Wednesday 15 August 2018

Amanda Brunker: I'd never change my name - no man can own me

Amanda Brunker, left, and Mairead Ronan, right
Amanda Brunker, left, and Mairead Ronan, right
Amanda Brunker at the VIP Style Awards 2014
Amanda Brunker, Miss Ireland 1991.
Mairead Ronan on Claire Byrne Live
Mairead and Louis Ronan
The happy couple: Mairéad with her husband Louis Ronan at their wedding in Ballyclerihan, Co Tipperary
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian. Picture: Instagram
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian attend the Klutch Sports Group "More Than A Game" Dinner Presented by Remy Martin at Beauty & Essex on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Klutch Sports Group)
Amanda Brunker at her wedding with husband Philip McLaughlin (far left) and Bono (centre)

Amanda Brunker

I've always liked my name.

It's one of a kind in Ireland, with relatively few more across the world. It's not just a name though, it's my identity.

Yes, it was chosen for me and I had no input on the matter but Amanda Brunker is who I am.

There was never a time that I considered changing it when I got married.

Amanda Brunker at her wedding with husband Philip McLaughlin (far left) and Bono (centre)
Amanda Brunker at her wedding with husband Philip McLaughlin (far left) and Bono (centre)

I'm sure my husband probably would have liked me to conform to some sort of tradition, but he never contested my decision and it has never presented any problems for me or us.

On Monday Mairead Ronan fiercely defended her right to take her second husband's name on Claire Byrne Live.

I was quite surprised at how defiant she was about the matter, considering she never took her first husband's name.

But that is her prerogative and I would never attempt to dissuade any woman from following her heart.

On the other hand, I agreed with an awful lot of what journalist Andrea Smith had to say.

She was correct in pointing out that taking your husband's name is an old tradition that perpetuates the ownership of women by men.

Mairead Ronan on Claire Byrne Live
Mairead Ronan on Claire Byrne Live

It's a woman's father that hands her over to another man. Most people probably don't look into it that deeply, but women are presented by their fathers as a gift on their wedding day.

They're then asked to honour and obey their husband, something I'm sure you're not surprised I refused to do.

I was half hopeful that Claire would wade in on the debate, having also been married twice herself.

Unsurprisingly she took neither of her husbands' names. She had worked too hard to ever become a Mrs Richard Johnson or a Mrs Gerry Scollan, and (in my eyes) quite rightly stuck with Claire Byrne, which is a recognisable broadcasting name.

As the world gossips over the birth of Khloe Kardashian's child, True Thomson, I can't help but be baffled as to why she chose not to bestow the Kardashian branding onto her first-born.

Firstly, because she's not married to the father and secondly, because it was exposed that he had cheated on Khloe numerous times before the birth of True.

While it is uncouth to predict the demise of someone's relationship, if I was a gambling woman I would lay money on this particular union fizzling out when the Keeping Up with the Kardashians director yells "Cut!"

I hope I'm wrong. I would never wish a broken home on anyone, except maybe Melania Trump - that poor, vacant-looking woman needs her freedom.

But names are important. They should be chosen wisely and just because a man simply donated sperm to the making of a baby should not give him the automatic right to that child's surname.

Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian. Picture: Instagram
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian. Picture: Instagram

Call me difficult if you must, but you will never call me by my husband's name.

My own one works perfectly well for me and in the future if my sons ever choose to use my name they can, as it's already on their passport along with my husband's.

Herald

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