Mr. and Mrs. WhaT?

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The California Legislature is set to consider a bill this month that would allow men to change their surnames upon marriage as seamlessly as women now can. Only seven states now allow a man who wishes to alter his name after his wedding to do so without going through the laborious, frequently expensive legal process set out by the courts for any name change. Women don’t have to do so.

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More men taking wives’ last names

The bill is co-sponsored by the ACLU of California as a follow-up to a federal lawsuit the civil rights group filed in December …

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Ah. So what’s in a name my friends?

Well for starters, wer’e known by our name and our name is a focal part of who we are. Is it not?

Yet nearly 3 million women abandon their names in favor of their husbands in this country every year, in roughly 90% of all marriages.

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Not too long ago, when young girls were growing up, they actually looked forward to becoming Mrs. So and So..the name of the man of their dreams.

Some feminists decry this tradition as being sexist and sending a message to women that their family names are unimportant compared to mens.

Things have gotten so complex, what with hyphenating the two names,
the wife using her maiden name as a middle name along with her husband’s family name, both using each other’s names as middle names, …that
some couples simply pick an entirely different name.

How do you view this sweet friends….

-as a tradition that evokes patriarchal days when a wife became her husband’s property.

-as a mere convenience for when children come, sharing a family name.

-as perhaps a loving gesture.
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-or perhaps a way to lose an unappealing family name. Suppose the bride’s last name was, oh say…Clinton?..heh.

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So…it’s Mr. and Mrs. ________?

Oh wait, can we still say Mrs…. smileyyyani.gif

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23 Responses to “Mr. and Mrs. WhaT?”

  1. himbly says:

    How does it possibly matter who takes who’s name, or who hyphenates or who keeps their own names??

    And no, I don’t think it’s harmful to any child whether mommy or daddy has a different last name. Or hyphenated. Or whatever.

  2. bernie says:

    My wife kept her entire name after we married; the children have my last name. Actually there is no confusion even when we show up at a hotel with our different last names but sharing one room.

    I have to say it’s much easier for her, she kept all her credit cards, nothing to change, driver’s licence, passport, etc.

    It’s never been a problem for either of us. When she introduces herself, she says her full name and adds, “I’m Bernie’s wife.” Doesn’t seem to bother anyone. I do not see the point of needing to change something you’ve been called all your life. I’ve been Bernie since I was 5 years old.

    What my real name is doesn’t matter. I don’t get the point of why men would want to change their name unless they were criminals or child molesters before.

    If you have an ugly name you should have changed it way before you needed to get married.

    Reminds me of a joke:

    A guy goes in front of a judge asking for a name change. Judge asks him what his name is now. Guy says, “My name is James Farthead.”

    Judge nods and tells him he understands and asks the guy what he wants it changed to.

    Guy says, “Billy Farthead.”

  3. hnav says:

    wow…

    marriage is getting more complex.

    did you see this folly?
    ‘A German woman judge has refused a Moroccan-born woman permission to file for divorce by interpreting the Koran as allowing husbands to beat their wives.’

  4. Stanford Matthews says:

    What the hell, let’s just save all those who want to change everything a little time and effort and just give up all institutions, traditions, rituals, discipline, character, honor, loyalty and all the rest and become a vast wasteland of what once was a noble idea.
    What, me bitter?

  5. Terry_Jim says:

    I know a Puerto Rican Doctor who took
    his wife’s name and hyphenated it, she did the same,
    “Hisname-hername” that is, for both of them.

    I don’t know how widespread the custom is,
    if it is a Puerto Rican custom only, or an archaic one-
    they must have been married at least 35-40 years ago.

    He goes by ‘Dr. Hisname’ but most places his name is in writing,
    both names are used.

  6. Terry_Jim says:

    Dr. Garcia- Padial
    http://www.alegent.com/127894.cfm

  7. michael says:

    Oddly enough, I actually have two good friends who took their wives’ names; in each case, it was to have a more Jewish sounding last name.

    My wife took my name, my brother’s wife kept her name, my sister took her husband’s name.

    Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is, as long as the couple makes the decision together.

  8. John Kaiser says:

    File this under- who cares.

  9. American Crusader says:

    I don’t think it’s a major issue. My wife took my last name…it was actually never discussed. Today more women keep their last names or have a hyphenated. I’m fine with whatever decision the couples chooses.

  10. Always On Watch says:

    Some of my fellow bloggers refer to my husband as “Mrs. AOW.” He doesn’t mind.

    However, when we married and I was given the choice as to whose last name to use, I oped for his. Not because I had an ugly last name, but rather because “the two shall be as one.” My husband is pleased that I chose his last name; we never considered his using my last name or even my using a hyphenated name. I did keep my maiden name as my middle name, though and use that three-part name as my professional name in my career field.

  11. OMMAG says:

    Let the sisification continue….eventually the laws of Darwin will take over and the defective genes will be eliminated from the pool!
    Raise you own sons to be men and your daughters to be women and let the human failures find their own fate.

  12. himbly says:

    OMMAG

    “Raise you own sons to be men and your daughters to be women and let the human failures find their own fate.”

    What does that mean?

  13. GUNZ says:

    That’s crazy. But I’m old school and a traditionalist. But it’s better than what gays would have to do; which is flip a coin I guess…

    I wouldnt marry a woman that insisted on that. Most if not All men dream of having a son at some point in their marriage, kinda hard to keep the family name going with this scenario.

    …and if a man did want his last name changed to the brides? I think I’d investigate him and do a back ground check.

  14. Layla says:

    Well hun, many cultures, middle east, European, the Baltics, and the Orient keep their names when they get married. In other words if you are a female Jane Doe, you are still a female Jane Doe once married.

    I have no problem with women keeping their maiden names, but I do find it rather absurd that after all these years – all of a sudden, men want to change their last names? That would be confusing to children given this is an oddity in all societies around the world. I do agree it would be harmful to children if men did this because it is as abnormal as same sex marriage. Sheese!

  15. Jamila Akil says:

    I think that whatever the couple wants to do is fine. Personally, I plan on either keeping my last name when I get married or I would hyphenate it only if my husband also hyphenated his; I wouldn’t mind if our children had his last name instead of mine.

    If the purpose of changing the last mame is to have family unity then it shouldn’t matter which spouse changes their last name.

  16. Brooke says:

    I don’t like this at all! It is yet another example of the emasculation of our men; A man is supposed to be a provider for his family, and my husband’s name was his gift to me upon our marriage. It was an honor to take it for my own!

    Call me old-fashioned, but…

  17. KKarLLmMM says:

    It is only a name…..now go out and make a GOOD NAME for yourself…..

  18. Veritas says:

    Hey Angel, How have you been.

    I always felt that having the same name was more important. If either party had a significant issue with changing their name then the other party should be able to change theirs. I think it is ridiculous that there should be a law preventing a man from changing his name easily or having to pay a bunch to do this. If a man wants to take his wife’s name their should not be a legal reason preventing it. Having the same name in a family helps to increase the bond – at least publicly – that this is a family. I know the confusion that is caused when I go to school for something for my step sons.

    The hyphenated situation can lead to a slippery slope. The man keeps his name the woman keeps hers. Then the woman protests when the man’s name is assumed to be the name for the kids so the kids get hyphenated names. That kid meets another kid whose parents have the same thought pattern and they get married. Wanting to honor their parents they go ahead and keep their already hyphenated names. When they have children now you have four names because you wouldn’t want to offend anyone.

    Things can really get out of hand when James Huffington-Smith-Jonson-Clark meets Sarah Jones-Zeta-Wallingford-Davis.

    I guess eventually a few names would be the same ad cancel each other out.

    :-)

  19. Angel says:

    Thanks all so much for the opinions ..most interesting! :)

  20. names chinese proverbs » Mr. and Mrs. WhaT? says:

    [...] Original post by Angel [...]

  21. jessi says:

    Ummm…. Brooke, you’re not a feminist are you? Brooke says “It is yet another example of the emasculation of our men; A man is supposed to be a provider for his family, and my husband’s name was his gift to me upon our marriage. It was an honor to take it for my own! Call me old-fashioned, but… ”

    It is 2007 Brooke. Most men are not the “provider” of the family. I out-salaried my husband the first year out of law school. I have his last name, but I also kept mine. Yes, I have a first, middle, and 2 last names. Our children will have his name for the sake of clarity. I am an only child, and I didn’t marry until age 30. I’ve had this name for 30 years, and it would be damn hard to give it up. My husband’s friendship, love, and trust is a gift. Not his wallet and last name. Sometimes I wonder which direction this coutry is heading. Forward or backward… to the 1800′s……

  22. Doodee says:

    Thanks for sharing

  23. Micksbabe says:

    I took my husband’s last name. It was a logistical pain, but I did it. What really gets me is the letters addressed to Mr. & Mrs. [husband's first name] [my last name]. I agreed to changing my last name. But I didn’t give up my first name too. Why is it that I am only acknowledged as a person (not property of my husband) when I am single?