How Will Women Ever Be Equal To Men If We Keep Taking Their Last Names?

In a world where we fight against men for jobs, equal wages, raises and promotions, it does not seem logical to me that we are complacent about taking on their last names in place of our own. Upon getting engaged, my fiancé and I didn’t even need to discuss whether or not I would change my last name after marriage. He knew that I was very passionate about keeping my name (which also happens to be my mothers birth name) and never hyphenating. His thoughts on the topic were “Your name, your identity, I don’t care.”

I’m lucky to be with someone as progressive as he is on the topic. After we were married, I quickly realized just how out of the norm my decision was. I find myself correcting people constantly that I am not a Mrs. I’m also not sure why it confuses people so much that they address mail to us in the exact same way they did before we were married -with both of our full names. I clearly underestimated how outdated and old fashioned our society still is today.

When doing some research, it frightened me to find out that HALF of Americans think a woman changing her name to her husband’s at marriage should be the LAW. This seems like patriarchal brain washing from the stone ages. It’s hard to believe that in 2018 anyone would believe this should be required. For years women fought for the right to maintain our names at marriage. We should use that right it far more often than we do, and be proud to not have our identity taken over by a man’s. The history of women fighting to keep their names goes back many years.

In 1856 Lucy Stone became the first women in history to legally maintain her name after marriage. In her era she quickly rose to fame, and became an icon for other women who wanted to buck the tradition of taking a man’s last name. For decades after this, women who followed in her footsteps and kept their last names were known as “Lucy Stoners”.

The Lucy Stone League was founded in 1921 with the motto stating “A wife should no more take her husband’s name than he should hers.” They were the first feminist group to arise from the suffrage movement, and became known for fighting for women’s own-name rights. Sadly, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that laws were lifted requiring a woman to use her husband’s last name to vote, do banking and even get a passport.

Women’s rights have come a long way since the 70’s, yet despite this we are seeing an increase in women changing their names rather than keeping them. It makes me sad to think that despite the struggle of the Lucy Stoners to form a movement that would help future generations, almost 80% of women today still choose to take their husband’s last name.

A Harvard University study found that among its alumni, each year that women delayed marriage or having children related to a 1 percentage point decline in the probability that they would change their names. An important factor was if the women had made a name for herself or not prior to getting married. Google studies show that women who come from wealthy backgrounds, and marry later in life are also less likely to change their names. The New York Times reports only 10% of women actually hyphenate their names. Women interviewed about why they changed their last name gave a variety of explanations. Most were things like: “Everyone else does” “I wanted to be a family unit”; “It’s easier when we have kids” or “It’s easier to make hotel reservations.”

Though many women prefer to take the easy route and not go against the grain of tradition, widespread change can only happen when we dare to be different. In the spirit of those early feminists who fought to keep their names, let’s make it a popular trend not to keep changing ours. It’s time we started re educating society to stop assuming being a Mrs is an accomplishment to strive for. It’s also time we started teaching and empowering little girls with the fact that their name is their name. Not just something they shed when they meet whomever they will marry. It’s time that women became proud to be Lucy Stoners again.

Could Disney Parks Make Death As Magical As Their Weddings?

In 2016, Disney World announced that aspiring bridezillas all over the work can now plan to have their dream wedding in front of Cinderella’s castle. For just $75,000, you to can pretend to be a Disney Princess, kiss your prince and live happily ever after. So what else do you actually get for this $75,000? Up to 100 people at your ceremony, which must happen at 9:30am sharp (sounds brutal). The rest of the fee is for food and beverage minimums at your reception, which must be held at another location. For a few thousand more, you can make an entrance in Cinderella’s horse drawn glass coach, have fireworks, or add a slew of Disney characters who make $7.50 per hour.
It isn’t really surprising to me that Disney has started to take more advantage of the ridiculous wedding industry. Through their movies, they are partially responsible for perpetuating the stereotypical “dream wedding” into every little girls brain. Years later when these same little girls begin to plan their weddings, Disney can finally cash in.
 
None of this is surprising however, since over the years Disney Parks have started to leave the middle class in the dust, catering more toward the wealthy. So much so that they have raised park prices, which started at $3.50 in 1971, 41 times in the past decade.
Thinking about making huge profits on life events, makes me wonder what would happen if the Disney Parks “magical” experience extended into death. The stark reality is, none of us are getting out of life alive, and what happens after is a mystery to us all. If you could help make the experience more magical for your family and friends, as well as have your “dream funeral” would you? Just think of the huge money making opportunity official Disney funerals could be.

For a moment, let us imagine Disney’s foray into the death industry. 

Disney parks would build several private cemeteries and funeral homes on official property, but not close enough to parks to be depressing. They pump cookie smell all day every day, just like Main Street. The cemeteries would be full of burial plots themed by land. For $300k, you could be buried in the vast cemetery versions of Fantasyland, Adventureland. Tommorowland or Frontierland. 
The options for official Disney Parks coffins would be extensive and just like weddings, come with themed funeral add ons. Most coffins would have Dooney and Bourke interiors. Tombstones would be available in any Disney character or castle form. Disney asks that tombstone themes be kept in sync with the land of chosen burial. No Cinderella tombstones will be allowed in Frontierland, for instance. 

A sample of the many options: 

Package A: Snow White’s glass coffin. Comes with Seven Dwarf mourners to attend your funeral. Must be buried in the Fantasyland section. 

 Package B: Rocket into the beyond in a Space Mountain coffin. Glows in the dark. Comes with a eulogy by Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Must be buried in Tommorowland section. 

Package C: Be buried in an actual retired ride car of your choosing. Burial section must coordinate with ride land. 

 Add ons: 
$3,000, gets you or your loved ones name written in fireworks.*only available on off peak weeknights.
$5,000 gets you a Cinderella’s coach ride to your burial place. 
$8,000 gets you a Eulogy by an animatronic of your choosing. 
$600 gets a tweet shout out of the obituary, from the Disney Parks official twitter of your choosing. 
 
Some VIP fans can choose to have their head cryogenically frozen and placed near Walt’s underneath The Magic Kingdom. *This option would only be available to illuminati members. 
And if anyone could make death, funerals and burials magical, i’m certain Disney could.
 As awesome as this all would be, Disney does not offer any post death services as of yet. I personally don’t see much of a difference in Disney Parks offering death options than wedding ones. Sure, one is a very happy life event, and the other is the saddest, but both require them to sell to people who will pay big money to have the Disney Parks experience. Both also require them to prey on the aspirational hopes and dreams of Disney fans wordwide-even if unattainable.