Skepchick Quickies 8.14


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. In Pandagon land, something that 50% of women agree with is hyper-patriarchy.

    Also, can anyone explain to me why just plain marriage isn’t also included as hyper patriarchy bullshit?

    Screech Marcotte is always good for a laugh, thanks.

  2. I call bullshit on the “Mrs. Hislastname or else” story. It took ten minutes of hunting to even find the name of the paper which is “Mapping Gender Ideology with Views toward Marital Name Change”. No luck in finding the paper itself, although no one claimed it was published yet or even headed that direction. I did find some more coverage and found this tidbit (http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/555136/?sc=rsln):

    Somewhat contradictory, almost half the people surveyed said it would be “OK” for a man to change his name to that of his wife.

    Until you know exactly what questions were asked and have the data from the answers it is impossible to interpret the results let alone interpret a newspaper’s interpretation of the results.

  3. The worm apparently jumps out of the sand and kills people by spitting concentrated acid or shooting lightning from its rectum over long distances, NZPA reports

    The headline should be Lightning Shitting Death Worm To Power Future EVs.

    Of course, there’d be no station attendants, just some rubber gloves and a sign that says “Self Serve Only.”


  4. I’m married and I have my own last name (mostly because the hassle involved far outweighs any desire I might have to change it, which is none). Legally required? Ugh. What is wrong with people? Why not legally require my hair to be a certain length while they’re at it. Wow.

  5. In rural Egypt, 81% of women believe that a man has the right to beat his wife if she refuses to have sex with him.

    Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in middle and low-income countries : a global review and analysis

  6. From a purely administrative standpoint, requiring families to all have the same last name would clear up some amount of potential confusion. Choosing which, however, is pretty lame.

    I kind of want my girlfriend’s last name. Scott Rahim amuses me to no end.

  7. @davew: I actually included it because it seemed fishy to me. I liked Amanda’s point that people’s off-the-cuff responses may not actually represent their real thoughts on the matter.

  8. davew, it wasn’t a published paper, it was an oral presentation (as mentioned in the linked to article).

    The abstract is


    The author’s bio seems appropriately scholarly.


    I call bs on davew’s call of bs.

  9. @Amanda: I was referring to the fact that the majority of women (I misread the article, it’s actually 90-95%) still participate in this asinine ritual (of changing names), willingly. They have the choice, and boo fucking hoo, Screech doesn’t like what they decide.

    But somehow it’s always the White Man’s fault.

  10. For the record my husband changed his last name to match mine.

    He went through the same process as women do but it took longer to complete. The main hang up came from the staff at the various government and financial offices looking past the gender. The legislation in our province regarding name changes is not gender specific; however the concept of a man changing his name due to marriage was hard for some individuals to understand.

  11. @mxracer652: Because screeching is a word used to describe women who dare to be loud and/or angry. It’s used to portray us as irrational emotional idiots and devalue what we have to say. I can’t say I’ve ever heard it used to describe what a man has to say, no matter how ranting or crazed it might be.

    Unless you were trying to make some inexplicable reference to a Saved by the Bell character- then I would retract my statement.

  12. Re “Screech” – I usually associate the word with children, regardless of gender. But then my evidence is anecdotal. ;-)

    I can see where one might get that association, Amanda, and I respect it. It would have not occurred to me however, but thank you for pointing it out.

    /disinterested observance.

    *fears the can of worms*

  13. “Poll says 50% of American women think a woman should be legally required to take their husband’s last name.”

    In other news, a poll shows that 50% of American women have goofy last names.

  14. @mxracer652:
    Also, can anyone explain to me why just plain marriage isn’t also included as hyper patriarchy bullshit?

    I think it depends on if we’re talking about “marriage as a tax break and being able to get on to someone’s health insurance policy” or “marriage as woman becoming appendage of man.”

  15. @sporefrog: Oh shoot, yes, you’re right. I was attempting to say too clarify too many things at once and ended up not being clear at all.

    They polled ~800 people, not all of America.

    And red panda is teh cutezorz.

  16. @magicdude20:
    hahaha! non-drowsy formula…

    If you guys want to read something seriously disturbing, read the first response to this blog post:


    “If they love their husbands taking his name should be an honor. there is no stronger bond on earth than the bond between a man and a woman. and when they become one it should be without a doubt the happiest item on their list of things to do, to go and have their name changed to their husbands name.”

    “When they become one” having the woman change her name “should be without a doubt the happiest item on their list of things to do.”


  17. @Amanda:

    I call BS on this. I have never heard of the term “screech” being applied the “derogatory” moniker, and apparently I’m not alone:


    Perhaps part of the reason that you’ve never heard it applied to male speech is that, generally, males don’t make it to that high-pitched, umm, “screeching” noise due to physical differences in vocal capabilities?

  18. magicdude20: This is why I think it’s time marriage, as an institution be left as an internal matter to religion. The best arguments I’ve heard for marriage revolve around providing for a family and the tax incentives (or penalties in some cases) associated with it. Beyond that, marriage has only the significance that the two people involved subscribe to.

    So why not bring back clans? Join the families in a legal sense, but leave everything else (like who pets who’s hot-n-sweaty) up to the consenting adults (just like most states do today). It satisfies the rabid fundamentalists who think marriage is a religious institution. You should be able bring men OR women into the family, so homosexuals can enjoy all the same protections of heterosexuals. Keep your name or change it, just like you can do now without getting married.

    Yeah, it leaves it open for multiple partners, unless you’re in favor of outlawing threesomes, I don’t think you have much logical choice.

  19. @Amanda: They polled ~800 Americans?

    What? You’re kidding me. Did they poll the Ladies Auxiliary of The Church of Latter-Day Saints, Utah division for this? There are Facebook polls that probably have a lesser margin of error!

  20. @TimmyD: Screeching, shrieking, shrill, they’re all in the same vein and are applied to women not just as a descriptor of their higher voices, but as a remark to how bitchy, emotional, irrational they’re being.

    And regardless of that, instead of ad homs how about some actual thought-out criticism?

  21. @Amanda:

    Oh for Spaghetti’s sake. That’s usage Amanda, not some kind of denotative absolute!

    Seriously, please find me one legitimate dictionary, in any language, anywhere in the beautiful blue world that defines screeching, shrieking, shrill, as “all in the same vein … applied to women not just as a descriptor of their higher voices, but as a remark to how bitchy, emotional, irrational they’re being,” or any part thereof.

    A simple “please don’t use ad hominems gratuitously” might have been sufficient, don’t you think?

  22. @Amanda:
    I hope you feel the same way about “gruff” “gravelly” or “raucous” when talking about male speech, not just as a descriptor of their lower/louder voices, but as a remark to how overbearing, overconfident, and emotionally irresponsible they’re being.

    I do agree re: “ad homs” vs “actual criticism,” though.

  23. @MiddleMan: Actually a sample size of 800 gives a margin of error of less than 4%.

    Questioning sampling techniques is separate from margin of error, and since we don’t know what those techniques were, it is hard to have much of a conversation about them.

  24. All of the women in my family kept their maiden names names when they married. That’s because it’s traditional to keep your maiden name your whole life if you’re Chinese (or Spanish or Hispanic, for that matter). It also doesn’t make sense for women scientists to take a married name, especially after publishing – though if I married a Dr. Abunga, I would seriously consider hyphenating.

    Still – why do these poll results surprise anyone? After all, studies have consistently shown that 50% of Americans are below average.

  25. @TimmyD: Actually, I think gruff and gravelly are usually used to describe the sexy voices of be-stubbled movie stars. And raucous is just a sadly underutilized word because it’s clearly awesome.

  26. @Amanda:

    Ah, I get it. If someone uses the term “screech” that’s sexist, but if someone uses the term “gruff” that’s sexy, even if in both instances they’re describing style of speech.


  27. I hate my last name so much that I will have no shame in taking my wife’s name if I ever get married. Besides, what if her last name is something like Killmaster or Skullbasher or something that sounds really kvlt? It would be very tempting…

  28. @Mordicant:
    That’s because I am going to go catch one.
    Then I am going to splice some genes.
    Then I’m going to zap people* with lightning bolts from my wazoo.

    *Only those who desperately need it.

  29. I wish I was more surprised about the 50%. I’m not changing my last name- mostly because my last name is a monosyllable, easy to spell and pronounce and the betrothed’s last name is longer than my full name (although I have professional reasons too). When I tell people (often other women), they often act personally offended, “But what about your CHILDREN? They’ll have a different last name than you!” Children? The ones we’ll probably never have? I think they’ll survive it. I haven’t won the argument with anyone yet. Apparently it’s a hot button issue for a lot of people and I can’t figure out why- or how it affects them.

  30. @Displaced Northerner: That’s so sad – do people really think kids are so helpless that they can’t cope with a different surname? What about Muslim-American families, where EVERYONE has a different surname? I have cousins who are Chinese-Pakistani (now there’s a mix) and the dad’s name is Idris Ismael, the wife (my aunt) is named Alia Wang (kept last name, consistent with Chinese AND Muslim tradition), the son is Ismael Idris, and the daughter is Fatima Idris. Or something like that.

    Man, the lower 50 (percent) makes such a big deal about nothing…

  31. “However, the New Zealand team planned to bring the worm to the surface with explosives, as it is said to be attracted to tremors.”

    Didn’t they already make a movie about this??

  32. @sporefrog:

    “If they love their husbands taking his name should be an honor.”

    I hate when people say this. My response to them is that if men truly love their wives, then taking her name should also be an honor. Any argument that can be used to justify forcing a woman to change her name can also be used to justify a man changing him name, but so many people just don’t realize that.


    I don’t think that making things easier for administrative purposes is a good enough reason to do something.

  33. @mxracer652:

    There’s a huge difference between making a choice for yourself and wanting to force others to make that same choice, or even just wanting others to choose the same thing that you did. I don’t care if women (or men) choose to change their last name; I just don’t think they should be legally required to do so. As an example, if I choose to send my children to public school, that doesn’t mean I give up my right to be mad if someone wants to prohibit others from choosing private schools or home schools. I can make a certain decision for myself and still defend the right of other people to make a different decision than I did.

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