Portia de Rossi Takes Her Hus – , Er, Wife’s, Name

by Donald Douglas | August 10, 2010 8:09 pm

I’m missing something. Either that, or Portia de Rossi’s gone badly off the radical feminist reservation[1]:

If you take your husband’s name, you must be dependent and incompetent. If you don’t, of course, you’re a ball-busting feminist – or that even more pitiable creature, someone without a husband at all. And, in most cases, you still have a name that came down to you patrilineally anyway. Luckily, there is one woman who’s thrown off the chains of the nomenclature patriarchy and received only praise for it. I speak, of course, of Lady Gaga.


Gaga’s an open-borders extremist so what does she know? Anyway, the screencap’s to The Daily Caller[2], which links to The Daily Mail, “Portia de Rossi to become Mrs DeGeneres as she takes Ellen’s name[3].”


These two make one high-profile Prop 8 couple, dontcha know? (They were married August 2008, months before the November election, in Beverly Hills). But I’m wondering if this is some statement on the consolidation of the post-feminist world. Things do change[4]:

Taking your husband’s surname, traditionally, makes you an auxiliary, an adjunct, the cute female sidekick, a spinoff, a derivative, Mrs. Him. But for some women now, it’s an assumption, rather than a loss, of power — shared power. “Instead of feeling like I ‘belong’ to my husband now that I have his last name, I feel like we are on equal footing, says Amy Owings, 34, a executive assistant in Overland Park, Kan. “We are both Owings, so now I claim him as much as he claims me.”

Still, I’m out of the loop on lesbian culture. Is it a pathbreaking thing for gay women to adopt the dominant cultural identification of the patriarchical Mr. and Mrs. nomenclature? No doubt Catherine MacKinnon[5]‘s steaming over this: “Feminism stresses the indistinguishability of prostitution, marriage, and sexual harassment[6].”

RELATED: “Portia de Rossi: A Gay Staunch Feminist[7].”

Cross-posted from American Power[8].

  1. the radical feminist reservation: http://jezebel.com/5517854/take-your-husbands-name-and-take-a-salary-cut
  2. The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2010/08/10/portia-de-rossi-to-become-mrs-degeneres-as-she-takes-ellens-name/
  3. Portia de Rossi to become Mrs DeGeneres as she takes Ellen’s name: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1301728/Portia-
  4. Things do change: http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2003/10/16/names
  5. Catherine MacKinnon: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article714019.ece
  6. Feminism stresses the indistinguishability of prostitution, marriage, and sexual harassment: http://www.newswithviews.com/family/family4.htm
  7. Portia de Rossi: A Gay Staunch Feminist: http://jake-weird.blogspot.com/2010/02/portia-de-rossi-gay-staunch-feminist.html
  8. American Power: http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/portia-de-rossi-takes-her-hus-er-wifes.html

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