Newspaper Page Text
WATS I A NAIME
Setting Forth the Fact That There is No Law Compelling a Woman To Take Her Husband's Name. (By Lavinia H. Egan, of Shreveport, Member National Council, Na tional Woman's Party.) The Louisiana Branch of the Na tional Woman's Party, in it's Woman's Bill of Rights, is not asking that a woman be allowed to retain her own name after marriage. It is asking only that legal discriminations against women be removed. There is no dis crimination in this regard in the laws of any state, so it is quite obvious that, even by implication, we are not asking for the removal of a thing which does not exist. Just how our Civil Code, otherwise so exigent in everything affecting a woman's interests, could have escaped placing upon her an inhibition with I regard to her name is not quite under stood. The fact remains, however, that there is no status on the sub ject, while reported cases show that many women sue for divorce in their maiden name. Colopuhoun on Roman Civil Law In the Modern World, Sec. 556, and Sherman on Roman Civil Law, Sec. 460, both state: "The wo man assumes the husband's name as in England and elsewhere, as a natu ral consequence of passing into an- tl other family." And so, it is only by custom that la a woman assumes her husband's y name-does not change hers-on mar- A rlage. As a custom, it works well. ir The vast majority of women have a followed it unquestioningly and un- A hesitatingly. For statistical purposes ei it has a tremendous advantage. Think lip of the time and labor it saves the C directory man and the file clerks and ol card-indexers in the Census Bureau ni in Washington. Remember, don't you, th that, up to the eleventh and twelfth centuries there were no surnames. b( They came with the increase in pop- p( ulation and had their origin in the ni trade or occupation which a man fol- th lowed, as Smith, Glover, Turner, Bak- es er and the like, or a place of resi- co dence as Norman, Scott, Sussex, or wl by adding "son" to the name of the cii father as Johnson, Wilson, Nelson, a or qven from some personal peculari- p] ty, as Rufus, "the. red" or Simon, hi surnamed Peter, "a rock." But there v, is no record to show that Joan was a, not just as good wife to Darby be. m fore the two of them added Smith as ft their family patronymic. Also, that t} wonderfully written Biblical "movie" t scenario, in which the eternal tri- lii angle is so pisturesque depicted, loses e` none of its dramatic effect by reason of the fact that the woman in the in case is known to us only as Potiphar's L wife. Nor, I think, do we spend sleep- in less nights in a vain effort to deter-t mine the family name of Peter's wifes 4 mother who was "sick of a fever." Men are, by nature, worshippers of idols; they are constantly building st fetiches' which it is the business of al the iconoclasts of the world ruthless- h ly to destroy. Nevertheless, it is rath er disconcerting-perhaps I should say g disquieting-to the peace and placidi- tl ty of the masculine sense of superior- it ity to have to demolish this fetich h with regard to a name. For succes- n sive generations-since the custom of - a family name became established- h man has gloried in his ability to be-r stow upon the woman of his choice his 7 own name which, of course, was pos sessed of superior virtue because it was his. He has done this with the same sort of complacent generosity t that he has said, in the marriage ser- 1 vice, "With all my worldly goods I thee endow?" when, perhaps, his pos sessions have consisted of another c necktie and money enough to pay a month's board-bill. After the cere- t mony, many a wife finds herself with y 'a hew name, but, of the worldly goods she gets, beyond her board and keep, t little more than her car-fare and may perjure herself and risk her very t soul for a ticket to the movies. Man,J out of the abundance of his generosi ty, gives his name and support to his t wife and his legitimate children. A , woman, out of the abundance of her a generosity gives her name and her 4 support to her illegitimate children. 9 Shakespeare makes Juliet say, in an impassioned moment: "0, Romeo,t Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"c Romeo in his turn rings the charges on his unhappy circumstances, saying: "What's in a name? That which we t call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." All this, however, is merely by way c of argument-a lover's argument at that. Facts in the case do not bear out Romeo's impassioned asseveration. ( A rose by another name would not 1 smell as sweet to those grown assuc tomaed to the assoeation of ideas con- a jured by the very word itself. Say hbut the word, rose, to a person who a has smelled one, and the perfumes of Araby are conjured by the sound. A person's name is a part of his very existence; it sets him apart ~ from his fellows as an individual, it characterizes him as a personality. is It becomes by association of ideas the outward expression of the physi cal, intellectual, or spiritual qualities of the person who possesses it. What t, do we mean by a John L. Sullivan of a man? By a Tom Thumb physiyue? By Socratic philosophy? How large an audience would be expected at a a- free concert to hear Mrs. Homer 15 Samuels sing, yet people press for place and pay to the limit for the m privilege of listening to the same in ig dividual under the well-remembered st name of Galli Curci. On the 24th day of December last, in the city of Chicago, Elsie Hill of Connecticut, chairman of the Na- I tional council of the National Wo man's Party, was married to Albert Levitt, professor of international law t 3e in the University of North Dakota. I a Miss Hill, who is widely known as d the daughter of the late Ebenzer a h Hill, for twenty-one years representa- ' tive from Connecticut in the Congress P r, of the United States, and equally as widely known as an honor graduate P it of Vassar atnd a teacher of French and C r Italian, and internationally known as b n a suffragist and a leader in the fem- o inist movement, after marriage an- d i nounced her intention of retaining her P own name. Immediately some thous- a ands of ignorant and hysterical per- w sons were thrown into convulsions by P1 this announcement. "Ah! Ha!" ei chortled the ignorant, "She defies the a: law of the land." "Wow! Wow!" it yelped hysteria. "She has exposed the bi Archilles heel of the advanced fem- lij inist movement; at this vulnerable ' spot can we nip and bite forever." After which, tableaux vivants, an endless idle talk and newspaper pub licity. How long ago was it that Carlyle said: "We are seven millions of people-mostly fools"? Hasn't the number tremendously increased since that day? There is no law on the statute books of any state in the Union com pelling a woman to take her husband's name. It is well-established custom that she does so, and, like all well established customs, has been, and will continue to be, departed from by those who for any reason may care to exer cise their right to do so. That all women will not exercise this right is proven by experience, since the right has always been theirs and only a very small minority have cared to avail themselves of the privilege. That more and more women will depart from the established custom, now that their attention has been called to the matter by the wide-spread pub licity on, the subject, is, however, in evitable. Quite recently there was organized in New York city the "Lucy Stone League" for the purpose of promot ing the custom for women to retain their own names after marriage. While I have no objection whatever to a women's retaining her name, why promote the thing? Such an effort seems almost as unnecessary as an attempt to force women to take their husband's name would be. The cus tom of a family name for the family group, shared alike by father, mo ther and children is a good one. Since it is not compulsory, it works no Shardship on any one of the group. A man may change his name if he likes S--and frequently does. A child, after "he reaches majority, has the same -right which he frequently exercises. SI know of a case where a young man, wishing to marry a girl who had money, changed his name which e chanced to be that of an insect, to Ythat of his mother because the young Slady refused to bear the name of the young man's father. I know of cases where both husband and wife use the r combined names of each after mar a riage a notable instance of this being Sthe Pethick-Lawrences, well known Sfeminists and publicists. I also know s of cases where the husband has taken '' the name of the wife. So that tihe d prevailing custom of the wife to take P the husband's name while a good one ' is not fixed and irrevocable. - Women who make a name for s themselves, as the saying goes, or who assume a name for the purpose r of carrying on a business, an avoca r tion or a profession, have, for succes . sive generations, departed from the n prevailing custom and will continue Sto do so in increasing numbers,,be cause increasing numbers of women Sare entering business and the profes sions. In private life and for sta e tistical purposes, these women are d known by their husband's names, as are the children of such a union, of y course. it There are numbers of married wom r en working in the Government offices I* In Washington under their own names. t Women adopt this method of pro -tecting themselves against dismissal, i- as it is the policy in some depart 7 ments to give Civil Service appoint 0' mets preferably to self4upporting women who have, presumably, no other means of livlihood. Further than this, a wom.n corning from a state which is below its quota in the Civil Service may marrt; a man from a state which is above its quota. And, since the law now provides that a "woman has no other domicile than that of her husband", she may, by changing her name, declare the fact of her domicile in a state that is above its quota and so be automatic ally dropped from the rolls. During the war, not a little publici ty was given to the fact that many married women journalists and maga zine writers applying for passports to go over-seas as correspondents, re fused to accept their passports when made out in the husband's and not their own or their pen-names. Ob viously, a passport in her husband's name would mean little to a woman who had made her own name known 'round the world. Who would look twice at an article in our daily news paper under the signiture of Mrs. George Gilmer, but there are thous ands who turn the pages each morn ing looking for the every day philoso phy of Dorothy Dix. And so the thing comes back to the point of starting: There is no law :ompelling a woman to take her hus )and's name. It is a custom-a good )ld custom that has many times been leparted from and which will be de )arted from more and more as the mancipation, the advancement of vomen becomes more and more com ,lete. And this advancement, this emancipation will come. It will come s surely as the sun shines, because t is the shining of the sun that will rging it about-the spreading of the ight of education and intelligence. "But little do, or can, the best of us: That little only was achieved by liberty. Who then dares hold, emancipated thus, His fellows shall continue bound? Not I, Who live, love, labor freely, nor deny Another's right to freedom." PICTURES FRAMED We are now operating the picture framing depart ment formerly conducted by Anderson's book store. All work is done by experts. and satisfaction guaran teed. Bring your pictures, diplo mas, certifcates, etc. to us to be framed. Prices quoted on request. Southern Stationery Store 447 Third Street. Gold Seal Congoleum Special Prices 6x9 Art Rugs $7.45 Nationall Advertised price $8.75 9x1O0l Art Rugs $12.95 Nationally advertised price $14.25 9x12 Art Rugs $14.95 Nationally advertised price $16.20 Congoleum per square yard 69o Nationally advertised price 85e Largest assortment of sizes and patterns. Come early. Union Furniture Co. 613 Main St. Phone 1411 Farrnbacher Dry Goods Co. Phone 1900. 700-714 MAIN STREET. Phone 1901 Silk Frocks $25 and $30 Models -dresses copied from models selling at several times this price-really you'd never associate them with such a low price if you didn't see the price tags. You can choose a dress of Canton or Roshanara Crepe, Krepe Knit, Crepe Romaine, Crepe de Chine, Georgette, or combination of these in solid or clever combination colors, and it will be distinctively trimmed * with beads, embroidery, braids, ribbon, or self materials-$17.95 we assure you is very, very low. SDaintiest Tub Dresses Imaginable at $6.95 -bewitchingly styled of Staffel's permanent finish transparent Swiss Or gandie, and in combination with finest imported Scotch Zephyr-ruffled, tucked and frilled, and in such clever color combinations you'll simply adore them, and the price is extremely low. Jiffon House Dress---Special at $2.98 -bewitchingly styled of Stoffel's permanent finish transpartent Swiss Or They slip over the head, fashioned of finest Gingham, in plain color and check, and in combinations, with white organdie and Pique collars and cuffs and trimmings. -their regular price is $4.00. Children's Gingham Frocks at $1.98 S -which is a very special price, and in a collection of the daintiest styles a mother could imagine. -of an excellent quality of Gingham in checks and plaids, solid colors, also combinations, pleated skirts; some have, pockets. -mothers will do well to purchase daughter's summer supply at $1.98. Black Hair Braid Hats at $10 -bewitchingly beautiful, every one of them. They're just here, and we would deem it a pleasure to show them to you. -there's a variety of novel shapes, turned up and drooped brims, with cleverly placed, ostrich, burnt goose and other feath ers, a bow of cire ribbon, jet beads and ornnaments, while some have a wreath or bunch of colorful flowers. , -we assure you they're quite unusual at $10. Martha Four-Foot, Finest Silk Hosiery, Low Priced Martha 4-Foot's - heavy Martha 4-Foot's-Toulette, Martha 4-Foot's-fine Mi fish-net hose of pure. silk, finest lace weave, very lanese silk cloth hose, has high point heels, dou- transparent, of pure silk, heavy pure silk yarns; has bled Milanese silk; also has double Milanese silk double foot and high point foot; to be had in. silver, foot and high point slipper heels, garter tops; to be nude, black and white at heel, garter top; to be had had in*silver and white on -$4.50 in black' and white only at ly, at Martha 4-Foot's-fine chif- Martha 4-Fot's- a lace Martha2.98 - si2.98lk fon hose of pure silk weave, striped hose of Tricot aha Four-Foot's silk very sheer, that will not cloth, that is quite tr weave Hose of pure silk run or rip, has doubled high parent, has doubled heel yarns, has' a nine-inch silk point slipper heels, of Mi- parent, has doubled heel lisle garter top, double lisle lanese silk; also foot. To garter tsof Milanese silk, feet; to be had in Chippen be had in silver, nude, black silver, flude, Cordovan and dale tan, Bobolink, Cordov and white at Bobolink and white, at an, also black and white, at -3.49 -$2.75 -$1.59 We Ofter You Good Shoes at Next to Nothing Prices Madam -Lot 7 -Lot 19 -a Black Patent Kid Pump, -A Fine Brown Satin Cross has plain vamp, low heels and Strap Slipper, plain vamp, turn soles. hand turned soles, full Louis -Their price $4.85-ours heels. --$1.48 -Formerly $12.50 at -Lot 16 2.95 -a Black Lace Shoe with -'Lot NO. 1 patent cap toe, best flexible -is a Brown Kid Pump with sole and low heel, all sizes to low heels, best flexible soles. 10. -Their price $4.85-ours -Their price $5.45-ours $.5 S-$2.95 Lot 20 a-e a fine Black Kid two-strap -a Gunmetal Kid Mary Jane Slipper, white Kid trimmed, Pump exwith low heel and good plain vamp, hand turned sole, flexible sole. Louis heels. -Their price $3.45-ours -Formerly $10-at -$1.45 .--$409. -Lot 9-10 -Lot 14 -Lot 18 --an Oxford of either -Women's Commonsense a black Patent Kid (Han brown or black kid with plain vamps, Louis heels, Bal Lage Shoe, best flexi- an) Pump, has fan shaped turn soles. ble sole, flat rubber heel. buckle, hand turned sole, -Their price $5.85-ours -Their price $3.50--ours L ouis heels. -$1.25 -$1.95 --Formerly 1 -4 WE GIVE THAT OVERLAND AWAY AUGUST 15Ts.