USA Today— As Donna and Mike entered their wedding reception, an unwitting announcer told the expectant crowd, “Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for the new Mr. and Mrs. Salinger!”
The Salingers broke a patriarchal tradition so ingrained in American society that many women’s studies researchers have yet to study it.
That may be coming. The California Legislature is set to consider a bill this month that would allow men to change their surnames upon marriage as seamlessly as women now can. Only seven states now allow a man who wishes to alter his name after his wedding to do so without going through the laborious, frequently expensive legal process set out by the courts for any name change. Women don’t have to do so.
The bill is co-sponsored by the ACLU of California as a follow-up to a federal lawsuit the civil rights group filed in December on behalf of Michael Buday, a Los Angeles man who wants to take on his wife’s surname, Bijon, to show his affinity for his father-in-law. He accuses the state of gender discrimination for forcing him into the more complex process.
“We have the perfect marriage application for the 17th century,” says ACLU attorney Mark Rosenbaum, who is litigating the case. Buday did not respond to requests for an interview. “Every place Michael went, he had the door shut in his face or he was ridiculed.”
Mike Salinger, who said it cost him about $350 to change his name legally, concedes he changed his name “because I’m a big ole granola liberal and I wanted to tweak the tradition while showing my wife I love her.”
OK, if my name sounded pretty close to a French plumbing fixture, I would want to change my name too.
This is why I'm not allowed in serious discussions. I will always find something funny in any situation.