You wanna know something super hilarious? It's not really funny ha-ha, it's more like funny living-nightmare, but here it is: It's 2013 and we're close to finding the God particle, but heaven forbid a husband try to take his wife's last name because that, well, that's impossible. Take Lazaro Sopena's story. He wanted to honor his wife's Vietnamese heritage and take her last name of Dinh when they got married, but it proved to be a Herculean task.
What started out as a kind and loving gesture turned into an utter debacle that ended with Mr. Dinh suing the state of Florida.
He changed his name, got a new passport and Social Security card, and then went into a Tallahassee DMV to get a new license.
After a year had passed, Mr. Dinh got an official letter from Florida that accused him of getting a license fraudulently and suspended his license. Thinking it was just one big misunderstanding, Dinh called the DMV to straighten things out, but instead of an apology, he was told that "only women" change their names when they get married.
He sued the state after that and, thankfully, Florida dropped the charges. Now Dinh's on a mission.
I'm still bothered that it took so long and it took so much brain damage to fix. Now I want to change the law so it's clear for the next man.
Because really, really, it shouldn't be that hard for a man to break tradition and take his wife's name. Should be just the same as a woman taking her husband's name. They're just letters on forms! How did sexism even get involved in the first place?
As of now, only nine states allow men to take their spouse's name after marriage. The remaining require mounds of paperwork that takes months to process and, well, a large fee, of course.
Thanks, state governments!
Do you think it should be harder for a man to take his wife's name than for a woman to take her husband's?
Photo via stephendamron/Flickr