Sunday, September 16, 2018

A woman's name: On this matter, feminism and Jewish tradition agree

Just to make this post less awkward to read, I'm going to skip the Mr. First-Name Last-Name designation and refer to my husband as Mr. Punster Partner.

On our wedding day, my mother-in-law congratulated me on having become Mrs. Punster Partner.  I replied, "I have no problem with being called Mrs. Partner, but don't call me Mrs. Punster.  My parents gave me a perfectly good first name, and I intend to use it."

In my opinion, a Jewish woman's name is both a feminist issue and a Jewish one.  To this day, many Jews follow the time-honored tradition of naming their children after persons whom they'd like to honor and remember, with Ashkenazi Jews often naming their children after deceased relatives and Sefardi and B'nei Adot HaMizrach Jews often naming their children after living relatives.  If you take away a married woman's first name and replace it with her husband's, it's an insult not only to her, but also to her parents, the person after whom she is named, and Jewish tradition.
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