So I understand that freaking out about Tom Cruise is counterproductive (if you wish something would disappear, don’t reward it with publicity!) and kind of silly (better to freak out about women’s rights in the developing world and/or global warming!). But when it comes to this “Kate Cruise” business, I just can’t help it.
I’d heard that Katie Holmes was changing her name to Kate, possibly to better complement Tom’s last name, or because Tom liked it better, or something. But I hadn’t heard, until Nerve’s Scanner mentioned it today, that Tom advocated the renaming to signal her transition to womanhood. Apparently Tom announced that, with the birth of his child, Katie Holmes name-graduated from the “girlish” Katie to the more “mature” Kate:
“Katie is a young girl’s name,” Mr. OT-VII explained. “Her name is Kate now [that] she’s a child-bearing woman.”
‘Cause nothing says “I’m an autonomous adult” like being renamed by your incredibly controlling fiancé! OK, I know that Cruise knows everything about motherhood. And reportedly Holmes is fine with her new moniker (along with everything else Tom comes up with, it would seem). But what is the deal with this comment? Are women who don’t have kids not mature women? How about adoptive (rather than child-bearing) mothers? How about women who are named Katie, for frick’s sake? I hope Katie Couric is pissed. Plus, as the Houston Chronicle’s Lana Berkowitz cleverly noted, Tom and Katie — sorry, Kate — just named their daughter Suri. “How will that be pronounced in 20-something years?” Berkowitz wondered. Sheesh.
On the bright side, this week did bring one piece of heartening Cruise-related news: Responding to Cruise’s controversial purchase of an ultrasound machine to view his then unborn daughter, the California Assembly sensibly voted on Thursday to ban personal use of ultrasound technology.