Friday, May 21, 2010

The 1970s Come Back Again

On the way to work, I often listen to KERA and today I heard an opinion piece that made me wonder whether I’d fallen through a time warp and back to 1970. The topic was whether it was permissible for a woman to keep her original surname after she married. You can read or listen to the commentary here:

When I get home, I guess I’ll check the date on today’s newspaper to make sure I didn’t misplace forty years, because I thought the right of a woman to keep her birth name if she wanted to was decided about that long ago—and if it is 1970, then I want to know why I’m not twenty-five years old again.

There comes a time when we need to put an issue behind ourselves as decided. We can’t keep fighting the same wars over and over again—not that I’ve run into anyone in years who says it’s wrong for a woman to keep her original surname after she marries. I don’t doubt that there are some people who believe that still around. There are people who believe the moon landing was faked; that they’ve been abducted by aliens; that the world is run by a secret society of Jewish Bankers, but not all opinions are equal and we don’t need to respond to everything.

Sometimes we just need to go forward and ignore some people’s opinions. We still have a lot of racist people, but I can’t see wasting time to argue with them whether racism is wrong or not. When you act as though an outdated opinion is worth arguing against, then you give it credence.

Not every issue has two sides. Not every question is open to argument.

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