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Coconut Flan

John David and Abbie 7: Happiness Continues

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SamuraiKatz

It's like they dissapeared into an alternet universe.

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Iamtheway

We chose to take an old name from my family when we got married. One that no one was called any more but that I always liked the sound of.

I liked my original last name too. It was a fairly standard, but not that common, Swedish last name. It had a letter in it that’s not in the English alphabet though so Mr Way didn’t want to take it. I definitly didn’t want to take his last name that is totally fine in Australia but mean something a bit rude in Swedish.

We could have both kept our original names but we kind of wanted a family name. I still often think about myself as Name Old-last-name though and it’s been almost ten years. 

Maybe five years after I changed it I was supposed to write my initials on every page of two copies of a legal document and I was half way through the second one when I realised I was writing my old initials ... whops. :)

There is at least one Swedish woman with my First and Last name because I got an email meant for her a few weeks ago. It was very confusing since it looked like it could be for me at first and I was convinced for a while there was a job I had forgotten I was supposed to do. 

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BernRul

This might be a teeny bit off topic, but one of my biggest pet peeves about names is when people tell me "your last name is really just a man's name because it's your father's."

Um, no. It's the name on my birth certificate, so it's mine. It's what people call me. When people say that, it's like they're erasing women's identities entirely--like because you might have your father's last name  you don't have any real claim to it. Even if you take your husband's name it should never be the mindset of "this is just another man's name for me to borrow," it should be because you want that name for your own reasons. 

Also it's not just my dad's name. It's also my mom's name, my late dearly missed grandparents' name, the name of my ancestors who fled from the famine. It's my history. It represents where I came from, the people I love and admire, and myself. Of all the things people say when it's comes to women and their surnames, that's the one that gets my blood boiling. 

 

Edited by BernRul
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lumpentheologie

I really wonder who's writing their posts.  The first one on the account was clearly John, and the second one suggests it was written by him too, but all the others are pretty ambiguous.  It usually seems to be the women who run the joint accounts, and if John is the one doing all this public gushing that's pretty interesting. 

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AtlanticTug

They look much more comfortable with each other than any of the others.

I hope they stay off social media. Otherwise it's only a matter of time before the obnoxious verbal diarrhea will start.

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VeryNikeSeamstress

They still haven't told us where they honeymooned. These two may get people to tune into the show just by posting cute pictures but not actually telling us anything.

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Irishy

I hadn’t realised changing your name when you marry was so common in the US. 80% is wow. I understand how difficult it can seem to go against a cultural norm. 

I cannot find rates for Ireland (possibly because data doesn’t exist since you don’t change your name officially, just use new name if you choose to). But in my experience, I would say more than 50% of women do not change their names. Compared to pretty much 100% thirty years ago.

I remember when I changed my name, being ok with it and defending my choice to do so. But increasingly, I became more and more embarrassed that I had chosen to do so. When I was meeting so many others who hadn’t. Feminism is a journey as we always say, and back then I was not really on the road yet. I had given no thought to the name change from a feminist perspective. 

Especially since I had a daughter (my youngest), I feel so strongly that I set a poor example for her by changing my name and giving her her father’s surname. I want to be a strong female role model for her and this lets my image down! 🙄

Just my experience in my world. 

Edited by Irishy
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Happy
ven

In my country ( belgium europe ) my 98 year old grandmother didnt even change her name to her husbands.. that is not a tradition in my country by at least 250 years ... my dutch ( netherlands) husband was floored when i didnt want to take his name , sorry dude , not changing who i am because .. who' s rules ? 

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singsingsing

I just personally feel that it's no more feminist to keep my dad's surname than to take my husband's surname. And I don't feel like my identity is being removed or something but pointing out that my surname comes from my dad and has a patriarchal origin, because it's true. I mean, my entire name was given to me by other people and I had no say in it whatsoever, so I don't really care. But that's just me. I don't care what anyone else does. 

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Irishy
26 minutes ago, singsingsing said:

I just personally feel that it's no more feminist to keep my dad's surname than to take my husband's surname. And I don't feel like my identity is being removed or something but pointing out that my surname comes from my dad and has a patriarchal origin, because it's true. I mean, my entire name was given to me by other people and I had no say in it whatsoever, so I don't really care. But that's just me. I don't care what anyone else does. 

I guess the difference is choice. As babies we cannot choose our surname, but as adult women we can. And although it’s our father’ name, it’s our name too and tied up in our personal identities. I would hope that baby girls of the future don’t automatically have their father’s surnames. 

Edited by Irishy

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BackseatMom

My husband and I combined names. It worked because our names were both short and pretty much went together (think Gold + Stein = Goldstein). His parents were NOT happy. My parents thought it was a sign my husband was somehow less than a "real man." His friends gave him endless shit. Random people we meet who find out have dismissive opinions about it. I love our name, and that he was so open to finding a fair solution. But if I had known how.much grief it would get him, I might just have taken his name. Poor man has never complained once, but I know it bothers him sometimes. I guess that is just to say, it's not fair to try to make others rail against the patriarchy in the ways you want them to. They are the ones that have to live with the results, so they have to be the ones who want to do it.

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lumpentheologie

My mother intended to keep her own name (in the 70s), but ended up taking my father's when it was important enough to him that he offered to take her maiden name as his middle name.  So now both my parents, my brother, and I all have my mother's maiden name as a middle name. 

Totally anecdotally, I know way more women in my parents' generation who kept their names than in my own (I'm about as old as you can be and still be a millennial). I can count on one hand the women I know my age or younger who kept their names, and I've lived in pretty liberal areas my whole life. 

When I was younger I took it for granted that as feminism progressed, women would just continue to keep their names at higher and higher rates, and to me it's a bit disappointing and worrying that the opposite seems to be the case. 

That said, I completely agree that fighting against patriarchy is hard and you have to pick your battles, but I wonder why this battle in particular seems to have been largely abandoned.  

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Shouldabeenacowboy

I know more than I care to about name changes!!!

I would have liked to change my last name to my husband's, first because I would have liked to have the same last name as him and my son, and secondly, admittedly, because his last name is much easier to spell and pronounce where we live than mine! :) 

In my country however (Italy), typically, women do not change their last name when they get married. You can request to add on your legal documents the line "married to..." (eg Maria Jones married to Smith) but legally, you remain Maria Jones forever. I asked at the embassy, and was told that apparently it is a common issue for Italians who live in the USA, where changing your legal name upon marriage is very common. However, there is no easy solution: the only way to legally change my name for Italian law would be to go to court and prove to a judge that my last name causes distress, embarrassment, etc. etc. (which it does not!) and get a favorable ruling. I know people who use one name while in the USA and one name while in Italy, but imagine the nightmare with IDs, passports, etc. No thank you. Italy has recently introduced a law that families can choose whether their children will bear the mom or the dad's last name, but my husband changing his last name was a hassle also in his country of origin (Germany). 

So I keep my family of origin last name, and my husband his. Funny enough, my dad was adamantly opposed to me changing my last name, for emotional reasons. I guess this legal twist makes him happy! :) 

P.S. I am as badass feminist as one can be, and yet, I don't personally associate taking husband's name=oppression, but I respect others' viewpoints. 

Edited by Shouldabeenacowboy

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singsingsing
53 minutes ago, Irishy said:

I guess the difference is choice. As babies we cannot choose our surname, but as adult women we can. And although it’s our father’ name, it’s our name too and tied up in our personal identities. I would hope that baby girls of the future don’t automatically have their father’s surnames. 

Right, but it's just as much of a choice for me to choose to take my husband's name, so it evens out. I just don't get how choosing to keep my father's surname, a surname passed down to me because of patriarchal tradition, is a more feminist choice than choosing to take my husband's last name. What I'm saying is that, for me, neither choice is better than the other. I don't personally feel that my surname is particularly tied to my personal identity, no more so than my hypothetical future husband's surname would be, and a lot of women feel the same. Plenty of women change their surnames to their husbands' simply because they want to, not because they're bowing to societal pressure or ingrained misogyny. 

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Jigsaw3

In Quebec, no one is allowed to change their name upon marriage. Anyone who wants to change his or her name has to go through the whole civil name change rigmarole. Obviously, everyone keeps their maiden names!

There's also a lot, a LOT, of unmarried couples in stable, permanent relationships (with or without kids) who might be married if they were living elsewhere, but choose to remain unmarried. It's just not an expectation that you have to get married to show that you're in a committed relationship. Most of them are in common-law relationships.

These cultural phenomena are a result of the 70s Quiet Revolution against the extreme hold of the Catholic church on the province: the pendulum has swung and is currently resting on this. Modern Quebec isn't paradise and is currently dealing with its fair share of religious bigotry and hatred, but it's got a lot of very progressive social welfare regulations in place.

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QuiverFullofBooks

John and Abbie’s big toothy grins look so alike. I can imagine a whole bunch of kids with the same big grin.

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Vivi_music
1 hour ago, Jigsaw3 said:

In Quebec, no one is allowed to change their name upon marriage. Anyone who wants to change his or her name has to go through the whole civil name change rigmarole. Obviously, everyone keeps their maiden names!

There's also a lot, a LOT, of unmarried couples in stable, permanent relationships (with or without kids) who might be married if they were living elsewhere, but choose to remain unmarried. It's just not an expectation that you have to get married to show that you're in a committed relationship. Most of them are in common-law relationships.

These cultural phenomena are a result of the 70s Quiet Revolution against the extreme hold of the Catholic church on the province: the pendulum has swung and is currently resting on this. Modern Quebec isn't paradise and is currently dealing with its fair share of religious bigotry and hatred, but it's got a lot of very progressive social welfare regulations in place.

Yup. It is actually part of the law that you automatically keep your maiden name, unless you go through some tiresome paperwork. My SIL has decided to take my brother's name in everyday life, she asks people to call her that at work, on her social media, etc. But all her official papers are by her maiden name because the government of Quebec doesn't recognize the name she took. It is like she ''unofficially'' changed her name.

BTW: We are no worse than others. Quebec is filled with bigots, I completly agree that we have our fair share... believe me. I'm not happy with the social climate right now. But I am a firm believer that their are nice and understanding people in every part of the world and dumb and racist people in every part of the world as well. ;)

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SorenaJ
7 hours ago, singsingsing said:

Right, but it's just as much of a choice for me to choose to take my husband's name, so it evens out. I just don't get how choosing to keep my father's surname, a surname passed down to me because of patriarchal tradition, is a more feminist choice than choosing to take my husband's last name. What I'm saying is that, for me, neither choice is better than the other. I don't personally feel that my surname is particularly tied to my personal identity, no more so than my hypothetical future husband's surname would be, and a lot of women feel the same. Plenty of women change their surnames to their husbands' simply because they want to, not because they're bowing to societal pressure or ingrained misogyny. 

Sure, sure, but if it's a free choice, why do plenty of men not change their surname to that of their wife? Bowing to societal pressure and misogyny. It's not a free choice. It's not equal. It if was, we'd expect half of men to take the wife's surname, and half on women to take their husband's. But we don't see that. So don't be fooled, it's not a free choice. 

8 hours ago, BackseatMom said:

My husband and I combined names. It worked because our names were both short and pretty much went together (think Gold + Stein = Goldstein). His parents were NOT happy. My parents thought it was a sign my husband was somehow less than a "real man." His friends gave him endless shit. Random people we meet who find out have dismissive opinions about it. I love our name, and that he was so open to finding a fair solution. But if I had known how.much grief it would get him, I might just have taken his name. Poor man has never complained once, but I know it bothers him sometimes. I guess that is just to say, it's not fair to try to make others rail against the patriarchy in the ways you want them to. They are the ones that have to live with the results, so they have to be the ones who want to do it.

If his friends are giving him shit and causing him grief, he should not be friends with them. 

8 hours ago, BackseatMom said:

That is an interesting question. I wonder if it related at all to this phenomenon: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-gets-married-today-the-rich-and-educated/

[In regards to more women taking their husband's surname now than earlier] If more highly-educated women are getting married, I would there would be less taking their husband's surname, because I would think higher educated women would be more likely to keep their surname. 

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Irishy

It’s a fine line between questioning accepted gender norms and offending women’s personal circumstances. But I believe we have to question.

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Wine time!
VanillaBean

I have a European last name that,  while easily pronounced in its native language,  is butchered in English.  I always said I would take my husband's last name if it were easier to at pronounce.  But when I married a man with a simple,  one syllable Anglican last name,  I refused to change mine-- because his ex still had his name.  

I didn't tell him that,  though.  I told him I would keep mine-- but let any future kids have his last name...if I could pick their first name.  He agreed! Though he was mortified when our small town papers printed the birth announcement and it looked like we weren't married.  

As for taking my daughter out of the country...the State Department has a sample letter on its website you can use to take a child out of the country.  Her had (my ex now) signs and notarized it,  and I've never had a problem. 

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TheRadleyPorch

If you’re going to say that your surname of origin is just “your dad’s name,” you may as well say no that no woman living in a society with a patriarchal naming system has ever really had a name. Except that would be absurd. My mother’s maiden name is from her father. My grandmother’s maiden name is from her father. Etc. etc. But those names belonged to them, too, and are based on their histories and origins rather than their marriages. Yes, we have a patriarchal naming system and your two choices are a.) continue the patriarchal naming system or b.) interrupt the patriarchal naming system. Those are not equally feminist choices just because a woman chooses them. And yeah, not everything in your life has to be feminist. Proposals, for example: not feminist. Do I still kinda want to be proposed to? Yes. I have plenty of friends who are strong feminists in other areas of their life and took their husband’s names and I would never criticize them for it or even bring it up to them unless they claimed it was “just as feminist” as keeping their names. It’s just not. Not everything you do has to be about destroying the patriarchy, but it’s still worth examining and being honest about the ways we all uphold it. 

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JillyO

I'm not about to criticize any individual woman for her individual choice. That's hers and hers alone. But to say that the fact that the vast majority of women still take their husbands' last names in 2018 is not based in patriarchy and misogyny is absurd to me. If that were the case, there would be equal numbers of men taking their wives' names. But there aren't. The default is still (in the U.S. and many other western countries) for the woman to take the man's last name. Most women grow up thinking they'll take their husband's last name when (not if) they get married. They may question that later on, but that is the general societal expectation. Likewise, men grow up to think their wife will take their name. I have never met, or even heard of, a man who always assumed he would take his wife's name. But I've heard plenty of women say the reverse.

So while YOU may have made the decision to take your husband's name, and that decision is what is best for you, and you made the decision for your own reasons, that does not mean that your decision was made free from patriarchal societal pressures. I think it's extremely important to keep questioning these seemingly small issues. Like others have said, not everything we do has to be a "fuck you" to the patriarchy. But I think it's sad when so many women don't even see the way the patriarchy permeates our entire society.

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just_ordinary
22 hours ago, Irishy said:

I guess the difference is choice. As babies we cannot choose our surname, but as adult women we can. And although it’s our father’ name, it’s our name too and tied up in our personal identities. I would hope that baby girls of the future don’t automatically have their father’s surnames. 

Why do you only apply this to baby girls though? What about the baby boys? Should they be called by their fathers name just because of their sex? Boys for the father and girls for the mother? Sorry but that sounds way more sexist to me than taking your husbands name (even if you just take it because it’s done).

 And I really don’t get how some make a huge deal out of it. In my opinion there are way more important battlefields for feminism than what you choose as your surname. (And I don’t have to worry about abortion rights either. But there are still definitely more pressing problems.) Especially because this comes down to being true to yourself and sticking up for yourself. It’s not as if you are withheld the option to keep your name. The decision is already yours (and your partners if he/she is taking your name). You might have to deal with criticism but the decision is yours to make.

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