- 8 years ago
- Wedding: September 2010
This isn’t strictly related to weddings, but it comes into it.
I use my second Christian name, so if my full name is Jane Elizabeth Bennett, I am called Elizabeth Bennett. Always have been, always. The reasons my parents made this choice are fuzzy, but make it they did, and I have always been Elizabeth Bennett. (Except that, actually, my name is much more difficult to say and spell than Elizabeth, so it’s very distinctive, and is very integral to who I am)
For the last 4 years, I have been slaving my guts out working for my PhD, and I’m finally getting to the point of submitting it. Except that I won’t be submitting it, Jane E Bennett will be. I have just stood in the graduate office in tears, begging them to let my put J Elizabeth Bennett on it, but no, because it has to fit with their filing system. So when I finally have that thesis up on my shelf, it will read “PhD Jane E Bennett 2010” on the side.
Add to this that I will soon be getting married, and so will become Elizabeth Darcy. So as I go through life, as Elizabeth Darcy, I’ll be proudly displaying the thesis of Jane Bennett on my shelves. Which just makes me think, who the hell is Jane Bennett, and why do I have her thesis? There will be nothing of me in the name attached to the hardest thing I’ve ever worked for in my life. And I’m so upset and disappointed. So upset.
This is a battle I’ve had before, and lost (with my bank, who won’t accept cheques to Elizabeth Bennett, only Jane, so I keep having to send cheques back to people and ask them to write them out again) and it just makes me sick that in this world of human rights and litigation, where we’re all on eggshells to make sure we don’t offend people, I don’t have the right to my own name.