Thursday, July 06, 2006

Patriarchy and Happier Women

This morning, Dennis Prager was discussing the name change many women do upon getting married. Some completely change their last names, some change their maiden name to a middle name and add their husband's as their legal last name, some hyphenate the two, and some do not change at all.
In this context, a female caller said the custom/tradition was patriarchal. To which, Dennis responded:

Thank God for patriarchy. It makes happier women.

He did explain why and gave strong reasons for his statement. But I wonder what some women thought ... or maybe I should say felt ... when they heard these words of his.


Deep Furrows said...

This is the first time I've heard anything about or by Prager. I wonder about his definition of happiness, however. I looked at the blurbs for his book, "Happiness is a serious problem" at Amazon:

to Prager, it [happiness] requires a continuing process of counting your blessings and giving up any expectations that life is supposed to be wonderful. "Can we decide to be satisfied with what we have?" he asks. "A poor man who can make himself satisfied with his portion will be happier than a wealthy man who does not allow himself to be satisfied." ( official review).


W. said...

Dennis is one of the most erudite and wise public persons I am familiar with. He is not Christian. He is a religiously observant Jew who understands so much about life that for any pensive or interested person, his show is addicting. He is charming, respectful of the things that should be respected, carries himself well in dialogue and debate, and is intellectually challenging for just about anyone ... as he attempts to live his life following the Torah (even teaching it verse-by-verse in LA area) while living in this modern, post-modern, and whatever other anti-traditional worldview (you can imagine) world.

I have listened to him since I was in high school in the 80's. He had a show called "Religion on the Line," where he had a Catholic priest, a rabbi, and a protestant minister on his show to discuss an array of topics on how their respective religions understood and spoke on the matter. After some time, he brought on a Muslim cleric and representatives of the Mormom (or Jehovah Witness) faith and I think even some Buddhist reps. He has had a deep interest in understanding religion and promoting religious approaches to life when ... and this is key ... when they help make people do good. He is always making the point that from his religious perspective, doing good is more important than saying you believe in some creed. Believing can be a good thing, but doing good is more important for him and his religious tradition. He even is pleased, takes pride in (in the good way), when a Catholic or other type of Christian calls up and tells him that he (Dennis) has helped him (the Christian caller) to be a better Christian.

You can read some of his articles at
and others at

Otherwise, I would suggest you just peruse his site: