Czech women are raised with names that imply almost patronage. In youth, their names would suggest paternal ownership. That is because Czech women traditionally add the suffix “ova” to their last names.
The suffix “ova” is allegiance to whatever name before it. For instance, if Sarah Nataliaova is the daughter of John Natalia, she had at birth “ova” added because she bears allegiance to John Natalia.
But then when she marries Peter Medvedev, she becomes not Sarah Medvedev but, rather, Sarah Medvedevova because her allegiance has now switched from father to husband.
This makes women as if they are owned by their fathers or husbands that their names must bear witness to that rather then being an equal in a relationship with same last names.
With the advent of the American feminist revolution, many American women stopped taking their husband’s names because they felt a women should not have to adopt her husband’s last name as if she were subordinate to him; so their thinking went.
Czech model Adriana Karembeu. If she can do it, why not the rest?
The Czech Republic is experiencing something like that as women rebel against a tradition they consider sexist. These women are finding that society is not very welcoming to those whom break orthodoxies:
Zuzana Kocumova, an Olympic cross-country skier who found out just what some segments of Czech society wouldn’t tolerate.
As a sometime TV sports commentator, Kocumova refused to add “ova” to the names of foreign skiers. It wasn’t out of feminist principles necessarily but rather because she thought it ridiculous to “Czech-ify” the names of non-Czech women, as is standard procedure here. (The U.S. secretary of state is always referred to as Hillary Clintonova, the German chancellor as Angela Merkelova and the pop star as Britney Spearsova.)
Being acquainted with many of the foreign skiers made Kocumova determined to refer to them by their real names.
“These are their names in the start lists and results lists everywhere,” Kocumova said. “It was unnatural for me to use the Czech form. I couldn’t do it.”
During the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in February, held outside Prague, the Czech capital, some viewers wrote in to complain about Kocumova’s refusal to append “ova” to female skiers’ names during her commentary. She kept doing it her way.
The TV station fired her.
Some people are so committed to tradition that they think even foreigners should follow them [Clintonova? Really?]. These Czech ladies, most of whom are probably very beautiful, should not have to accept such dictates. Let them have real names not another word for ownership.