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

posted 10 years ago in Names
Post # 77
Member
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

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@Entangled: This post pretty much sums up the arrogant, uncompromising attitude which has lead me to identify as an anti-feminist. Feminism was supposed to be about equality. This is simply…aggressive, spiteful, mean.

Post # 78
Member
5988 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

We are thinking that he’s going to take my last name

i know this is going sound bad on many levels (but im going to post it anyways),  i dont get the guy changing his name to his wifes name – maybe because im an aussie and we’re pretty blunt about most things but this screams dude where is your man card to me. why dont you keep your name (i kept my name btw) and he keep his and the kids have your surname? 

 

Post # 79
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Thankfully it’s 2011 not 1950. People can change names if they want to and go againist traditions. I don’t feel my man is going to be any LESS of a man but I’m honored that he would want to take my last name. We both want our last name to be the same and going with the dying name is right for us.

Post # 80
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Here’s what I think feminism means, and I am definitely a proud feminist: it means that a women is smart enough to make her own decisions about her life. She can align herself, by name, with anyone or any family unit she wants to. That to me is empowerment, and people who respect women respect their brains and ability to make choices for themselves. 

Post # 81
Member
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

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@Curator: How is keeping your name “mean”? Does not compute. 

I will go against the grain slightly here and say that changing your name is not a feminist choice because it’s not the equal choice, but you can still be a feminist and change your name. There’s no such thing as the mythical Perfect Feminist who makes 100% feminist choices all the time. Even the most activist feminist listens to at least one misogynistic song and rocks out. And that’s okay. I don’t think being the Perfect Feminist is something to strive for. We’re all human, we all have different reasons for making the choices we make. I think it’s enough for us to understand the implications of our decisions (feminist implications or otherwise) and own our choice without trying to over-defend it. 

I have mutiple reasons for not changing my name, but I have to say that the foremost wasn’t that I really love my culture/family (even though I do) or that I like my name better aesthetically (I don’t.) It was because I wanted my someday-daughters to know they had choices. It’s one thing to say “oh you can keep your name” but your mom and everyone you’ve ever known has changed theirs, and another to have a positive role model who kept their own name in your life. 

Growing up I definitely thought changing your name was Just What You Did, because I had no women in my life who kept theirs. Even in 2011, that’s a pretty common situation – I saw a poll on WB where 78% of women here were changing theirs. I wanted to model the other choice for my future daughters (and sons). I wanted to show them a real world example of a strong family where the name isn’t all the same. So when they get married they won’t feel as much social pressure to change their name and can make an informed choice without being swayed by fear-based arguments like “we won’t be a family without one name (and it has to be my name that loses)” etc etc. 

Post # 81
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

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MissDallasCowboy:  who says they have to keep their fathers name. they can change it to their mothers name like i did.  Aldo Cook-Notarandrea soon to be Aldo Cook. (my mom’s birth name) so when i get married, if i do, i’ll take my wifes name of course. she’s the one who will be carrying our children. so in response to your question, no they don’t have to choose between their fathers name vs their husbands. they can change it to their mothers and keep it.  booyah!!

Post # 82
Member
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

I’m a feminist and I’m going to change my name. I think of it as unifying us as a family. I do wonder why he can’t take my name, but it doesn’t matter to me. I want to have the same last name as my husband. I agree that we don’t choose our fathers, but we choose our husbands (except in the case of arranged and forced marriages).

Post # 83
Member
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I also consider myself a feminist and while I agree that the convention of taking your husbands last name arises from a long history of patriarchy and mysogyny, I have decided to take my fiance’s last name when we get marries simply because… I think it sounds better. 

Post # 84
Member
1001 posts
Bumble bee

The whole point of feminism is equality.  In regards to this particular situation, it’s that you should have the option to make that choice, whatever the choice is that you want to make.  For me personally, insisting on keeping my maiden name would become a feminist action if my partner was likewise insisting that I take his name (and thus refusing to allow me a choice).  Because my partner did not have that reaction when we started talking about the possibility of marriage (he actually started with, “So, can we both take your name?”), I was in a situation where any choice I made was a feminist choice, because any choice I made was my choice, and my decision, made in concert with my partner, through discussion.

I think that taking your partner’s name, or keeping your maiden name, or hyphenating, or coming up with a joint conglomerate name, or a new shared last name totally unrelated to your old names, or making your maiden name your middle name, or anything else you want to do can all be feminist choices as long as you are actually making a decision to do them, not simply doing them because “that’s what tradition requires,” and not doing them because you have no other option (EG: your partner and/or your family or your partner’s familiy is requiring it).

Post # 85
Member
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm

Feminism means you choose what ever you want and no other person gets to look down on you.

Your friend is not a feminist.

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MissDallasCowboy:  

Post # 86
Member
1368 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

OP, you basically took the words right out of my mouth. I struggled with the decision to change or not, but ultimately did because I chose my husband joyfully with eyes wide open, and I didn’t choose my father… and I would rather not share the last name as my father anymore for various personal reasons, so that’s convenient, lol. But honestly, what also contributed was getting married youngish (23) so it’s not as though I had a name built up in my career anyway. So I’m okay with having the name I now choose to take on contribute to defining me for what will be the majority of my life 🙂

Also FWIW I’m horrified by the women on this thread who are disavowing the “f” word. In recent years the the mainstream media had done a great job of vilifying feminism, and very recently many female celebrities have been disavowing the word too… evidently because they have no idea what it means, including the girl who was rude to you, OP. 

Post # 87
Member
338 posts
Helper bee

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MissDallasCowboy:  No offense to your friend but being a feminist means that women should get the same choices, opportunities, and advantages that men have. that means we get to choose for ourselves. if we CHOOSE to take someone else’s last name that’s not betraying feminist ideals… would she be as up in arms if it was a gay or lesbian couple? If she feels that by having a unified family name that it’s like she’s property then she should choose not to take his name, if you don’t feel that way then make a different choice! Ironically she’s sort of taking the place of the patriarchy and taking your choice away from you in the name of feminism… perhaps she should be the one who is ashamed. 

It is empowering to make your own choice. 

Post # 88
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

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Olgarie:  I disagree that being a feminist requires you to actively affirm all women’s choices.  I would never affirm the choice of a woman who believes that motherhood is the best expression of womanhood, because I do not take that view of motherhood.  Consequently, I don’t expect too many people to personally affirm my view of motherhood.  However, so long as I support policies, cultural expression, institutions, leaders, etc. that see to it that mothers and families have access to good nutrition, health care, education, etc., etc., and the mothers support policies, cultural expression, institutions, leaders, etc. that ensure that I will not be penalized, ostracized, kept out of certain positions, etc. because I do not want to be a mother, then we’re all doing our duty to one another.

Post # 89
Member
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm

 

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MarriedToMyWork:  “that I should be ashamed this day in age to take his last name” – This is OP’s Quote. This is not having other views. No one said you have to activley affirm others. I disagree with many women and men, but they make their own choice. Telling someone that changing ther name is a shamful act does not speak to the core ideal of Feminism. Not in the least. <br /><br />

Post # 90
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

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Olgarie: I agree that, whatever I tend to privately think about the type of woman who is really excited to change her name, as long as she is not a “screw your rights/choice, I’ve got mine type” who is hindering the progress of women that I should not be scornful.  However, I still think there is room for disagreement and discussion about these choices.  I was personally persuaded to stop using Miss and to use Ms. in solidarity with other women after some intelligent discussion with others about how we as women balance our choices and our responsibility to other women.

There are choices that women make that I will never affirm and will actively condemn, such as the choice that a woman might make to educate her children to believe that a woman’s chief end in life is to be a mother and wife who is subservient in the home because that will lead her daughter to not realize her full universe of choices and will lead her sons to think they have a right to constrain women’s choices.  I would argue that those women should be ashamed.  Of course, then we get into the question of how to balance a woman’s freedom to make a choice will the anti-feminist consequences of that choice, so I admit that this example is a bit tricky.

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