On changing names - about as OT as you can get

johanna johanna at nobrandheroine.net
Wed Mar 12 20:48:47 EST 2003

> Eh?  It offers a *lot* of extra information.  First, it tells that you
> followed societal convention--you may not feel like that's a good thing,
> but it *is* information.  Second, it tells that you have certain
> specific legal obligations to each other.  Third, it tells anyone who
> wants to date you that doing so will involve significant complications
> (even if you are willing), including that a legal relationship has to be
> legally dissolved before a new one can be instated.  Fourth, it
> represents the foundation of a familial unit--one likely to include a
> desire and plan for children.  Fifth, it indicates governmental approval
> of your union--again you might feel that government has no business
> approving of your union, but it *is* information. And finally, for us
> religious types, it signifies a religious covenant that involves us and
> God and specific promises and obligations.

Okay, re: the religious thing (& this, I guess, goes for what Melissa
wrote earlier too): I think that would be more likely if there were
different terms for religious & non-religious marriage. Because there are
lots of people who get married for non-religious reasons, & "marriage" in
& of itself isn't explicitly a term including religion (whether or not it
may have been at one point). I'm not going to pull out Webster's, but
colloquially, I don't think it assumes religion at this point. If someone
told me s/he was married, I would certainly not assume that the
relationship was a religious one until they confirmed it.

And for your third point, I guess I would add the assumption then that
people are following monogamous conventions; there are lots of polyamorous
people, for example, both married & not, for whom that point would not

Also, for point four: hm. I think I wouldn't assume more or less a plan
for children based on whether or not a couple was married. (or not
assume--I try not to assume those things, because it irks me so when
people assume I want children just because I have a uterus)

I'll give you points one, two, & five. ^_~ I guess I don't tend to find
them v. useful bits of information, but yes, they can be inferred.


What, after all, is a halo? It’s only one more thing to keep clean.
--Christopher Fry, The Lady's Not For Burning


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