(Closed) Like to be called Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast? Or does that rub you the wrong way?

posted 10 years ago in Names
  • poll: How do you feel about being addressed as Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast (or Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast)?

    I HATE it. It is an outdated, sexist custom.

    I don't like it much, but I realize a lot of people still use it and I can deal with it.

    I'm OK with it. It's just the custom and still consdered the technically correct form of address.

    I LOVE it. I love when I get mail addressed like that!

  • Post # 47
    339 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I’ll happily declare myself to fall into the “crazy feminist” camp Smile I haven’t decided exactly what to do with with my last name once Fiance & I are married but my maiden name is sticking around somehow, whether it’s hyphenated or my new middle name.  I have publications and presentations under my maiden name and in my line of work, it’s important not to end the association with my past research.

    I voted I hate it.  Can’t stand it.  I have a first name and it’s not “Mrs. Hisfirstname.”  But then again, I also will not be addressing my invitations to “Ms. Guest” or “Mr. and Mrs. Guest” because I’m not super cool with the traditional way of indicating whether or not a woman is married when the same rules don’t apply with men.

    Sorry, feminist rant over 🙂

    Post # 48
    403 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    View original reply
    @menobride: “I also hate “the wife”…I’m not an object, I’m a person!”

    ME TOO!!!

    I’m just waaaaaaaaaay to independent for all this, LOL! Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted my future husband to take MY name. I’d have been such a rabblerouser (sp?) in the 19th century. 🙂

    Post # 49
    2286 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    You know, I’ve got to giggle because Fiance is taking my name soooooooooooooo….would he be addressed as “Mr. MissHelen Mylastname”?

    Personally, I think the custom is charming in a way, but extremely outdated and if I were taking my FI’s last name, I would insist on not being addressed that way by the people who know me. 

    Post # 50
    2820 posts
    Sugar bee

    Honestly, I cringe everytime I see it and view it as condescending.  I would never call my grandmother and say ‘thanks for the card but don’t address it that way, grrrrrrrrr grandma’  but if it comes up in conversation with someone I say I dislike it.

    To me it just sounds like it’s saying Mr. Troubled and whoever your wife might be at the moment.  It’s not to me specifically.

    We got a card yesterday that had both our first names on it and it made me smile when I saw our names together joined by a last name (though I haven’t actually changed my last name).  Because we are a team and it makes me feel like a team when I see our first names together, and it’s not just addressed to Mrs. random lady.

    And imagining my husband called by Mr. Myfirstname Mylastname, it just seems disrespectful and not acknowledging him as a full person so I don’t know why I would be OK with it either.

    Post # 51
    3124 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    I have mixed feelings about it. I would prefer to be addressed as J and M Begins. But if the titles are thrown in there, I don’t mind if it’s shortened the “traditional” way, because I married the man and obviously we are a team now and I think he’s great. So, while I think the tradition is outdated, I do not personally mind. I do keep in mind other people and their feelings about it though, when addressing mail. I send regular mail to my SIL and Brother-In-Law as The InLaw Family, but if I were to be formal about it, would put SIL’s Dr in there. I just find the whole practice awkward, to be honest.

    Post # 52
    1756 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I have a doctorate. I will be *pissed* if people start referring to me as Mrs. HisFirst HisLast. Screw tradition – once I change my name, I will be Dr. MyFirst HisLast, and I will correct every single person who doesn’t use that terminology.

    Post # 53
    2194 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    Haha redherring, I am so happy to see that you’re going by ‘Dr.’.  I wish it wasn’t viewed as pretentious by so many people, because um, hello, if you spend 8 years in destitution (this is the average for Anthropology, I don’t know about other disciplines), selling your soul to the university, being a professor’s slave whilst spending all other hours of your life working on some huge piece of work that needs to be ground-breaking, or else die–don’t you deserve your damn title?!  

    Edit: just saw you’re a Vet, well, my rant still stands!  I wish people who earned degrees weren’t ashamed to use their titles.

    Post # 54
    713 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    The problem with traditions like this one is what they USED to symbolize. There was a time when a woman got married – she did lose her identity. She move from being someone’s daughter to someone’s wife and never had financial independance or much choice in her life. She would be Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname because her first name wasn’t important.

    But on the other hand… things are different for today’s women and maybe its not such a bad thing to continue tradition for tradition’s sake. I think some people (myself included!) need to relax a little bit. I used to think it was so strange that some women LIKED to be addressed in that way – but I kind of understand it now. Its a tradition and its etiquette and it can be nice I guess.

    That said – I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep my name and will probably correct people if I get addressed in a way that I’m unhappy with. I get upset right now when I receive mail with “Miss” on it instead of “Ms.” Especially formal stuff. Like I got something from my bank the other day with “Miss PrairieGirl” and I was pissed!

    Post # 55
    2857 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

    Hell to the no. First of all, I’m not changing my last name. And even if I was, then I’d want to be called Mrs. Dana Hislas. I have a first name and my own identity, I am not just Mrs. Wife.

    But to be honest, I’m not even that comfortable with being called a Mrs., period. I think I might just want to be Ms. MyLast.

    Post # 56
    4485 posts
    Honey bee

    I’m not offended by it at all, and I don’t know anyone else who is either who is married or engaged.

    To each their own,  but that is also a personal decision and whatever you decide to be called is no one else’s business at all.

    Post # 57
    866 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    We will be pronounced and introduced as “the new Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst and Myfirst Hislast”.

    I feel I should point out that the tradition of addressing correspondence is ever-evolving — prior to the turn of the 20th century, no letter or invitation would even refer to the “Mrs.”, it was only addressed to the master of the household. So if you prefer to be addressed in casual correspondence or in person in a certain way, gently request it.

    Personally, I expect to receive formal invitations as “Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast” or “Mr. and Mrs. Hislast”, and informal invites with “Hisfirst and Myfirst Hislast”. I have never heard a woman introduced as “Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast”.

    Maybe I should say Ourlast? I’m taking his name, but feel that it’s now our family name.

    Post # 58
    1032 posts
    Bumble bee

    Ok I am jumping the gun a bit, I am not even engaged yet, but when my sister got married and was called Mrs. Hisfirst and Last… I was bugged! I wanted to say “hey, she still has her first name and is still her own person!” but I held my tongue. I can see that bugging me big time when I finally get to marry my dream boy… *sigh* totally worth it though!

    Post # 59
    873 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    It’s a HORRIBLE custom, and as I did not take DH’s name, it’s just plain incorrect.  I remember when I was younger my very conservative mother got a letter in the mail addressed to Mrs Hisfirst Hislast from church, and she did literally rip up the letter.  Now that I’m in that position myself, I completely understand the anger in that action.

    In Korea people rarely call each other by their frist names, and it’s very common to say ___’s wife to refer to a woman in a group of friends. DH does not know the names of any of his friends’ wives or their children (and then mothers are often called _______’s mother when the child’s name is known).  I’m a bit of a strange case because as a foreigner I obviously stand out in every group and thus people have actually asked me my name and now refer to me by my name (or at the very least my Korean name).  However, now that we’re married it will be interesting if they switch to the more common way of refering to me.  If they do..I will correct them with my name regardless of the norm in Korean culture.

    Post # 60
    23 posts
    • Wedding: April 2011

    I’m okay with it. Actually, I lied, sometimes I find it CUTE, but that’s because people are saying it jokingly, as in, “Here she is, the Future Mrs. John Smith!” (Uhhh, that’s not actually my FI’s name, but I’m sure you all could figure that out lol.)

    I don’t think of it as sexist either. Really, it doesn’t bother me, it’s just an old custom. It’s not like being told to get back into the kitchen, barefoot and with a baby on my hip.

    Post # 61
    118 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    It might bug me depending on the context, but it’s not a huge deal. Then again, I’ve always been a conservative, traditionalist sort of a girl, so that’s just me.

    I will say though, I’m only taking my FI’s last name because it ‘goes’ with my own! My best friend and I are named after either a season or a month. When we were younger, we’d both say that if we met a man who’s last name was a color (like Brown or Green) or Day or ANOTHER season (I used to know a girl whose last name was Winters), we’d keep our own last names. Luckily we’re both engaged to men whose last names suit our first names. 🙂

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