Julie's Web Anthology
We, as women, have many subtitles. What is in a Name? Why do we hold such weight in a name? Our names we are given at birth seem to be taken away from us as we grow and develop. Names give us meaning. Names give us identity, a sense of importance. Names give us strength in who we are and what we want to become. Society has evolved in the recognition of women. It is pertintent that all women feel individualized and just as important as the next.
I believe World War 1 played a major important role in how women are viewed today. The war helped women be recognized for their capabilities other than cooking, cleaning, and sexual beings. The women had to step into a man's role during this time. Women forged forward and made huge strides in their efforts. After the war, women continued to fight for equal rights and recognition. Women will continue to fight for what we believe in. We as individuals deserve the recognition for who we are and what we are, not what is idealized by society.
Instead of our birth given names, indivuduals like to give us names of their own. Men call us their wives, spouses, or girlfriends. Our children call us their mother. We are sisters, aunts, honey, sweet thing, and there are a few condescending names I will not mention. These titles are not terrible, but it is not our name. Women loose their strength, their individualism, and they loose themselves. Your name is important!
"Most of them accepted namelessness with a perfect indifferent with which they had so long accepted and ignored their names." (Ursula LeGuin, She Unnames Them). Much like the animals in this story, Eve takes all the names away from the animals that Adam has given them. Anyone who gives something or someone a name holds power over them. They are in a powerful position no matter what the name.
Our identities are what we make of it. We may be named by our parents, society, or otherwise, but only we can decide what our true identity actually is. As we learn and grow mentally and intellectually, our identity will change, our names will evolve along with us.
"A name has its own meaning. It connects beginings with their origins. To retrace its path is then to embark on an adventure in which the destiny of a single word becomes one." (Elie Wiesel, The Power of Names and Naming)
"Women whose lives defy stereotypes are often invisible"( Ella L.J. Edmondson, Stella M. Nkomo). Professional women develop titles. It is yet another way to be renamed. These women have worked hard for these titles. They seek other recognition and identity. Women are not typically seen to be the person of authority, or in charge. In many cases I have found when women are the one in charge, they are kept hidden. Maybe not intentionally, but women are viewed to be weak and incompetent.
Sexual orientation is yet another way of identifying ourselves as individuals. Some people expect women to go by a particular set of norms. There is no right or wrong. There is only how we feel and act. The thought of not knowing who we really are leaves an empty feeling inside of us as women. Weather we are female or not can be implied by our names. But, our names do not predict our sexual desire.
Our names ground us. A name can make you proud to be who you are. But, names don't define who we are or what we become. This means a lot to me, as a mother, a sister, an aunt, a wife and a daughter, I very seldom hear someone say my name. After years of not hearing it, I felt that I have lost touch with who I am not only as a woman, but as a person.
As seen in the movie "The Other Women"( Melissa Stack), Some types of renaming can be catastrophic to the individual. This is a comedy about a very serious issue. No one wants to be the "Other " woman. Not only does this type of renaming lose touch with your god given name, it rearranges your ideas of your sexual capabilities.