Jocelyn - posted on 02/10/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )
I Am Not a Mrs.
I don't have a maiden name nor a married name. I have a name. And my name is Emma Waverman. It is the name I was born with and the name I write under; it’s the name on my birth certificate and degrees, the one the kid's school uses when they call and what I answer to. In short, I did not change my name.
I kept my name because it is who I am. My husband I met when we were young but our marriage is a partnership. Changing my name would have meant that I was subsuming myself to be part of a married unit. Marriage may be about compromise but it’s not about bending to an archaic traditional view of husband and wife.
I am sure its nice for the whole family to have one name, and it’s nice to have the same name as your kids. And sometimes when we travel together I feel like the odd-person out. And sometimes it is confusing. But so what? None of those reasons were good enough to convince me to throw out my name and take my husband’s. And yes, the kids have my husband’s name and they have Waverman in there as a middle name, so yes their legal names are long but it makes it a lot easier when crossing the border.
184923443v7_350x350_Front_Color-White Sorry to get all judgy on you, but if you changed your name then I have lost a little respect for you. I am sure people have lots of personal reasons to want to jettison their last name. But the tradition of changing one’s name is straight from the patriarchy, it denotes ownership clear and simple. I never considered doing it, and I am a little bit shocked when people I know and admire do.
One of the most romantic conversations my husband (then fiancée)and I had was on this topic. A few days before the wedding I said to him: Is there any part of you that wants me to change my name? His answer: You wouldn’t be you if you wanted to change your name.
That is my kind of romance.
I understand that most women change their names because they want their family to be a unit. I find that faulty logic – you are a unit, it doesn’t matter what your last name is. A name doesn’t make a family.
In fact, my mother and father have been divorced for 35 years and she still has his name because she didn’t change it back when they split and she didn’t take her second husband’s name. So she lives on with her other husband’s name. Understandably but maybe a little cynically, she advises just to stay out of the whole mess and stick with what you were born with.
We have friends who combined their last names into a new name, and friends who combined their middle names into a whole new name (Benjamin and Marie into Benmar). We have friends who have both hyphenated, or just the woman hyphenated or just the kids. And it all works out.
In Quebec it is extremely difficult to change your name because of marriage and it seems like the tradition is dying in Canada. But in the U.S. the last estimate was that 90 percent of women change their names. We lived in the U.S. for two years after we were married and I was shocked at the amount of pressure and questioning I got for keeping my name. From credit card companies to our landlord; everyone made me feel like I was some kind of pariah for not being a Mrs. . But that is better than crying a few weeks before my wedding like my cousin did because she wanted to keep her name and her mother was forcing her to take her husband to-be’s.
The Lucy Stone League is an American organization that is committed to “equal rights for women and men to create, retain, modify and keep their own names”. They are named after Lucy Stone (1818-1893), a suffragette who famously said, “ "A wife should no more take her husband's name than he should her's. My name is my identity and must not be lost." She was also the first woman to legally keep her name after marriage.
And now that same-sex marriage is legal: do we expect partners of the same sex to change their names? Probably not, we only expect it when it is a woman and a man. And why is that?
So ladies, what are your thought? Did you take your hubby last name? Is this just a dated patriarchal tradition? Do you consider yourself "owned" by your hubby because you took his last name? Or is this a romantic tradition? Do you think it makes it easier on a family to have all the same name? Does it matter whose name you have?
http://www.embracethechaos.ca/2010/02/i-... I am including the link because you should read the comments as well.
For me, legally I am still a "Hildebrand", but I am slowing starting to change to "Smith". I don't really feel that strongly one way or another about it. It is only a last name, and I believe that a name does not define you as a person. One of the reasons that I did decide to change my name was because I had already given my kids their fathers last name. It would just make it easier if we all matched lol. Easier doctor appointments, easier traveling, easier filling out forms, etc. My hubby is pretty traditional, and even though he never told me specifically that he wanted me to take his last name, I knew that he would have been a bit hurt if I didn't. Sure it may be an old out-dated tradition that dates back to when women became the property of their husbands, but there are so many traditions that are like that (that have since lost the original meaning) I was told once that the wedding ring dates back thousands of years when husbands use to tie a string around their wives finger to remind them not to go to far. And the ancient Romans used to capture women and put a ring on their finger to show that they were owned (the woman had no voice in this decision). I think that as we are becoming more "modern" as a whole, little traditions are slowly being lost. I'm not a huge fan of traditions (in general) but I think that's it's nice to see women still taking their husbands last name, men still opening doors for the ladies, little things like that.