Post # 1
I stumbled across this article during my morning e-mail checking routine. While I find the tone rather offensive, I’d like to get the hive’s opinion on whether taking your FH’s name is conforming to a sexist tradition.
I’ll be taking my Fiance name when we get married. I will do it out of tradition but not because he “owns” me. It’s because we are becoming our own family. Everyone in my extended family has taken the husband’s name and yet all of my aunt’s (and my mom and grandma) are extremely strong women who are in no way “owned” by their husbands. Growing up around these women has shown me that marriage is an equal partnership which creates a powerful family unit and my Fiance agrees with this.
I feel the author of the article, coming from a broken home doesn’t want to get stuck in the same situation as her mom with either having to change back her name or to keep her ex-husbands. To me this also shows she doesn’t plan on staying in her marriage forever.
I think Dave Matthew’s says it best:
“You and me together, we can do anything baby”
If you’re not willing to share a last name (whether its yours, his or a combination) you’ll never really be together. Just my two cents.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
I have to disagree with your statement “If you’re not willing to share a last name (whether its yours, his or a combination) you’ll never really be together.” I don’t plan on changing my last name – are you saying that my relationship isn’t as valid as yours?
That being said, I do think that the author of that article was pretty abrasive and judgy. I don’t necessarily believe that the changing of a last name denotes ownership, but it is an outdated, patriarchal custom that I don’t believe in for myself.
But I certainly don’t have a problem with anyone else who decides to change their name.
Post # 4
Agree with danadelphia — to each her own.
Also, “To me this also shows she doesn’t plan on staying in her marriage forever.” Disagree. A bee once commented on a prenup that it is like insurance — no one plans to get into an accident, but when you do, you’re glad you have it. Same thing here. I think it is presumptuous to state that the author, who doesn’t change her name, doesn’t plan to stay married. Seriously, why get married at all if you don’t plan to stay that way. I don’t think you can fairly make that claim based solely on the author being the child of a broken home and because she wrote an angry essay about not taking her husband’s last name. (Wanted to add because I don’t think this makes it clear — my point is that it’s not fair to evaluate someone else’s relationship based on whether or not she changes her name!)
Post # 5
I really hate it when women are judged either way. Taking his name or not … it’s a choice, and I personally chose to do it. I had my reasons, thought about it a lot, and my husband would have supported whatever decision I made. In end, I chose what made me comfortable, and that’s all that matters.
Post # 6
I’m taking my FI’s name, honestly it’s not a big deal to me and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t see my name as “who I am”. I am who & what I am and that will never change. I don’t see my name as a statement of my identity, it’s not like I choose it in the first place. And for someone to say that b/c a woman changes her name they lose respect for them?? Personally, I loose respect for that person. We don’t all have to make the same choices in life to be respected as people. I really don’t understand why anyone would even care wheather or not I or someone else kept a name or changed it. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet”.
Post # 7
Most women these days have their father’s last name, not their mother’s. I figured it would be more “feminist” to take on my husband’s name out of choice rather than keep the name I was given without a choice. Either way, it doesn’t matter.
Post # 8
I love how we live in a world where we’re told that we have the right to choose and yet when we make choices about things like this, regardless of if we do or don’t change our names, we’re labelled with one or another stereotype. What does my name have anything to do with my marriage?
Post # 9
I think this thread has the potential to turn into another name-change debate, which has been debated ad nauseam on these boards. All relationships are valid, name change or not. Feminism is about the right to choose EITHER option. The end.
To the OP: I think the author of that article is probably just expressing her views based on her life experiences. It might not be the best way to go about it, but wether we like it or not, we are shaped by the life experiences we have, and sometimes those life experiences are out of our control (ex: parent’s divorce).
Post # 10
While I appreciate that this is an important decision for every woman who marries, comments like, ‘I lose a little respect for [women who take their husband’s names]” make me want to scream.
Seriously? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, Rosa Parks, Corretta Scot King, Maxine Hong Kingston, Drew Gilpin Faust, Abigail Adams, Madeline Albright, Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Obama, Marie Curie, Margaret Sanger, Olympia Snowe and Melinda Gates all assumed or incorporated their husbands’ names, and it doesn’t seem to have affected their ability to enact actual change in the world.
We are the sum of our actions and our choices, and the notion that I ought to disrespect, say, a brilliant chemist because I disagree with her thoughts on nomenclature seems absurd to me. History doesn’t give a rat’s ass that Rosa Parks took her husband’s name. It cares that she refused to give up her seat on the damn bus.
Post # 11
That article has bitter written all over it. I don’t think reading that should help you determine whether keeping your last name or changing it is a good decision. By her reasoning, should she have the name her parents gave her? That was a name “forced” upon her, but apparently, that’s her identity. If she took her husband’s last name, wouldn’t that have been the first time in her life where she was actually given the option of changing her name? And shame on her for judging others on what they choose to do.
Personally, I feel like this is a new chapter in my life. Before, I was me with my current name, next I will be a wife with a new last name. Even though my father is gone, and I love him so much, I don’t feel like I am doing a diservice to him by not keeping his name. My mother took my father’s name, and my father would have wanted me to do the same. I understand the reasons a woman would want to keep her last name, and I thought about it myself. But, in the end, for me, I feel that taking on my husband’s name is the right thing to do.
Oh, and one more thing. The SIRNAME AND SURNAME at the end, that just rubbed me the wrong way.
Post # 12
I’m a little on the fence of this personally because I’m an academic. If we get married before I start grad school, I’ll probably change his name. However, if I’m deep into my PhD program, I can’t see changing my name for publications/references sake. I really want to take his name, but it just depends on timing.
Post # 13
I agree with Valhalla…hi fives!
Post # 14
I’m also one who is infuriated when someone judges either way. I embrace the fact that I had a CHOICE in what I wanted my last name to be. I didn’t do it out of tradition or b/c my husband owns me…I did it b/c I could. Just like some of the bees on here choose to not change their name did it b/c they could…they chose to not change it…or, they chose to hyphenate or to merge their last name with their husband’s last name. It’s all about a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her name.
Post # 15
@MissBiner – Are you uncomfortable taking his name after marriage but continuing to use your maiden professionally?
Post # 16
I am not taking my future husbands last name, but I also don’t like or agree with the tone of this article.
But I do find it funny that the OP brings her own judgmental approach in attacking the judgmental approach of someone else. Way to keep it classy.