I’m changing my name back. I know. After all the the serious thought, hemming and hawing I put into the decision to become Natalie Burg Vial, I picked the wrong choice. I was just wrong. I tried it on, and it didn’t fit.
I have been annoyed at every piece of mail that has come addressed to Natalie Vial. I roll my eyes at the people in my doctor’s office who look up my file and say, “Oh, Natalie Burg Vial?” Which is insane, because the only reason they have me filed that way is because I told them that was my name. But it feels wrong. It feels like a lie. It’s not romantic or sweet. Every time I hear myself referred too by the (actually rather cool) last name of my (wonderful and loving) husband, I feel the crushing weight of thousands of years of patriarchy grind on my bones.
Every Wednesday, three self-employed friends and I get together for co-working. We’re all successful, entrepreneurial women, so feminism and women’s roles in various industries is a common thread in our conversations. Okay, I’ll be honest, that’s a common thread in all conversations I have with all people. But anyway, I had ensconced myself in my friend’s living room to do an interview while the rest of them were working away in the kitchen when I saw, mid-interview, an email pop up in my inbox from a co-co-worker in the other room with the subject line, “Non-dude show host.”
I just lost — nay, invested — an hour of my Friday morning pawing through the 50 beautiful and informative designs of artist Heather Ault’s 4000 Years for Choice project. I am enamored. These lovely pieces each describe a fascinating and important benchmark in the history of women’s birth control choices.
connect_1024x1024Did you know Egyptians had a recipe for a contraceptive in 3000 BCE? I mean, it was made of fermented dough and crocodile poo, but still! Or that Plato and Aristotle were totally into family planning? I sort of have a crush on them right now.