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Madame Captain

Should women change their last name when they wed?

  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. Should last name changes be mandatory for married women?

    • Yes.
      11
    • No.
      5
    • Depends on the couple.
      10
    • I don't care.
      4


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A very interesting post piqued my interest. 

 

 

According to a survey published in the journal Gender and Society in April 2011, half of Americans think women should be legally required to take on their husband’s name after marriage. These results show that despite gains in gender equality, many people remain extremely traditional when it comes to relationships.

For many women, the decision to switch last names is a no-brainer, they do so willingly. But for others–especially women who have build a name for themselves in their careers–a name change may not be what they really want to do.

 

Just wondering how everyone feels?

 

Link to article.

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I think women should change their last name when they get married.

 

But it should not be legally forced.

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I think it's a good idea for a woman to change her name, but I'm not sure if"should"is a good word, nor do I think they should be forced to do so.

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My dad changed his name when he got married. So did my mum. I have a completely different surname to both sets of grandparents, my first cousins, all my second cousins save... 4 (who I've never met, anyway), my aunt, my uncles etc. etc. 

 

It's never killed anyone. The world hasn't exploded. We are no less of a family (my grandparents encouraged my parents, in fact, to both change their names) than people with the same surname. Seriously, it's just not a big deal. Each to their own, and be concerned with yours alone, and no one else's. 

 

Meanwhile, there's a civil war in Syria, violence in South Sudan, need of aid in the Philippines... 

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My dad changed his name when he got married. So did my mum. I have a completely different surname to both sets of grandparents, my first cousins, all my second cousins save... 4 (who I've never met, anyway), my aunt, my uncles etc. etc. 

 

It's never killed anyone. The world hasn't exploded. We are no less of a family (my grandparents encouraged my parents, in fact, to both change their names) than people with the same surname. Seriously, it's just not a big deal. Each to their own, and be concerned with yours alone, and no one else's. 

 

Meanwhile, there's a civil war in Syria, violence in South Sudan, need of aid in the Philippines... 

How did they pick their new name?

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How did they pick their new name?

 

They picked a name from my grandmother's family. That's why I share a surname with 4 (maybe 5? idk, I've never met them) of my second cousins, but that's it. 

 

It's actually happened a lot in my Irish extended family for the guys to change their names when they got married. A load of my grandfather's side of the family changes their names to their mother's maiden name. It's not a family tradition or anything, but it's not weird or uncommon. Likewise, we reuse Christian names/don't go by our Christian names in a lot of cases, too. 

 

The logic behind my mum changing her name wasn't "I'm getting married, I must change my surname" but "Ick, I hate my surname, and my fiance's surname isn't much better". The logic behind my dad was "Ick, I hate my surname and can't be a practising doctor for the rest of my life with it, and neither can my wife". 

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They should do what they want and what suits them. 

 

Nothing wrong with taking the mans last name. Nothing wrong with him taking the women's last name. Nothing wrong with picking a new name together (though admittedly, prior to Katy's post I didn't know of anyone who had done it). And hyphens are fine too. Though a bit annoying in my book. 

 

When the time comes, I'll likely just be traditional about it but if the last name was truly gag-worthy I might consider seeing if we could pick a new one. I personally don't think I'd want to keep my maiden name if we got married. I like the idea of two married people having the same last name so, for me, it would either be me taking his name or picking a new name together. My family would have a cow though, if I did it non-traditionally. Not my dad, but my mom for sure. She just wouldn't be able to wrap her head around it. XP

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Guest JAG

Unless it is messing up our consensus or throwing off our social security ID system, then no - the wife should not be forced to take the husband's last name.

 

I question why the wife would not want to take her husband's last name though.  If it's because she finds it demeaning then I contest she has no idea what she's talking about.  My mom kept her maiden name because she liked the sound of it and I find that a wholly better reason than what militant feminist proclaim.

 

I saw a wedding invite that had the bride and groom holding signs.  The man's said, "She stole my heart" and the woman's said, "So I'm stealing his name."  Heck yes, that's the attitude!

 

I hope my wife takes my name.

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Depends on the couple. Honestly, I don't think there's a good reason to do it. At this point, it's just tradition. Besides, why does the woman have to change her name? 

 

My science teacher combined her name with her husband's name: Nuss-Warren. I don't see why just hyphenating your name with his can't be the way to do it.

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Honestly, I don't have a horse in this race. I haven't really thought about it, but I do like both parents having the same name because it feels like it adds stability to the family unit (but that could just be in my mind). On thing though is that I know a lot of people in Academia don't change their name when they get married because of how Publications go. It is easier and better to just publish under the same name and go by the same name from when you start publications to when you finish so that everything is attributed to you. 

 

 

Depends on the couple. Honestly, I don't think there's a good reason to do it. At this point, it's just tradition. Besides, why does the woman have to change her name? 

 

My science teacher combined her name with her husband's name: Nuss-Warren. I don't see why just hyphenating your name with his can't be the way to do it.

My only problem with hyphenating is that after a few generations, it'll get a little excessive.

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I question why the wife would not want to take her husband's last name though.  If it's because she finds it demeaning then I contest she has no idea what she's talking about.  My mom kept her maiden name because she liked the sound of it and I find that a wholly better reason than what militant feminist proclaim.

 

I am not so sure it is the taking of the name that is demeaning in-itself, but rather the idea of the obligation to take the husband's name that feminists object to. The idea of taking the male last name is a cultural idea that is rooted in patriarchy, but not exclusively. In the hyper-masculine culture of Japan, men are known to take the wife's family name if the wife comes from a higher status group. Also, taking the wife's family name is a sign of allegiance with her family in the sense that he intends to be closer to them than with his family. 

 

For me it depends on the name my wife has. If she has a really cool last name I would probably take it. If I ever married somebody from China, I might take the name since something like John Zhao or John Fu would be wicked.

Edited by Wesker

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Guest JAG

I find the sharing of one's name to be extremely romantic - it's prime English romance born out of the Christian tradition.  Here's a few songs revolving around the traditions:

 

(McLean - "My Name")

(Jay Sean - "Eternity")

(Dierks Bentley - "My Last Name")

 

Bonus song: 

(has nothing to do with name giving) - (Jagged Edge - "Let's Get Married"). Edited by JAG

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When I saw that you put "My Last Name" down, I thought of the Carrie Underwood song and got concerned. I guess it could still work in a twisted and bizarre alcohol heavy understanding.

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When I saw that you put "My Last Name" down, I thought of the Carrie Underwood song and got concerned. I guess it could still work in a twisted and bizarre alcohol heavy understanding.

 

Mama would be so ashamed. 

 

If a girl doesn't wanna take her husbands last name, its her choice. 

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I find the sharing of one's name to be extremely romantic - it's prime English romance born out of the Christian tradition.  Here's a few songs revolving around the traditions:

 

I also find it romantic, but I think it is romantic in both directions, not merely the patriarchal direction. Same-sex marriages do not share the same different-sex dilemmas; somebody is taking the man's name, or somebody is taking the woman's name.  :wub:

Edited by Wesker

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It should be the individual's choice at the end of the day, but I do encourage a change in last name. Personally, though, I would not really mind if she keeps her last name because I know that my kids one day will inherit my last name and I'm content with that ^_^.

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No, it shouldn't be mandatory. I don't really care one way or another. But if someone asked my advice I would suggest that the wife legally taking her husband's last name. She could still use her maiden name if she was a writer, actor, singer, etc. Hyphenating last names is a nice idea for the occasional couple, but if everyone did that last names would get ridiculously long. Imagine having the last name Kowalski-Lorenzo-Schultz-Ryan. And that's just using common last names!

 

My dad changed his name when he got married. So did my mum. I have a completely different surname to both sets of grandparents, my first cousins, all my second cousins save... 4 (who I've never met, anyway), my aunt, my uncles etc. etc. 

 

It's never killed anyone. The world hasn't exploded. We are no less of a family (my grandparents encouraged my parents, in fact, to both change their names) than people with the same surname. Seriously, it's just not a big deal. Each to their own, and be concerned with yours alone, and no one else's. 

 

Meanwhile, there's a civil war in Syria, violence in South Sudan, need of aid in the Philippines... 

 

That's so interesting!

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I don't have a problem either way. I would personally take my husband's last name, but I understand the reasons why someone would refuse to.

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