WTF Fun Fact 13556 – Quebec’s Civil Code

Since 1981, Section 393 of Quebec’s Civil Code has forbidden women from legally taking their husbands’ surnames post-marriage.

Quebec established the law to combat societal pressure on women and to promote gender equality. However, not all women agree with the law and some find it restricting.

With this law, a woman’s maiden name remains her legal name after marriage, and she cannot change it without the authorization of the court—which isn’t an easy task.

A married couple may hyphenate each other’s surnames, and women can call themselves whatever name they’d like in an unofficial capacity. But only their birth name is legally recognized by law.

Quebec’s Civil Code Intent and Reception

The law’s primary intent was to protect women from societal pressures and ensure their freedom. However, as Dubé notes, it’s a delicate balance between protecting and improving freedom. Exceptions to the law exist, but they are rare and only apply in extreme cases. This rigidity applies even to Canadian women who relocate to Quebec after marrying in other provinces.

Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, Canada’s de facto first lady, recently used a hyphenated version of her name, igniting a discussion on this topic. Despite the legal stipulations, she chooses to use both her maiden name and her husband’s surname, symbolizing her personal identity and partnership.

For many Quebec women retaining their birth names may be a significant aspect of their cultural identity. This practice signifies autonomy and self-belonging.

Cultural Shifts and Modern Perspectives

Over the years, Quebec’s approach to married names has influenced cultural norms, including the trend of parents giving children two last names. While this was popular for a time after the 1981 law, its prevalence has decreased. The law’s existence remains a crucial part of Quebec’s identity, reflecting the province’s commitment to gender equality and individual autonomy.

In the broader context, Quebec’s approach to married names remains a unique case, raising important questions about personal freedom, cultural norms, and the evolving nature of marriage and identity in modern society.

As discussions around these issues continue, it becomes evident that the choice of a name, far from being a mere formality, is deeply rooted in notions of identity, tradition, and personal freedom. Perhaps Quebec’s Civil Code will be changed to allow more women freedom over their names in the future.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Does Quebec’s ban on married names infringe on women’s rights?” — Global News

WTF Fun Fact 13074 – Marriage and Online Dating

Studies found that 1 in 6 marriages these days begin after online dating. Interestingly, research from 2020 showed that dating apps were linked to stronger marriages and lower divorce rates. However, in 2021, another study found that couples who meet online were more likely to get divorced during the first three years of their marriage. So, what can we make of the data on marriage and online data?

Marriage and online dating

According to Pew Research Center (cited below), 30% of U.S. adults have used a dating app. And while many experiences were positive, younger women are more likely to be harassed on these platforms.

Pew also notes that 12% of their respondents “have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app.” And nearly a quarter of Americans have gone on a date with someone they met on a dating site/app.

The good and the bad of online dating

Like most other ways of meeting people, online dating comes with benefits and drawbacks.

In general, people say it’s an easier way to meet people they find attractive and who share their interests. “But users also share some of the downsides to online dating. Roughly seven-in-ten online daters believe it is very common for those who use these platforms to lie to try to appear more desirable. And by a wide margin, Americans who have used a dating site or app in the past year say the experience left them feeling more frustrated (45%) than hopeful (28%).”

Women under 35% have the most trouble using apps. In fact, 60% of these users have had people continue to contact them after making it clear they were not interested. And 57% report being sent unsolicited sexually explicit messages.

Equal opportunity

Men and women were equally likely to have used a dating site or app, according to Pew. And white, Black, and Hispanic users all had roughly the same number of users. However, the tech is most common with people under age 35.

While the Pew survey found the number of U.S. marriages that started online to be 12% (less than other surveys), it’s still a significant number.

Interestingly, despite many positive experiences, around half of women think online forums are an unsafe way to meet someone. This is presumably because of the amount of harassment they get.

As for the future of marriage and online dating, only time will tell whether they are more successful.  WTF fun facts

Source: “The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating” — Pew Research Center

WTF Fun Fact 12890 – When You Divorce and Remarry the Same Person

They say the second time’s a charm. And some folks take that seriously since they divorce and remarry the same person.

In fact, while 80% of divorced people remarry, 6% remarry their former spouse.

Trying again with the same person

According to stats reported by Psychology Today (cited below): “Research suggests that 10-15% of couples reconcile after they separate, and about 6% of couples marry each other again after they divorce.”

Interestingly, research also suggests that the more times a person marries, the more likely they are to get divorced. The divorce rate for second marriages is 67%, and for third marriages, it’s 73%!

But among those who marry the same person a second time, the divorce rate is just 30%.

Psychology Today posts that “the lower rate suggests that the renewed marriage is stronger than it was before the divorce.”

Why get back together?

Around 10% to 15% of couples reconcile after divorce even though only 6% get remarried.

In some cases, this is a result of getting some distance from and perspective on the problems that harmed a marriage in the first place and a desire to work on them. (Of course, some people just continue to chase toxic relationships.)

Psychology Today also notes that: “If a problem has been resolved, such as lack of intimacy or financial stress, couples may reconnect. Problems such as substance abuse, neglecting the marriage and over-focusing on career, and loneliness due to lack of attention from a partner—these are problems that can be resolved with a commitment to couples and/or family therapy and making changes at home.”

Just like a successful first (and only) marriage, a second marriage requires compromise and recognition of the role each spouse plays in a couple’s overall happiness.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Why Many Divorced Partners Remarry Each Other” — Psychology Today

WTF Fun Fact 12811 – Pope Francis Conducts Mid-Air Wedding

Imagine being on the same flight as Pope Francis (we’d feel pretty safe, all considered). Then imagine striking up a conversation with him and having him offer to officiate a second wedding for you!

Pope Francis’ mid-air wedding offer

In 2018, Paola Podest Ruiz, age 41, and groom Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga, age 39 were working as flight attendants on a flight from Santiago to Iquique, Chile. The couple had already been legally married in a civil ceremony in early 2010, but they had planned to follow it up with a church ceremony.

However, on February 27, an enormous earthquake hit the country – it measured 8.8 on the Richter scale and caused a massive tsunami that further damaged coastal areas. 525 people lost their lives, and it was clearly no time for a wedding. But the couple always regretted not being married in the church.

Of course, Pope Francis, being a big fan of a Catholic wedding blessing offered to help the couple out by conducting a ceremony right then and there, on the plane, in the sky!

As far as anyone knows, it’s the first time a pope has conducted a mid-flight wedding.

The couple’s reaction

Despite being legally married for years, the couple jumped at the opportunity.

Mr. Elorriaga told Sky News (cited below): “We told him that we are husband and wife. That we are married. That we have two daughters and that we would have loved to receive his blessing. All of a sudden he asked us if we were married by the church too. We are not married by the church because the 2010 earthquake happened on the day we got married.”

The pontiff then asked the most important question:

“He took our hands and he asked if there was love in our marriage and if we want to keep on being together for life. He asked if wanted to stay together until the end. We said ‘Yes’. We laughed for a while. It was very moving. He blessed us. He married us. It was a huge emotion, we are very, very happy.”

The Vatican confirms the story

You might be tempted to think the story is at least partially made up, but Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed the mid-air wedding.

“Something totally extraordinary happened today, which was that the hostesses and the stewards going to get their photos taken and one said: ‘We are a couple, we met on a plane.’ And as they walked back they said that the Pope married them in a religious ceremony, which obviously has never happened on a papal plane before. They were super happy. The first time the Pope heard about it was this morning, it wasn’t part of the plan.”

We just wonder…does the drink cart court as an open bar ceremony?

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Pope marries flight attendants in mid-air wedding” — Sky News

WTF Fun Fact 12597 – The Man Who Married A Pillow

In 2010, a 28-year-old Korean man named Lee Jin-Gyu fell in love with his body pillow. The Japanese dakimakura is a cushy life-sized that also just so happens to have an anime character printed on it.

According to a widely-cited story in Metro UK:

“In Lee’s case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the ‘magical girl’ anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between ‘obsessive’ and ‘nerd’) has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media. ‘He is completely obsessed with this pillow and takes it everywhere,’ said one friend. ‘They go out to the park or the funfair where it will go on all the rides with him. Then when he goes out to eat he takes it with him and it gets its own seat and its own meal,’ they added.”

A priest presided over the special ceremony. The groom kissed the “bride,” and locals reported to the Korean media that the pair went everywhere together, including out to dinner and on theme park rides.

The wedding isn’t legal, of course, but it came on the of a Japanese man “marrying” his Nene Anegasaki, a character who only exists in the Nintendo DS game “Love Plus” in November 2009.  – WTF fun facts

Source: “Man marries pillow” — Metro UK

WTF Fun Fact 12404 – Finding Family

On April 30, 1942, an 11-year-old boy named Philip Lazowski stepped outside his family’s hiding place in the Jewish ghetto of Zhetel, Poland. When the Nazis spotted him, they took him to the town square, where they sorted people into groups of those who would live and those who would die.

Among those chosen to live were doctors, tailors, nurses, etc. He saw all of the young and elderly people being shuttled into the group that would be shot. 1000 Jews were slaughtered that day.

Lazowski spotted a woman named Miriam Rabinowitz, who has a nursing certificate and two little girls by her side.

“I went over to her, and I asked her, ‘Would you be kind enough to take me as your son?’ ” he recalled, according to WBUR. “She said, ‘If they let me live with two children, maybe they’ll let me live with three. Hold on to my dress.”

All four survived that day, having no idea they would meet again in the U.S.

While attending a wedding, Lazowski struck up a conversation with someone who knew Ruth and her daughters and the story of them saving a young boy in 1942.

“Sitting at the table, I said, ‘I come from the town of Bielica,'” Lazowski said. “She says, ‘You know, a girlfriend told me a story, they saved a boy from Bielica. And we don’t know if he’s alive.'”

Realizing he was that boy, he tracked down the nurse, Mirian Rabinowitz. It was then that he formally met her daughter Ruth, who he later married in 1955.

Rabbi Philip and Mrs. Ruth Lazowski now have three children and seven grandchildren.

– WTF Fun Facts

Source: A family helped a Holocaust survivor escape death. Then they became his real family — WBUR