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Mike deVoid
August 15 2012, 11:53:30 AM
So it's a very common tradition for a women, upon marriage, to change her surname to that of her husband's. Presumably to denote the passing of ownership of the woman from her father to her husband.

Personally, when I get married in under a month my fiance and I will be keeping our own names. It's not just the practical (she is in academia) but the principle too. I don't want her or myself to feel like she is the lesser partner who must give up their name as some sort of sign of love/devotion. Nor did I particularly want to change my name either (despite not choosing it in the first place). On the other hand I don't pass any judgement on couples who homogenise their names - it's merely a personal choice.

What are your views and experiences on this? Should name changes be mandated? What surname is chosen for children? Is this another front for feminism too long gone ignored?

Smuggo
August 15 2012, 12:32:58 PM
It's ultimately up to the couple to decide for themselves these days.

I'm married and my wife took my name, and I can't really imagine it any other way but then my name is extremely uncommon whereas her maiden name was very common so it was unlikely I would give up mine and I guess no family name to carry on issues for her. I think it would be weird if my wife had a different name to me, in part because people assume you share a name and then you end up with an sort of awkward moment explaining to people that you don't.

Zeekar
August 15 2012, 12:46:14 PM
I wouldn't drop my surname but I would take her name with mine if she wished so. I would expect same from her but wouldnt really care either way. Dont think it should be mandated in any way its a personal choice and up to the couple in question. As for the children I would go that if the names are different they should get both of them.

Kanv
August 15 2012, 12:46:45 PM
Have you thought ahead to what your kids surnames will be?

rojomojo915
August 15 2012, 02:02:15 PM
My fiancee actually wants to take my name when we get married, but I have been telling her not too just so she doesn't have to go through the hassle of changing all of her medical license's.

Aramendel
August 15 2012, 02:02:46 PM
The only thing which I find kinda dumb is combining both names. Especially long term, i.e. what when the children of such a union marry children of such a union too? Miller-Smith-Cheng-Krowatzky?

I'd rather have both parties keep their own name if noone wants to abandon their own surname.
Regarding kids, flip a coin for the first and then take turns from then (assuming there is no agreement for a default).

Dark Flare
August 15 2012, 02:06:35 PM
Entirely personal choice and should stay that way. The only thing I object to is inventing last names for your kids, it should be the same name as at least one parent.

cheeba
August 15 2012, 02:06:48 PM
will depend for each couple and should be discussed between them. I understand the academia thing for the OP's fiancee totally though, dont want to confuse Pubmed now do we :P

My fiancee will take my name but that is a decision we are both happy with.

Rudolf Miller
August 15 2012, 02:08:36 PM
I'm hoping my partner takes my name.. but it does make for some interesting possibilities. My partner is African American, I'm white, and she's possibly taking an Irish last name.

I do think someday a family would have to address hyphenation, but it's one's personal business to manage that.

NoirAvlaa
August 15 2012, 02:12:18 PM
The only thing which I find kinda dumb is combining both names. Especially long term, i.e. what when the children of such a union marry children of such a union too? Miller-Smith-Cheng-Krowatzky?

I'd rather have both parties keep their own name if noone wants to abandon their own surname.
Regarding kids, flip a coin for the first and then take turns from then (assuming there is no agreement for a default).

In some countries they keep their names and the children get the first part of each surname as their new surname.

So Miller-Smith having a kid with Cheng-Krowatzky would become Miller-Cheng. As far as I can tell it's mainly so you know who the kid's parents are.

Hel OWeen
August 15 2012, 04:07:51 PM
Both should do as they wish. I wouldn't expect from my wife to give up her name, but I also don't want (to be asked) to give away my name.

The tricky thing is the kids. To be honest, I'm not sure which of the many possible alternatives might be best suited for kids so that they're not getting bullied because of her surnames ("That's not your real mother/father, because her/his surname is 'Smith' while yours is 'Miller' lalalala ...")

Paradox
August 15 2012, 06:35:14 PM
It should stay the way it is, personal preference. Not a thing that needs to be interfered with really.

Buuut, does anyone know the legality of using the Icelandic or Russian style naming system in the UK? How would you adopt a different naming system where the bureaucratic infrastructure is geared towards having one surname per family? I know the Welsh naming system is different from the traditional English system maybe Wales is more equipped to deal with Ryan ap Griffith and his mates?

ValorousBob
August 15 2012, 07:01:29 PM
I've never been a fan of the hyphenating thing, it just pushes the issue down the road for when your kids get married (if you have kids I guess). It's not really fair that women are assumed to be the ones changing their name, but pick a more fair way of deciding instead of hyphenating names.

indi
August 15 2012, 07:48:49 PM
It's also a country/law thing.

In the Dutchlands, women always officially kept their own surname. It was (and mostly is) practice to combine it with the husband's name but only "in appearance", the actual registered name would still be the maiden name.

Example: girl is Jane Jones, marries John James. Normally she would be called Mrs James-Jones. Her name would always remain (in the background) Jones. A child's surname is always that of one of the parents, not the combination.

It has become more common for women to just 'keep' their own name, but it is entirely possible now to either make it "James-Jones" or "Jones-James". In addition it has become possible for the man to do the same. (Well, gay people can marry too, so you can adapt the scenario accordingly).

Having "kept" my own surname, I'm still in the minority though. My thought is simple: it's my name, end of. I can't and won't get used to being called Mrs <Overspark's surname>. I'm not insulted if anyone calls me that, however. When we married we were not sure about having kids. We agreed they'd have Overspark's surname if we ever did, though, because that's the norm and we wouldn't want them to be bullied. Luckily we have established since then that there will not be whelping in the future.

Ampoliros
August 15 2012, 08:17:49 PM
I'm getting married this weekend, and my fiancee will be taking my last name. Definitely a thing couples should decide on their own; i asked her to do it, and while initially hesitant she was eventually okay with it. I couldn't really explain why i wanted it, apart from it felt important and part of being a married couple. :societal pressures:

Anyhow, the only thing i could see being very male-centric about the whole thing is that it's assumed the lady is taking her husband's last name. Weddings are an intricate web of bizarre rituals and traditions anyway, I'm not really sure that the whole 'changing your last name' bit is the worst/most offensive part of the whole process. v0v

indi
August 15 2012, 08:26:25 PM
I'm getting married this weekend, and my fiancee will be taking my last name. Definitely a thing couples should decide on their own; i asked her to do it, and while initially hesitant she was eventually okay with it. I couldn't really explain why i wanted it, apart from it felt important and part of being a married couple. :societal pressures:

Anyhow, the only thing i could see being very male-centric about the whole thing is that it's assumed the lady is taking her husband's last name. Weddings are an intricate web of bizarre rituals and traditions anyway, I'm not really sure that the whole 'changing your last name' bit is the worst/most offensive part of the whole process. v0v

It can be perceived to be a symbol of some of the older traditions, that could be seen as 'male centric' :-)

ValorousBob
August 15 2012, 09:01:52 PM
It's also a country/law thing.

In the Dutchlands, women always officially kept their own surname. It was (and mostly is) practice to combine it with the husband's name but only "in appearance", the actual registered name would still be the maiden name.

Example: girl is Jane Jones, marries John James. Normally she would be called Mrs James-Jones. Her name would always remain (in the background) Jones. A child's surname is always that of one of the parents, not the combination.

It has become more common for women to just 'keep' their own name, but it is entirely possible now to either make it "James-Jones" or "Jones-James". In addition it has become possible for the man to do the same. (Well, gay people can marry too, so you can adapt the scenario accordingly).

Having "kept" my own surname, I'm still in the minority though. My thought is simple: it's my name, end of. I can't and won't get used to being called Mrs <Overspark's surname>. I'm not insulted if anyone calls me that, however. When we married we were not sure about having kids. We agreed they'd have Overspark's surname if we ever did, though, because that's the norm and we wouldn't want them to be bullied. Luckily we have established since then that there will not be whelping in the future.

That's interesting, certainly more progressive than the social norms in America. How do you figure out which surname the kids take?

indi
August 15 2012, 09:09:05 PM
That's interesting, certainly more progressive than the social norms in America. How do you figure out which surname the kids take?

Decided between couples, although I'm pretty sure the default is the father's name. If the parents aren't married, the default is the mother's name.

Sponk
August 15 2012, 10:48:14 PM
My wife kept her name, but I called shotgun on the kids' surnames.

Fara
August 16 2012, 12:25:26 PM
The couple should decide on it, however I find it pretty nonsense to have different names in a family (even children? never heard of children with different names than parents).

Personally, I expect my wife to take on my name unless she got a cool name (Schwarzenegger comes to mind).

LoudSpeakly
August 16 2012, 03:28:01 PM
My wife kept her name, but I called shotgun on the kids' surnames.

Does that mean the missus won the right to choose their first names?

Lallante
August 16 2012, 04:25:43 PM
Mine will probably take my name but also keep hers professionally. Kids will have my name I think

Spaztick
August 17 2012, 02:47:15 PM
What about the dual name thing, where their last name is just a mishmash of both parent surnames.

indi
August 17 2012, 03:36:05 PM
What about the dual name thing, where their last name is just a mishmash of both parent surnames.

Check Spanish habits.

Alex Caine
August 17 2012, 05:23:28 PM
We got married just this year, and has this discussion. Ultimately, I didn't care, but she wanted to take mine, so we did that.

It's really just up to the couple,

Cool09
August 17 2012, 06:45:32 PM
I knew this one lady who kept getting re-married. Each time she would add the first letter of her new husband's surname on the beginning of her maiden name, separated by a hyphen. So it was "Jane CCS-Laws" or something. She had 2 children and she changed their names each time to match. At the time she was single with 3 characters in front so I assume she's added a fourth by now...

When her son explained it to me I said "thats interesting" but really I thought "you poor soul." Unsurprisingly she turned out to be batty.

lt
August 20 2012, 10:08:12 AM
What about the dual name thing, where their last name is just a mishmash of both parent surnames.

Got mothers surname at birth, added fathers surname at the end when they got married. I'm now only using fathers surname.

Kransthow
August 20 2012, 01:01:45 PM
http://onebit.us/x/i/gUyuRogJlD.gif
I think it's fine for each partner to keep their surnames officially and professionally (or should even be encouraged). But socially they should share a common surname whether it is one of the partner's surnames or some combination of both, this should be especially be the case if they intend to or have children (no kid wants to have a different surname from one or both of their parents).

Diicc Tater
August 27 2012, 02:57:30 PM
Wife added mine to hers. Double last names.

Cue1*
August 27 2012, 03:10:51 PM
This is one of those things that time will fix. I think that it should be completely down to the two people involved. Hell, if the guy wants to pickup her name, all the better.

Personally, I don't care what my future wife does for a name, it's her business, although I think I like the idea of her adopting my name, I, however, would never pressure her to do so.

Jason Marshall
August 28 2012, 02:17:04 PM
My wife hyphenated cause my name "Doesn't sound good."