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View Full Version : Should people change their names upon marriage?


Mariangelina
Sep 26th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Nowadays in most Western countries, the majority of people will tell you they believe in the equality of the sexes. Yet most women either change their name to that of their husband or add his in a hyphenated form, while his remains the same. I have always been curious as to the rationale of this, and am interested on what you think should be done when a woman and a man marry. (Gay marriage is not on the poll because it hasn't been around long enough for me to notice any patterns)

Ting
Sep 26th, 2004, 12:04 PM
Both should keep their names:)

Darop.
Sep 26th, 2004, 02:47 PM
Second last option.

GBFH
Sep 26th, 2004, 03:00 PM
i'd only change it if my hubby's last name sounds better than mine.

*Karen*
Sep 26th, 2004, 03:15 PM
It's a personal choice. I always think it's nicer if a couple is called Mr and Mrs something. I would change to my husbands name because I have a horrible surname. Even if I did keep my name. I would never give a child 2 surnames. I find combined names annoying.

propi
Sep 26th, 2004, 03:33 PM
Why should anyone change his surname??? :confused:

Brαm
Sep 26th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Both should keep their names :cool:

Martian Willow
Sep 26th, 2004, 04:40 PM
Even if a woman doesn't change her name, people will call her by her husbands name anyway, like Cherie Booth, so why bother?

gentenaire
Sep 26th, 2004, 05:06 PM
In Belgium, you have no choice. You always keep your own name. A woman is allowed to use her husband's name for all sorts of things, but her passport will have her maiden name.

Justine Henin-Hardenne is officially still known as Justine Henin.

My parents were once offered two seperate rooms at a hotel in Singapore because they'd presumed they weren't married.

bis2806
Sep 26th, 2004, 06:09 PM
Okay I think couples should trade their names off each other, that'd be cool !

kiwifan
Sep 26th, 2004, 07:32 PM
The love of my life can't wait to change her name to mine. :devil:

I can't blame her really...:p :devil: :p

Beat
Sep 26th, 2004, 08:00 PM
both should keep their names, unless one of them has a really ugly or ridiculous name that he/she always hated.

KoOlMaNsEaN
Sep 26th, 2004, 08:39 PM
its basically based on choice and sometimes the religion.

esquímaux
Sep 26th, 2004, 08:41 PM
I think it would be cool if both parties hyphenated their names; except if it comes out looking funky like Manigault-Stallworth :lol:.

Jeleno Benesovo
Sep 26th, 2004, 11:19 PM
well in my country both keeps their names by law after marrying... and I'm agree with that. Women aren't a possession of their husbands, hence there is no need to impose his "name" to them. ;)

saki
Sep 26th, 2004, 11:29 PM
I think the woman changing her name is a ridiculous custom. I'm horrified that all of my married female friends have done so. It's true that some people will call you by your husband's name but, if they do, you correct them and that should be the end of that.

decemberlove
Sep 26th, 2004, 11:56 PM
In Belgium, you have no choice. You always keep your own name. A woman is allowed to use her husband's name for all sorts of things, but her passport will have her maiden name.
hmm, that's an interesting tidbit. i never knew that.

i'm guessing the children take the father's name, right?

i've always said growing up that IF i do get married, i'm not changing my last name. my family and all of the boys i've dated always hated that idea.

CondiLicious
Sep 27th, 2004, 12:01 AM
If I married a guy (hahaha NEVER gonna happen) I would only take his name if it sounded better than my own :lol:

Emola
Sep 27th, 2004, 12:04 AM
Same here. If I get married Id probably take his name because I hate my surname. Unless his was something ridiculous! :lol:

GBFH
Sep 27th, 2004, 12:43 AM
it's pretentious to have hyphenated names. my comm prof made a big deal about being a feminist and not wanting to change to her husband's name. i mean...are you really THAT sensitive? if you were really THAT anti-institution/custom, then why get married? :rolleyes:

Bezz
Sep 27th, 2004, 12:58 AM
I think its a nice tradition for couples to share the same last name. If children are born everyone in the family is under the same name, yu share everything else in a marriage why not a last name?

It shudnt matter if its the womens last name or the mans, being called mr smith and mrs jones & family of mrs jones and mr smith is way too much trouble lol,

It should just be:The Smith family ;)

Bacardi
Sep 27th, 2004, 12:59 AM
Whenever they make our marriage actually LEGAL so we can get a name change (althou we were told we could get a name change anyway if we put in for one), we're going to get each other's last names hypenated. It's going to be my last name, then her's. We thought this is fair and the best way to go :yeah:

Bacardi
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:00 AM
If I absolutely had to choose between my last name or her's, it would be her's. I've always liked it best anyway. :)

sabandborg
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:33 AM
its so much easier to track a woman's progeny. people in Hawaii had it right, for tracking ancestry and stuff, stick with the matriarch.

beauty_is_pink
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:35 AM
it depends on the guy's last name, i dont want my name to be Maria Nguyen-Dick (and mind you Nguyen is pronouced like WIN,, so it's like Maria Win Dick)... it'll all depend, but i think i may keep my last name and keep the Nguyens going.

Bezz
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:54 AM
it depends on the guy's last name, i dont want my name to be Maria Nguyen-Dick (and mind you Nguyen is pronouced like WIN,, so it's like Maria Win Dick)... it'll all depend, but i think i may keep my last name and keep the Nguyens going.
Your so lucky, i never win anything :sad: ;)

JLDementieva
Sep 27th, 2004, 05:39 AM
I say both should keep their names, why should I have to change my name just because I married some guy, he doesn't deserve that privilege even if I did marry him!!!!

gentenaire
Sep 27th, 2004, 07:36 AM
hmm, that's an interesting tidbit. i never knew that.

i'm guessing the children take the father's name, right?

Normally yes, but it is allowed to use the mother's name as well. All children born to the same couple must have the same last name though. You can't use the father's name for the first child and the mother's name for the second.

Josh
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:01 AM
Normally yes, but it is allowed to use the mother's name as well. All children born to the same couple must have the same last name though. You can't use the father's name for the first child and the mother's name for the second.

You can also use both names like in Spain.

saki
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:12 AM
it's pretentious to have hyphenated names. my comm prof made a big deal about being a feminist and not wanting to change to her husband's name. i mean...are you really THAT sensitive? if you were really THAT anti-institution/custom, then why get married? :rolleyes:
There are plenty of reasons to get married other than custom/tradition. It's not about being "sensitive" it's about not wanting to perpetuate a custom that's about how women are the possessions of their husbands.

Helen Lawson
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:17 PM
I believe the woman should take the man's name, unless the woman is a movie star, and then she should use her own name for Hollywood. Like when I married Floyd, I changed my legal last name to his, but I continued to do movies and Broadway using my "Lawson" last name. A star's a star, folks!

Andy T
Sep 27th, 2004, 02:16 PM
A woman's last name is invariably her father's, so it's still sexist. Hyphenating is problematic for the kids after a couple of generations. How about everyone keeps his/her own name on marriage and children take the father's name (when known) or the mother's name as they wish?

saki
Sep 27th, 2004, 02:27 PM
A woman's last name is invariably her father's, so it's still sexist. Hyphenating is problematic for the kids after a couple of generations. How about everyone keeps his/her own name on marriage and children take the father's name (when known) or the mother's name as they wish?
No, the woman's last name is hers as well as her father's. Most people identify with their given names but changing name on marriage is a case of assuming someone else's name. A system that I think works quite well in some cultures is for sons to take their father's name and daughters to take their mother's. It really is no big deal for members of a family to have different surnames, I don't understand why people try and use that as a reason.

saki
Sep 27th, 2004, 03:27 PM
you are denying the fact that a child's surname is the father's/males due to a mainly patriarchal system:confused: In my culture, which was under a colonial sysem, they did not allow women that bore children out of wedlock to give the child their father's last name- i always thought that we had a more matriarchal system and that is why many of us had our mother's maiden names but i was told otherwise. These days, no matter if married or not, people in the Caribbean are giving the dad's last name. I have a friend who had kids with her boyfriend and she refuses to give the kids his last name because they are not married. I don't know if this is a tactic she is using to get him to marry her or if she really is against the 'system' of patriarchy.
It's still the child's surname. You have your surname from birth which makes it your name even though it came from your father. When you take your husband's name, you're making a deliberate decision to take someone else's name and what that symbolises is the loss of your identity in favour of your husband's.

saki
Sep 27th, 2004, 04:22 PM
okay- i hear you but i think Andy T's initial point was, why take issue with only a woman taking her husband's last name when its the same system that gave her, her original name in the first place- but we could go 'round in circles arguing that point:) And the reason why i don't have much of a problem with a woman taking her husband's name is that although it did symbolize a woman losing her identity, in these days, it really doesn't mean that, there are so many more important issues like equal pay for equal work that should be focused on. A last name really is inconsequential these days- it does not send a message, in my opinion to young women that because they take their husband's name, they are now losing their identity, although I've quite forgotten what i used to be called;) . I also have another friend that refused to change her name and her husband was really upset, i think she has since buckled now having children- i don't get that argument either.
I'm not trying to imply that it's the biggest fight that the womens' rights movement should be fighting, but I do think that it sends a bad message. It strongly suggests that the man is the head of the family and the woman must change to conform to that. Marriage is symbolic of union, but the woman taking the man's surname is symbolic of submission. Yes, it's only a symbol and things like equal pay are much more important but symbols matter too.

BritneySpearsIsHot
Sep 27th, 2004, 09:07 PM
Does it really matter as long as you love your husband/wife?

IF i get married (Example: If i find a non cheating woman, which is a bigger challenge than climbing Everest) then she can do what she likes, i mean my surname is not easy, i think it is, but people can't even pronounce it or spell it :rolleyes:

I'm a bit of a mouthful :lol:

beauty_is_pink
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:31 PM
Your so lucky, i never win anything :sad: ;):haha: i think my last name is kinda a jinx tho :( :lol:

I say both should keep their names, why should I have to change my name just because I married some guy, he doesn't deserve that privilege even if I did marry him!!!!jees Jessi! you're so "girl power"ish :rolleyes: :lol:

Crazy Canuck
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:40 PM
Personally, I will not change my last name. I don't really like how it sounds, but it's more than just a name after a while, it's part of who you are. There is a prescendent for this in my family anyways. My step mother has never changed her name and both her children have hyphenated last names. I would like to do the same if I ever marry.

I don't see anything wrong with anybody else changing theirs - it's a personal decision. Just leave mine the fuck alone :devil:

Crazy Canuck
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:45 PM
I think the woman changing her name is a ridiculous custom. I'm horrified that all of my married female friends have done so. It's true that some people will call you by your husband's name but, if they do, you correct them and that should be the end of that.

That tends to be my personal opinion on the matter as well, but I accept that some people just don't look at it that way and try not to get too fussed up about it ;)

Andy Mac
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:48 PM
its the proper traditional way to do it...teh women is marraring into the mans family....tehrefore she shoudl change her name to the mans...its just the way its always been and shoudl continue to go

Crazy Canuck
Sep 27th, 2004, 10:48 PM
it's pretentious to have hyphenated names. my comm prof made a big deal about being a feminist and not wanting to change to her husband's name. i mean...are you really THAT sensitive? if you were really THAT anti-institution/custom, then why get married? :rolleyes:

I'll be sure to pass on to my step mother how "pretentious" she is.

I don't see how being "anti-custom" and getting married are related. Marriage doesn't have to mean "ownage" ;)

BritneySpearsIsHot
Sep 27th, 2004, 11:40 PM
If i married Tara Palmer Tompkinson (which i wish doesn't happen and i'd have to be on drugs) anyone who knows my surname will realise that a quadruple barrelled surname, if we both lept and took each others would be more of a mouthful than i already am :o

Courtney Love
Sep 27th, 2004, 11:54 PM
Courtney Cobain just didn't seem to fit me.

kiwifan
Sep 28th, 2004, 04:53 AM
And Kiwi- you are a lying son of a bitch, you only have pretend gf:rolleyes: :wavey: :kiss:
:confused: oh, me forgot :confused:

and she's doing fine ;)

JLDementieva
Sep 28th, 2004, 05:03 AM
jees Jessi! you're so "girl power"ish :rolleyes: :lol:
HEHEHE!! that's right, and no guy's gonna take that away from me! :devil:

Rocketta
Sep 28th, 2004, 05:44 AM
look whatever people want to do is fine.....all the choices are correct because they are personal ones....ie, I voted for stupid poll. :)

elena_k
Sep 28th, 2004, 09:03 AM
Why should someone change his surname??????I don't get it.All of your life your are known like Mrs Venus and when you get married suddenly your name changes and you become Mrs Mars or sth like that...it's rediculous....

moby
Sep 28th, 2004, 10:46 AM
I think the woman should do whatever she wants
But the kids should take their father's surname, cause they got their mother's mitochondrial DNA anyway
It's only fair ;)

wta_zuperfann
Sep 30th, 2004, 01:23 AM
... so, for me it's Mr + Mrs [forever! I still don't believe in divorce]

as for single ladies, it's Miss


I never got used to Ms --- in fact, I don't like the way it sounds nor what it stands for

but that's just me --- to each their own

whatever choice you make, I wish everyone a joyous marital union forever :)