Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Second Class Citizen?

So I have wonderful insurance through State Farm, I’ve had them since I started driving, like in 1995 or something.  When we got married, I stayed with State Farm, just added J to my policy, in case he needed to drive my car sometime.  One of the “bonuses” State Farm does is send out Christmas address labels to use for cards—love that part!  However, this year, the address labels came and said John and Mary Smith.  What?  When did I become the second class citizen?  Don’t I pay the bill?  Haven’t I been the insured person for 17 years? 
For years, we teach our daughters, support our friends to be independent strong women, until they get married and still become an “and” to somebody’s name, thus taking a second seat to the husband.  Why?  I don’t get it….especially in this instance when I have been the insured person, not him.   Shouldn’t I be listed as primary?   I know this is one of my oddities, among others—I don’t like Mr and Mrs at all.  Why do we as women have to identify our relationship status?  Do men?  No.  It’s just an archaic tradition of subjugating ourselves.  I use Ms.  for everything.   I didn’t (and don’t) address wedding invitations/cards/etc as Mr. and Mrs. James Doe to anyone.   How in modern-day society can a woman be identified as a Mrs. Some guys name? 
I know—women’s rights is my biggest soapbox, oh well.  I’m sure if it was 100 years ago, I would have been a suffragette in jail because I was fighting for the right for women to vote. 


  1. It's funny to me how polar opposite we are on this particular issue. I LOVE being Mrs U. Even Mrs. Andrew U. I don't feel like I've lost any of myself in giving my whole self to him... I just feel like I've added a new "Andrew" dimension to myself and we are way better together than we ever were separate. Plus... It's kind of that whole submissive thing in the bible. I'm under his mission. But his mission is directed and supported by the wife that I am. I guess it doesn't matter to me that I took his name instead of him taking mine because it's not really about either of us. It's something bigger. A mission from God or something. But I do enjoy reading your rants about this issue... So keep it up, SNL!

  2. I don't like the name changing thing either. It can become very prejudicial. For instance, when I apply for a position, I have to list all names that my student records are listed under. I have college records under my maiden name, my first married name, second married name and third married name. People have told me at various times, that seeing that many names is viewed in the applicant pool as being unstable and thrown out of the pile before anything else. The why and wherefore of the name changes isn't overlooked because, by law, the employer can't ask about it. Men never have this problem.

    For jobs that require licensure, name changes can be very problematic.

    If I was advising any woman today, I would discourage changing names when you get married. It's not necessary and can save you from other issues in the future. It's easy to say that our name will never change again after getting married but none of us can see the future.

    Christi, follow your level of frustration on this issue. People with you passion are the kind of people who change history for the better.