Names and IDs and little bits of sexism

Photo by Brian Suda, under a Creative Commons License

My driver’s license was about to expire. And my passport was only valid for a few more months – not long enough to be able to get it stamped with a visa.

And so I went off to city hall to get that stuff renewed. Beloved came with, also desiring a new driver’s license. When I signed, gave finger prints and handed over a passport photo, the clerk asked me if I wanted my partner’s name added onto my new license and passport.  This may need some culturally oriented explaining.

I decided that, yes, please, I’d like my partner’s name in my passport on the line below my own name: the line  for ‘spouse’. Mostly to have a little visual proof for those not accustomed with people keeping their names, but also because of the fun tickly sensation of, you know, having found my Favourite Human and being able to have this verified by Powers That Be. (I acknowledge that this is a form of privilege that many people do not have, by the way.)

Much to my chagrin no one gave Beloved the option. So now I have two official documents listing Beloved as my spouse and he has two new documents that totally fail to acknowledge my existence.  Hello?! I’m here! I married this one! I know he has a penis, but why does that imply that he doesn’t need _my_ name all up in his business? Hmm?



4 Responses to “Names and IDs and little bits of sexism”

  1. 1 Sheryl May 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Wait, what? All the inequalities already about what we’re doing with our name and then they don’t give him the option to list a spouse? That’s just garbage.

    • 2 thesmittenimmigrant May 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Isn’t that the weirdest thing? I don’t know if he actually did not have the option or if he had, but no one told him about it because they assumed it wasn’t necessary.

      Maybe they only offer it explicitly to women only because we’re still the much more likely to use our partner’s names, even if we can’t legally take them. Sort of as an assurance that if you want to use your partner’s name, you have some easy proof you have a right to it.

      Still – although I like the egalitarian ‘no one takes anyone’s name ever’, and the equally egalitarian ‘you’re allowed to use your partner’s name no matter the gender’, I think they should extend this policy to the listing of spouses in passports to all people as well.

  2. 3 Daria May 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I know right?

    I remember how angry I got when, after D. and I got married (or technically: became registered partners, but here in The Netherlands that’s almost the same thing), I got a letter asking me how I wanted my name to be registered for the gemeente (what is that in English?), but he never did. God, that pisses me off >-(

  3. 4 Boef October 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    A late reaction but I’ve got something simillar. D and I live together for some time now. At some point we wanted to join our bankaccounts. You know, so he could use mine and I could use his. Mi money es tu money. The “funny thing” is that all our accounts are know registered as “last name Beloved and others”. Even the one bankaccount who was originally mine…

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