Post # 1
“The matter of a wife taking a husband’s surname didn’t surface in English common law until the ninth century, when lawmakers began to consider the legalities surrounding personhood, families, and marriage. Thusly (as they would say), the doctrine of coverture emerged – and women were thereafter considered ‘one’ with their husbands and therefore required to assume the husband’s surname as their own. Under the concept of coverture, which literally means ‘covered by,’ women had no independent legal identity apart from their spouse.…coverture laws also prevented women from entering into contracts, engaging in litigation, participating in business, or exercising ownership over real estate or personal property. As succinctly stated by former Justice Abe Fortas of the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Yazell, ‘[c]overture… rests on the old common-law fiction that the husband and wife are one, [and] the one is the husband.’”
I shared this on another thread and wanted to open if up for (polite) discussion here!
Mrs. John Doe vs Mrs. Jane Doe vs Ms. Jane Doe vs Ms. Jane Maidenname vs Miss Jane Maidenname
Which do you prefer and why? What do you call other women?
If being referred to as Mrs. John Doe doesn’t bother you, do the origins bother you or history? How do you reconcile it? Why do you like it?
If being referred to as Mrs. John Doe does bother you, why and what do you do when you get called by the wrong name or hear others referred to as such?
My answer: As a lady who didn’t change her name and insists upon using Ms. over Mrs. or Miss, I find this stuff pretty interesting! Personally, I just can’t get over the whole property aspect and find the whole thing icky. I really hate being called Mrs. Husband’s Name (Mrs. John Doe), but I know other women feel differently! I intentionally refer to all women as Ms. and don’t call them by their husband’s full name–even on formal things like invites. I will use whatever last name they use though. Like Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Doe or Mr. John and Ms. Jane Doe.
Post # 2
I’ve been married for 6 months and planned to change my last name but haven’t gotten around to it yet, it’s on my list of things to do next week (we’ll see lol). I’ll be taking my maiden name as my middle name because I didn’t want to part with that and don;t give a shit about my middle name.
I’ve been addressed as Mrs HusbandsLastName but it doesn’t bother me, even if I wasn’t planning to change my last name I wouldn’t bother correcting anyone. I also don’t really care about the Mrs. or Ms. thing although Mrs. makes me feel old.
I don’t think I can recall a time that I’ve had to call anyone by Mrs. or Ms., so I’ve never given it much thought as to what I would call another woman.
Post # 3
I didn’t want to change my last name in my first marriage, but my exH got kind of mad about it…so I was planning to and then we got divorced.
I have no intention of changing it in my second marriage either and he is find with that.
We also both have very Polish last names and I’d just rather not have to constantly spell and pronounce a new one. Ha
Post # 4
I live in a country where women don’t legally change their last name and are interchangeably called Firstname Maidenname or Mrs Husbandsname.
I also haven’t legally changed my name, and don’t plan to, but socially I go by Mrs Maidenname Husbandslastname.
Post # 5
Oh, but I also want to point out that I will not mind it if anyone were to call me Mrs. Hislastname.
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard
I am Mrs. My First Name His Last Name. I’ll be honest. It irritated the crap out of me that I had to take his last name. I had wanted to hyphenate. My now husband said absolutely not. It was such a thing between us that I basically couldn’t even bring myself to speak to him for a day because it bothered me that he could not even conceive of MAYBE letting me hyphenate and hyphenate my kids. In the end after calming down I decided I wanted the man more than I wanted to hyphenate because he is such a loving and kind man who is so considerate of me otherwise. So instead I demanded blood tribute by saying he had to give me first and middle names. He gets his last name and I get the others for all of our children present and future.
Of course the irony is our first child is a daughter. Potentially our only child so now he wants to teach her to love her last name as much as I loved mine and to fight for it and keep it if she is able in order to continue the name’s line. I will never cease to be amused at how his tone has changed.
Post # 7
In my country no one changes their name after the wedding.
The power dynamic behind a man *insisting* the woman takes his name or *fobidding* her to keep hers is just… UGH.
And addressing a woman with her husband’s full name, as if she didn’t have her own name or identity? I’d have thought such things only belonged in Jane Austen’s novels.
Post # 8
I came from a culture where women don’t change their last name to their husband’s, but reside in a country where it is the norm. I made the conscious decision to take my husband’s last name. It’s not like my original name didn’t come from a man — my father!
Post # 9
Agreed- if my husband demandeed that I change my name to his, I’d seriously be reconsidering the marriage. Luckily my husband doesn’t care either way, but I decided on my own that I’d like to share his last name.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2018 - England
I like having the same last name as my husband as it makes me feel like it’s a partnership being “the does” but i agree when things get addressed as Mr and Mrs john doe rather than to mr and mrs doe it does really piss me off, because it is just like, excuse me, I married my husband, I didn’t become him!!! But also it only ever really happens on envelopes from older relatives/friends of the family so I don’t really bother writing back to say stop it!
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2018 - Location
I did not change my last name, however I really wouldn’t care if someone were to call me Mrs. His last name or put it on a wedding invite.
I never knew about the Ms/Mrs rule until this site – I always thought Miss was unmarried, Mrs was married, and Ms was generic/prefer not to say. I have never understood needing to identify a woman’s marital status. Whatever, I’m pretty chill on the whole thing and would not take offense if someone called me the wrong title!
Post # 12
I HATE Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. I have a PhD, and I had our DJ introduce us as Dr. and Mr. Hislastname. It was kind of a joke, because I never insist on being called “Dr.” but it also irks me that just because I took his last name I’m expected to drop my first as well. No thanks.
Post # 13
I’m Dr. Clarissa Maidenname, and that’s pretty much all I want to called. I’ve never in my life met a man with a doctorate who was introduced to me as Mr, but so many women I know get called Miss or Mrs. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine.
I’m not married, but when it happens I don’t plan to take anyone’s last name legally, and I wouldn’t like being called it socially either. While I fully support any woman who chooses to take her spouse’s last name, it personally feels outdated.
Also, I have a rich cultural heritage attached to my surname which I love, and the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with has a pretty bland name. If he were actually named John Doe, it would be more original.
Post # 14
I don’t like the principle and history of women changing their last names, but I understand the practicality of it and I think it’s a personal decision. I love that it’s more of a topic of conversation now rather than just assumed that all women would do it. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet.
However I hate the Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. I see it all the time at my work and at weddings I’ve been to (invitations, placecards, announcing the newly married couple). It makes me mad honestly, it’s so antiquated. Even if I choose to take his last name, I HAVE MY OWN FIRST NAME! Grr. Once I even saw a placecard at a bridal shower with a girl’s name written as “The Future Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname.” I thought that was even more weird because the men weren’t even present. She doesn’t even get to use her own name at an all-women event? It made me feel like as soon as they got engaged her entire identitiy was taken over by his. I feel like maybe I’m being dramatic but this is the type of thing that historically holds women back.
Post # 15
Addendum: Depsite not being married, I have been called Mrs. John Doe before (we’re in a pretty serious, long term relationship, so sometimes assumptions are made), and ditto to all the PPs. I can’t stand it! I’m my own person.