Conferences, interpersonal encounters and unexamined assumptions

I’ve been neglecting this blog to focus on my thesis, but this needs saying. Some of the thoughtless, unexamined ways relationships frequently get discussed really bother me, and a recent comment directed at my partner and I has stuck hard in my craw.

First, a little context.

My partner, a long-time lover of tabletop RPGs, went to GenCon with a friend this year. On the second-to-last day, he was on his own for dinner and ended up being joined at the table by a woman. Long story short, she departed when his companions turned up, but not before leaving him with her phone number and an unambiguous invitation to use it. Continue reading

Stuff your rose. Names matter.

Working on the last stage of my thesis has largely enforced radio silence, but I had to get this out. I invite you to consider the following images as you read:

Gravestone of Henry Alfred Dudley

Reverse of Gravestone of Henry Alfred Dudley

One of my personal hot-button issues is that of womenʼs names. I passionately believe that the current system, in which women are named as adjuncts to the men in their life (typically first their father, then their husband or series of husbands), is deeply flawed, not least of which because it reinforces a rigid idea of what a woman or femininity can be. This is most commonly seen in married women, who bear the brunt of the idea that to be a ʻproperʼ family requires sharing oneʼs husbandʼs name. It also directly negatively impacts those who choose not to marry, who do not fit heteronormative or monogamous models, or who do not fit the gender binary system on which the name issue depends.

It’s a huge issue, and the longer I consider it, the larger and more important it gets. This post is merely to introduce one aspect, as I see it. Continue reading