A woman’s lifespan as chattel begins the day she is born.
Two babies are born: one male, one female.
They are christened Mr. X and Miss X in the names of their first owner.
He will remain Mr.X until the day he dies, barring this and that
He belongs to himself and himself alone. His name reflects that.
She belongs to whatever male owns her at the time; her names reflect this.
She will be Miss X until she marries Mr.Y, at which point she becomes Mrs Y. If things go well, this will be the only change she makes. She will forget about ever being Miss X and completely immerse herself in her new identity. All her children will be Y with no trace of her original identity.
But things do not always go right. Mr. and Mrs Y decide to split up. He remains Mr. Y.
The divorce is barely official and the whispers begin:
“Why is she still bearing his name”?
“My children are Y and I want to have the same name as my children.”
“Irrelevant!” the crowd yells. “You no longer belong to him and must must return to being Miss X until you find a new owner who will give you his name.”
“But this has been my name for 20 years. It is my identity.”
“It is his name! Move on!”
Little Miss Y sees this and says to herself: “I will never change my name. If my brother does not have to worry about this, then why should I?” She marries the thorn of her flesh and does the unthinkable: does not change her name to reflect new ownership.
The crowd goes mental. “What is this madness?” they rage! “Women of now-a-days are ruining everything!” The crowd tear out their hair and roll around in ashes, stricken with grief and insanity. Men who die with the names they are born are the most confused. Men who do not even have to change their title-Mr. at birth and at death and everything in between- do not understand why this woman would want to keep her name.
The more rational people in the crowd say: “Okay, even if we permit you to keep your name, what title will you use? Will you be Miss or Mrs? You are married but you still have your old owner’s name so how will this work?” They smirk, pleased at having trapped her in this conundrum. How shall she escape this dead end?
“Well I will be Ms. Y”
“Ms? Isn’t that for old unmarried spinsters?”
“No. It’s the female equivalent of Mr. It can be used by all women: single, married, divorced, widowed, old, young.”
“Have you at least considered hyphenating your surname and being Mrs Y-Z? It’s not ideal but it is still better than this nonsense.”
“I don’t want to.”
“Why don’t you want to take your husband’s name? Are you ashamed of him?”
“Why doesn’t he take my name? Is he ashamed of me?”
The crowd goes berserk, incandescent with rage.
“Arrrghhh women of now-a-days have ruined everything! Fuck you feminism!”
“That’s not all,”says Ms. Y. “Mr. Z and I are having a baby, and all our children will have both our names.”
The crowd spontaneously combusts.