“How Women Can Stop Taking Their Spouses Last Name?”

In the 1970s, when women got married many of them chose not to take their spouse’s last name. This had long been a tradition for many cultures. That the wife’s maiden name or birth name would be no longer used. Women would of course adopt their husband’s name. The American suffragist and abolitionist Lucy Stone (1818-1893) made it a national issue that women keep their own surname as part of her efforts for women’s rights in the United States.

For me, it was a feminist thing to do. My name reflected that I was of Irish descent. My husband was of Jewish descent. To take his name made no sense to me. I was not Jewish. My last name was given to me and reflected who I was. I wasn’t interested in joining my name to his. I just wanted to continue being the same individual person that I was christened.

In a recent Jezebel article, “Why Are We Still Taking Our Husbands Last Name?”, 50 % of Americans still believe that a woman should be legally required to take her husbands’ last name. Traditionally the last name was to help carry on the family tree, the man’s family tree. That is astonishing.

Recently, my son and his partner decided to give their daughter my son’s partner’s last name. It’s funny to realize that my husband’s name will not be carried on. And neither will mine.

My son’s partner is a feminist like myself. But her name is also her father’s last name. When I think that my last name was my father’s name, I can respect that. Anyway we look at it, the male’s name is still carried on. We’re caught in this quandary of carrying forward a father’s or grandfather’s name. I am trying to imagine how we can establish a name to carry on a woman’s identity. It is nice to think that the matriarchal names could be leading the way to a stronger family tree in the future.

Singers Need To Know When Something Is Not Getting Better

As a singer, when you start to feel sick and you have to sing, that’s a BIG problem. First, you can always sing with a cold. Even though you might not want to, singing can help heal your cold quicker. The vibrations that you produce in your sinuses and chest bone cavities stimulate warmth and bring the good cells to help fight the infection. Of course, gargling with salt water does amazing things. Take one cup of hot water (hot as you can stand it), put ¼ tsp of salt and gargle every hour for 48 hours. Also using a “Neti Pot” to flush out the infection is a must. Remember always use filtered or distilled water with 1/8 tsp of sea salt. There have been reported cases of people doing damage to their bodies when they used tap water and iodized salt.

Usually I give my body one week at the most to be sick. If you start to sing, check your break notes on these vowels: a, e, i, o, u. The vowel a, e, and o will be most affected when you are sick. If no sound comes out, then you must go to an E.N.T., an Ear, Throat, Nose, doctor who is a specialist that has seen many possible problems that could go wrong with a singer’s instrument. If I am sick for a week with fevers, I go to my E.N.T. doctor. They will give me the low down on what is the problem and what drugs I should take so I can get the infection over with and be able to sing. My doctor would always say get more sleep and eat hot soups as well.

Lately, more voice students are coming in sick and staying sick. Don’t wait a month without seeing an E.N.T. A regular doctor might not give you a correct diagnosis. Your instrument will be exhausted. Your speaking voice will be exhausted. Your entire system will be exhausted. You need to be smart and take care of the illness. An illness that lasts that long is a sign of something bigger. You could be contagious which means you could put other people at risk.

If you are traveling on a plane, take a Claritin three hours before and put a dab of Neosporin on your nostrils to help fight any bacteria in the plane.

The most important relationship that you have as a singer will be with the E.N.T. I listen to mine and if he says, “Try to see if you can get better naturally in a few days. If you don’t, then these are the drugs I recommend.” I will follow his advice. I always have a choice, but sometimes if I am teaching and performing, I will take the drugs to not have the illness linger longer.

“Who Has Grit?”

In the music industry, you have to have “GRIT” as a woman. Nothing is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. The incredible long hours of writing songs, practicing them, recording them and marketing them is never ending. There is no moment of falling in your puddle and crying. Your journey is a long lonely road full of determination and GRIT.

Do you have GRIT? The courage to do what you want to do without rewards of fame or money.

Do you have GRIT? To keep getting up on stage and performing with all your moral fiber.

Do you have GRIT? To have the backbone and conviction to tell the world what you think is important.

No one has the right to tell another person what they should think or believe. Especially the Catholic Church. I think Sinead O’Connor has GRIT. Listen to her song, “My Special Child.” Sinead O’Connor tells the world about her own abortion and expresses how she felt even if her words created controversy.

Pope Francis said that he had met so many women who bear in their hearts the scar of this painful decision, yet the church still believes it is a grave sin. The Pope will allow priests to show mercy but only during the Holy Year. I don’t believe the Pope is going far enough.

The grandson of Planned Parenthood has spoken out on The Pro Life comments that Pope Francis made during his trip to the United States.

The Pope said, “The innocent victims of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature at stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are able stewards but no masters….”

Women’s words are extremely important right now. If you are an author, have GRIT. If you are a playwright, have GRIT, if you are a songwriter, have GRIT. Your pain will have merit. It will resonate to others. We must all grit our teeth and put our words to the test.