Monday, September 24, 2007

Congratulations Columbia University

Perhaps it was naive for me to think that going to university I would be rewarded for being a critical thinker. In my first few years of university I, too, was swept up in thinking that was my professors and student union was saying was the right thing to do, and that we were making the world a better place.

There is some truth in the saying that "if you're not a socialist by 20 you have no heart and if you're still a socialist by 30, you have no brain"

But as Joanne is writing about today, I have learned over my many years of university that only progressives are the one's that dictate (and I don't use that word lightly) what ideas are allowed to be heard to change our

Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejadto is invited to speak at one university while just a year ago Harvard's president resigns due to the controversy surrounding his remarks about innate differences between men and women and the connection to our choices in school subjects (specifically science and math)

These issues are not just in American universities. University of Victoria students can't even meet a Canadian Forces Recruiter.

Margaret Wente wrote a great article on Saturday about university culture and the concept of "dangerous ideas." Give it a read.

In my opinion, the most "dangerous" ideas are the ones that say that other ideas/opinions should not be heard.

Kate hit the nail: What's the opposite of diversity? University!

Yet another plug for a great book, Indoctrination U: The Left's War Against Academic Freedom

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What is in a name? A lot Actually!

While I'm not engaged, many of my friends in the coming years will be walking down the aisle. When I get married (and I will, despite what StatsCan stats say) I want to take my husband-to-be's name. Some bitter feminists (who claim they aren't making an anti-marriage feminist argument) encourage me not to:

Changing it is stupid. Or stupid-ridiculous, if you're a hyphenator. Conventional marriage suggests we become 'one' after that ring slides onto the finger. But we are born alone and we die alone. Love has no surname, but identity does. Keep yours for yourself


"Sheepish is the right word for the way I feel," says a fortysomething newly separated father of two, who is in the process of reverting to his original surname after he and his soon-to-be ex-wife created a blended surname. She's changing back to her birth name, too. The children carry the his-and-hers brand. Allowing love to influence a change of original identity is naive, he says.

A "brand"? Ok we aren't talking about cattle.

My maiden name was a lifeboat from a sinking marriage. My "wasband" had insisted I take his surname. So I did, being young and wanting to please - and appease. Most of my identification, including passport, health card and driver's licence, was in my married name. But my professional name remained Hampson.

As the marriage unravelled and my career developed, I used my own identity not just professionally, but socially as well. But my wasband resented my stake for self. "I do not want to be Mr. Hampson," he would complain. He is not anti-feminist. He liked that I worked, and encouraged me to do so.

Let's just say he had narcissistic double standards, and those applied to many people, young and old, male and female. Still, the reason for the resentment was fear. He wanted complete union. So when I struck out more under my own brand, that threatened him. Perhaps it felt like a betrayal, even if it wasn't. His insistence that I change my name to his, and remain that way, was an issue of control.

I am all for separate identities. You shouldn't "need" to be together, you should both want to be together. There are many fairy tale notions around love and marriage still. A good book to read is Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages. My partner and I starting reading it together and it's great.

While I am in support of separate identities in marriage, I think you can be separate people/personality but have a different name. Sure, your "maiden" name carries your history but if your kids (that is, if you actually have kids) get your hyphenated name. Then what happens when they get married?

An example.

John Jones and Jane Smith get married. They have children. Children get both names. Kids are Michael Jones-Smith and Jennifer Jones-Smith. Kids grown up and get married. Michael Jones-Smith wants to marry Mary MacDonald-O'Connor (whose "progressive" parents did the same). What will their last name be? And what about their children? Let's see Jennifer Jones-Smith who wants to marry Luke Carriere. Does she keep her name? Add Carriere to one of her surnames? And if they have kids are they going to be Billy and Bobby Jones-Smith-Carriere.

Come on.

A marriage is a union. The name should be united. Period.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Nine Most Terrifying Words in the English Language

As I sit here, at work (I work for a crown corporation), researching government programs, I opened up my iGoogle to do a quick search and saw the quote of the day that made me laugh outloud.

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help." -- Ronald Regan