Destroying Marriage with the Flip of a Coin

Today’s post is something straight out of Dalrock’s excellent blog:  a couple in Florida decided to take the last name of whoever won a coin toss.

Here is the image from the article:

A picture is worth a thousand soyboys.  I sent this article to my younger brother, sister-in-law, and girlfriend yesterday, and my brother commented, “The entire aesthetic of the lady officiant makes me think of one of these dystopian sci-fi settings where there’s one secular religion imposed by the State.”  Amen.

I will add:  the bride’s (Darcy’s) reaction to winning the coin toss speaks volumes.  She’s clearly gloating at winning an arbitrary coin toss that strips her husband of his last remaining shred of masculine dignity.  And the look on the groom’s (Jeff’s) face suggests he is not pleased with the outcome.

Of course, Jeff will never admit this fact.  Here is a particularly cringe-inducing excerpt:

At the altar of their Dec. 14 wedding, they flipped a brass, engraved medallion, one side with Darcy’s last name, and the other with Jeff’s surname.

“It’s fair. I am a graduate student in economics at Florida State and I think about fairness,” Jeff told the Palm Beach Post.

“Being with someone who was willing to start the marriage from a creative and teamwork and fair place felt like a really good first step toward an equal partnership,” Darcy, a nurse-midwife, added.

When the time came, it was Darcy’s name that won out. Mr. and Mrs. Ward were thrilled with the result.

“You could say I won,” Jeff said. “I was the one who received something new.”

The phrase “I am a graduate student in economics at Florida State and I think about fairness” perfectly encapsulates the clueless virtue-signalling of noodle-wristed academics.  Jeff is saying, “I’m smart, so I know better than centuries of tradition.”

His claim that he “won” because he “received something new” is protesting too much.  Jeff knows that what he and his wife have done is ludicrous—otherwise it wouldn’t make the New York Post—and emasculating, so he’s attempting to save face with a ex post facto justification.

The hyphenation of last names, or wives keeping their maiden names, may seem like a small personal choice, but it’s one of the thousand little cuts against traditional marriage.  Marriage is the coming together of two people into one, with the husband as the spiritual leader.  Taking her husband’s last name is a significant demonstration of devotion and fidelity.  It also serves the practical purpose of confirming paternity and keeping fathers responsible to their children.

It might seem like I’m making a big deal over a small decision—“it’s just a name, TPP.”  Well, what’s in a name?  Surely there is some symbolic and practical significance to taking a husband’s name.

Further, I’d be more amenable to such arguments if we hadn’t seen the systematic destruction of marriage over the last 100 years.  That destruction began with baby steps.  Anything we can do to shore up traditional marriage is a positive good.

I completely understand the special cases:  academics retaining their maiden names professionally, for example.  But a wife should not begrudge her husband for becoming one with him—that’s a recipe for a failed marriage.  Besides, no kid wants to be saddled with a hyphenated last name.

Let’s hope Jeff and Darcy make it.  My instincts tell me they won’t.  Darcy is clearly the “man” in this relationship, and Jeff is not.  Whether they realize it or not, that’s going to breed a great deal of unhappiness and strife.

I hope I’m wrong, for their sake.

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