(Closed) An honest question for self-proclaimed feminists and the name change

posted 10 years ago in Names
Post # 47
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Surnames are a cultural identifier and I appreciate the diverse cultural surnames people have. Because of this appreciation, I will not be changing my last name. I am proud of my ancestoral heritage and I do not wish to change it.

Luckily, my Fiance is content with my decision. It was my own mother who has a major issue with my decision. 

If we have children, their name will be hyphenated. It would then be their decision of what to do with their last name once they turn 18 or get married.

Post # 48
Member
303 posts
Helper bee

I am considering taking my mother’s name, which is not her maiden name (though it is an old family name, so I guess I’d still be letting down the sisterhood….I joke).

Seriously though, when my mother got divorced, she chose a new name, and explained by saying, “I was a Maiden Name for 25 years, I was a Married Name for 25 years, and I just don’t feel like either of those people any more.”

I like the sentiment.

Post # 49
Member
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Well, I would call myself a feminist, and I’m changing my name. I agree with others who have said that there isn’t a big difference between that and keeping your father’s name. Also, I do believe feminism is about women being able to make choices as an individual. I disagree with people who say that you can’t be a wife and a feminist, or if you change your name you’re not, or if you stay home and take care of the kids or whatever, you’re not. Because if it was your choice, then more power to you.

Post # 50
Member
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think many of us can conclude that the biggest factor in this debate is choice. Feminist or not, women are not governed by the laws we once were, and therefore taking or keeping a name is a choice to make, one way or the other.

Taking it further, we are choosing to marry (I feel moved to point out here that, for people in states other than my own, EVERYONE should be allowed to make this CHOICE). In doing so we are all accepting the laws of marriage — taxes, visitation rights, child custody, and so on — and if a decision is made to have children, choosing to get married affects the laws of that, too.

View original reply
@bug-in-a-rug: Your question is an interesting one. I don’t know how my feelings would change if I didn’t like his family. But… Juliette technically died as Juliette Montague, whether she liked the arch-enemies of her family or not. Today, she’d sign her name at the SS office with Capulet and be done with it!

Post # 51
Member
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I don’t like my boyfriend’s last name and I love mine. I keep telling him he should be the one to change his, but he remains unconvinced. Sigh. I don’t want the hassle of having two different last names. Unfortunately, his first name + my last name = a huge celebrity’s name, which would surely be more annoying than amusing.

Post # 52
Member
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

View original reply
@sceeder:It was accepted before, but the law changed around 1984 and as of that moment, women could no longer change their names.

Post # 53
Member
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011 - Anthony’s Fine Dining

I love this thread.  I, too, consider myself a feminist and I plan to take my FI’s name.  I’ve had several family members ask me why and I never really know how to answer it besides “because I want to.”  But really, IMO that’s what feminism is all about!  This is what I’m choosing, but I totally get why some people choose the opposite.

Also, never really thought about it like “one man’s name vs. another’s”…interesting!

Post # 54
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I will be taking my fiance’s name when we marry. I love him, and personally have no problem with it.

I would like to point out, however, that just because you don’t take your hubby’s last name does NOT mean the cohesiveness of the family unit will break down. You can give your future children ANY last name you want. It’s part of the naming process. It’s tradtional and cultural to pass on the father’s last name to the child, but you could give your child your maiden name, or your mother’s maiden name. Or you could make up an entirely new last name! Or, you could keep your last name and give your children your last name and allow your husband to keep his. So changing your name for your children’s sake ONLY is kind of silly considering you have the choice to name them whatever you please!

Post # 55
Member
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

In My Humble Opinion, for one woman to tell another woman what she should or should not do in any particular circumstance (unless she has actually asked for advice/opinions), is anti-feminist. Period.

Post # 56
Member
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

I consider myself a feminist and will not change my name. However, I think it is out of line to tell someone she is wrong for changing her name. I agree that feminism has grown to mean choice. 

I always knew I’d keep my name. I like the way it sounds, I’ve had it for 28 years, I’m becoming known in my profession and it’s my name. I don’t view it as my father’s name, I see it as mine. 

I think my Fiance expected me to change my name. He comes from a more conservative family where keeping one’s name is not done. However he respects my decision, as does his family (at least they haven’t said anything to me). 

Post # 57
Member
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

I think it’s totally up to you whether or not you keep it. I’m not against taking the name, but I do not like the formal address of Mrs. His first His last. It completely takes away my personal identity, I think.

I don’t think it’s one man’s name vs. another, it’s about the identity you’ve built for yourself. I’ve had a poem published under my maiden name, I’m known professionally by my maiden name — that’s a lot to lose for me. I do like the unification, but I also think it should go both ways 🙂

Post # 58
Member
1154 posts
Bumble bee

I am surprised that people don’t seem to have heard the obvious counter to the “one man’s name vs. another” argument.

If you say I am keeping my father’s name… how can you say that it’s my father’s name?  After all he got it from his father so it’s not really my father’s right?  and on and on.

If my father owns his name, if that name is his then why in all the world do you not consider my name mine? We both got it from our fathers, why is that only the male, i.e. my dad get to own it while I’m considered to have someone else’s name?

I’m not keeping my father’s name, I’m keeping my name.

I have as much right and ability to own a name as my father has to own a name.

My first name was given in honor of an uncle, but my first name is mine no matter how it came to me and my last name is mine no matter how it came to me.

Post # 59
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Feminism sometimes get a bad wrap.  Feminish should empower women do be themselves and do anything they choose.  I consider myself a feminist.  I was raised by a strong single mother (I have her last name, not my fathers) and was raised to be the same.  As women, it is our choice if we want to take that step.  No one should feel pressured but also no one should feel ashamed.  I am going to legally change my name because I want to and use my maiden name professionally because of the opportunities that it affords me. 

No one should ever be made to feel like less of a “feminist” because they want to honor their husbands or traditions.  It is your choice, that is what being a feminist is all about!

Post # 60
Member
2536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I keep telling my Fiance that we’re combing our names to have a new name. It’s something I saw another couple do and I loved it, but he’s not really into it. Since I love the idea of being “McBride,” I’ll change it, but not before making the older women at my work and in my life sweat.

Post # 61
Member
1523 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

For me being a feminist means that we have more choices. I have the choice to change my last name or not change my last name. I am thrilled that women have more rights and options now. I am taking my FI’s last name, but it’s my choice. No one is telling me that I have to change my last name which is a beautiful thing.

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