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Katie & Travis 4: Still under the Umbrella of Patriarchy


samurai_sarah
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I have no issue with taking your husband' last name (or vice versa) - personally I would always decide based on what sounds better. The thing that never fails to make me shake my head is couples being introduced as "Mr and Mrs His-First-Name Last Name". Like "Mr and Mrs Ben Seewald". Ugh. That, to me, really seems like the woman's identity is erased. And a lot of fundies still seem to do this, at least at their wedding.

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I'm not sure yet if I'll take my future husbands last name, well if I ever get married. I have an Irish first name and an Italian last name so my name itself is quite unique but it doesn't quite flow, if that makes sense. I think if I were to marry someone with an Irish or English last name then I would change it, again depending how it flows. But overall I am proud of my Italian heritage and like my last name so I can see myself more likely keeping it. Honestly at the end of the day you just gotta do what is right for you. As long as the woman has a choice to do what's right for her then its all good. I knew a couple who took one half of the woman's last name, one half of the man's last name and combined it creating their own last name. I thought that was so cool! 

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1 hour ago, irish_dancing_canadian said:

I'm not sure yet if I'll take my future husbands last name, well if I ever get married. I have an Irish first name and an Italian last name so my name itself is quite unique but it doesn't quite flow, if that makes sense. I think if I were to marry someone with an Irish or English last name then I would change it, again depending how it flows. But overall I am proud of my Italian heritage and like my last name so I can see myself more likely keeping it. Honestly at the end of the day you just gotta do what is right for you. As long as the woman has a choice to do what's right for her then its all good. I knew a couple who took one half of the woman's last name, one half of the man's last name and combined it creating their own last name. I thought that was so cool! 

I’m Italian too, and my maiden name was a nightmare for non-Italian people to pronounce, lol. Especially because I’m in a profession where I’m referred to by my last name often. My husband is mostly Italian too, but has a bit of Irish, and his last name is Irish and very easy to pronounce and spell. So I was very happy to take his last name when we got married! I now have a very Italian first name and a very Irish last name, so opposite to you, and I love it! 
 

And for what it’s worth, I don’t see it as a loss of identity at all. I’m really happy to have the same last name as our baby. I don’t see it as patriarchal or non-progressive; it was 100% my choice. :) I remember at our wedding rehearsal though, the officiant referred to us as Mr. and Mrs. (husband’s name) (last name), and my mom promptly correct him to include both our first names, haha. That does rub me the wrong way for sure!

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I know a couple who created their own new last name when they got married. So neither kept their family name. I imagine that could cause issues with extended family and/or potential divorce, but I quite liked the idea that if there was going to be a name change it would be both and their own thing.

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Like I said before, it’s all about choice in my mind. Women shouldn’t be forced or shamed into changing it or not changing it. The biggest reason I changed my last name when I got married was because I knew I wanted children. To be honest, if I didn’t want children, I probably would have kept my last name. I don’t feel attached to my maiden name or my married name. I guess I only feel attached to my first and middle names. My middle name is the same as my sister’s and mother’s. So that’s a family name I kept even though I chucked my last name. 

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14 hours ago, ven said:

I still find that concept extremely odd. In my neck of the woods there is no name changing. Not now and not 200 years ago. Its like leaving your identity after you marry. Why would anyone want that?

As American Christian, I agree. Unfortunately Our society is very big on enforcing this. There are all kind of legal challenges to keep your own name and societal pressure. 

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14 hours ago, ven said:

I still find that concept extremely odd. In my neck of the woods there is no name changing. Not now and not 200 years ago. Its like leaving your identity after you marry. Why would anyone want that?

It came about as a "transfer of property" thing.  Basically, you stopped being your father's property and became your husband's property.  It was still on the books in some states here until the 1970s that a woman had to change her name to her husband', so, I suppose old habits die hard. 

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When my PhD supervisor was a post-doc, back in the 70s, she married a man who was still doing his PhD. They went off on honeymoon, and returned to find  her nameplate was now Mrs HisFirstName HisSurname. She was livid, obviously. (Her husband took another 5 years to finish, but was basically referred to as "Dr" after they married.) There weren't many women in theoretical physics then, but it was mainly the admin staff (who were female) who called her Mrs HisName. Her grad students/junior post docs and the older men were fine, but the ones who were in direct competition were the worst. In conferences, they'd call her Mrs, if they referred to a paper by HerName & Other, they'd cite "Other, 1978" or whatever. (She got the last laugh - Oxford professor, FRS and Dame for services to physics, ha!). But also, random people would tell her that it was illegal not to change her name on her passport, bank account etc. Obviously bollocks, but weird that they'd be so invested in what someone else decided to do. Also, she didn't want children, but still "you have to have the same name as your children" was a common theme. Like, I guess, people might think she was an evil unwed mother?

My partner has a very unusual, very German and long surname - I have a slightly less common, equally long Polish name. Think "Schopenhauer" and "Kosciuszko" or something, but longer. So, double barrelling would be ridiculous, and a combo name like Schopiuszko or Kosciuhauer even worse. But neither of us would ever want to change our surnames, and we don't have kids, so it's much easier for us. I have a Swiss friend who changed her name because she hated the umlaut in it, and the combo name has become more common. Also, a few men who changed their names - they were a Smith or Brown, and their wife's name was cooler. I did have a friend who had a decent surname and changed it to something Crap___, which I don't get, as the husband was bullied really badly in school for his name. (Obv not acceptable, but if you know it will happen, it seems weird not to take the way out.) And, of course, their kids are getting the piss taken :(

8 minutes ago, monkeyrocks71 said:

you stopped being your father's property and became your husband's property.

Just like fundies like it. I guess not even having the dreaded "Duggar" as a married name is a good enough reason for a fundie bride to keep her own name, she might get ideas above her status as property. Yuck.

 

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42 minutes ago, Bluebirdbluebell said:

As American Christian, I agree. Unfortunately Our society is very big on enforcing this. There are all kind of legal challenges to keep your own name and societal pressure. 

It’s been 29 years since I got married and kept my name. I can’t think of any legal challenges or societal pressures that I’ve encountered so far.

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9 minutes ago, JDuggs said:

It’s been 29 years since I got married and kept my name. I can’t think of any legal challenges or societal pressures that I’ve encountered so far.

I know plenty of women who kept their maiden name and had no problems. Yes, occasionally a person might assume their last name when first meeting them. But it’s no more of a problem than someone assuming the wrong spelling of a person’s name. Or assuming a last name is pronounced differently than it is. 

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1 hour ago, JDuggs said:

It’s been 29 years since I got married and kept my name. I can’t think of any legal challenges or societal pressures that I’ve encountered so far.

Same here (27 years). The only time it came up is when DH's crazy aunt asked if it was even legal to keep my own last name. 🙄

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A colleague who kept her last name said that she’s run into trouble a few times when travelling alone with her kids, as their last name is different than hers. She also said it’s caused issues for her in other ways and she was going to look into changing it to her husband’s name when she renewed her professional license.  

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For me it is not the fact that women take their husbands name but the fact that it actually changes on a lot of official documentation too. It just seems like such a bureaucratic nightmare instead of just saying: I am officially still called Carrot Cake but you can also call me Carrot Smith from now on.

But I guess it is because this is what I am used to here.

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I’ve changed my legal name twice in my life and don’t feel like my identity was erased or diminished in any way. Once due to adoption and once due to marriage. Both 100% my choice.

This reminds me of some gossip that my mom told me. She is LDS and a couple in the ward got divorced, and the wife kept her married name. The husband remarried and his new wife changed her name to his. So now there are two “Sisters” with the same last name in the same ward, and the new wife was not happy about it. My mom thought the new wife was acting snotty and that any woman has a right to choose her legal last name as she pleases and doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone.

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54 minutes ago, BensAllergies said:

I’ve changed my legal name twice in my life and don’t feel like my identity was erased or diminished in any way. Once due to adoption and once due to marriage. Both 100% my choice.

This reminds me of some gossip that my mom told me. She is LDS and a couple in the ward got divorced, and the wife kept her married name. The husband remarried and his new wife changed her name to his. So now there are two “Sisters” with the same last name in the same ward, and the new wife was not happy about it. My mom thought the new wife was acting snotty and that any woman has a right to choose her legal last name as she pleases and doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone.

This reminds me of my parents. My mother kept her married name when my parents divorced because that’s what all her work colleagues knew her as and it was the same as her daughters. She never remarried. But my dad remarried a couple years after they divorced and he’s been married to my stepmom for 30 something years. On my wedding program, my parents were listed as John Doe, Linda Doe, and Jane Doe. I told my dad it looked like he was a polygamist!

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On 9/5/2022 at 3:01 AM, ven said:

I still find that concept extremely odd. In my neck of the woods there is no name changing. Not now and not 200 years ago. Its like leaving your identity after you marry. Why would anyone want that?

Not everyone does want that, so not everyone does it. Many keep their name for many reasons including the bureaucratic issues, especially for those like doctors who would have trouble redoing any medical licenses and degrees to reflect new names. Others go for hyphenated names to combine their previous/new identities. And others (a small #) do what my husband and I did - we combined our names into 1 completely new name (yes, it was a huge headache) - not just women change their names, since marriages can be comprised of different gender combos. Why do this? Some like the tradition of a new identity, even with its patriarchal overtones. If I were to ask my husband, for instance, he might say it was a symbol of our families being combined. Also, I want to have the same last name as my children, a really big reason. And in other situations as well, to me it is a quick way to signify to the world that we are a family as our last names are the same, I don't have to explain those connections whether to doctors, teachers, government agencies, when traveling, etc. So it's harder at the beginning, but a bit easier later on.

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I didn't take my husband's name and we'll be celebrating our 8th anniversary this month.  Our daughter has his name because mine is long and difficult to spell/pronounce for many.  I've considered taking his name late in the game so I share it with our child(ren), but my first name sort of rhymes with his last name and that is just terrible.

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Honestly if my husband had the last name of Dick or Butts, I wouldn’t have taken his last name and I likely would have given our children my last name. I’m glad people have a choice because sometimes last names that started out ok, turned into something crude in our culture. 

Edited by JermajestyDuggar
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Dang, I didn't know not having the same name with your children could cause trouble during travels. Luckily we never had that kind of trouble when we're traveling abroad as kids, even during our visits to US and EU.

Due to surname largely not being a thing here, my parents combined their first names as my middle name (my last name just means "princess/daughter" in our language) and used it as my younger brother's last name as well. My younger brother likes it so much, he said he's planning to use it as his offsprings' last name in the future. Me and DH like the idea of combining our first names as our offsprings' last name, but unfortunately our names combined is just....not great.

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When I got married I told him he could take my name or not as he liked but I wasn't changing! 

Most people I know (USA) weren't surprised because it's me and I'm like that-But in general in my acquaintance it is considered very unusual in a sort of negative way. I've had several women tell me they weren't going to change their names if they got married...and every one of them did. I think there's a lot of subtle pressures and expectations to comply and a negative view if you don't.

 

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5 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Honestly if my husband had the last name of Dick or Butts, I wouldn’t have taken his last name and I likely would have given our children my last name. I’m glad people have a choice because sometimes last names that started out ok, turned into something crude in our culture. 

Friends of mine I grew up with were given their fathers' family name, which is a very normal English-sounding name. Inherited from an English grand-grand-grandfather. The problem is, we grew up in a French speaking culture. And that name, pronunced in French sounds exactly like the word ''spit'' would sound for french speakers. They basically were teased all their school years because of this. Kids aren't bilingual, so when the teachers would call them, they just heard ''Julie and Caroline Spit'' (fake names). I always wondered why they HAD to follow the patriarcal rule. Their mother's name was much more standard for our culture and language and would have sparred the kids a lot of explaining and teasing.

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I could have kept or left my maiden name and it didn’t matter to me either way. However, it was important to my husband to take his name so I chose to do that. 

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TBH, I married young and liked what I perceived to be the old-fashionedness of taking my husband's name. I don't think I felt any loss of identity at the time - it just was another exciting thing about newly married life, I guess. 

I don't feel particularly attached to the idea in any way even now, but maybe that just indicates how nice it is for people to have multiple options now. If my daughter marries and wants to keep her name, hyphenate, change it altogether..great!

 

 

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I am lazy and didn't bother changing my name. I do often refer to myself by my married name when it comes to social media or kid-related things, as it is easier. 

 

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