Head of EP YWCA Questioned About Her And Her Child’s Last Names By Customs Agent
Yes, folks, this is 2018. A woman who holds a doctorate and runs the largest YWCA branch in the country was taken into a room at the end of her European vacation with her daughter and questioned as to why they did not share the same last name.
In the United States of America.
Sylvia Acosta is an accomplished woman, but even if she wasn't, even if she didn't hold an advanced degree or run a huge non-profit branch, what she and her daughter had to endure is unimaginable.
If you have a different surname than your child and you were forced into an interrogation room to prove that child was indeed yours, could you? Should you have to? I don't know, but I'm sure Acosta's daughter informed the Customs officials that she is Acosta's daughter - why wasn't that enough? The agent's disbelief that a woman might have personal reasons as to why she didn't take her husband's surname after marriage was so odd, so disturbing to this agent that he questioned a grown woman with a teenaged child about that child's parentage. There is no mention of the child screaming for help - just an archaic, misogynistic attitude towards A. GROWN. WOMAN. Then, this agent suggested that she take her husband's last name. It doesn't matter why the agent suggested it, just the fact that the agent felt completely comfortable saying something like that shows what a scary attitude was taken with Acosta. I mean, really, who the hell says something like that?
I did not take my husband's last name when we married. There is no nefarious reason, I just didn't. I do, however, introduce myself as Patricia Hunt when I'm not on the air, but if I didn't, it wouldn't mean anything. And it wouldn't be anyone's damned business, especially not some Neanderthal Customs agent.
If you wonder why women chuckle nervously at the goings-on in The Handmaid's Tale, this is why. A grown woman, traveling with her child, is forced into an interrogation room because someone in authority couldn't wrap their head around a mother and child not sharing a surname.
Unreal. And completely terrifying.