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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Pizza

because pizza is happiness, obviously

1901 – Phoenix

The year was 2009. It was November or December. I had just come out of my emo phase – or as much as an emo phase as I was allowed to have as a fourteen year old who wasn’t allowed to wear black makeup or black nail polish or have dramatic hair cuts or colors or… well, you get the point.

I was in my mom’s bathroom flat ironing the hell out of my hair (because it was 2009 and that’s what we were all doing) while I was getting ready for school. I had to use my mom’s bathroom because she had a mirror hanging on the back of her door and I hadn’t quite mastered the art of doing the back of my hair without being able to see it straight on and because she had a better flat iron than I did.

Most mornings I would listen to Mix 107.9 on the radio. It was easier than listening to my mp3 player because I didn’t have to worry about the wires of my headphones getting in the way while I was doing my hair. I was absolutely desperate to fit in at school and this particular radio station played the current top 100. I listened to this radio station in the morning, in the car, when I was doing homework. It got to the point where I could name the artist and song within the first few seconds of the song. For some reason, I thought that knowing the most popular songs would help me become popular? I don’t know. It was a confusing time.

You also have to understand that I was raised on a very bizarre mix of classical, new age, and ’90’s love songs. The first songs that I have memories of are Boadicea by Enya, the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh, and Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden. The first album I listened to all the way through was Sting’s Brand New Day (and I could still probably sing all of the lyrics for you because I listened to it a lot). This isn’t to say that the music wasn’t amazing (because it was and still is and I still listen to all of that when the mood strikes me), but it wasn’t exactly played at school dances.

Anyways, on this particular morning, I couldn’t listen to Mix 107.9. I can’t remember exactly why. Maybe they were off-air. Maybe they had started playing an inappropriate song and my mom was in the room and I got embarrassed. I started scanning on the radio for the closest radio station that was playing music and not some boring morning talk show (morning talk shows were the bane of my existence as an early teenager – I just wanted the music, please and thanks). I ended up landing on 101.9 The End, which was a blend of alternative music from the ’80’s on down to the present day (of 2009).

I paused on this station. The most amazing song I had heard was playing. I hadn’t ever heard anything like it. It was so different from everything else that I had been listening to the past several months. It made me want to dance and nod my head and belt out the words I didn’t even know yet.

When the song ended, I listened for the DJ to announce what the song was, but to my wild and stinging disappointment, he didn’t. He launched into one of those dreaded morning talk shows. I was so frustrated, but I had to rush out the door for my carpool to school. All day the melody was stuck in my head. As soon as I got home, I went to the radio’s website to see if I could find the song in their recently played list. I was wildly disappointed once again to find that the list only went back a few hours, and the song wasn’t on there. Nor could I remember any of the specific lyrics to google.

But my fate was sealed. I had to find the song. The next morning, I turned on the radio to 101.9 The End and braved an hour of the morning talk show to see if they would play the song again. Of course, for an hour of talk show, they only played two or three songs and they weren’t going to play the same one they played the day before. My fourteen year old self was so hopeful though. Day after day went by of me listening to that morning show to hear the song again.

While I was listening for that one particular song though, I was exposed to a whole new genre of music that I really, really enjoyed. I discovered Matt & Kim, The Black Keys, MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, Young the Giant, The Naked and Famous, and other bands that I still love and will listen to.

Finally, weeks after I first heard the song played on the radio, they played it again. I was ecstatic. It was just as good as I remembered it being. And this time, the DJ even announced the name and artist. 1901 by Phoenix.

(Also for your listening pleasure, I have included links to Boadicea, the No.7 Movement II, and my favorite song from the Sting album I referenced. Enjoy!)

 

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10 Years of Mal-loween

As I promised, this post is a fun, lighthearted post in list format!

I’ve always loved Halloween. I mean: fall weather, dressing up, pumpkin everything, candy, spooky stories – what’s not to love? I started to take my costume rather seriously starting when I was about 8 and have had some really great costumes over the years (at least, in my opinion). This post is a compilation of 10 years worth of my Halloween costumes (with pictures and fun facts too!).

  • Dead Prom Queen (2008)
    • Fun fact – my mom came up with the tire track idea and achieved the effect by rubbing shoe oil on the family car’s tires, then ran my dress over with the car.
  • Juliet (2009)
    • Fun fact – I planned this costume around a dagger I bought at The Shakespeare Festival, which is probably more weird than fun, but that’s Jr. High Mallory in a nutshell for ya.

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  • Belle (2010)
    • Fun fact – I planned this costume because I found the yellow dress at a thrift store in like August of 2010 and really wanted to buy it, but didn‚Äôt have a good reason.

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  • Miss Scarlet (2011)
    • Fun fact – this was a group costume for the Halloween dance. My friend told me I was the only one with enough sass to pull off Miss Scarlet.

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  • Where’s Waldo? (2012)
    • Fun fact – this was another group costume
  • Flapper (2013)
    • Not fun fact – I didn’t actually get to wear this costume for Halloween because I had to work that day ūüė¶

  • Lois Lane and Superman (2014)
    • Fun fact – this was when I was a poor college student and had to put together a costume of stuff I already owned. We ended up winning a costume contest!

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  • ’50’s Couple (2015)
    • Fun fact – Halloween was literally two weeks after we got married. Since I had been planning the wedding, I hadn’t even thought of a costume. We threw this together the day before with stuff we already had around the house.

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  • Mickey and Minnie (2016)
    • Fun fact – We planned this costume around my polka dot dress, which also doubled as my graduation dress.

  • Hogwarts Students (2017)
    • Fun fact – We decided to dress according to our houses rather than pick specific characters. My house is Ravenclaw, Andrew’s is Gryffindor.

(Finally, to wrap up this post, I want to give a shout out to my mom who helped me so much putting my costumes together throughout my childhood and teenage years. She also helped me out with the post by emailing me old pictures! You’re the best, mom ūüôā )

Let’s Talk About Cancer and Other Heavy Things

Since it’s been nearly a year since I last wrote regularly, I figured why not jump back in with the heavy topics? I want to make everybody uncomfortably aware of my inner demons and worst fears and whatnot to make up for my absence from your lives (I promise my next post will be silly and lighthearted and maybe even in a list format, which is always fun)! My last post was about my early return from my mission, so this one will be about my husband’s cancer diagnosis.

Andrew (the aforementioned husband) was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was 19, 4 months after we started dating. As far as cancers go, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is kind of the way to go (so, in case you were thinking of getting cancer, aim for that one). If caught in the early stages, it has about a 90% cure rate. Luckily, Andrew’s cancer was caught in the early stages and he is three years in remission now!

Andrew was diagnosed because of a lingering cold that he had. Seriously. It was a cold that tipped the doctors off. He had gone into the student health center to get an antibiotic to help him fight it off. The student health center thought something might be up and acted strangely enough that Andrew went to the InstaCare for a second opinion. They also thought something was off. An ultrasound, PET Scan, and biopsy later, it was official. Andrew had cancer. He started a rigorous regimen of chemotherapy the following Wednesday, which was also Finals Week (and, like the trooper he is, he went and took his finals in the midst of all of this). After the chemotherapy was finished, he had 18 (nearly) straight days of radiation treatment.

Relapse is, of course, always in the back of our minds. Since he was diagnosed because of a cold, every sniffle, cough, or sore throat puts us on high alert. Earlier this year he had a lingering cough for a month and a half and we went to the doctor no less than four times because we were so anxious.

Andrew won’t be considered cured until he hits his 5 years in remission mark and the cancer is all but essentially guaranteed to come back eventually. The next time the cancer comes, chances of survival are good, but not as good as the first time. And each time it comes back the chances of survival reduce.

 


About 8 months ago I was watching one of my favorite TV shows. It’s a comedy with just enough drama to keep it interesting. In an episode that aired about a week before Valentine’s Day, a main character unexpectedly died from a heart attack due to complications from an previous injury which they thought he was in the clear for.

I was hysterical. I literally sat on the couch sobbing for a good three hours. For the life of me, I could not figure out why this TV show made me so upset, and why I cared so much that this character died. It was a fake person that died. I was pretty embarrassed about my reaction, but I was weepy for the rest of the night and Andrew was more than a little flabbergasted about why I was so upset (in all honesty, I, too, was a little flabbergasted).

I was groggy the next morning and couldn’t get the death of that character off of my mind. Because I was so upset, I reached out to several people to complain about this death and how angry and hurt I was over this decision. Some people responded by listening and sympathizing. Some people told me it was just a TV show and it shouldn’t matter that much to me. Some people justified the decisions of the writers and executives.

What made me even angrier than this unexpected death on a TV Show is that people were dismissing my feelings and justifying the decisions that had upset me so thoroughly. Sure, I didn’t know why this had impacted me so deeply, but I certainly didn’t anticipate my sadness and anger to be met with coldness from those I was trying to confide in.


Of course, thanks to the order that I presented the information to you in, you’re likely able to quickly draw the parallels between what upset me so deeply in the TV show and my own very real life. It took me several weeks (where I was frustrated and angry with this dumb TV show) to stumble on the answer myself.

Andrew has a chance of unexpectedly relapsing at any point and it could kill him. Just like that character unexpectedly “relapsed” into his injury and it killed him. It altered the lives of everyone around that character and his wife was (justifiably) devastated. There was about a 30 second clip where the wife receives the news that her husband has passed away and it was very difficult to watch her reaction. For me, it was like looking into a possible and horrific version of my future, which would be upsetting for anyone. Which is why I was so traumatized. And which is also why I was so hurt that so many of the people I tried to confide in brushed me off.


It wouldn’t be a post on Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Pizza if I didn’t have a key takeaway summary at the end of my post. In an effort not to upset my adoring fans (thanks for reading. Really, I appreciate it – you didn’t have to make it this far in my post or keep reading my blog when I update it and you did and that’s really cool of you), I will continue with that pattern.

So here’s my lead up to the key takeaway: Why on earth do we question someone else’s narrative?¬†When we’re confronted with someone else’s story, often our first reaction is generally to question them on the accuracy of the story, justify the actions of the people around them, or invalidate their feelings. Sometimes we even go so far as to say, “Well, it didn’t upset me, so it shouldn’t upset you.”

Since we’re all a unique conglomeration of triumphs and tragedies, successes and sorrows, loves and losses, we cannot possibly know how every event will effect someone else, or expect them to react in the same way we did when confronted with the same situation. And here’s the key takeaway. Next time someone confides in us or tells us about something that was upsetting to them, let’s swallow our initial reaction of justification and just tell them, “I’m sorry. That really sucks.”

Please Stop Asking Strangers if They Served Missions

Over the past few years, I’ve lived in 5 different places (from DC, to Logan, to SLC), had, like, 6 different jobs, and traveled in several different states. In other words, I’ve met a lot of people in a lot of places. One trend that I’ve noticed is that if I meet someone who is also LDS, the question of mission serving always comes up pretty fast. Which puts me in an exceptionally awkward position.

Here’s the thing: when you’re first meeting someone, you wouldn’t ask them for their political party or what religion they are. You wouldn’t ask them if they’re trying to have kids or if they got a college education or how much debt they have. If you find out they’re LDS, you wouldn’t ask them if they got sealed in the temple, or if they’re currently temple worthy. All of those things are personal and aren’t appropriate to ask an acquaintance. So why do we ask about missions? For some people, a mission is¬†an amazing experience that they’re willing to share, for others it’s something they may have wanted to do and never been able to and being asked is a painful reminder, and some people may have returned early and don’t like to think about it.

Also, let me be clear: I’m not saying we should never talk about missions. If you served a mission, by all means, tell me about it! I love hearing the stories. But I want¬†you, the one who has the stories and experiences, to freely offer them. I won’t ask to hear them. And I don’t want you to ask me.

When a stranger asks me if I served a mission, I basically have two options (and trust me, it’s pretty much just these two. I’ve been answering this question for a few years now): I can say yes, and then have to answer the follow up questions in which I get to tell complete and total strangers about my anxieties and depression and early return, stressing that it was honorable and clinical because I’m prideful and care what strangers think of me. Or I can (lie and) say no, which is easier, but also not true. I don’t like telling strangers about my depression. It’s not because I’m ashamed of it. I’m pretty open about it, honestly¬†(hence why I’m mentioning it on my blog).¬†But I don’t really like that being in the first interaction I have with somebody because my depression and early return don’t define me. I’ve got so many other things to offer (like, hey, I’ve read about a book a week for the past six months, and I’m trying to teach myself to like running, and I really love food and TV shows, and I’ve got a dog and a husband I adore, I studied Political Science but work in the tech industry, and I love to travel!) so why should that be what strangers are asking me? Why does a mission tell you who I am?

As another anecdote, Andrew didn’t serve a mission. When he is asked, he also has to make a decision about opening up about a painful time in his life where he wanted to go (had even opened up his paperwork) and got diagnosed with cancer. If he says no, he didn’t serve, with no follow up explanation, people tend to assume the worst. It’s not fair that strangers are putting him in a position where he either has to tell them about an illness or he gets to be judged unfairly and unduly.

In short, when you meet a new person, it’s best to stick to the small talk for a while before diving into more personal information. *gracefully steps down from soapbox*

My Not-So-Secret Love Affair with Food

Disclaimer: I hate diets. I love food. A lot. To both statements.

Andrew recently passed his two-year remission mark (yay!!). He had a check up with his oncologist where they discussed the best sorts of diet to stay in remission and not have a relapse. It was mostly pretty easy stuff: limit red meats, avoid cured meats, try not to each processed foods. And then, somewhere in the middle of that tame and normal conversation, the paleo diet came up. And then it was somehow agreed we would try paleo for a month to clear toxins and reset our bodies and blah blah blah.

So, we’ve been paleo for two weeks now. And a day. Only one week and six days left! I’ve learned a lot about myself and my relationship with food from this diet.

  1. When it comes to food, I literally think in terms of life or death. There were donuts at work the other day and they smelled so good and all I could think was that if I died in the next few weeks, I would have deprived myself of the last chance I had to eat donuts and what a shame that would be.
  2. The only thing that I like about salad is the ranch dressing. On paleo you can’t have ranch dressing. But you can have salad.
  3. I apparently REALLY love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and also buttered toast. Because I’ve (literally) been dreaming about those things for the past few nights.
  4. Eating too much fruit gives me canker sores, which has reduced my diet now to basically vegetables and meat for the next one week and six days, which is fiiiiine. That’s fiiiiine. Don’t worry about me.
  5. I’m literally eating dog food for lunch. Okay, well, not literally. But my dog’s food is sweet potatoes, chicken, and vegetables. Guess what I’ve eaten for lunch the past two weeks? Again, it’s fiiiine.

I’m Going to Stop Using the Word Jealous, and You Should Too

We all do it. As soon as we see a friend who announces an engagement/announces a pregnancy/moves to a cool place/gets a cute pet/graduates college/goes on an amazing looking vacation/gets tickets to see HAMILTON/studies abroad/gets an internship/a whole plethora of things that we wish we had but don’t, we quickly type out, ‘So jealous!’ Maybe we even say it to their face, “Ugh. I’m jealous!” And then our friends just kind of laugh, because it’s not really a compliment and it’s not really an insult,¬†and there’s not really an appropriate way to respond to it.

I recently realized how¬†rude it is of me to say this to my friends and I’ve been trying hard to eradicate jealous from my vocabulary. I didn’t realize how pervasive this sneaky little word is. In fact, I just recently sent JEALOUS in all caps to Andrew because his office ordered pizza from The Pie and, well, I haven’t had pizza in weeks (I miss it).

As usual, here’s a list to provide you all with my much sought-after logic, this time on the topic of jealousy.

  1. When I say I’m jealous of someone, it takes away from their accomplishment and happiness and turns it around to me. For example, if a friend¬†posts a picture of their new car and I say “I’m jealous!” I take away from their hard work to get the car, the accomplishment of finally achieving it, and the happiness therein and turn it around to me, and my lack of a new car. It diminishes the hard work my friend probably undertook to earn that car. It ignores their accomplishment.
  2. Jealousy makes inherent comparisons. “They have a new car. I do not have a new car. I want that car.” All of the sudden instead of being happy with your perfectly adequate car that does its job in getting you from Point A to Point B, you are wishing you had your friend’s new car. Comparison tends to breed unhappiness because you’re only looking at the things other people have that you lack.
  3. Jealously assumes that someone didn’t struggle or have to work hard to obtain what they have. We can never know how other people struggle. They may have anxiety or depression that makes every day a challenge, they may be in debt, or have infertility issues, or family problems, or martial strife, or really anything. There’s a lot beneath the surface of everyone we know. When I say I’m jealous, I could be ignoring the trial they surmounted in order to be where they are now.
  4. Saying you’re jealous is not a compliment.¬†It’s just not.

It’s been hard to try and get rid of this word. It really is one of my gut reactions to be jealous of someone when they have something I don’t. But I’ve been training myself to be genuinely happy for people when they achieve something or make a great addition to their life.

So, in summation, join me in saying ‘Congratulations’ next time instead of ‘Wow! I’m so jealous!’

What I Learned from my Political Science Degree

Hey folks! It’s been a while (about two months – I know you’ve been watching the weeks pass by wondering when you would hear from me again). It’s been a crazy couple of months! Andrew and I went to Orlando and New York City, found an apartment to move to in Salt Lake City, started the tedious moving process, and I graduated from Utah State University!

As my undergraduate degree neared¬†its end, I began to have a bit of an existential crisis. I’ve been a student for 16 years and I think I’m pretty good at it. Anyways, I started reflecting on my time as a Political Science student and the most important things I learned. I think a lot of this is really applicable to the current political climate, which is why I’m sharing this in a public forum.

  1. Arguing on a moral basis will never, ever, ever, ever, ever get you anywhere. Morality is kind of a tricky thing because everyone’s moral compass has a slightly different ‘North.’ There are different priorities for everyone. Merriam-Webster defines morality as “beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior.” When something is a¬†belief¬†it is not as black and white as you would think. The person you’re arguing with may have the complete opposite belief as you and they’re not wrong because it’s a¬†belief. It’s not a fact. It’s not even an opinion. It’s a belief.
  2. The best way to analyze policies is based on justice. This lesson took a long time for me to learn. It essentially took me dissecting a hefty load of Supreme Court cases for me to realize that what I think is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ doesn’t matter at all, and that’s actually a really, really good thing. What matters is whether every individual is treated justly in the eyes of the law.
  3. The “big” social issues that the American public is concerned about are basically non-issues for the vast majority of us political science scholars.¬†I’m talking about abortion¬†and gay marriage here specifically. It would officially take a constitutional amendment (which is a notoriously difficult task to undertake) to override these decisions. They’re as permanent as something can be in our government. Politicians only talk about these issues because they know the public is still up-in-arms about all of it. They know the truth, too – it’s all a done deal.
  4. The¬†Constitution¬†is not a divine document. This isn’t to say it wasn’t divinely inspired – it very well could have been. What I’m trying to say here is that the Constitution doesn’t cover everything and that it’s okay to change it. Obviously it wasn’t perfect – we’ve changed it 27 times. Yet people treat it like it’s the tablets handed to Moses on Mount Sinai themselves. As such, it’s incredibly difficult to getting an amendment through. If you take out the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments) that were added on as a compromise, then there’s been one amendment every 13.5 years on average. It’s so difficult, that women still haven’t been constitutionally declared equal. It’s done through a backdoor clause of the 14th amendment.
  5. The American public is change-averse.¬†And it kind of makes things really crappy for everyone. Americans hate admitting that there’s a problem (see point number 4), and it takes decades of mistreatment and discontent before they decide to do something about it. I have seen chart after chart and more graphs than I care to share about how America is falling behind other first world countries in areas like public education, higher education, infrastructure, social mobility, and healthcare. But instead of admitting that things may need to be fixed, taxes may need to be raised, and programs may need to be cut, everyone acts like it’s still the 1980’s here and ignoring the reality that 2016 is not quite as kind to America.

I am a Feminist. And that Needs to be Okay.

I recently saw a link to a blog post entitled ‘I am Not a Feminist and That’s Okay.’¬†The way my heart twisted and stomach sank because of the blatant misunderstandings about¬†what feminism actually means let me know that I would soon be adding my voice to the dozens of other bloggers who are standing up against the misinformation propagated by this post. So, dear reader, sit down and buckle up because here. we. go.

(Also, a fair warning, I respond to frustration [i.e., twisted heart and sunk stomach] with [potentially poor] attempts at humor to lighten the [my own] mood.)

Amanda Jayne Sankey, the author of aforementioned blog post, begins ¬†by stating “I am not a feminist.” Which, I think is fine. It’s crushing to be a feminist. It’s a brutal way to analyze the society we live in. It is truly painful to realize how unequal things are for women in our society, from politics to the movie industry to the pay gap (the latter of which is the only thing that Amanda mentions and is only a teeny, tiny fraction of the feminist issue). And that’s not even branching into the gendercides that occur globally, or female genital mutilation, rape culture, or the atrocious abuses endured by women all over the world. It’s also not branching into the idea of gender equality across the board, allowing men to be emotionally equal with women or acknowledging the abuses and assaults that men suffer as well.

I truly wish it were as simple as Amanda paints the picture. I honest-to-goodness wish that feminism was about the pay gap. I think at that point, I, too, would feel comfortable hanging up my feminist hat and claiming that ‘It’s okay not to be a feminist.’ I wish that once the 19th Amendment was added, the feminist movement could be over because suffrage for a group in America is synonymous with equality and safety.

Amanda then brushes over ‘fourth wave feminism’ and seems to imply that first wave feminism was enough, without providing any insight into what waves one, two, three, or four are about. So, get ready for some serious fresh knowledge pouring forth from these furious feminist fingers. (also, some simplified knowledge because I’m no historian.)

First wave: Suffrage, in a word. Literally. The first wave was just the very beginning of analyzing the situation and gaining voting rights, which are, you know, our constitutional right OFFICIALLY, boo-yah. Second wave: Reproductive rights (like the right to birth control, because that was seriously illegal for the longest time ever, and remember, women didn’t even get to vote until 1920, so these laws weren’t put in place by women). The second wave was probably the most radical, and is where feminism gets a bit of a bad name because women-only groups were formed and protests were rampant.¬†Third wave:¬†Guys, women can be whatever they want to be. ¬†Maybe we don’t even need feminism anymore. ¬†Fourth wave:¬†Yeah, that third movement was wrong cause things still aren’t equal, thank you very much. Let’s talk about some real problems, like rape culture, the notorious pay gap, slut-shaming, abortion and reproductive rights, media propaganda of unrealistic body types, maternity leave, gender equality in general, and all of those other problems I mentioned earlier because they’re still very much here despite the fact that we can vote.

Now that the history lesson is over, we can move on in analyzing Amanda’s misguided post. The next line reads “I don’t want the things these feminists are fighting for.” Cool. I’ve got some serious mad respect for Amanda for asserting her rights to refuse the things we’re fighting for. WE WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TO REFUSE THEM. THAT’S THE POINT. We want YOU, Amanda, to choose what YOU want to do. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom and nurture the crap out of your kids, that is so awesome and I respect you for that, just like I respect a mother who wants to work full-time at her career or a women who doesn’t want kids. I respect all y’alls choices. Now, the more serious side of the issue that Amanda doesn’t address in her post… I’m also fighting against rape, assault, abuse, genital mutilation, slut-shaming, etc. These are serious and dangerous issues. By giving a blanket statement of “I don’t want what you work for” Amanda is negating the very real and gritty side of feminism that deals with some terrible goings-on.

I agree with Amanda when she writes, “it is completely okay to choose to stay home and be a mother because that is the hardest job in the world. It is okay to like cooking. It is okay to take care of your husband and children. It is okay to want your boyfriend to ask for your father‚Äôs blessing before proposing to you. It is okay to take his last name.” And gosh darn it, Amanda, Feminists will have you believe these things. It is okay to do with your life what you want to do with it. Stay at home, work with kids, don’t have kids (I sound like a broken record player, please, please, please, please understand that feminism is not about ultra-powerful women, I don’t know how many different ways I can repeat myself).

I hesitate to even venture into the next few paragraph’s of Amanda’s post because I find them incredibly depressing…

In short, I will say this:¬†if you do not want to submit to your husband… don’t. I’m honestly not even sure what this means. Like, is it advocating spousal rape? Because that’s definitely illegal. But, also, marriage is about partnership and you may need to on occasion submit to your husband’s wishes, just like he may, on occasion, need to submit to yours. Work it out amongst yourselves. I’m sure you’re all reasonable people with realistic expectations of your partner.

Have¬†you gotten it yet? Like, you, reading this with your beautiful eyes? Feminists have taken this crushing, brutal, painful, pressure on because we care about all of you, even when you don’t care yourself. We want people to have the right to choose what to do with their life, whether’s that’s embracing the whole shebang or refusing it entirely. We want men and women¬†to be safe, physically and emotionally, to have equal rights, and to be equally represented.

ALL OF YOU RAD PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE READING THIS: FEMINISM IS DOPE AND NECESSARY AND FOR LITERALLY EVERYONE.

Here’s a link to Amanda’s blog post:¬†http://theodysseyonline.com/wku/it-is-okay-not-to-be-feminist/344023

And the article I summarized in my brief history of feminism: http://www.pacificu.edu/about-us/news-events/four-waves-feminism

 

Why I Chose to Keep My Last Name

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while (actually, like, for a year, which is longer than this blog has even existed), but was worried about coming across too inflammatory. I ¬†wanted to explain my reasoning for not changing my last name when I married Andrew. I’ve gotten lots of questions about it and I wanted to answer them in writing, because I’m better at communicating that way.

First of all, I totally respect the decision to take your husband’s last name/hyphenate/make up a new last name/whatever solution you come up with. I think that it’s important to do what¬†you feel comfortable doing and that your spouse is comfortable with it, too. Second of all, I don’t care if you call me Mrs. Waibel or send our mail to Andrew and Mallory Waibel. I don’t have a specific reason for not caring, but I think that it’s a battle not worth fighting ūüôā

Andrew and I started talking about what to do about the last name situation almost right after we got engaged. I realized that I didn’t really want to follow the tradition. At first, I think he was a little surprised, but he quickly became very supportive (especially after I asked him if he would want to change his name to Rogers). We talked about hyphenating, but that can get complicated and often the first name of the hyphenation gets dropped (much like making your maiden name your middle name). I also wasn’t sure I wanted our kids to have hyphenated last names. Andrew offered to hyphenate his name, too. That was our plan for a while, but I think it didn’t sit totally right with us. Neither of us wanted to change our identities. In fact, it wasn’t until October 15 (the day before our wedding) that I officially decided I wasn’t going to change my name. It just didn’t feel right to me.

  1. I really, really love my family heritage. Of course, by changing my name, I wouldn’t be giving it up. But I’m so proud to say I’m a Rogers: we’re a stubborn, religious, loyal,¬†devoted clan. From John Rogers who died at the stake because he believed that the bible should be able to be read by everyone, not just priests, to David Rogers who was so stubborn that when his toe got cut off, sewn back on, and healed crookedly, he cut it back off to sew it on straight himself (I mean, that’s awesomely boss).
  2. I love the identity I’ve created for myself. I’ve worked really hard in school and at work so that my name, Mallory Rogers, is known in my department. On my name alone, I was offered three different TA positions this semester by three separate professors, and a grading position last semester by a totally different professor. I like to think that my name is recognizable and I didn’t want to lose that by changing it towards the end of my college career. I’ve spent 20 years being Mallory Rogers and I really like her. I didn’t want my identity to change because I decided to get married.
  3. I’m not entirely fond of the¬†initial¬†cause of the tradition of taking your husband’s last name. I know that no one believes wives are property of their husbands anymore. And I honestly don’t think any less of people who take their husband’s last name: I think it’s really great!¬†¬†But personally, I had a really hard time getting over the origin and some of the results of wives being considered property (such as spousal rape, which was legal in some states until as late as 1993). Women were transferred from their fathers to their husbands and the last-name changing was symbolic of that transfer of property.
  4. It’s complicated to change your last name!¬†This is a little bit of a lame reason, but I just didn’t want to deal with it! There’s no time-frame, but I didn’t want to get a new Social Security card, a new Driver’s License, a new checkbook, deal with the bureaucracy of the University, doctor’s offices, banks, and jobs. Life is crazy enough, if you ask me.

I don’t know what we’ll do yet when we start having kids. We might hyphenate. They might just take Waibel as their last name. They might just take Rogers. We might given them both, like the Spanish do. It’s at least a few years off, so we’re not really worrying about it yet.

 

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This is Andrew and I on the day I stayed Mallory Rogers!

 

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