Apr 28, 2022 • 10M

Bureaucracies and Politicians Make Name Changes Political Fodder

Things to consider before changing your name

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Welcome back Chaise Lounge readers and an especially warm welcome to our newest subscribers! In this week’s newsletter, we will take a look at the ways that changing your name as a result of marriage, gender transition, or any other reason, can wreak havoc on your life including with your right to vote. Changing your name is a big decision that only you can make, and it is important to understand the ramifications.

Woman to Watch

McMorrow shows Democrats how to fight back

Michigan state representative Mallory McMorrow (D) was accused by her election opponent of grooming children and pedophilia. McMorrow came back with an incredible speech illustrating strength and character and an example for all Democrats to follow. Below is an excerpt of that speech. If you want to watch the full 4'35” speech, you can find it here.

Update on women and minorities in medical research

Last year, I wrote about the lack of medical research that includes women and minorities as subjects and the issues that come about as a result. Recently, The Lancet published a meta-analysis of all US clinical trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov from March 2000 to March 2020. They then compared the number of minorities enrolled in the trials with the 2010 census data. They found that “Over the past two decades, the majority of US trials in ClinicalTrials.gov do not report race/ethnicity enrollment data, and minorities are underrepresented in trials with modest improvement over time.” Since 2016, researchers have been forced to include women in studies and to be able to disaggregate that data leading to more informative data.

In related news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published new guidelines for those running clinical trials to follow to increase the number of participants from minority groups. The guidelines call for those running clinical trials to submit a Race and Ethnicity Diversity Plan to the agency early in clinical development. The guidelines also address the many barriers that subjects encounter including repeat visits, transportation issues, lack of trust based on historical abuse, religious concerns and lack of outreach.

This is a good start, and we will see if these guidelines make the changes that the FDA hopes to see. If not, perhaps they can sweeten the pot by requiring minority enrollment in order to obtain funding as they did with women.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves

Jenny Nguyen wanted to watch women’s sports in a bar, but she could not find a bar that showed them. When she and her friends asked for TVs to be changed for a big game, they were directed to a smaller TV in the back of the bar. She decided that the time had come for a bar devoted to women’s sports, so she opened the Sports Bra. She is serious about supporting women’s sports and women’s businesses by sourcing supplies for the business’s food and drinks from women-owned businesses.

Check out the video (link below) to learn more.

The Patriarchy allows another Turner boy to get away with rape

Bowen Turner, 19, is a South Carolina man accused of three rapes within a year in three different counties when he was a minor. He was sentenced to 5 years probation on a plea deal where he admitted to a lesser charge of assault in spite of the fact that while he was awaiting trial he broke the court’s directions for home confinement over 50 times including leaving the state while wearing an ankle monitor. According to his plea deal, he will not have to register as a sex offender. His second victim killed herself after putting up with years of bullying and shaming while she waited for his trial. When her parents requested the records for his ankle monitor, Bowen suddenly struck a sweetheart deal with the district attorney. According to FitsNews, Bowen’s father, Walt, was working as an investigator for South Carolina First Circuit solicitor David Pascoe, the local prosecutor. Seems like his father’s connections conveniently made this case go away. And now, the Turner family is harassing the family of the second victim because they have gone to the media. They don’t want their son’s “bright future” destroyed. This case immediately made me think of the Brock Turner rape case where Brock’s father testified that "His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve." Seems like these Turner boys have families that support them no matter what they do. When will the survivors of sexual assault be granted the same grace?

I share their mugshots here because there is a unique similarity. Neither one of these boys has the traditional mugshot in the prison jumpsuit, just another privilege they both received.

Bowen Turner
Brock Turner

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Bureaucracies and Politicians Make Name Changes Political Fodder

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What to consider before changing your name

When a woman gets married to a man in the United States, she can face immense pressure to change her surname to match her spouse’s. The pressure can come from her spouse, her parents and/or in-laws, friends, and what have been social norms. In fact, over 70% of American women still take their spouse’s surname. And while each person must make their own decision based on their personal situation, there is peril and hassle to changing one’s name. Most women do not take this into account when making the decision, so let’s look at a few examples.

This morning I accompanied a friend to the bank to “certify her character” in front of a notary so that she could apply for a new passport as hers had expired. You might be wondering why she couldn’t just reapply, right? Clearly, she had proven who she was beforehand. She was told that because she had since gotten married and was hyphenating her name, she had to have witnesses certify her character. It did not matter that both her Social Security card and her North Carolina driver’s license had her hyphenated name on them. Obviously, she had to prove that she was married to change her social security card, so why doesn’t that count?

While this might sound like simply complaining about bureaucracy, there is more at stake. With 35 states requiring voters to show some form of identification, many women who have changed their name due to either marriage or divorce find themselves ineligible to vote because their name no longer matches the one on the voter rolls. If they have not had the time to get a new driver’s license or another form of photo identification, they cannot vote. Many states have moved to an “exact match” protocol. A woman might be asked to either submit her marriage license or a divorce decree. These are documents that can be hard to come by if a lot of time has passed. And while most states allow for provisional voting in these situations, voters frequently never know if their vote ended up counting. In these cases, it is up to the poll workers to decide. There is really no reason for these rules other than to make it difficult for voters.

During the pandemic, Divisions of Motor Vehicles were closed so no one could change their license. And now that DMVs are open again, there are months-long waits for appointments. With the vast majority of American women taking the last name of their spouse, the lack of flexibility at the polls can have dire consequences for the electorate and election outcomes in states with voter ID laws. And, of course, women are not the only ones affected. People in the trans community are affected as well as they seek new names and gender identities. This is a serious issue that states need to remedy as we move into election season.

What I am listening to

Long-time readers know that I am a fan of both Dr. Jen Gunter and educating people about menopause. This week’s podcast from We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle features an hour-long interview where Dr. Gunter gives excellent guidance for those approaching and going through menopause. Stay tuned, because their next podcast will feature sex and menopause.

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