Tie it together (with a burlap bow)
I think I’ve come up with one word to sum of my ‘Culture of Naming’ and Eliot Spitzer posts: OWNERSHIP.
When you name something, you are placing your dominion over them. You are creating identity. Speaking as someone who grew up with a Christian lens, I see the culture of naming and identity as instrinsic in our Christian-based value system. Zinger verse: Genesis 2:19-20: “Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.” (NIV version)
Oh. My. Deity.
1. If we name ourselves, we are creating our own new identity. I know plenty of folks who have chosen new names for themselves and it was mostly because they’d experienced some large turning point and wanted a new name to reflect their new life.
2. Words like ‘wife’ are also meant to denote some sort of ‘claim’. In most societies, women are taught that this is the greatest goal only superceded by the word ‘mother’ (we won’t even get into the relationship between fertility and social status here).
So, choosing to be a ‘wife’ and ‘kept’ by her husband instead of being a ‘divorcee’…is she choosing an easy path? Or maybe she’s tapping into the culture of American Protestant Martyrdom that we, as a county, love and admire so much.
And as for “Kristen”….this is going to sound bizarre, but I feel sorry for her. She’s an attractive girl with a less than desireable Genesis of her own (abused, bad family, etc.) so can you really fault her, legality aside, for using what she’s got to make a living? Not saying it’s right or that she’s ‘empowered’. No, she’s just making the best out of a really crappy life spot.
And one last thing: Imagine for a minute how different our world would be if the bible had been translated ‘He brought the animals to the woman to see what she would name them’ -or- ‘The Pair admired the wild animals and marveled at their diversity’
Yes, that would make things much more interesting.