A World Sliding Backwards

I had a little wrangle with bureaucracy today and gave up in a fit of frustration (or maybe a temper tantrum).

I simply wanted to accept my current reality and change my driver’s license from Colorado to Kansas. I admit, I clung to the Colorado license for a couple of reasons. Ostensibly, I held onto it because we owned the house in Durango, and I thought it would be good for one of us to still be considered a resident. In reality, though, I did not want to say good bye to Durango, and even more I didn’t want to embrace my existence in Kansas. There was also the fact that they took a really cute license photo last time, and I didn’t want to let it go.

But, we officially closed on the house and it looks like I’m stuck living here for a while longer, so I figured it was time to give in and get a new driver’s license.

“Do you have your birth certificate and marriage license?”

“Well, no.”

“A current passport will do. We need you to prove your married name.”

“But I didn’t change my name when I got married. I’ve had this name on every license since I was 16.”

“We need your passport or your birth certificate and marriage license. Oh, and proof of address.”

“Well, I’m moving into a new rental in a few weeks. I was hoping I could put that address on.”

“Not without proof.”

Needless to say, I still have my Colorado license for a while. I have my passport, but I could not deal with the bureaucracy anymore today. Besides, I feel like the passport isn’t going to be enough, because I kept my name when I got married. Its like I did something wrong, daring to maintain my identity and keep my last name.

Don’t get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with taking your husband’s name when you get married. But for me, it didn’t feel right for a number of reasons. I reserve the name change for my future (imaginary) career as a radio talk show host a la Dr. Ruth–then I will become Dr. Lisa Lee the Love Dr.

We could be twins. 😉

What really bothers me about all this was the implication about my name. I suddenly recognized that marriage, in the eyes of some laws, means that I am the property of my husband, or at the very least his legal responsibility. I mean, nobody asked him for his marriage license when he changed to the Kansas license last year. Why should I have to provide mine?

I am the property of nobody. I am responsible for myself.

Is that craziness, or just Kansas?

Well, after I finally finished jumping through bureaucratic hoops (I also had to pay for my tags today–a nice chunk of change) Sarah and I got lunch at the only coffee shop in town. I read the Tulsa paper as I was waiting only to be repulsed by the fact that Kansas is trying to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, while also forcing them and two other agencies that provide abortions to go through some inspections to grant them the right to perform abortions–inspections which might inevitably fail in pulling those rights (they’ve already yanked it from one of the three). That would make Kansas the only state to not provide any resources for this as well as the first state to pull all funding from a State Arts Council.

So basically, I believe I am now living in a state that wants me barefoot, pregnant, and the property of my husband without the ability to support myself by doing the work I do the best which involves Arts Education.

You know what scares me the most? The potential that our country could easily continue to slide in this horrific direction–backwards to a world where equality exists only in the mouths of men.


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kidspartyheaven
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:05:24

    Ooh I’m with you on this one Lisa. Who’d have thunk it, a fellow Feminist at heart. The older I get, the more political I get around this subject. Strangely enough, having a fantastic man by my side who supports me and provides me a sounding board to bounce my rants off of, helps me be a stronger radical feminist every day. True feminists love men. It’s the Patriarchy that sucks.
    Sisters together!


  2. Tori Nelson
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:07:34

    I’m convinced the DMV has strict Annoy The Tar Out Of Normal Folks policies in place.


  3. Taochild
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:30:51

    For fear of creating a nuclear incident I will not mention my views of the registry (as if you don’t know em). Sadly no matter how much we as a nation claim that we have evolved on sexual equality issue, the basic fact is that the traditional view of marriage is still fully as the woman is the property of the male. Having now seen way more wedding ceremonies than I could ever desire, the traditional vows are still worded as the woman “loves and obeys” while the man “loves and protects”. We are hypocrites.


  4. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:44:20

    Texas is just as looney. They are doing (trying to) the same crap with PP down here along with the new state law that states that anyone wanting an abortion MUST have a Sonogram done and MUST look at the sonogram…….


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:55:58

      What scares me the most is that they are getting away with this bull.


    • Sandi Ormsby
      Jun 30, 2011 @ 16:46:33

      That’s ridiculous, as if that individual hasn’t already struggled with the tough decision. Now, we’ll guilt some of them into keeping a child when a person is not ready/nor wants to be a parent or maybe doesn’t have the finanical/emotional means to provide. Then they are told many couples want to adopt. Great, make that individual be pregnant for almost a year, give birth, and then just give away a child they now may have grown emotionally attached! Awesome.


  5. Vix @ LittleMissEverything
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:44:20

    Wow you don’t belong there 🙂 go on and embrace the temper tantrum!


  6. nrhatch
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 17:11:47

    I’ve never been asked for my marriage license when getting a license . . . and I kept my maiden name. 😀

    So states you might consider moving to: NC, NJ, VA, MD, and FL.

    Then you can turn to your husband, show him your new license, and say, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” 😉


  7. sekanblogger
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 01:44:22

    Welcome to the land of Ahs,….or rather aw shits!
    We elected a governor who denies evolution. Go figure.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Jun 30, 2011 @ 06:50:34

      Well, its nice to know that someone who is not an outsider recognizes the insanity. I feel like an alien with 2 heads sometimes, because look at me like I am so bizarre . . .


  8. Kathryn McCullough
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 17:51:58

    This kind of thing absolutely drives me nuts! And why the hell should you have to show a f*cking marriage license! Yikes!


  9. sekanblogger
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 20:52:38

    Howdy Lisa. You just gotta check out my latest post.
    I love stirring the local political pot every now and then!


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