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The Official DFAF Gender Politics Discussion Thread 2015

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I see this accusation a lot when critics of feminism see feminists talking about feminism among themselves. There seems to be this attitude that everyone in feminism agrees about everything. Even what feminism is. Which isn't the case, there's a lot of competing ideas within the overall movement, some of which are completely incompatible. For instance, most feminists are egalitarian, they want equality for everyone and see men as a necessary part of achieving their overall goals, they also tend to be accepting of the trans community. However, there's a group of feminists who belive that feminism should be entirely separated from male involvement, and that trans people are the result of women's inequality (trans men) and the male's corrupt fetishization of women's bodies (trans women). I completely disagree with everything this second group stands for, and they are a dying niche of feminism because of their extreme and bigoted viewpoints, but there's even subtler divides, Bayonetta keeps coming up in this thread, and that's because she's very divisive among feminist players; some see her as an example of a woman who owns her sexuality and find her empowering, and there are those who only see another unrealistic, hyper-sexualized woman in games whose design starts and stops at giving men boners. I'm inclined to say both groups are right myself. And that's why to somewhere just wants a binary of for or against feminism see a circle jerk. Feminists wabt to be able to talk about these nuances without having to defend or explain the most basic aspects of their movement to people who are directly hostile to a version of it that barely exists and that critics don't really understand. You wanna criticize something but you refuse to educated yourself about the concept from the words of those who are working on it.

So go ahead and critize it, but please try to come at it from a calm rational place and try to understand exactly what it is you're criticizing.

Yeah basically all of this, thanks for putting it into words.

In less words, if you've got this weirdo idea of feminism that's been formed only by what people outside the movement say it is, and come in expecting a debate so you can pull a "gotcha" when someone veers off that idea you've formed, than yeah.... maybe don't. It's more complicated than that.

Also to anyone else that does the "hugbox" or "echo chamber" accusation, first of all we are actively discussing and debating ideas within feminism, coming from different sides of the same coin. There are things we disagree with, and we do disagree with them, without dismissing the idea entirely. We can argue that we think some parts of feminism are crappy or could be better, without that being an argument against feminism as a whole. It can't possibly be a hugbox because that would imply we're all just patting each other on the back and saying the same things, which we aren't if you'd care to look a little deeper.

If you wanna call it a hugbox because someone doesn't want to engage you and your criticisms of feminism, then tough shit buddy, but nobody is required to step up to the plate to 'defend' feminism or 'convince' you as I've said earlier. It's not a failure or inability of the movement if someone, personally, doesn't want to discuss it.

Adding to this:

This thread has moved away from the feminism 101 topics because most of us here are well-versed in the basics. So for the last few pages we've been discussing, among other things, how women's sexuality is represented in videogames, and how to include minorities in games without actually being a member of the minority group yourself. These aren't necessarily feminism 101 topics. I think most of us who regularly discuss feminist things get are bored or tired with the 101 level topics and want something deeper discussions then just answering the same few questions over and over again every time someone new pops up, especially when there's a handy FAQ which should probably be in the OP.

To put it another way, if you walk in on a bunch of programers discussing different methods of encryption using Pearl, and they don't seem interested in your Python or Java solution, it doesn't mean that they've formed an echo chamber and are oppressing the views of people who like to use Java or Python; they're just trying to have a discussion where the merits of different programing languages are off topic.

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Second of all, yes obviously feminism is flawed as are all movements, alot of feminists are acutely aware of that. Sometimes these issues aren't yours to bring up, however. Like I'm not gonna go on a tirade about how the hijab is 'oppressive' or whatever because I don't wear a dang hijab and in light of the situation here that really, no one is required to, but they do anyway, maybe I don't get it and it's none of my dang business anyway. Possibly it's a different situation if you're forced to wear it, but it'd still be none of my business because I've never experienced that, and therefore it's not my issue to debate.

It's about knowing your place, and not talking over other people within the movement, which is required when you've got a movement as diverse and varied as feminism (and especially as intersectionality becomes a bigger thing).

ehhhhhhhhhhh i wouldn't go as far as to tell people they need to "know their place." heck, if you want to talk about the hijab go ahead, as long as you do it calmly and thoughtfully. in some situations things like that might even become a public issue, such as when france banned burkas and other face coverings. if you live in that society then you should be talking about those issues, even if you're a non-expert, because it affects everyone. like the whole "white people writing stories about minorities" thing, i think the big problem is not that they haven't experienced being a minority (or a woman), it's that they aren't listening to and empathizing with those who do have experience. in my ideal society everything would be everybody's business, because we would all care a lot about each other and want to understand each other as best we can. now i get the main frustration you have, which is ignorant, obstinate people saying whatever they think about whatever they want. i think the way to fix that is to try to pull those people into the conversation and help them see past the stereotypes, instead of telling them it's "not their issue" so they can just dig further and further into their ignorance hole. anyway i like the idea of that but i know it can be hard to put into practice without feeling like pulling your hair out so maybe it isn't always the best strategy. i know i have a predilection for trying too hard to be super reasonable and sometimes i act like a human advice column instead of just telling dumb people to shut up and deal with it when they deserve it.

so anyway, for all those people calling feminism a "hugbox" or whatever, i think there's only one key idea that all feminists "hugbox" on: that all human beings should be treated fairly, that women have not been treated fairly throughout history, and therefore we should try to do stuff today to make things more equal. yes it's called "feminism," but for most feminists i think it's more about equality than it is about turning society from a patriarchy to a matriarchy. i think most of us here were born and raised in societies where equality is considered a value, so if this thread has any sort of bias, i would say it's a bias towards equality. so if you have a problem with that, then you are going to be stepping on toes in here and are going to have to be super duper careful in what you say. but i'm guessing when most of you think you have a problem with feminism, it's not because you don't want equality, it's because you view one specific, radical kind of feminism as if it were all of feminism. so try to see the whole picture. now i am seriously trying my best to explain this here so we can move on and talk about interesting things again. if you're reading this and are still thinking "uaagh all those social justice valkyries are just trying to take away my MAN RIGHT to see BOOBIES in VIDEO GAMES" and aren't making any effort to see the nuance, then plz just go back to the reddit whence you came.

as a personal aside, i am someone who is only half-white but i am usually mistaken for a full-white person who just looks slightly ethnic and has a slightly weird accent. i'm not really in touch with my culture (though more so than the average white person) and i've never really had to deal with racism or oppression myself. where do i belong? do i only have the right to talk about what it feels like to be a half-breed? i'm anxious about telling people to just shut up and "know their place" because sometimes it's not that simple. i have no idea what my place is. i have no idea if i've sucked down enough white privilege that it's not longer my "business" to talk about what it feels like to be a minority. i don't know. i'm just skeptical of the idea that "experience" is required to raise an issue.

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I've said it already, but I really don't think that experience is required. After all, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey were written by women and are about as anti-feminist as you can get outside of the Gor series.

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I've said it already, but I really don't think that experience is required. After all, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey were written by women and are about as anti-feminist as you can get outside of the Gor series.

..... Eeeeeeeh, there's stuff that's worse than Gor. If we count only things which have been published in the mainstream, Quiverfull self-help books are something that must be seen to be believed.

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lol i just looked up gor and the cover art is kind of hilarious

2vLfkCn.jpg

behold the story of a man who found a giant bird thing and used it to (literally) pick up chicks across the world!

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Those look ridiculous.

Edit: Wow. I never heard of them, looked them up, and... what? They definitely provoked an uncomfortable chuckle. So.. those are really a thing. Yeah. I'm sticking with the word "uncomfortable". The older covers look worse.

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i'm anxious about telling people to just shut up and "know their place" because sometimes it's not that simple. i have no idea what my place is. i have no idea if i've sucked down enough white privilege that it's not longer my "business" to talk about what it feels like to be a minority. i don't know. i'm just skeptical of the idea that "experience" is required to raise an issue.

It's a tricky thing, for sure.

On the topic of "outsiders" participating in discourse, I thought Steve Gaynor's (one of the developers behind Gone Home) recent tweet in response to a question about what's appropriate and important with regards to researching for and writing about characters with different backgrounds to one's own was nice.

enough that you discover a bunch of stuff you didn't already know and you can tell it's changing what you would've done

Later in that thread (are they threads?), Steve also supports suggestions that interviews are worth conducting

yeah. Conducting interviews is ideal; otherwise, reading interviews or first-person accounts (blogs, memoir etc.)

The perspective here is in creating fictional works, but that kind of attitude feels like it's a good one to have in the context of general discussion as well, maybe?

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lol i just looked up gor and the cover art is kind of hilarious

behold the story of a man who found a giant bird thing and used it to (literally) pick up chicks across the world!

I once read a chapter-by-chapter summary of two and a half of the books. They were actually really hilarious, but not to the point where I'd want to spend the time to read the un-summarized version.

The main theme of the Gor books is women being enslaved and being happier when they're slaves.

This parody actually gives a really good idea of how the books are written: http://1871atboe.tumblr.com/post/77291658097/houseplants-of-gor-the-spider-plant-cringed-as

Or, the longer summaries of the books if you have a lot of time on your hands. The actual posts are kinda interspersed between forum commentary, but it's funny enough to be well worth the read.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?568717-Where-I-Read-John-Norman-s-Gor-series

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i'm anxious about telling people to just shut up and "know their place" because sometimes it's not that simple. i have no idea what my place is. i have no idea if i've sucked down enough white privilege that it's not longer my "business" to talk about what it feels like to be a minority. i don't know. i'm just skeptical of the idea that "experience" is required to raise an issue.

It's a tricky thing, for sure.

On the topic of "outsiders" participating in discourse, I thought Steve Gaynor's (one of the developers behind Gone Home) recent tweet in response to a question about what's appropriate and important with regards to researching for and writing about characters with different backgrounds to one's own was nice.

enough that you discover a bunch of stuff you didn't already know and you can tell it's changing what you would've done

Later in that thread (are they threads?), Steve also supports suggestions that interviews are worth conducting

yeah. Conducting interviews is ideal; otherwise, reading interviews or first-person accounts (blogs, memoir etc.)

The perspective here is in creating fictional works, but that kind of attitude feels like it's a good one to have in the context of general discussion as well, maybe?

i like that tweet. i think i might even go a step further though and say that you should keep going until you're no longer sure what you should do. perhaps the research process could be thought about in three steps:

step 1: you have done no research. unless you're a genius you will come off as pretty ignorant.

step 2: you have done a little research. you have a "eureka" moment and start to feel like you get it. people at this stage have good intentions but might be insidiously underinformed. (is that a word?) i am reminded of a class i took in which we read one (pretty good) book by a black lesbian. someone who reads a lot of literature about minority experiences expressed a concern to me that a lot of people would read that one book, feel like they got inside the mind of a black lesbian and then go about their life thinking they understand The Black Lesbian Experience when in reality they only have one limited perspective to work with. at this stage you have knowledge of the culture, beliefs, history, etc. but you don't know how to put it all together into a person without oversimplifying/distorting it.

step 3: you have done more than a little research. you realize that it's complicated being a black lesbian and you will probably never fully get it. you're a little confused about some things. however, you feel like you have enough knowledge and perspective that you can do a fictional character justice.

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There's also the sci-fi alternative: come up with a similar, but divergent, version of the life experience you want to write about to act as an allegory for the real thing. Then it doesn't matter if you get some stuff wrong because it's not meant to be an accurate representation, just a rough comparison.

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There's also the sci-fi alternative: come up with a similar, but divergent, version of the life experience you want to write about to act as an allegory for the real thing. Then it doesn't matter if you get some stuff wrong because it's not meant to be an accurate representation, just a rough comparison.

I think that even with that, you can enrich your writing by doing some research.

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Ha ha, Star Trek is the best. You can see that they were trying, but still missing the mark in so many ways. Next Gen brings Worf on as bridge crew to push that the Federation has moved beyond war and the kinds of social conflict that the Klingons represented in the original series, but throughout the show and into DS9, his attitudes, beliefs and culture are constantly comic relief and used to show extremist or inappropriate perspectives. In spite of being intended to represent progress, he's still significantly "othered" and rarely treated with respect by the show's writers.

Odd that your parents can't see the stuff that the show was attempting to address. It feels like most of Trek's writers have been pretty open about the allegories they'd tried to write.

That said, I too feel like Star Trek helped shape a lot of my early outlooks, and looking back, I think I'm a better person for that.

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lol i just looked up gor and the cover art is kind of hilarious

behold the story of a man who found a giant bird thing and used it to (literally) pick up chicks across the world!

I once read a chapter-by-chapter summary of two and a half of the books. They were actually really hilarious, but not to the point where I'd want to spend the time to read the un-summarized version.

The main theme of the Gor books is women being enslaved and being happier when they're slaves.

This parody actually gives a really good idea of how the books are written: http://1871atboe.tumblr.com/post/77291658097/houseplants-of-gor-the-spider-plant-cringed-as

Or, the longer summaries of the books if you have a lot of time on your hands. The actual posts are kinda interspersed between forum commentary, but it's funny enough to be well worth the read.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?568717-Where-I-Read-John-Norman-s-Gor-series

That poor Cactus, does Borin not realize all that water will do it harm?

Indeed, Borin should also realize that a plant needs fertilizer.

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You also gotta be careful with allegory, I personally find it an ineffective tool for penetrating stubbornly held beliefs. My parents raised me on science fiction and fantasy, Star Trek is like a second religion in my house, I can point out all day the many ways that Star Trek (especially Next Gen) espoused progressive sentiments (for its time) that they balk at even now.

Next Generation tried so damn hard! And sometimes failed so hilariously. A friend of mine hates TNG particularly because of those failures. They tried to make half of the bridge crew female – failed. Tried a kickass female security chief – actress felt that her character was going nowhere and left the show before the first Season ended, leaving only the doctor and the psychoanalyst female, the literal caretakers. Ou-chy!!

Roddenberry was a genius. Resisting the star spangled banner all over his human spaceships against the protest of the network? That was a big leap, really huge. But he still was a child of his time. So when Next Generation came along, Roddenberry still was as "progressive" as the 40s and 50s upbringing allowed him to be: Always trying, but still hideously backwards even for the late 80s/early 1990s. :(

Of course, episodes like The Outcast and The Host still drive some gender points home with force. The same topics and the same narrative treatment are today attacked by Sad Puppies and lamerbaiters alike for having too in your face a message, for being "political", for being "SJW stories". A quarter century after Next Generation!! I simply don't think that's a valid position, sorry. :(

Brent Spiner (Data) as well as Marina Sirtis (Deanna) both name "A measure of a man" as their favorite episode among the 178. That episode shows Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) compare an android army to slavery. And it still is, Asimov-style, great science fiction, and only science fiction.

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Ha ha, Star Trek is the best. You can see that they were trying, but still missing the mark in so many ways. Next Gen brings Worf on as bridge crew to push that the Federation has moved beyond war and the kinds of social conflict that the Klingons represented in the original series, but throughout the show and into DS9, his attitudes, beliefs and culture are constantly comic relief and used to show extremist or inappropriate perspectives. In spite of being intended to represent progress, he's still significantly "othered" and rarely treated with respect by the show's writers.

Odd that your parents can't see the stuff that the show was attempting to address. It feels like most of Trek's writers have been pretty open about the allegories they'd tried to write.

That said, I too feel like Star Trek helped shape a lot of my early outlooks, and looking back, I think I'm a better person for that.

Funny you should bring up Star Trek. I'm rewatching TNG currently and I just recently watched The Outcast.

This is when it was at its best:

Of course, the episode was definitely extremely flawed, as was every other time on TNG that they tried to handle LGBTAIQ issues. Once they referred to the agender species as "transgendered" species. Then they showed a transgender woman whom Riker fell in love with, and throughout the episode reemphasized the idea that if you identify as a man or woman, your sexuality is also heterosexual for that gender. Then to make matters worse, the horrible ending leaves the woman in a gender conversion camp to force her to be agender. Apparently the fictional species can change someone's gender despite it proven even when it was made to be impossible to do for humans. For some reason the conversion also apparently made her asexual in addition to being agender, further driving home the connection between sexuality and gender as though they are caused by the same thing. And instead of her getting any sort of resolution, her result of breaking the rules of her species' gender roles is imprisonment and conversion, showing no sign of happiness in her life. They made an episode that, rather than trying to help people understand LGBTAIQ issues, only further confused people by giving a lot of false and mixed messages. I can appreciate that they made they attempted to send a supportive message at a time few people even knew trans people existed outside of pornography, but it ultimately felt like it was LGBTAIQ issues as seen from writers who have never met anyone trans or gay.

One of their other ways of presenting gender equality inside the fictional universe was introducing "skant" uniforms, worn by all genders. http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Starfleet_uniform_(2350s-2370s)#Skant

But of course this as undercut by the main male characters still wearing more conservative jumpsuit uniforms. Ultimately it was used mostly as an easter egg rather than something of significance one way or another imo.

Anyway still a Trekkie at heart but it definitely had its flaws at times...

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I remember hearing the actors talk about being disappointed that The Host and The Outcast ended the way they did. Sort of feels like a poignant reminder of the era it was anchored in. Paramount supposedly were exercising some control over what could and couldn't be covered by the show (which IIRC was the kind of thing that lead Roddenberry towards using sci-fi as a vehicle for social commentary in the first place).

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I remember hearing the actors talk about being disappointed that The Host and The Outcast ended the way they did. Sort of feels like a poignant reminder of the era it was anchored in. Paramount supposedly were exercising some control over what could and couldn't be covered by the show (which IIRC was the kind of thing that lead Roddenberry towards using sci-fi as a vehicle for social commentary in the first place).

I know of The Outcast that Frakes (Riker) wanted it to go further by having his androgynous love interest develop in a more stereotypically male direction (which would of course have made Riker bisexual). But what of The Host, what was the criticism there and who voiced it (*looks up episode on the internet*)?

Personally, I loved the ending of The Host, and it really made you think about the arbitrariness of gender distribution. [spoilerS] When the trill swapped into Riker, Crusher could easily transfer her love for the person's soul to its new host. When it surprisingly swapped into a female new host, Crusher couldn't do that, and she put all the blame on herself for it. I thought that was very beautiful in its tragic sadness! I still think it is.

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I remember hearing the actors talk about being disappointed that The Host and The Outcast ended the way they did. Sort of feels like a poignant reminder of the era it was anchored in. Paramount supposedly were exercising some control over what could and couldn't be covered by the show (which IIRC was the kind of thing that lead Roddenberry towards using sci-fi as a vehicle for social commentary in the first place).

I know of The Outcast that Frakes (Riker) wanted it to go further by having his androgynous love interest develop in a more stereotypically male direction (which would of course have made Riker bisexual). But what of The Host, what was the criticism there and who voiced it (*looks up episode on the internet*)?

Personally, I loved the ending of The Host, and it really made you think about the arbitrariness of gender distribution. [spoilerS] When the trill swapped into Riker, Crusher could easily transfer her love for the person's soul to its new host. When it surprisingly swapped into a female new host, Crusher couldn't do that, and she put all the blame on herself for it. I thought was very beautiful in its tragic sadness! I still think it is.

I can't find a reference for it at the moment, but my recollection is that Gates stated in an interview that she felt sad that Star Trek still couldn't bridge the same-sex relationship gap (her line towards the end of the episode feels like it's addressing that), and was surprised to see some of the negative reaction that the studio received after the show aired.

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I said once before on these forums that I'm writing a story that involves a gender fluid star ship captain, and Star Trek is my main inspiration for doing so, because it pushed boundaries but there are so many left to be pushed. Star Trek pushed those boundaries more in the original show than in The Next Generation and the other shows set in that show's time period, because like Vainamoinen said Roddenberry (and the other show runners) were a product of their time, so while their form of thinking was progressive in the 1960s it wasn't so much so in the 1990s.

I was pretty disappointed reading all of the behind the scenes struggles to get more diversity in The Next Generation. I do love the story of how Whoopi Goldberg refused to say her original line to data when she was explaining human love, where it was written as "when a man and a woman fall in love" but she changed it to "when two people fall in love" because she felt humanity would be "beyond that" by the time period the show was set in.

Some members of the writing staff wanted to have a same sex couple on the bridge, but they had opposition in doing that from the show runners all the way from The Next Generation through to Star Trek: Enterprise. It also was disappointing that some of the really progressive things they did do (such as Phlox in Enterprise mentioning his many wives and their many husbands, saying that his polygamist marriage was one where all parties involved were happy) were relegated to aliens and were followed by shock and surprise, rather than acceptance, by the human characters.

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Well, I wasn't thinking that you'd need to go as distant as Star Trek to do a progressive allegory.

I was thinking more along the lines of, say, having a gay person in a fantasy world and investigating how that works within the fantasy world's made up rules. I once read a story like that, where the prince and sole heir to the throne was gay and had to keep it quiet... not because it was especially frowned upon, but because his entire job was to come up with an heir and any hint that he might not want to do that would have made him have to abdicate and let the bad guys take over.

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I recommend Sense 8 as a sci-fi show that hugely celebrates diversity, with a healthy openness about sexuality too. Eight people from different places around the world begin to form a mental connection, and use each other's skills and experiences to help each other.

I also enjoyed the British shows exploring LGBT sex and sexuality Cucumber and Banana (there's also the accompanying documentary series Tofu, which I haven't watched yet) by Russell T Davies. Cucumber is an 8-episode exploration of the middle-aged gay man's psyche and the contrasts with the younger generations. Banana is an 8-episode anthology that focuses on the younger characters that appear in Cucumber, where you get these great stories around characters that happen to be LGBT. Writing masterclass, seriously.

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hey so how do you guys feel about husbands taking the wife's last name? part of me likes the idea because it breaks tradition and part of me doesn't like the idea because it breaks tradition. my dumb animal brain feels a vague duty to "carry on the family name" or whatever, though i guess i have enough cousins already doing that. of course it depends on the other person's name and how they feel about it but personally i think i would probably change my last name because i have kind of a unique one and it gets annoying hearing people say "ooooh you have an interesting name" all the time

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also i kind of think hyphenated last names are dumb. things like "Smith-Johnson." like, what happens if your child meets someone who has a hyphenated name too? are they going to call their kids "Smith-Johnson-Thompson-Green"? They're not a law firm!

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I think that as far as whose last name to use, it should be whoever's last name is more important. If the woman is an academic, with loads of papers connected to her last name, changing her last name would lead to confusion over who was doing the research now and who to credit with the work. Same for men. I mean, imagine if Albert Einstein had changed his name every time he got married. Nobody would connect all the different discoveries he made as being done by the same person and he probably wouldn't have the reputation he has now.

And then if both in the pair have important last names, you hyphenate. If neither do, flip a coin.

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I have no attachment to my last name despite the majority of my friends calling me by it. I wouldn't care if my future wife didn't want to take it.

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If neither do, flip a coin.

Or pick something new that represents the relationship you have.

To me, it seems like the sharing names thing is meant to signify a joining, but it does so by taking one person's heritage and stamping it over the top of the other's. From that perspective, hyphenation makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't scale very well across generations.

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I think that as far as whose last name to use, it should be whoever's last name is more important. If the woman is an academic, with loads of papers connected to her last name, changing her last name would lead to confusion over who was doing the research now and who to credit with the work. Same for men. I mean, imagine if Albert Einstein had changed his name every time he got married. Nobody would connect all the different discoveries he made as being done by the same person and he probably wouldn't have the reputation he has now.

And then if both in the pair have important last names, you hyphenate. If neither do, flip a coin.

i think people would have remembered einstein anyway just because he's one of the few scientist-celebrities, the same way they can connect snoop dogg to snoop lion or prince to that squiggy symbol he used. but yeah i get your general point. i would never ask someone to change their name if they feel it's important for their professional reputation. on the other hand, flipping a coin seems too random though. if i were naming a baby or even a fictional character i wouldn't just leave it up to chance. i would make it as meaningful as possible (though i don't know how to determine 'meaning' in this case).

side thought: wouldn't it be cool if everyone had a second name? one professional name and one legal name? it works for musicians and drag queens. maybe something kind of like the "two-spirited" thing, even? i feel like our society puts a lot of pressure on us to "be ourselves" and have an "authentic" personality. why can't i have two identities? why can't i be two "people" in one, fully aware of each other? it just seems like a very limiting way of defining identity. basically, royal "we"s for everybody!!!

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If neither do, flip a coin.

Or pick something new that represents the relationship you have.

To me, it seems like the sharing names thing is meant to signify a joining, but it does so by taking one person's heritage and stamping it over the top of the other's. From that perspective, hyphenation makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't scale very well across generations.

Feddelfew's proposed system for people with short last names:

Give people both a patralinial and matralinial last name, which are hyphenated. So, Anna Jones-Spencer marries Jack Lorain-Martin. They become he Lorain-Spencer family. Their male children will carry Jack's patronym (Lorain) with them into their new families, and their female children will carry Anna's matronym (Spencer).

Of course this breaks down with same sexed couples and families where siblings have different parents, but....

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They seem to have gone the way of mutual decision. At least where I live. Usually, yes, it's the man's name, but nothing says it has to be. I don't even feel it expected. I do still see younger women practicing their signature of someone they love and genuinely look forward to taking a man's name. I do not really understand that, but then again I also know women who looked forward to being a traditional housewife.

It's a bit odd. Here, there is little pressure and tradition isn't expected, but a lot of women find comfort in it. Very few want a domineering relationship, they do want a voice and equality, but yet they still find comfort in old roles.(Yes, I've had this discussion with many of them and really the only answer I get is "because it's what I want to do". Perhaps I'm more introspective than some of my friends)

Humans are a peculiar bunch.

I wouldn't mind taking someone's name in marriage. I may decide to switch my last name to a secondary name in doing so though. How's that for throwing everything for a loop. First Middle Maiden Last. no hyphen.

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