The last name

I recently stumbled across this article (link was to an article on Martha Stewart’s site which has since been taken down) about a woman’s dilemma regarding changing her name after marriage, and it reminded me of a site (and a book) by blogger Ariel, called Offbeat Bride, which is about taking pride in elements of your wedding that might not be conventional. One topic that the blog (and probably the book…I can’t remember anymore) covers is (women) changing their last name (and even men changing their last name!).

To me, the most compelling reason to change your surname is to signify that you and your spouse are a unit, one family. I like the idea of everyone in the family having the same last name, even more so if children are part of the plan. This is more an outward demonstration of the union, I suppose, since the act of taking the name of another cannot make you into a family, any more than putting on running shoes makes you into Usain Bolt.

Some arguments I’ve seen against changing your name include:

  • your name (for you) is an important part of your identity (you’ve been Miss/Ms. X for 20, 30, 40 years, how can you change your name after so much of who you are has already been formed under this other name?)
  • professional reasons (if you have built your career under a certain name, and have built your reputation, perhaps you’re published under a certain name — changing your name might be a setback career-wise, and may require you to re-establish yourself.)
  • changing your name doesn’t magically make your marriage better or stronger so what’s the point?
  • her last name is dying out (maybe she’s an only child in the immediate or extended family and she’s the only one left to carry on the family name)
  • his last name is incompatible with her first name aesthetically (maybe it looks or sounds strange with her first name, or it’s far too long)

In my personal circle of contacts, I know coworkers (current and former) in their late 20s and 30s who decided to keep their surname upon marriage. Another woman in her late 40s, a family friend, also kept her surname. Two friends in their early 30s were torn about changing their name and as far as I know, neither one has legally changed her name.

I asked one former coworker what she and her husband decided to do for the last name of their children, and their solution was actually quite cool: her surname is three letters long and is Japanese in origin and its pronunciation works perfectly as either a boy or girl’s middle name, so both her daughter and son have the same middle name, which is like having the surnames of both parents. I told her that her case is the exception for women who choose to keep their surname yet want to have a way of uniting themselves with their children (who often take their father’s surname).

I don’t know any African friends or other acquaintances (I don’t have any African coworkers) who decided to keep their surname, or struggled with the decision of changing their name. Is this because African women are more traditional, and less inclined to have “offbeat” weddings? Not necessarily; I just happen to know and be closer to more non-Africans than Africans. At the same time, maybe Africans are more traditional. I say this as I remember all the elements of a traditional engagement in Yorubaland (and I know other Nigerians have specific traditions or elements in their engagement or wedding celebrations). As I watched my cousin go through the different steps, I wanted to know if certain things were specific to the Yoruba engagement ceremony, or just done in my cousin’s own engagement. It turned out most things are things I was curious about are things that are “traditionally done”.

So what will I do? As much as I love my initials, I’m pretty sure I’ll be changing my surname.

For the ladies:

  1. How do you feel about changing your name (for those planning to get married)? Do you think you’ll change your name?
  2. Do you think Africans are more or less likely (than non-Africans) to feel torn at the thought of changing their last name? Why/Why not?

For the men:

  1. How would you react if your fiancée told you she would not be changing her surname?
  2. Do you think African men are more or less likely than their non-African counterparts to have a problem with their spouse keeping her maiden name? Why/Why not?

57 thoughts on “The last name

  1. FIRST! ha!! ha!!!

    changing the surname shouldn't be a problem…I hope…lol

    it becomes a problem if the surname I'm changing it to is not "fantastic" lol! okay imagine changing your surname from "oni" to "sangogbangba"! *sighing deeply* the things we do for love!!!

  2. Hi,

    I have been married for several years and I still use my maiden name. I love my name, I am emotionally, professionally, (in fact in several ways) attached to that name, after all that has being my name for over 30 years! My love, parents, 'immediate' in-laws are cool about this. However you will be surprised at the various reactions this has generated. Many wonder and even ask 'are you no longer with him?' ( recently a friend's mother called from UK to check up on my hubby and I , just because she saw a document I wrote and signed with my maiden name) Some colleagues insist on addressing me as 'Mrs…' although I keep telling them I am …(my first name), this gets annoying cause I believe respect should not be based on whether you are married or not! And to some people,I'm just being stubborn and unwilling to accept my hubby as 'my head' lol.

    This is getting rather long, lol! I really like your blog. Do take care of yourself.

  3. I don't feel anyhow o…i have always looked forward to changing my last name, was getting bored of my father's name…lol…and thankfully my hubby's last name fits my first name :)

    Yes i think africans even indians, u know countries that are still "traditional" are not so torn to changing their names…because it was how we were brought up. Your mother took your father's name , so who born you not to take your husband's name..lol

    on a more serious note…i totally feel some of those reasons esp if u have built a career in your maiden name…some people hypenate (if there is such a word) their maiden name with their marriage name. some men dont like it. some actresses keep their marriage name..

    omo men thank God i dont have that issue!

  4. Power in a name…..

    I think african women….scratch that!….naija women are more likely to change their last names than people in the western culture..with the following points….1. its Naija. 2. Its the norm. 3. your in laws will have a meeting on your behalf. 4. its still naija

    Its becoming the norm for most africans in western and non western culture to choose to keeping their last names as you mentioned in your post….as long as the two couple understand. I have heard a friend of mine tell his girlfriend to keep her last name as long as his own last name came first….thats his own choice…its all about understanding

  5. Under normal circumstances I would have no problem changing my name because I do have a very "odd" last name :) "odd" for this part of the world anyway. However I somehow feel like its my responsibility to carry on that name since my father does not have any sons. I have never had this discussion with my father and I dont think he would expect me to not take my husbands name but somehow I feel like I am responsible to keep that name alive.

  6. I honestly had no issues at all with changing my name…i was actually looking forward to it…i had no qualms at all and i know most of my friends have had ni qualms at all with the idea…

    It might be as a result of our being traditional but they make you realise once you have been given out that you have kinda switched families at your traditional wedding…

    If one has a cogent reason though like being an actress or built a career on a maiden name, it might make sense to adopt a compound name..i dunno….

    I thought i had you on my bloglist but i coldn't see updates but now i think i have your link saved properly so i'll know once you update now

    How're you doing girl?

  7. Funny this came up today cos I was thinking about it.

    It came to mind cos one of my juniors from secondary school shes about 19 now is married and when she got married she had both the double barrell, ie hers and his, but then yesterday, I noticed it was just the marital name. So I thought whether she'd been scolded about it.

    As for me, I have this sentimental attachment to my surname, I think more so because I never actually knew the man I got it from, so I'm attached to it – completely. The least I can do is to have a double barrell cos i know Its gonna be hard to drop the name, so I'm hoping I find a man that not only fits all other criteria but also has a surname that 'syncs' with mine…hehe

    I might outgrow it in the end, you never know, but its gonna have to be something I'll have to ponder over.

  8. I don't really mind. Most ladies have built a career, written books etc using their maiden name so it's not worth changing so I'm totally cool with that. As long as my kids take my last name I'm fine with it :) I think most young Africans are accepting of this.

  9. I will definitely not be changing my name if i can help it. If it becomes a huge issue, then i'll hyphenate last name to mine.

    I met a naija guy who doesn't really care about that, but then again we are talking about a guy that didn't even know what "naija" meant two months ago. I call him a fake nigerian cos he was raised here and doesn't care about re-learning about his roots. The only thing nigerian about him is his name. He's my personal pet project for the year, i will definitely be converting him to the naija side.

    But i think its cool he doesn't have a lot of the staunch naija men beliefs that drive me up the wall. According to one of my sisters, a "fake" nigerian, is the best type of nigerian. You get the best of both worlds.

  10. I'm Yoruba and I'm definitely NOT changing my surname…God-willing. A lot of Nigerians have argued with me about it; some guy has even told me there's no way a Nigerian man would marry me because I'm too proud. My mum has even suggested having a double-barrelled name so that I'll still get the respect of a married woman. For me, its a decision based not solely on pride but on religion too.

    Yes, I'm sort of proud and don't want to change my last name because, originally, the name change was to infer that the woman has passed from the possession of her father to her husband. I ain't no property! I consider last names as a proclamation of one's lineage; my husband's father wasn't the one who fathered me, took care of me, schooled me, fed me, etc….why should I be recognising his family in that respect? I want MY father to be remembered each time someone says my name….I want it to be a lasting appreciation of him and all the care he has shown me. If I'm successful, I want him to be able to people, "that's my daughter" and be proud of me and enjoy it without havng to explain how the name came about. For me, changing my name would be like renouncing my dear father!

    Religion-wise, Islamically, everyone should be recognised with their father's name. I'm a muslim therefore I wish to follow the teachings of my religion. You'll be surprised how many muslims argue with me about changing the surname; I don't care if the whole world does something in a certain way…I only wanna do it the right way. By the way, this wasn't meant to be a religious preaching or anything; just explaining why I'm the odd African woman who adamantly refuses to change her surname.

    We'll see what happens after a few years of marriage…I hope I still hold my beliefs strongly despite any lack of respect that I've been told will accompany my keeping my maiden name.

  11. BTW, it's not an african thing cos some african countries like Somalia where my sister's best friend is from, don't require the woman to take the man's name. The woman is not supposed to, just the kids from the marriage.

    How sweet is that.

  12. When I got married, it wasn’t something I thought about. It was somethiung i was honoured to do! Proud and excited to do. For me its the feeling of unity that comes with starting a new family and life together under his name

    Choosing to use your husband’s name, when there really is no need to do so in this day and age , I believe is a symbolic act. You didn’t HAVE to make that choice but you did anyway, not because of social pressures (as would have been the case in the past) but because you believe your husband truly deserving enough to give up your maiden name for. As I said, it’s a symbolic act, not a necessary one. The whole ‘name change’ thing has altered in meaning from the severity of our patriarchal past. To me, it has taken on a more – dare I say it? – romantic connotation. I LOVE using my husband’s name because I love HIM! But that doesn’t mean to say that my love for him is wrapped up IN his name, just as my identity was not wrapped up IN my maiden name. My thoughts, feelings, words, actions, etc. make up ME, not the name I go by. Just like the thoughts, feelings, words, actions, etc. between my husband and I make up the love between US, not the name we choose to use.

    Feminism has allowed the women of today to lighten up! I mean, we’re hardly talking about unequal pay here. Now THAT is something to take seriously! THAT matters! Feminism has brought us women on in leaps and bounds but we still have areas to work on, equal pay being a prime example. But the whole ‘name change’ thing? I can’t imagine anything so impersonal and unromantic as to bring the whole history and injustice of patriarchy into my decision of whether to take – and have fun with – my new husband’s name! We’re talking about marriage here, not a political campaign!

    And besides the past can’t be changed. Yes, we were screwed over (and over, and over) by men throughout the centuries. Taking a husband’s name is one of the legacies of such a constant screwing over. But now that Feminism has taken the ‘bite’ out of this custom, now that freedom in this area has been granted us, we can now look at it from a completely new perspective. We don’t have to feel responsible – or hold our husband’s responsible – for the wrongs committed to our female predecessors. Today, we can take our husband’s name without shame because it no longer suggests submission, it suggests pride. I’m exceptionally proud of the choice I made in marrying the man that I did. To take his name is simply an outward act that tells the world that I’m married and that my husband’s name is a name that I’m extremely proud to use.

  13. i came back to say..on facebook i use my maidename-marriage name..thats because old classmates and friends can know it is me when i add them blah blah…baale has no issues with it ..i dont think he even noticed..lol

    i like anne's response

  14. hehe…aloted, my sister has that too, for the exact same reason, she's over 30 and even searching for her friends on facebook she never finds them and I have to remind her that, just like she is, her friends too may be married and have had their names changed.

    I'm not as adamant as FB but I'm with her, I'm a muslim as well and I never actually knew about the religious aspect. I guess I have leverege if anyone tries to pull a fast one on me.

    I see Anne's point of view, I guess thats for someone who isnt as traditionally inclined as FB seems to be. Thats a liberal point of view I guess.

  15. I agree with Fb on all points. I have just had this discussion and I dont think I am changing my surname I would still like to be called by my maiden name.

    My mum changed both her first name & surname when she got married. I noticed while growing up, she didn't have many friends just neighbours whom had kids our age. It was funny what happened was no one knew her anymore since she changed her names.

    It was until 2000 that she started reconnecting with old schoolmates because she became a pioneer of her old students association. I didn't like that she would occasionally mention out loud that she wonders what became of 'this person or that person'.

    Anyhoos everyone has their prerogative.

  16. I don't know yet what I would do when I get married. I will likely officially drop my last name and carry my husband's. Hyphenation makes the name unnecessary long. My last name is already 4 syllables long. What I know I will definitely do is continue writing as Vera Ezimora.

  17. I guess when I get to that stage of my life, I would decide what to do. Name change shouldn't be a problem as long as the hubby doesn't have a weirdo name that is linked to some cult or curse in Naija.

  18. my cousin and i used to talk about not dating a guy with some crazy last name so u don't have to bother about it…imagine going from Miss. Lewis to Mrs. Eledegbedege….lol….

  19. lol @schic- where on earth did you find that kinda name from??? i have a friend who moved from Morris to Omole- not bad but her maiden name was better i think.My maiden and married name starts d same way, so no qualms!

  20. Great post!

    Well, I never officially changed my name and my husband could care less. We agreed that our children would bear his last name because, well, my last name get 'k' leg, lol!

    But, if and when I change my surname it will really be a joining of both my name and my husband's lovely surname. My mother never changed her last name to my father's and I think it was brave of her. She did what she wanted.

    I hope t do what I want and use both my surname and my hubby's.

    How you dey?

  21. em, i dunno jo. I dnt have a problem with it. I wld keep my last name cos my dad has all girls, but then again, we arent close and i really dnt care much for that name, so i'll probably drop or hyphenate if hubbys last name is short.

    I really dnt care, but as for ur question, most Nigerian women wldnt keep their last name cos of the culture. and i mean Nigerian women brought up in Nigeria.

    But again, it all boils down to the couple…wateva dey wan do is fine jare. What is in a name sef?

  22. Me, I dont know. I have to find the HUSBAND first, n'est pas? And considering how things are currently going I may not have to worry about this (LMAO). My children will carry my name and their fathers until their 18th birthday when I will ask them if they want to change their name. Because my parents named me a name I am most definetely not fond of and I WOULD LOVE TO CHANGE IT ASAP but err all my degrees are under this name and I feel like I am stuck with it.

    @ FB – are you then saying that YOU ARE YOUR FATHER's property? hmmmmm…

  23. i am back again…lol

    so how does it work…i think i will direct this question to madam solomonsydelle and anyone else that cares to answer- do u use Miss Father's name or Mrs Father's name or what? when u fill a form do u fill the Miss, Ms or Mrs…?

    just wondering/curious. tnx

  24. Knew a colleague at work who actually went the whole hog and changed both her first name and last name.. Apparently she was from a certain area of Nigeria which is often construed as being not cool in certainn regards.. and she tot it was a great chance to change her name completely…….

  25. I would definitely change my last name. I already have a double barrel last name, and 2 middle names. It's too long anyway and I prefer to be the family unit example.

    I also think that Africans are more traditional and are more likely to take on their husbands name, even though I happen to have both my mother and fathers (I don't like it though).

    Therapy x

  26. Interesting topic. I didn't change my name when I got married not for ideological reasons but because of allthe bureacratic wahala it entailed. My husband didn't care, whenever we discussed it, he was for the double barrel name. Personally, I didn't really care for a double barrelled name because my maiden name is already 10 letters long and 5 syllables. And no one here ever pronounces my name properly anyway.

    I got a lot of flak from Nigerians, funnily mostly from people outside my family none of whose business it really was. I took my husbands name a few months ago when I changed my passport, mainly because I was tired of people assuming we were not married after almost 5 years!!!!!! It still feels strange though…..

  27. @ Seye

    No, your wife is not your property, you do not own her and a good man will dominate his wife…marriage is the coming together of two willing hearts! A woman willingly submits when her husband loves her and sibmission is not fear!

    A woman changing her last name is symbolic of the two becoming one-period

    Ok I need to stop preaching! Hope that makes sense

  28. I think most people will have personal views to this and though there is "what we have been used to", there is still room for change…while growing up I wanted to keep my maiden name because we were all girls (until a boy came much much later).

    Before I got married, the thought of changing the name was so exciting to me. Other than that, I am sure I would have wondered why I should be changing my name…

  29. @seye- i can't believe u just called ur wife to be your property!?! i want to believe ur girlfriend would not find that amusing in anyway. anyway i see writefreak took u up on it..so i won't say anything more…

  30. AH! E MA BINU O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was talking about MEN generally not ME o!

    I fully agree with you writefreak! I fully agree!!!!!

  31. I am definitely hyphenatiing my name, it means so much to me, taling your husbands name only can end up being awkward I know a woman at wrk who was lets say Jane smith, she got married and became Jane Jones they broke up and another memo was sent saying she is now Jane Smith again. She recently got married and is now Jane Peters i shudder to think what will happen god forbid if they divorce. Like someone said changing your name is merely symbolic. If your husband has a problem with that then …………….anyway everyone has the choice whether to change or not

  32. I don't plan to hyphenate. I will just have two last names. Think Hillary Rodham Clinton. Alumni publications refer to people who change their last names upon marriage by both names anyway.

  33. @ write freak why is morris better than omole beacuse its English?

    As for me i do not care, which ever way works!manybe hyphenate both names

    in this part of the world it is wahala changing all your documents and stuff to your new name

  34. @ me

    No it's not because it's an English name, not at all, i'm not a sucker for English names, it's just what Omole means–(hard or difficult child)

  35. Happy New Year luv!

    it's simlpy a symbolic act just like the marriage.

    symbolic of unity thru marriage.

    keeping one's last name to "carry on " one's father's name is subscribing to the school of thought that a man needs male heirs to keep his lineage alive.

  36. My mother did the same thing as Bumight intend to do. She was Dr. Maiden Name and Mrs. Married Name… Over the years, it ended up being Dr. Maiden Name Husband Name.

    I have no clue what I would do yet. I understand both sides completely. I have an English last name (weird I know) and my fiance has a VERY african sounding name. Growing up, it was kinda cool to have an English last name because it was rare (especially in a French speaking country) but over the years, I started resenting it a little bit. There is so much in an African last name. It tells of your origins, the land you "belong" to, your ancestors history, even sometimes line of work. For this reason, I might take my husband's name when we get hitched. But then again, my last name also tells the story of my ancestors in a way.

    I'm still torn. And both last names being really long, it will be quite difficult to hyphenate. We'll see. He has no problems with whatever I decide to do, but I know that he would prefer that I use his last name (he even calls me that from times to times).

    Interesting topic!

  37. 1. She has the right to decide whether to retain her maiden name or not. And if she decides take the hyphenation lane, she should ensure that the new name doesn't sound funny to the ear… I mean, i won't stand anything that "taints" my father's name!

    2. Well, this is a question that borders on cultural realities…. but then, I still think a lot of individual considerations go into it. I'd rather say contemporary African men (and that means literate) are likely to have concerns about it….

    In comparison to non-African men, I have no idea!

  38. @ sista aloted: just saw your comment at …EASIER… and so came by to provide my answer.

    I think my original response was a little onfusing, I simply intend to hyphenate both names.

    Thus, let's assume my last name is Buguma (which is the town in Rivers State my maternal great grandmother comes from) and that my husband's last name is Smith. For most legal documents, my last name has remained 'Buguma'. However, my old college refers to me as Mrs. Buguma-Smith.

    I personally like my name hyphenated and I have loads of reasons for that. But as someone else noted, you can have 2 last names as well. I have a friend who did that and it works. Like the Hillary Rodham Clinton example. We tease her for sounding extremely upper class, but in her line of business, she needs that.

    Which reminds me. The current Mayor of Los Angeles actually changed his name once he got married. Himself and his now-separated wife joined their names together to create a whole new name that they both used. But now with the upcoming divorce, I wonder if they will keep the name or simply return to their original surnames.

    Hope that helps but if you've got more qs hit me up.

  39. @solomonsydelle- ah, thanks ok i see.

    you didn't answer the last part though-

    so wait if legally your last name remained "Buguma", that means when you are filling in a form you say Mrs Buguma abi na Miss Buguma or Ms Buguma?

    thanks!

  40. So I don't really have any issues with changing my name because I have two brothers to keep our family name but I also don't feel like it's a do or die affair, if your name doesn't fit mine then sorry oh…I'm not about to be stuck with an awful name for the rest of my life :)

    But generally Africans tend to conform with the norms of society so in general they're less likely to be like "I'm not changing" than other people.

    Oh and in response to your question it's like Katie Holmes. Her name is Katie Holmes right? But if she's filling a form it's either Mrs. Cruise or Ms. Katie Holmes

  41. I am a 52 year old man and occasionally 'google' this topic. I am always shocked at the acceptance of young women to change their names and the assumption of young men that they should.

    Try this little test: swap each gendered word and re-state the proposition. So, "Women, would you take his surname?" becomes "Men, would you take her surname?" In this age of equality, both questions should be equally valid and both men and women should be able to ask the question and justify their answer.

    "It makes us more of a unit to have a single surname." Questionable. However, even if we accept it (for the moment) why does it have to be his?

    Like it or not, your surname IS your identity. ie it is that by which you are identified. Try finding the phone number of someone who's changed their surname.

    Ask yourself a simple question; why is it only women who ponder this issue? If men thought about it just as often then we might have something approaching equality but, until then…

    Finally, a writer called Cary Cooper put it best. "Feminism made it possible for women to declare themselves as exactly who they are. And I suppose it could be said that for all its gains, if women now slip back into the old, comfortable models, then to that extent the historical memory of feminism slips away. Refusing to take the old patriarchal name is a way of extending a certain idea of freedom into the future and into future generations. It is a powerful step. It is a reminder."
    http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2007/11/16/whos

  42. I understand what one means about being attached to their last name. It would be weird to call myself by another name and change my signature. It would also be very weird if I were to get married a person of another culture… going from pure Nigerian to…whatever it happens to be.

    I also think Africans are less likely to actually debate whether or not to change their names. I think it's a traditional thing. I think more will change.

    The husband of one of my friend actually took on her name as well as kept his own. Meaning, they have both names hyphenated. This is because she is the only child and a girl on her side of the family and wanted to honour her father, who was sick and actually died.

    I do not know what I would do. Growing up, I assumed that I would naturally take my husband's name, but who knows…?

  43. I plan on getting married. Ha! at "plan" because I'll be lucky to find the right one and he must be naija and he must love me!!! It has to feel right to me.

    My last name is nice to me. It has a ring to it. But it has one problem. Family. My family has never been a good resource!!! I daresay I would like to detach from it. But this is a sad reason. I want to change my last name to my husband's name to symbolize our relationship to each other. I believe in tradition. I think men like to have control and it makes the family more secure even in the greater society because what one does affects others!!!

    I don't plan to have a child necessarily but if we did then the child should definitely have the father's last name. That is the family name.

    I think the last name issue is a trend in America that is a reaction to the post-segregation women's rights struggle. So many traditions have been needlessly challenged bringing additional confusion and stress to families and individuals.

  44. Amake:

    Do you not think it a strange coincidence that only women have bad experiences with their fathers/families? Even when men hate their families, they still hold on to their surnames. Why? Because they feel they "own" the surname? Why, then, do women not "own" their surnames. After all, they've had them since birth, just as men have.

    You wrote:

    "I believe in tradition."

    In some parts of Africa girl have their clitorises removed without anaesthetic. That's put down to tradition. I'm afraid tradition ALONE is not a good enough reason to keep something (imo).

    "I think men like to have control…"

    That some men have such low self-esteem is not a reason for women to accept it.

    ".. and it makes the family more secure "

    Not sure why that should be.

  45. I stumbled onto this site while researching my own blog post on the subject. I got married three years ago and I still hate my new last name. I wanted my birth surname to become my middle name. And then take on my husband's surname. But the DMV adn the Social Security office wouldn't let me. They said I had to have a hyphenated last name. I. hate. hyphens. It's complicated and causes confusion and it's not aesthetically pleasing. I'm a writer. And professionally, I go by my birth name, Aliya S. King. But in my home life, I'm Mrs. Aliya King-HisLastName. And it annoys me. I think the hyphen annoys me more than anything else. I'd rather just be plain old Aliya S. King than deal with that dumb hyphen.

  46. Interesting

    I have never had problems with changing my surname and taking up a husband's name,

    I guess its because of the way we were brought up.

    but I think if a woman haad good reasons to keep her maiden name, evey understand ing man ( who is secure ) would allow her to.

    I have a friend that her husband does not really mind, infact he is encouraging her to keep her maiden name.

  47. Damn! This became a hot topic quickly!

    Ok let me start off by saying this is a personal choice. It also partly has to do with the name you're taking. The cooler the last name, the better.

    However, I don't think women should get less respect or feel duty bound to change their name. Feminism should make it possible that we have the freedom to make our own choices. FB feels proud to keep her last name, Ann feels proud to take her husband's name. This is what women can do now.

    I personally am super attached to my name. I didn't pick it. My parent's gave it to me, but I've made it mine. I have history with that name, and like FB said, my husband's family didn't contribute anything to my development as a person.

    Also it irks me that kids are expected to take the father's name. This is a new age. OBAMA is president. Tradition no longer reigns. Women make as much as, and sometimes more than men. It just really gets me mad because women take care of the kids, pay half or more of the household, basically do more than 50% and the kids don't have their name. Esp. if the man takes off on them! I think for sure, kids should have their mom's name or a hyphen, or at least get to pick.

    I don't remember who said the thing about submission but you can bet there is no human being I am submitting to. If I got married, my husband can be proud to have a strong redwood to count on, not a weeping willow tree.

  48. Also what about men feeling proud to take their wives name? Are there any guys who think "what a great gal I'm with, I'd be honored to take her name?"

  49. My agent took his wife's name when they married. They hyphenated their

    names into one. And now their son has their hyphenated surname.

    Here's what he said about it. (Ripped from my blog post on the same

    topic…)

    Ryan: I suggested we take eachothers' names because it seemed like the

    right thing to do. It just never made sense to me that women have to

    take their husband's name while the husband doesn't have to change his

    own. When I went to the DMV in Brooklyn to get a new I'd the women

    working there showered me with praise–the woman behind the counter

    processing my paperwork called all her colleagues over and the made a

    big show of whooping it up and telling me how sweet I was. It was the

    closest I've ever come to feeling heroic. And probably the most

    plessant visit to the DMV that I'll ever have. It was a lot more fun

    than making airline or hotel reservations–i find myself, after making

    sure they caught the 'c' in Fischer, saying "it keeps going. Hyphen.

    H-A-R…."I guess now I understand why men don't change their names.

    Aside from ten minutes (ok five) of adoration at the DMV, its a

    lifelong pain in the ass….

  50. I don't get the point about not chaning your name because you're the only girl/child. Your kids most likely won't take your last name, so how does that continue the lineage for your family?

  51. Lollie:

    I think you've missed a couple of crucial points. One reason to keep your name is simply because it is YOUR name. Why should anyone dictate to you what your own surname should be.

    To address the lineage question; you stated "Your kids most likely won't take your name." While that is undoubtedly true (at least at present), if you do not keep your own surname there is no way your kids can inherit it. If you keep your own surname, at least the possibility remains.

  52. In response to Aliya/Ryan's comment:

    Spelling a double-barrel name over the phone is the worst!

    In person I just ask for the pen to save time… Lol xx

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