Who wears panties?

Return on experience

If you are a regular reader of this blog, or even if you know me personally, you are certainly well aware that I recently got married. This major change in my matrimonial status is also a fantastic opportunity to exchange with other people, other cultures, on a very intimate topic. It is also a source of cultural differences.

Girls want to know all about the bride's dress and her hair style, boys prefer to share the discovery of the bride at her father's arm. The French want to know the menu, the English the location. Some inquire about our choice of texts for the celebration. Others want to know the first dance and whether we learned the three steps of waltz... But the most interesting inquiries came from our friends in Canada: they wanted to know if my wife will keep her maiden name.

Gender-neutral society

This question is indeed critical over there. As a matter of fact, Canada is not only the first nation of Hockey as you can have learned here, it is also a country where the disparities between the two genders have completely been eradicated. Everything is now set so that men are not privileged for obscure reasons like this is unfortunately still the case around here. And obviously neither are women.
This is quite puzzling for foreigners. For instance, forget the courtesy rules that are the basics of French etiquette: in Montreal, a man should not hold the door for a woman, that could be considered as breech in local manners. So you can probably imagine what the most feminist of our friends felt when she received her third door in the face... She actually started to miss the good old traditions!

Anyway, back to our wedding story: why should a girl lose her name when she gets married? It could be perceived as a sign of allegiance to her husband... And as a result, many Canadian women keep their maiden name when a ring is slot at their finger. Do I need to mention that it is a true nightmare for genealogists, especially when you know that the children tend to follow the same norms: the son would have the father's name, while the daughter would be named after her mother. So brothers and sisters might not share the same name!!!

Tradition and rules

In France, there is rule and tradition. The later is that the bride takes the groom's name. However this is not the law, which is in fact not restricted to the tradition. Probably motivated by the same philosophy as in Canada, the French regulation is quite flexible, even more than in Quebec. In France, a bride is allowed to take her husband's name, to retain her maiden name, to associate both... And the husband can do the same. So he could choose to be named after the maiden name of his wife.
To be honest, I have not met anyone who had opted for the last option. Consequently I assume that the main reaction would be surprise. In France, and I think in the UK too, we have an idiom that says "he/she wears the pants in the family" in order to identify who rules the household. In fact, in that specific instance, the word "culotte" that we use in French for "pants" is an old word that translates nowadays in "panties". Call me a sexist, but I imagine that if the husband was to drop his name for his wife's, people would probably claim he has let the ownership of the panties to the lady of the house... However when you know how appealing and disconcerting a bride's lingerie could be, you could probably forgive him, couldn't you?

An advert for Aubade lingerie part of a long-lasting campaign named "the Lessons of Seduction". This is lesson #57: "distract the opponent". Quite efficient, isn't it? More lessons here.

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