In my blog description I mention that I might let fly the occasional "reflection" about living in France. I have yet to do that, for fear that it might turn into an enormous rant. When I have a bone to pick, I pick it! Nonetheless I am going to try to broach this subject in a non-ranty way...as much as possible anyway.
I'm going to relate what happened to me this week (and not for the first time) and I really want to know your thoughts on the matter.
I had to go to the doctor to demonstrate that I am fit enough to work. I believe that everyone in France who is employed by someone else has to do this. The medical exam was cursory, but they took also my job history. The doctor was filling out paperwork and asked my for name, birthdate, etc. Then she asked if I was married and had children. Yes, married, no children. And she asked my nationality: American.
Then she asked if my name was my maiden name (nom de jeune fille) or my husband's name (nom d'époux). It's my maiden name. Then she fusses a bit and asks why that is the name that my employer provided. To which I reply that it's the name that I use (c'est le nom que j'utilise).
The doctor replies: "nous utilisons le nom d'époux." In English, "we use the spouse's name" or married name. So I asked who 'we' was, doctors? I said "nous les médecins?" The answer: "nous les français." We, the French.
The doctor's tone when sharing this information with me was not of the "oh, that's interesting, we do this instead" variety, but rather, of the "this is how we do things around here" variety.
There is, by the way, no legal obligation in France for a woman to take her husband's name upon marriage. A woman has the right to use her husband's name, if she wishes, but she also retains her maiden name. She can use her husband's name alone, or in combination with her given name. This is, according to "article 264 du Code civil issu de la loi n° 2004-439 du 26 mai 2004, article 16" which I got from the following website: http://droit-finances.commentcamarche.net/faq/745-mariage-la-femme-peut-conserver-son-nom-de-jeune-fille. Having said that, I am not a lawyer.
Rant concluded. What are your thoughts on my conversation with the doctor?
In totally unrelated news, I finished my Norah Gaughan sweater:
Here are the buttons I've used, although I think I'll replace them later. They are a wee bit too small.
There are some rough patches on the sweater, but overall, I'm happy with it. And it gave me one more item to wear for the Me Made March challenge, yay! (I am looking forward to being to wear other clothes, starting tomorrow.) This also counts as one item completed for my Colette Spring Palette Challenge. It was a quick knit and easy to do.
Now I've picked up the sweater I started by Nicky Epstein. It's her Austrian Alps Zip Jacket from the book "Knitting on Top of the World." It's about 80% completed. I've joined the pieces together and am working on the raglan shaping.