as much as men, it's only female MBAs with children who pay a compensation/promotion penalty: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/marianne.bertrand/research/dynamics_1209.pdf

 

The issue that inspired this post originally is relatively small but just one of hundreds of small humiliations I experience on a regular basis. Individually, they aren't a big deal. In the aggregate, they feel overwhelming and insurmountable. And when, case after case, my fellow women fail to acknowledge their relevance leaves me feeling profoundly alienated.

 

(Can you imagine for a second a scenario in which a man is the sole point of contact on an asset purchase, shows up at a meeting he's arranged with an enormous check with his name on it and a man at the table says at some point, "Sir, we just need your wife's signature alone on this one. Don't worry, she can stand in for you both. It's not important to have your recorded here." Can you imagine him having to argue that it is important and he wants to be part? I can argue. I just feel like I've already lost if it comes to pointing out the obvious.)

 

And back to the name thing, if you haven't lived through the experience of reminding your own family repeatedly that you are not Mrs. John Doe and that the kids have your own last name too. (Or the more subtle, "that's so complicated, what's everyone's last name again"?) Let me bring you into my world for a moment. People do not say, "Oh, gotcha. Glad you told me." They give you the sighing, eye-rolling "oh, one of those, you're making it so difficult" (as though re-remembering all of my female friends and families new surnames mid-way through life was so easy) looks. And you feel like shit. Decade after decade after decade after ... I am willing bet that married women who do not take their husband's names in the US (10% of us, if that) are harassed for this far more often than those who do. I politely call my married friends by their surname of choice, I just want the same.

 

Yes, there are some women who make a thoughtful and reasoned determination on what surname to take upon marriage. But most women, I'm willing to argue, do it because they just don't want to rock the boat. This became abundantly clear when my friends started getting married (I was an early bird) and came to me secretly because they wanted to keep their names and their progressive, egalitarian husbands did not want that. How did you convince your husband, they asked. I was shocked because I just did what I wanted and hadn't thought to even ask him. We had never discussed it once. And for me, it's the don't rock the boat attitude along with the niceness problem that is the tip of an ugly iceberg here.

 

[Edit: just to mention, my particular issue was being omitted entirely from one form related to an asset I had just purchased with my money, not being second. Though I believe s/he who does the most work goes first! : ) ]

 


Edited by LittleGriff - 7/29/11 at 8:44am
post #32 of 72


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleGriff View Post





Sincere inquiry here, is it sexist? I feel that women far more more often than men tend to tell me to get in line and do as other women are doing (i.e. not demanding so much for themselves). That's been my experience. Men have been the ones telling me go for it, you're doing great, you deserve this, etcetera. I've so rarely gotten that from a female colleague. (I can think of only one at the moment.) Don't just tell another woman "things never change" and leave it at that - help change them!

 

(and btw, my husband is my only close friend who is not a woman. all my best friends are women. hehe. i get tons of wonderful personal affection from women, i'm focused on my professional and official life here.)



I guess it really depends on one's own experience.  I once went to a job interview where the (male) interviewer asked me, "How does your husband feel about you taking this job?"  I went off on him and, needless to say, I didn't get the job. 

 

I've found that you have to pick and choose your battles.  When forms list my dh first, it's just not worth my energy to fight it.  For you, it sounds like it is. (But again, don't just blame the women.)

 

Other things seriously get my ire, though, such as when my dd's (male) orthodontist wanted to talk to her about taking care of her teeth as an adult, but what he said was, "When you're 20 and married............."  I said, "Why are you trying to 'marry her off' at 20?  She has plans to go to graduate school!  You can talk about being an adult neutrally, without mentioning marriage!!" 

 

One thing to keep in mind is that patriarchy hurts men, too.  (Circumcision, for example, or the stereotypes that men shouldn't be nurturing fathers.) 

 

I still think it's offensive to claim that women "want" to be the second sex.  Margaret Mead said that if a fish were an anthropologist, the last thing it would discover would be the water.  When you've grown up in "second-class-ness" your whole life, you really don't even see it most of the time.  There are lots of ways to raise your daughter to be a strong, confident woman without putting down other women in the process. 

 

Personally, I think the single most important thing we can do for our children's genuine self-esteem (girls and boys) is to give them a hobby, sport, or talent to feel good about.  (or multiple talents.) Sign her up for AYSO (soccer), get her into piano or guitar lessons, whatever. 

 

And here are some shirts you can buy for your dd:

http://www.handsomeinpink.com/cgi-bin/hip/scan/se=baby/sf=prod_group/va=category_name=baby/tf=weight/to=r.html

 

On the name thing, when I told my parents of my plans to keep my (their) last name, my dad told me it wasn't even legally possible to keep my own surname!  I just said to him, "Watch me."  Most people have been supportive about it, though. 

 

And Hildare, I realize that my last name came from my father, and his father, and his father's father.  But the important thing about it is that it's MY name, the one I've had for 39 years now (23 when I got married), the one listed on my birth certificate.  It's part of my identity.  My last name is very Dutch, and dh's last name is very Italian.  I wanted to keep the cultural heritage of my last name, instead of taking on dh's.  But I don't have any problem with women who take their husband's last name.  I understand that point of view, even though it's not what I chose. 

 

Interesting stats:

http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2011/05/08/the-name-change-dilemma/


Edited by A&A - 7/28/11 at 8:40am
post #33 of 72

It is funny how people only look at part of the history of names. There are eras where a woman did not change her name because she was never really considered part of the family or always associated with her father. I grew up with extremely common first and last names. There were always people with the same names that I was confused with or I just got lost in the shuffle. I looked at the opportunity to change my name for free as a shrewd business decision (among other reasons). My DH's last name is much more unique and fairly easy to pronounce. When spoken there is one letter that is sometimes mixed up but it still scans and I think makes it more memorable. 

 

Do not assume I blindly changed my name and I won't assume you are expecting women to be your stepping stones to the top. 

post #34 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masel View Post

It is funny how people only look at part of the history of names. There are eras where a woman did not change her name because she was never really considered part of the family or always associated with her father. I grew up with extremely common first and last names. There were always people with the same names that I was confused with or I just got lost in the shuffle. I looked at the opportunity to change my name for free as a shrewd business decision (among other reasons). My DH's last name is much more unique and fairly easy to pronounce. When spoken there is one letter that is sometimes mixed up but it still scans and I think makes it more memorable. 

 

Do not assume I blindly changed my name and I won't assume you are expecting women to be your stepping stones to the top. 

 

Nothing stops women with unmemorable or bothersome (to themselves) surnames from changing it to something more preferable the moment they turn 18. Why suffer with a name you don't like until you find a husband?

 

"Stepping stone" to the top? Happy would be the day, that I am not the only woman in the room. I'm asking women to join me at the top! (if I ever get "there" ...) Without shame and guilt and sorrow. To revel in unabashed ego and ambition and the glory of exercising their intellectual and financial power. My life would be a heck of a lot more fun if I had a little more female company around me.

post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleGriff View Post



 

Nothing stops women with unmemorable or bothersome (to themselves) surnames from changing it to something more preferable the moment they turn 18. Why suffer with a name you don't like until you find a husband?

 


while this is true, in most states, to legally change your name upon marriage is a MUCH easier process that involves going to the ssa and the dmv with a copy of the marriage certificate.  to legally change your name other than in the case of marriage, you have to visit a courthouse and pay a newspaper or two to run something about the change and it takes 30-60 days.  plus, oh my god, if i had changed my name when i was 18 there is no telling what ridiculous monstrosity i would have devised.  i personally am much better off having an actual name to choose from rather than relying upon the craziness of pulling something out of the air.  McLovin, Greenweed, Baggins, who knows. 

 

post #36 of 72


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleGriff View Post

 

(Can you imagine for a second a scenario in which a man is the sole point of contact on an asset purchase, shows up at a meeting he's arranged with an enormous check with his name on it and a man at the table says at some point, "Sir, we just need your wife's signature alone on this one. Don't worry, she can stand in for you both. It's not important to have your recorded here." Can you imagine him having to argue that it is important and he wants to be part? I can argue. I just feel like I've already lost if it comes to pointing out the obvious.)


Um yeah, it happened to us.  Our mortgage loan is in DH's name alone because his credit score is better than mine and we got a better deal on the loan that way.  They required my signature (alone) on a separate piece of paperwork to indicate that I knew about the deal and approved, as it seems it is illegal in our state for one spouse to make a large purchase of which the other spouse is not aware.

 

 

Quote:
A few months later, one of his (female) colleagues came out with a study documenting that childless female MBAs make just as much as men, it's only female MBAs with children who pay a compensation/promotion penalty.

 

Regarding the lack of support for childrearing in the US: Yeah this is a huge problem, but I don't think it's an issue of *discrimination* per se.  Women with children make less money than those without because (overall, over the population) they spend less time working overall than women without children.  Which is fine.  While we certainly need better supports for working women with children (like a reasonable maternity leave policy and some better day care options), we shouldn't be shooting for a benchmark of *no difference in earnings* between women with children and women without, because there will always be women (many women - even most women?) who actively choose to reduce their hours in the paid workforce order to spend more time on child care.  It would be cool if men had the freedom to make those same life choices.  But what wouldn't be cool is if we pretended that childrearing does not (or worse, should not!) divert parental resources away from other endeavors (such as participation in the paid workforce).

post #37 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
Um yeah, it happened to us.  Our mortgage loan is in DH's name alone because his credit score is better than mine and we got a better deal on the loan that way.  They required my signature (alone) on a separate piece of paperwork to indicate that I knew about the deal and approved, as it seems it is illegal in our state for one spouse to make a large purchase of which the other spouse is not aware.

 

Loved your post, mambera. But just to be clear, I meant an instance in which the wife was chosen over the husband as the sole representative homeowner for legal purposes. Had my name not been on that form, apparently the property tax bill would have been in my husband's name alone. As I will be paying the property taxes, I want to be able to call in about our tax bill if ever necessary without needing to go through my husband.

post #38 of 72

Hi LittleGriff,

 

I'm also in a male dominated field (<5%  women), and am totally with you on this [your feelings... I haven't been in the exact situation you're in].  I used to just laugh stuff like this off, but over the last few years have become more sensitive because every single frickin day I feel like I'm fighting for basic stuff that they guys get easy, and every single frickin day when I do something that doesn't work out 'girls shouldn't be doing this' while if a guy does it 'oh, he just took a calculated risk that didn't work out.'  I'm not very girly, but one of my collegues is more so, and every time she has a bad day and looks a little frazzled, we hear choruses of 'she's weak', where one of the guys who just doesn't respond to pressure any where near as well as either of us is 'an okay guy'.  It's hard to blow off the small stuff, when the small stuff ("microinequities" to quote the sociology literature) is where we're fighting our battles every day!

 

Anyway, hug2.gif.  And next time don't feel bad about banging your fist on the table -- it was the right thing to do.

 

Anka

post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleGriff View Post



 

OP here:

 

Storm Bride - I'm sorry to offend you. I would like to clarify that my lack of backup from fellow women is not primarily about surnames. It's about sitting in a room with two women who rather than say, "gosh, I'm not sure why this form omits your name, let's fix it" laugh it off and tell me that's just the way it is until I insist that it's not fair. This is only the tip of an iceberg in which women more than men have seemed taken aback by my pursuit of financial gains, my desire to receive titles and pay equivalent to my accomplishments, my lack of guilt around leaving small children in daycare, my insistence that my graduate school not penalize me for having children during my studies, my being appalled by always being asked about my family status in job interviews.

 

I left the laundry list out of the original post for brevity but realized that I simply confused things, especially by mentioning the hubby name issue.

 

Please don't be angry with me. I'm sorry. I know it's obnoxious to feel judged by someone you've never met. And that you have every right to do what you want with your surname.

 

But honestly, hate me if you will, it's hard for me not to feel that women's broad willingness to assimilate themselves into their husband's identity doesn't play somehow into the perpetual surprise that I would expect to be allowed to stand on my own. Almost all of my friends have changed their names. And I know how smart and fabulous and interesting they are. But they also do rely on their husbands in a way that I don't. And that gets lonely.

 


My understanding is that the bolded is illegal in the US. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I remember an interview in college where those types of questions came up. I'd probably handle it very differently now than I did 10+ years ago (I could see making such a fus that that job was mine in order for the company to avoid a law suit - and I don't mean the job I interview for I mean the idiot who asked the question's job).

 

I agree with other posters however. I am first on just as much joint paperwork in my household as the other way around. I believe that I am first on our mortgage. If I remember right our mortgage broker used the highest of the two credit scores first. As for the cars they are typically in which every of the two of us got our butts down to the registrars office to get the registered name first. I've spent much of our marriage making more money than my husband. But I also did take my husbands name. It is a choice that I am very comfortable with with and I am not less for it.

 

I understand your frustration and I do think taking the time to point things like that out and insist that they be corrected is important and should happen regularly. I remember my aunt insisting that her name be first on all of her and her husbands auto purchases. My mother had a few choice words for one of Dad's friends who heard that some "guy" from out of town just bought a house after she bid in the auction, she wrote the check, ect. But I also know of women for whom that stuff doesn't matter and that really doesn't bother me.

 

I guess I just want the person writing up the paperwork to ask next time. Kinda like with my last name. I appreciated that my husband didn't assume. He asked what name I wanted to go by after marriage. I choose his, but knew I married the right man for me who would ask first. I don't care if a woman is 1st or 2nd on paperwork (though you can bet I wouldn't sign anything and commit my money that didn't have my name on somewhere). But I do want it not to be the default.

 


Edited by JollyGG - 7/28/11 at 2:44pm
post #40 of 72

OP, I empathize with your position in the respect that women are sometimes and/or often seen as extensions of their spouses.  I grew up in that culture in a familial sort of way, and I had a lot resentments early on about my place in the so-called universe.  I think it is easy for those who have never experienced these things or had these types of resentments to not understand one's perspective on this issue.  When you've not been discriminated against, it is hard to understand discrimination generally and specifically.  I think it is one reason why majorities have a hard time understanding why minorities still feel discrimination and slights on a daily basis.  We're all equal, right?  Sure.  Under the law we are supposedly equal, but cultural and deeply engrained biases die hard.

 

That being said, outside my own family I have never experienced second class spousal discrimination.  It is funny, but when DH and were about to be married 21 years ago, he said:  "Why would you change your name...this is who you are are."  I love DH for that...he's always had such a logical spin on things.  Of course, my parents were mortified and to this day, my mother still addresses all correspondence to me as "Mrs. [DH's first name and last name]."  They refuse to acknowledge the fact that I never legally changed my name.

 

Anyway, in these 21 years of marriage, no one has ever preferred DH over me in terms of financial transactions or otherwise.  We're co-signers to everything including our mortgage.  I do all the tax returns so I'm a primary signator even though we do joint returns.  I don't know why I've had the luck of never running into spousal discrimination...but I do recognize that it exists and I think perhaps that a lot of it is cultural and even religious.  I don't hang around a lot of people or neighborhoods or towns where thoughts may be more conservative in terms of social roles.  One of the reasons that I ran far, far away from my family was because they were incredibly stifling (despite the fact that I love them).  They had pre-defined roles for everyone.  I said bullocks on that.  


Edited by CatsCradle - 7/28/11 at 6:57pm
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