Who’s your daddy? Apparently, McCain/Palin

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 18:32 EDT
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Thanks to Anne for sending this story to me.

A new father has named his baby girl Sarah McCain Palin as an endorsement for Republican ticket…and without his wife’s consent. Mark Ciptak of Tennessee says he picked the name to “get the word out” for McCain-Palin because he can’t give a lot of money to the campaign. “I took one for the cause,” he said. He wrote the name on the documents for his daughter’s birth certificate, ignoring the name his wife picked, Ava Grace.

Things about this story that do not surprise me:

*That a wingnut thinks his daughter is a piece of property like a car that he can affix a bumper sticker on.
*That he’s so self-absorbed that he thinks that it’s his sacrifice, not his poor daughter’s, made against her will no less.
*That he has so little opinion of the mother of his own child that he stomped all over her wishes mere hours or perhaps minutes after she went through the process of giving birth.
*That he thinks the likely response to his behavior is to chuckle about how boys will be boys.

What does surprise me:

*That it’s legal for a man to name a newborn whatever he wants against the mother’s will.

Maybe it’s not. I suspect that they just give the birth certificate to new parents and let them hash it out, and that there’s no laws stating either parent’s veto rights. Still, the whole situation is weird to me. Then again, it has always seemed strange to me that our culture gives the naming rights to the parent who has not had another person taken out of their body in the past 24 hours in a haze of blood and pain. You know, if someone’s had a crazy day involving pain at my house, they get to pick what’s on TV at bare minimum. Naming the baby is a much better way of going the distance to make it up to someone for what they’ve been through. Yes, I know this is the patriarchy at its most basic. Which makes it all the weirder that we, as a society, can get past the idea that other forms of discrimination against women are wrong, but this giant blind spot largely goes unchallenged except by a small minority of people.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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