Man Sues For The Right To Take His Wife's Last Name - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-12-2007, 05:08 PM   #31
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen


Not to be nosy, but is that mostly people your age or older people? I would think that younger people wouldn't have such an issue with it.

Haven't really noticed either way, but I live in a VERY traditional, Dutch Protestant community. The pressure comes from men and women, older than me or my age.

Like you said, if I were to change my last name to anything, I'd rather change it to my mom's maiden name, or the non-Americanized form of her maiden name. That name fits me far more and speaks far more about who I am than Phil's name. Not that I hate Phil's name, not at all, but it doesn't mean anything to me, and I refuse to change it just because "it's what a woman does." If any of the people who are pressuring me too would like to fill out all of the paperwork, pay the costs, make my new business cards, and hack into all of our secure services to change it, they can go ahead but IMO it's just not worth it just because. Also, in the past four years at my job, I've gotten to know about one thousand different people who mostly recognize me by name because I do technical support so we speak on the phone or through e-mail. Changing my name would be a pain in the ass for all these relationships where people know me by my name, not my face. Plus, my name with Phil's name just sounds back. I'll probably have to change my first name if I ever take on his name.

I'll most likely do what a lot of women do - never legally change my name, but take on Phil's name informally. I'd still sign documents in my name, but I can refer to myself as "Lies [my name] [his name]". I have people refer to me with Phil's name (which sort of bugs me, that people just assume that or do it anyway because they think that's how it should be) and I gave checks written to me with his name. I endorse it as both and the bank accepts it.

I'm perfectly fine with any future children automatically taking Phil's name.
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:30 AM   #32
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
The ACLU is right. (Maybe that makes me a communist )
Or a Nazi

Anyway isn't this a case to not have the one size fits all definitions of marriage imposed by government sanctioning; get the government out of the marriage business and any everybody would be in the same boat.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:45 AM   #33
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i know many women who add their husband's last name to their own last name, no hyphen, and just use three names.

That's what my wife did.
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:08 AM   #34
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Originally posted by Liesje
Like you said, if I were to change my last name to anything, I'd rather change it to my mom's maiden name, or the non-Americanized form of her maiden name. That name fits me far more and speaks far more about who I am than Phil's name. Not that I hate Phil's name, not at all, but it doesn't mean anything to me, and I refuse to change it just because "it's what a woman does."
........................................
I'm perfectly fine with any future children automatically taking Phil's name.
See, I have a hard time understanding this line of thinking. I can certainly understand feeling like your mother's maiden name says more about "who you are", and I can certainly understand not wanting to take your husband's name "just because 'it's what a woman does'," but at the same time I find it hard to wrap my mind around why, if you feel that strongly about both of those, you'd have no problem with your kids "automatically" taking your husband's name. That in itself is a "just because" solution, isn't it? If that legacy or identity you see embodied in your mother's name matters so much to you, why wouldn't you be bothered by not passing it on to your kids? (Not a criticism at all, I just don't understand the distinction.) And doesn't that legacy or identity only "exist" to connect to in the first place because generations of women in her family were dutifully doing the take-the-husband's name thing? I realize you could logically enough answer, "But my kids will still have a family tree, they'll know where they came from on both sides no matter what their surname is", but then the same is true for you, isn't it?

If a married couple don't have children, then in that specific case I can agree there's no reason for anyone, themselves included, to make a big deal out of all this. If your wife declines to take your name or your husband refuses to hyphenate, well whoop-de-do, get over it, that's their prerogative. In that case, the whole thing really is happening in a kind of generational vacuum where you can afford yourselves the luxury of framing it purely as a matter of individual freedom and personal choice. But it seems to me that the notion of "preserving" a lineage of sorts--which in our culture is organized by surname--still exerts a strong pull on most people's emotions and so when children are involved, things often get a bit more complicated. In a selfish way I like the fact that we've worked out a solution where our kids have both of our surnames (which yes, means our father's names) accounted for in theirs, but obviously if/when they get married and have children, they won't be able to continue that; you can't have people named Mr./Ms. Smith-Patel-Berger-Gomez-Reilly-Phan-etc. And while I wouldn't protest it if it happens (that would be hypocritical, no?), I have to admit I'd feel a bit sad if none of my grandchildren wound up having my last name preserved in theirs somewhere. Which is where I can appreciate the cultural usefulness of a system where it's automatically assumed that a married couple will agree to both take one or the other's surname. It's not for me to know whether, say, your maternal grandmother was pleased to take her husband's last name and thus symbolically assume a place in his family's history, but if she was then I'd assume she wasn't particularly bothered that none of her children would be carrying on her own maiden name. Or perhaps her thinking was more "Well that's my brothers' job"--but then that in turn assumes their wives would be doing the same.
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
It's just a name, I've never put much stock in last names, maybe that has to do with being adopted who knows?
Actually, I can appreciate this perspective too, because in many ways it's the most logical one, once you get into altering the custom to begin with. And likewise having a "blood" family but not being able to trace it back any further than my parents probably gives me a kind of wistfulness about the whole "family legacy" issue that makes it harder for me to accurately imagine how others perceive it.

I'm likely just tying myself in knots over nothing here lol, since the reality is most women will probably keep on automatically taking their husband's name and/or perhaps more men will start taking their wife's name (and ditto for their kids), so no drastic overhaul of how we think about family "lineage" will be required. I just can't help wondering how many people who are all right-on about Do Whatever You Please With Your Surnames have really fully thought through the longterm implications of it. I know I haven't.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:14 AM   #35
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Originally posted by yolland

See, I have a hard time understanding this line of thinking. I can certainly understand feeling like your mother's maiden name says more about "who you are", and I can certainly understand not wanting to take your husband's name "just because 'it's what a woman does'," but at the same time I find it hard to wrap my mind around why, if you feel that strongly about both of those, you'd have no problem with your kids "automatically" taking your husband's name. That in itself is a "just because" solution, isn't it? If that legacy or identity you see embodied in your mother's name matters so much to you, why wouldn't you be bothered by not passing it on to your kids? (Not a criticism at all, I just don't understand the distinction.) And doesn't that legacy or identity only "exist" to connect to in the first place because generations of women in her family were dutifully doing the take-the-husband's name thing? I realize you could logically enough answer, "But my kids will still have a family tree, they'll know where they came from on both sides no matter what their surname is", but then the same is true for you, isn't it?

Well, you're right, it's basically a compromise on my part. I suppose it doesn't bother me for two reasons: 1)at birth the child obviously has no knowledge of either family legacy and therefore isn't connected to one more than the other anyway, 2)I'd be picking names to fit Phil's name, and 3)I'd be giving them middle names that are family names (I don't have one). Like I said, my name just doesn't sound right with Phil's name, I just don't like it. If I had a different first name, I may have changed my name already. But since it sounds funny, I don't feel like I should still have to change it just because. All the baby names I've always liked (even before I met Phil) sound fine with his surname. I plan on giving children middle names that are family names (a big thing in my mom's family), so there is a tie into the family tree within their names. I'm actually the only one whose name, while the most Dutch sounding, has no tie in as a family name (for example, my sister is named Laina Renee, after my great-grandma Lena which my mom spelled phonetically, and my other great-grandma Renette).

For me it's not as much about preserving the lineage as it is about my own personal identity. I identify with my mother's family. I look like them (I'm often mistaken as my aunt's child), they basically raised me, that's where my bonds are. I love my dad's side of the family, but I have no connection with them besides mandatory gatherings every other Christmas and Thanksgiving. If I take a class and the teacher or professor knows anyone on my mom's side, they will look at me and say "you're a [mom's maiden name], no?" I have one male cousin with my mom's maiden name and a brother and male cousin with my dad's (my) surname, so we don't have to worry about lineage.
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