Beyonce coined the phrase “put a ring on it” so it seems fitting to look at her husband as an example of a man who is open to changing his ‘John Hancock’ to include his wife’s maiden name. Reported by several blogs in December 2009, Jay-Z, whose birth name is Shawn Carter, is comfortable with changing his name to Shawn Knowles-Carter. WAIT! Please allow me to check the bottom of my shoes to make sure I’m standing on cement and not a block of ice in the pits of hell.
Check Complete. Hell has not frozen over.
Instead, (if this is true) we have found a man who is living proof that all men aren’t caught up in an inflated sense of maleness that rejects reason. Why is having a combined name reasonable? The real question is why ISN’T it reasonable?
The dynamics of marriage and relationships between men and women have changed dramatically. Many men are no longer primarily responsible for providing for their wife and family; that has become a shared role. Despite what many church-goers say, it isn’t in the bible! And if marriage is truly a representation of two equal parties uniting in love, what is wrong with acknowledging both parties in that union?
While Jay-Z represents a glimmer of hope that breaks away from the norm, it seems like he is one of few because most men I speak to say they will NEVER change their name to include their wife’s name. Why? I have no idea!
While many of them know, for sure, that they won’t do it, NONE have been able to explain to me the reasoning behind that decision. Many have given me the same response: “It’s just not how it’s done.” Translation:
1. It will make me look like less of a man
2. I’m too scared to have to defend my decision in front of other men
3. My wife won’t respect me, etc.
Basically, the men I’ve spoken to are too insecure in their manhood to change their ‘John Hancock’ to a ‘Shawn Hancock’ by combining their wife’s last name with their own. In the end, the male ego has whipped a lot of women into accepting tradition for tradition’s sake and this seems to be no exception.
Drink to that!