Responsibly in Love
I’m a staunch feminist who is marrying the love of my life this June. I’m excited, but, as we are both practical people, we would like to draft a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. In order to honor my values, we’ve agreed to make the prenuptial agreement as feminist as possible. Is there such a thing as a feminist prenuptial agreement? How would we go about writing one?
—Responsibly in Love
Dear Responsibly in Love,
Once upon a time, women were considered no more than chattel. We had no property rights, and it was widely believed that our brains were shaped like high-heel glass slippers. If divorce or death ended a marriage, women were usually forced to make do with a shack deep in the forest, twelve cats, and several coffee-table books on witchcraft. Prenuptial agreements were introduced specifically to avoid this outcome. Parents would negotiate with lawyers to make sure their daughter received a part of the castle or farm or wooden cabin if the marriage dissolved. Basic logic tells us that the more objects a woman secures for herself in the case of a divorce, the more feminist the prenuptial is considered to be. This is a common mistake! Four chairs do not equal one Hamptons beach house. Always consider price over quantity. And remember — if your future hubby truly wants to honor your values, he should repent for the sins of the patriarchy by signing off on a document that promises you one hundred percent of your shared assets in the case of marital dissolution. Happy honeymooning!
Attention-Seeking in Seattle
I’ve been binge-watching Orange is the New Black and am a huge fan of Pensatucky’s storyline. I’m inspired by how much attention and adoration she receives for her role in denying women their basic rights. After seeing various county clerks receive a hero’s welcome for refusing to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples, I’ve decided that I would also like to become rich and famous for trying to impose my belief system on the citizens of the
United States. Unfortunately, stomping reproductive rights is out because I promised my best friend I would drive her to Planned Parenthood on Saturday. I also have six gay weddings to attend this upcoming summer, which is part of the reason I need the extra cash. Can you suggest an alternative fundamentalist cause that I can get behind?
—Attention-Seeking in Seattle
Hi Attention-Seeking in Seattle,
Imposing a hand-selected commandment from the Bible on people who may not share the same belief is an easy and fun way to attain fame, admiration, and wealth — it’s only shocking that more people haven’t thought of it yet! You can get a job at a Clam Shack and refuse to serve customers shellfish. Or, if that seems like too great of an effort, simply refuse to help your roommates deep clean the apartment on Sundays. Cite the law of the Sabbath, and if they put up a fight, call up the American Family Association and make some noise. There are literally hundreds of verses you can choose to arbitrarily impose upon strangers — simply open up to the Book of Leviticus and take your pick. You don’t have to limit yourself — there are many religions with rigid beliefs that you can adopt and enforce upon other people. The religion of Wicca, for example, is very serious about their belief in religious freedom for all people. They absolutely refuse to budge! Whichever path you choose to take, you sound like someone who won’t give up until a religious group sets up a trust fund in your name. Good luck!
Concerned Future Mother
My fiancé and I have agreed to hyphenate our last names when we get married. Unfortunately, I recently found out that our last names hyphenated means “Spawn of Satan” in Italian, and now I’m having second thoughts. What if one of our children decides to study abroad in Italy during college? I’m afraid that my future husband will be horribly disappointed when he discovers that our hyphenated last name signifies the offspring of the Devil, especially since he is a regular at Luigi’s and just loves their panna cotta. Should I tell him or let him live in ignorance?
—Concerned Future Mother
Hi Concerned Future Mother,
Your conflicted feelings are totally valid! It can be scary to think of sending your child out into the world with a last name that may lead those fluent in Italian to draw false conclusions about little Karen’s conception. The good news is that only about 85 million people speak Italian, so as long as you keep your children out of Italy, Switzerland, Vatican City, and Little Italy in New York, the secret behind their hyphenated last names should stay a secret forever. As for your fiancé, you don’t have to share your discovery if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Ignorance truly is bliss, especially when it involves Italian food.