Post # 1
I just got back from brunch with a friend and we were discussing changing our names after our weddings. Both of us consider ourselves to be fairly modern girls who are attached to our maiden names. Plus we find the tradition requiring women but not men to change their last names to frankly be quite sexist and patriarchal. (That being side, I completely understand why another woman would want to change her name and have *no* problem with that. Just not for me.)
Anyway, my girlfriend then chuckled and said, “Yeah we think it’s sexist to expect a name change, but we demand proposals on bended knee, engagement rings, and want our dads to give us away. We’re okay with sexism and patriarchy when it benefits us.”
Her comment got me to thinking. I guess my beliefs *are* somewhat inconsisent. I didn’t even entertain giving my fiance an engagement ring/gift, nor did I ask that he wear a e-ring. I really want my dad to give me away too.
What do you think about all this? I’m not trying to change minds here, but I’m curious to hear what others have to say.
Disclaimer – let’s keep the convo respectful. No arguing please 🙂
Post # 3
If I felt like the traditions somehow supressed me or made me a lesser person maybe I would have an issue with it. I don’t feel that way at all. My father “giving me away” was not literal, it was symbolic and done in the spiirit of tradition. In reality for us it meant more of a show of respect between my DH and my dad. For us that was important. In reality that gesture had very little to do with me at all.
The engagement ring for us was not done with the intention of an outward showing of ownership. It was a gesture between us. For us it was symbolic of a promise between two people, not a public showing of ownership.
I don’t think people in this day and age typically associate these traditions with what they once meant. I feel they have taken on an entirely different meaning.
Post # 4
I got my FI an engagement ring and he got one for me. We’re both changing our names after the wedding. My mother is giving me away and I will not be a ‘Mrs’. I feel like my wedding is in line with my beliefs 🙂
Post # 5
I am actually giving my SO an engagement ring and the rings are not to show ownership as YUNO1 said, it is a gesture and a promise. I am taking my SO’s last name when the time comes, but not because I feel like I have to, because I’m not attached to my current last name and I don’t want my children to have a different last name than me.
Post # 6
Since I got him a mangagement ring as well, I’m gonna say no.
If it’s a one-sided arrangement, then seems like it.
BTW, he’s taking my last name.
Post # 7
FI would never wear an engagement ring, it’s not “manly.” We like the way things are. I will take his name, my dad will give me away, FI gave me an engagement ring, he pays for our house and is the man of the house and the breadwinner. Just seems normal.
Post # 8
I respect your opinions, and your decision to not change your name. I consider myself to be very open minded, and my FI and I both hold equal power in terms of decision making. That being said, I know he would not have been happy had I proposed to him. He is very traditional, and it is important to him that I take his last name after marriage. I have always wanted to have the same last name as my husband, and I don’t see a problem with this. As far as my father “giving me away”, I will be walked down the aisle by both parents and our officiant will say “Who brings _____to stand beside ____”, not “Who gives her away” as I am not being passed from my father’s care to my husbands, but rather supported by my parents as we join our lives.
Post # 9
@LuciaAbigail: When Fi got my ring, he bought himself a watch, does that count lol? Fi and I are definately on equal playing fields…same educational level, good jobs, equal decision making in our lives together. But I want to have his last name, I want our kids to have the same last name as me, I wanted him to get down on one knee and profess his love to me. He most certainly does not view me as his subordinate, or expect me to stay at home and be barefoot and pregnant. I don’t see en e-ring as being sexist. I see it as tradition, and as my fi’s committment to me. I like a man’s man…one who knows how to fix a car, and work around the house. Someone to take care of business, total turn on for me. I like being the woman that he wants to take care of in those regards, as I take care of him by doing his laundry, and cooking for him most nights. I don’t find that sexist, as I had a choice in it, and this is what I want to do, not what I was forced to do. Hope that all makes sense!
Post # 10
Personally it depends on who proposes and I’m fine with a gesture being made that isn’t an expensive piece of jewelry. But really since it’s the first step in a commitment to a life together it’s something that should be discussed a bit before hand so everyone’s on the same page, whatever that page might be.
Post # 11
@LuciaAbigail: sexist or not I love my ring! The traditions are definitely rooted in sexist values perhaps but they dont oppress me in anyway so I’m happy to follow them.
Eta – I bought him an engagement watch so ill call it equal for us! 😉
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID
@Demi-chan: …how are you both changing your names?
@MrsN14: I don’t get that. How is an engagement ring any different than a wedding band? Does he not think wedding bands are manly?
Post # 13
@mrspinesol: Engagement rings are only for women. If it were up to him he probably wouldn’t wear one but since it’s normal it’s okay. He’d never wear a wedding band with diamonds or a design which is “girly” so his is very plain. He wouldn’t wear his band before the wedding because “it isn’t right.”
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Yeah it’s kinda sexist for sure. It reminds me of giving your future wife’s family a herd of goats for her. That said, I’m happy to have a pretty sparkly ring 🙂
I’m a pretty strong feminist, but I’m changing my name. I think it’s “post-feminist” to have the option to either change your name or not, depending on what’s right for you. I like that we don’t have to, but we also don’t have to keep our names to prove that we’re modern women.
@mrspinesol: Both members of a newly-married couple can hypenate their names.
Post # 15
@LuciaAbigail: Both my parents will be giving me away and I gave my fiance an engagement gift after he proposed to me. In fact, my FI will likely be walked down the aisle by his dad, as well. I don’t really get up in arms about sexism and I’m honored to take my fiance’s name. I don’t care that the tradition is rooted in sexism, he’s not requiring me to take his name, but he’s certainly happy and proud that I am. There are guys I dated where I would NOT have taken their name, though – I didn’t like their last names. So, no I don’t think it’s sexist, but I do think girls should get their men an engagement gift, especially if he “did good” for the proposal. It just shows your appreciation. Oh and currently, my FI is unemployed and cooks dinner and cleans the house and does the laundry for us – even when he was working, we split the chores 50/50. I don’t think taking his name is sexist at all, our relationship dynamic shows there’s no sexism around.
Post # 16
@lolot: I really like how you explained it:
“I like that we don’t have to, but we also don’t have to keep our names to prove that we’re modern women.”
Thats how I feel as well