When I got married I told my husband I loved him, but I wasn't really into changing my name. Why? There are lots of reasons - Ruth Gregory is the name that I have always been called; Ruth Gregory is my grandmother's (married) name and she is who I am named after; Ruth Gregory is what I am professionally known as; Ruth Gregory is who I am. And while changing my last name doesn't mean that I cease to exist and have to start over personally and professionally, it felt like that, and that was enough for me to stick with my maiden name despite all the flack I have gotten and continue to get for it.
Last weekend I finally gave in and went to see Hot Tub Time Machine. I gave in because multiple people had told me that the film had a soul beneath the silliness and that it was worth the price of admission. And so I went. And it was fun. But there was one thing that irked me deeply about the film and it wasn't even central to the story. Thus, I feel the need to blog about it. This will have spoilers.
In Hot Tub Time Machine one of the friends Nick Webber, played by Craig Robinson of "The Office", is a happily married, but totally emasculated, man. He has, essentially, given up everything to be with the woman that he loves; his music career and his friends (to an extent). He has also at the beginning of the film, duh, dun, duh! hyphenated his last name. And boy, do his "friends" give him crap for that.
On top of it all, he's found out that the love of his life, his wife, Courtney, has cheated on him. So all his sacrifice seems to be for nothing.
Through the magic of hot tub time travel Nick is able to change his present by altering the past. In this new present, he is a man in charge of his life. He has his friends back, he is a successful music producer, he is still married to the woman he loves, Courtney, and his name is no longer hyphenated. He is just Nick Webber.
Now, I don't judge women or men who hyphenate or change their names for whatever reason, but Hot Tub Time Machine sure as heck does. See in the new and improved future Nick's wife has not cheated on him. She is still madly in love with him and his re-asserted masculinity. Also, the guy she cheated on him with in the alternate reality is now his secretary. Take that!
Thus, the writers and director of Hot Tub Time Machine are judging the Courtney's of the world (and I feel, me, by extension) by putting out the message to the men of the world that if you love a strong woman who wants you to change your name, that this will lead to totally emasculation that she will eventually tire of, and, thus, she will eventually sleep with a "Tyrese-looking fella" who, I can only assume, dominated her in the way that men are supposed to dominate women.
So men, be aware. If you change your name, your wife will cheat.