Feeling shitty

In my opinion, keeping my own last name is indicative of me not wanting to give up myself *symbolically* to become my husband’s wife.Β  It’s a part of my identity and why should I just be expected to give it up?

Apparently, it can also be interpreted as me just not wanting to be a part of his family, or for us to be a family unto ourselves.

And what about the children?Β  Their lives will obviously be ruined.

So his refusal to take my name means what then?

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48 Comments on “Feeling shitty”

  1. photogfrog says:

    IMO, this whole name thing is for shit. I did not take Graeme’s name and he actually would not want me to. Taking his name does not make me more married or more committed. Sheesh.
    As for kids, well, if we were going to have them, we’d discuss whose name we wanted to carry on. He is quite happy to let his silly surname die with him. I could care less. Maybe we’d make a new name together.
    If you didn’t want to be a part of his family or make a new one with him, then why marry him? That’s a silly interpretation if you ask me. Very few women in China take their husband’s name and it is more rare if they do. If they do take it, they simply add it to their name and do not change it all together.
    I did ask if he wanted to take mine. He said no thanks. He’s used to his name. I asked if he wanted me to take his. He said no thanks, his name was too stupid. I offered to take his if it meant that much to him and he said no. He refused to take mine, having had his for 38+ years. Fine with me. I don’t love him any less for not taking mine, nor do I see his refusal to be a slap in the face.
    If you hyphenate the names, then I think the kids lives will be ruined.

  2. photogfrog says:

    IMO, this whole name thing is for shit. I did not take Graeme’s name and he actually would not want me to. Taking his name does not make me more married or more committed. Sheesh.
    As for kids, well, if we were going to have them, we’d discuss whose name we wanted to carry on. He is quite happy to let his silly surname die with him. I could care less. Maybe we’d make a new name together.
    If you didn’t want to be a part of his family or make a new one with him, then why marry him? That’s a silly interpretation if you ask me. Very few women in China take their husband’s name and it is more rare if they do. If they do take it, they simply add it to their name and do not change it all together.
    I did ask if he wanted to take mine. He said no thanks. He’s used to his name. I asked if he wanted me to take his. He said no thanks, his name was too stupid. I offered to take his if it meant that much to him and he said no. He refused to take mine, having had his for 38+ years. Fine with me. I don’t love him any less for not taking mine, nor do I see his refusal to be a slap in the face.
    If you hyphenate the names, then I think the kids lives will be ruined.

  3. lyndszy says:

    I am torn as well
    but I think you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable
    and your husband and his family should understand that
    when you have children
    you may change your mind
    and really you can do the name change at any point
    doesn’t have to be done on a specific time frame..

  4. lyndszy says:

    I am torn as well
    but I think you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable
    and your husband and his family should understand that
    when you have children
    you may change your mind
    and really you can do the name change at any point
    doesn’t have to be done on a specific time frame..

  5. barcodegurl says:

    My mother kept her maiden name and we ever thought twice of it *shrug*. And that’s saying a lot, because her last name is Feinholz and my dad’s (and mine) is Corner, so it would’ve probably made her a life a bit easier πŸ˜‰

  6. barcodegurl says:

    My mother kept her maiden name and we ever thought twice of it *shrug*. And that’s saying a lot, because her last name is Feinholz and my dad’s (and mine) is Corner, so it would’ve probably made her a life a bit easier πŸ˜‰

  7. grating.
    lately, especially now that i’ve been reading a bunch of essays about it, i’m SO SICK of sexism. and most men are no matter what they want you to believe. all your guy friends are sexist and all mine are too. they can say that women voting is normal and they can say that it’s okay for women to be independent but it’s so clear that they somehow value us less when they don’t wear a dress. or when they do they do it as a JOKE because it’s “hilarious”.
    i feel very oppressed and subjugated like that. perhaps a trivial issue regarding misogyny, it’s also the one that’s most pervasive. and it pisses me off so much when i tell people this and they laugh at me or think i’m kidding. only women wearing dresses reminds me so much of sayings like “a women’s place is in the kitchen.” it’s like “a women’s place is in a dress.” and then when people laugh at me for this it reminds me of “ha ha ha, women voting–how hilarious!”

    • Re: grating.
      oh rats, i just realized how random that sounds out of context. X( the context is that it is sexist to be expected to take the guy’s last name, but it’s rare to do it the other way around. and that set me off on a rant….

      • tianadargent says:

        Re: grating.
        Oh I agree entirely! When he and I have that conversation he’s all “But it’s TRADITION!” and I’m all “But it’s STOOOOOOOOPID!”
        Anyways, I knew what your point was. Worry not!

        • rachaeldoss says:

          Re: grating.
          Woah – so HE is upset by it? At THIS point? He must really be getting some flack from his family, because surely he knows you well enough to know your views on things, and if it didn’t bother him when you got married, it shouldn’t bother him a year later.
          In which case, they should leave the two of you alone. Though it doesn’t sound like they do that much. :-/

          • tianadargent says:

            Re: grating.
            I don’t know if his family has said anything. I think it’s mostly his/our friends group because out of all the ones who are married, only one woman kept her name and with all the weddings we’ve been going to and are going to soon, I think he’s feeling a little put off by being the ‘only’ one whose wife doesn’t want his name.
            This reminds me a lot of our lawn mower. When we moved I wanted a push-mower. He was so opposed and said I’d have to do all the lawn cutting if we got a push mower.
            Then a few months later, it turned out that 4 of his friends got push mowers and all was well with the world.

            • rachaeldoss says:

              Re: grating.
              Ah – so he’s just feeling like the “odd man out” sort of.
              Well.
              Bless his heart. He’ll get over it. πŸ™‚ But I know it must make you feel bad, because then it’s like you feel like you’re doing something to make him feel bad, when that’s not the case at all and no one considers that making you change your name would be just as shitty.

            • rachaeldoss says:

              Re: grating.
              Ah – so he’s just feeling like the “odd man out” sort of.
              Well.
              Bless his heart. He’ll get over it. πŸ™‚ But I know it must make you feel bad, because then it’s like you feel like you’re doing something to make him feel bad, when that’s not the case at all and no one considers that making you change your name would be just as shitty.

          • tianadargent says:

            Re: grating.
            I don’t know if his family has said anything. I think it’s mostly his/our friends group because out of all the ones who are married, only one woman kept her name and with all the weddings we’ve been going to and are going to soon, I think he’s feeling a little put off by being the ‘only’ one whose wife doesn’t want his name.
            This reminds me a lot of our lawn mower. When we moved I wanted a push-mower. He was so opposed and said I’d have to do all the lawn cutting if we got a push mower.
            Then a few months later, it turned out that 4 of his friends got push mowers and all was well with the world.

        • rachaeldoss says:

          Re: grating.
          Woah – so HE is upset by it? At THIS point? He must really be getting some flack from his family, because surely he knows you well enough to know your views on things, and if it didn’t bother him when you got married, it shouldn’t bother him a year later.
          In which case, they should leave the two of you alone. Though it doesn’t sound like they do that much. :-/

      • tianadargent says:

        Re: grating.
        Oh I agree entirely! When he and I have that conversation he’s all “But it’s TRADITION!” and I’m all “But it’s STOOOOOOOOPID!”
        Anyways, I knew what your point was. Worry not!

    • Re: grating.
      oh rats, i just realized how random that sounds out of context. X( the context is that it is sexist to be expected to take the guy’s last name, but it’s rare to do it the other way around. and that set me off on a rant….

  8. grating.
    lately, especially now that i’ve been reading a bunch of essays about it, i’m SO SICK of sexism. and most men are no matter what they want you to believe. all your guy friends are sexist and all mine are too. they can say that women voting is normal and they can say that it’s okay for women to be independent but it’s so clear that they somehow value us less when they don’t wear a dress. or when they do they do it as a JOKE because it’s “hilarious”.
    i feel very oppressed and subjugated like that. perhaps a trivial issue regarding misogyny, it’s also the one that’s most pervasive. and it pisses me off so much when i tell people this and they laugh at me or think i’m kidding. only women wearing dresses reminds me so much of sayings like “a women’s place is in the kitchen.” it’s like “a women’s place is in a dress.” and then when people laugh at me for this it reminds me of “ha ha ha, women voting–how hilarious!”

  9. rachaeldoss says:

    But if your last name is your father’s name, so is it not symbolic of something anyway? I mean, it seems like a last name in itself is somewhat sexist anyway, so the only way to get around the inherent sexism would be to come up with a new one between the two of you altogether, and then not expect any children to use it if they chose not to later on. And that is fine with me if that’s what people want to do, I just hope they keep good records so that people can trace family trees if they want to later. If it’s as hard as it is for me because I had an unmarried great-great-grandmother somewhere and we’re not sure if the last name we’re searching is a father’s name or mother’s name…hard to find folks!
    I kept my maiden name as part of my whole name because it had been my last name for the most part of 29 years when I got married, and because I didn’t see any reason to drop it or my middle name altogether, because they’re all my names. Then again, it could just be because I’m a packrat and I don’t want to get anything. πŸ™‚

    • tianadargent says:

      Well I’m not keeping it plainly because I find it sexist, but that’s a part of it.
      I’ve had my name my entire life and
      a-there is not actual REASON to change it. that doesn’t change the way I feel about my marriage or my relationship with anyone on this planet.
      b-why should I be the one to sacrifice a part of my identity simply because I have a vagina?
      I have no issues with us keeping both our names and our kids having my name as a second middle name. I have no issues with the two of us coming up with a new last name that incorporates two people from different lives coming together to form a family. I do take issue with being the only one to ‘sacrifice’ a part of myself to hold up an ideal that I don’t subscribe to.

      • rachaeldoss says:

        Sorry – didn’t mean for that to sound so directed. I should have used “one” instead of “you.” I only was raising the question because I’ve never heard anyone mention that part of the equation when discussing the reason to keep one’s last name or take a husband’s.
        Personally, it doesn’t affect me what other people choose to do, and that’s why I’ve never been one to balk at the idea of someone taking or not taking a name. I do wish that people wouldn’t take it for granted, though. Most women just take the name without ever thinking about what it means to them, and that seems a little scary. I think they should at least discuss the importance of it with their significant other. Which, clearly, you have. I did know that it was important to Ben for me to take his name, because he’s very proud of that family connection. For me it was trading one name that no one ever pronounced correctly for another one πŸ˜€
        I think anyone outside of the couple needs to mind their own business. I’m sick of people thinking that because something is right for them it’s right for everyone on the planet. I’m all for providing the opportunity to see and learn other ways, but it’s the forcing them on others I’m not on board with. It’s why I was always a pain on church mission trips. LOL. I was always super glad to help repaint a house or teach bible school at a church for the neighborhood kids, but when it came to knocking on doors and trying to get people to come to church, I hated it and let the “adults” know as much.
        This became very long. Sorry.

        • tianadargent says:

          I feel the same way about the forcing of things. That’s why I make a bad salesperson! Although this ‘mission’ thing is something I’m not too familiar with because as far as I know, no one in my non-internet circle has participated in one. I always think “why would anyone think they know better than someone else what form of spirituality is best for them?”
          I didn’t feel like it was so directed, I just used it as an opportunity to clarify my own thoughts.

          • rachaeldoss says:

            Oh, good πŸ™‚
            And that is EXACTLY why I can’t sell things.
            And I must admit – church was very often an opportunity for me to hang out with my friends and go places my parents would never take me. The older I got, the more it became a social opportunity and the less I just “went along” with whatever they were saying (thus the reason I haven’t gone to church regularly in some 13 or so years). It was good to feel like I was helping someone, so when we would go to help people do repairs and stuff, I thought that was the sort of things we SHOULD be doing, but specifically I asked one of the “youth leaders” what purpose we had asking people to go to a church we ourselves didn’t attend, and what if they expected us to be there and wouldn’t they feel tricked…and they honestly gave some lame answer about how getting them there was the point. And I did not dig that at ALL. ugh.

          • rachaeldoss says:

            Oh, good πŸ™‚
            And that is EXACTLY why I can’t sell things.
            And I must admit – church was very often an opportunity for me to hang out with my friends and go places my parents would never take me. The older I got, the more it became a social opportunity and the less I just “went along” with whatever they were saying (thus the reason I haven’t gone to church regularly in some 13 or so years). It was good to feel like I was helping someone, so when we would go to help people do repairs and stuff, I thought that was the sort of things we SHOULD be doing, but specifically I asked one of the “youth leaders” what purpose we had asking people to go to a church we ourselves didn’t attend, and what if they expected us to be there and wouldn’t they feel tricked…and they honestly gave some lame answer about how getting them there was the point. And I did not dig that at ALL. ugh.

        • tianadargent says:

          I feel the same way about the forcing of things. That’s why I make a bad salesperson! Although this ‘mission’ thing is something I’m not too familiar with because as far as I know, no one in my non-internet circle has participated in one. I always think “why would anyone think they know better than someone else what form of spirituality is best for them?”
          I didn’t feel like it was so directed, I just used it as an opportunity to clarify my own thoughts.

      • rachaeldoss says:

        Sorry – didn’t mean for that to sound so directed. I should have used “one” instead of “you.” I only was raising the question because I’ve never heard anyone mention that part of the equation when discussing the reason to keep one’s last name or take a husband’s.
        Personally, it doesn’t affect me what other people choose to do, and that’s why I’ve never been one to balk at the idea of someone taking or not taking a name. I do wish that people wouldn’t take it for granted, though. Most women just take the name without ever thinking about what it means to them, and that seems a little scary. I think they should at least discuss the importance of it with their significant other. Which, clearly, you have. I did know that it was important to Ben for me to take his name, because he’s very proud of that family connection. For me it was trading one name that no one ever pronounced correctly for another one πŸ˜€
        I think anyone outside of the couple needs to mind their own business. I’m sick of people thinking that because something is right for them it’s right for everyone on the planet. I’m all for providing the opportunity to see and learn other ways, but it’s the forcing them on others I’m not on board with. It’s why I was always a pain on church mission trips. LOL. I was always super glad to help repaint a house or teach bible school at a church for the neighborhood kids, but when it came to knocking on doors and trying to get people to come to church, I hated it and let the “adults” know as much.
        This became very long. Sorry.

      • metahara says:

        the choice of the childs name is the mothers when the birth certificate is made.
        I made a deal during pregnancy that led to my son having his fathers last name (different from mine) and now he wants my father’s last name- they had a great relationship.

      • metahara says:

        the choice of the childs name is the mothers when the birth certificate is made.
        I made a deal during pregnancy that led to my son having his fathers last name (different from mine) and now he wants my father’s last name- they had a great relationship.

    • tianadargent says:

      Well I’m not keeping it plainly because I find it sexist, but that’s a part of it.
      I’ve had my name my entire life and
      a-there is not actual REASON to change it. that doesn’t change the way I feel about my marriage or my relationship with anyone on this planet.
      b-why should I be the one to sacrifice a part of my identity simply because I have a vagina?
      I have no issues with us keeping both our names and our kids having my name as a second middle name. I have no issues with the two of us coming up with a new last name that incorporates two people from different lives coming together to form a family. I do take issue with being the only one to ‘sacrifice’ a part of myself to hold up an ideal that I don’t subscribe to.

  10. rachaeldoss says:

    But if your last name is your father’s name, so is it not symbolic of something anyway? I mean, it seems like a last name in itself is somewhat sexist anyway, so the only way to get around the inherent sexism would be to come up with a new one between the two of you altogether, and then not expect any children to use it if they chose not to later on. And that is fine with me if that’s what people want to do, I just hope they keep good records so that people can trace family trees if they want to later. If it’s as hard as it is for me because I had an unmarried great-great-grandmother somewhere and we’re not sure if the last name we’re searching is a father’s name or mother’s name…hard to find folks!
    I kept my maiden name as part of my whole name because it had been my last name for the most part of 29 years when I got married, and because I didn’t see any reason to drop it or my middle name altogether, because they’re all my names. Then again, it could just be because I’m a packrat and I don’t want to get anything. πŸ™‚

  11. hillarygayle says:

    I went ahead & took Bryan’s name when we got married. My reasoning behind it seems related to “identity.” You see, I never felt my name had anything to do with the person I am. I was randomly born to a family who’s last name happened to be Keller. I am quite unlike the majority of my family, and I have no sentimental attachment to the name itself; only the people who bear it. I don’t feel the name has much to do with their identities either. So when it came down to it, and Bryan asked me if I’d like to keep my name, I told him I didn’t care. We chose not to make a scandal of ourselves (because I’m in South and girly-name-keeping is still scandalous in my rural area), and I took his name. Plus, his name is “Creech” and I love the way it feels to say it. I like the “ch” sound at the end; it sorta pops.
    I suppose it all comes down to “a rose by any other name…” and that sort of thing.

  12. hillarygayle says:

    I went ahead & took Bryan’s name when we got married. My reasoning behind it seems related to “identity.” You see, I never felt my name had anything to do with the person I am. I was randomly born to a family who’s last name happened to be Keller. I am quite unlike the majority of my family, and I have no sentimental attachment to the name itself; only the people who bear it. I don’t feel the name has much to do with their identities either. So when it came down to it, and Bryan asked me if I’d like to keep my name, I told him I didn’t care. We chose not to make a scandal of ourselves (because I’m in South and girly-name-keeping is still scandalous in my rural area), and I took his name. Plus, his name is “Creech” and I love the way it feels to say it. I like the “ch” sound at the end; it sorta pops.
    I suppose it all comes down to “a rose by any other name…” and that sort of thing.

  13. metahara says:

    I’m sorry to hear this is still an issue in 2007.
    Your setting an example, keep up the good work. He can flip his perception and realize he has a gem at his side, one who is unique and listens to what works for her, regardless of peer pressure….peer pressure that thought SUV’s made the family and now are on the side of the Prius family owned vehicle…they look to YOU for their next step, not the other way around.
    and it is not HIS name, it is one he inherited…he inherited it from generations of men who sat idly by as their wives, sisters and daughters were turned away at voting poles and chastised for wanting to work or wearing pants…
    I like the idea of combining names to create a new family- let the man have the original last name as his middle name if he feels strongly about it… what about anyone’s patrilineage makes it worthy of taking a name and passing it on? and what about a matrilineage makes it unworthy?
    Did he not know he was marrying a feminist? Did he not present as pro feminist?
    does he realize it’s a feminist issue?
    Does this mean if you have a boy child and the boy wants to wear his pink alligator shirt, he wont be allowed to cause his friends only let their girl children wear pink?
    Peer pressure propagates sexism, racism and every other white male uglyism out there.
    I recommend nipping this shit in the bud.

    • metahara says:

      or better yet,
      pull it out by the roots!

      • tianadargent says:

        Ha! All true. I think it’s that he has never THOUGHT of it before. Like, really THOUGHT of it. So when he brings up the excuses of having one family name I make my suggstions, take my name if you want it so badly, or we can make a new one and then he doesn’t say anything about it.
        Anyways, we discussed this at the start of our engagement and it has only recently become an issue. We agreed before we got married that I was keeping my name so I don’t really feel any responsibility towards making him feel better about this at this point. It’s pretty silly really.

        • metahara says:

          I love your attitude about it- it sounds like the attitude of those people who stay married, happily!
          we discussed this, here are the options, now your freaking- I am not going to join you in the freak out- period.
          love that.
          I smell a good parent in the making!

          • tianadargent says:

            Thanks!
            Anyways he called me today to say he didn’t mean to make me upset and that hopefully it will all be resolved soon.
            Sure. He would never ‘force’ me to do something I didn’t want to so he might be sore about it but he’ll see that it really doesn’t change anything between us.

          • tianadargent says:

            Thanks!
            Anyways he called me today to say he didn’t mean to make me upset and that hopefully it will all be resolved soon.
            Sure. He would never ‘force’ me to do something I didn’t want to so he might be sore about it but he’ll see that it really doesn’t change anything between us.

        • metahara says:

          I love your attitude about it- it sounds like the attitude of those people who stay married, happily!
          we discussed this, here are the options, now your freaking- I am not going to join you in the freak out- period.
          love that.
          I smell a good parent in the making!

      • tianadargent says:

        Ha! All true. I think it’s that he has never THOUGHT of it before. Like, really THOUGHT of it. So when he brings up the excuses of having one family name I make my suggstions, take my name if you want it so badly, or we can make a new one and then he doesn’t say anything about it.
        Anyways, we discussed this at the start of our engagement and it has only recently become an issue. We agreed before we got married that I was keeping my name so I don’t really feel any responsibility towards making him feel better about this at this point. It’s pretty silly really.

    • metahara says:

      or better yet,
      pull it out by the roots!

  14. metahara says:

    I’m sorry to hear this is still an issue in 2007.
    Your setting an example, keep up the good work. He can flip his perception and realize he has a gem at his side, one who is unique and listens to what works for her, regardless of peer pressure….peer pressure that thought SUV’s made the family and now are on the side of the Prius family owned vehicle…they look to YOU for their next step, not the other way around.
    and it is not HIS name, it is one he inherited…he inherited it from generations of men who sat idly by as their wives, sisters and daughters were turned away at voting poles and chastised for wanting to work or wearing pants…
    I like the idea of combining names to create a new family- let the man have the original last name as his middle name if he feels strongly about it… what about anyone’s patrilineage makes it worthy of taking a name and passing it on? and what about a matrilineage makes it unworthy?
    Did he not know he was marrying a feminist? Did he not present as pro feminist?
    does he realize it’s a feminist issue?
    Does this mean if you have a boy child and the boy wants to wear his pink alligator shirt, he wont be allowed to cause his friends only let their girl children wear pink?
    Peer pressure propagates sexism, racism and every other white male uglyism out there.
    I recommend nipping this shit in the bud.

  15. fiercekitty says:

    I never really thought about this before. My mom took my dad’s name when they got married but then kept my dad’s name (and the kids’ names) when she remarried after my dad died. They thought about hyphenating but ended up just keeping their own names.
    I don’t know what I’d do. I like being a Quinn especially since my dad died and it’s HIS name, but that seems just as patriarchal as taking the name of my future husband?

  16. fiercekitty says:

    I never really thought about this before. My mom took my dad’s name when they got married but then kept my dad’s name (and the kids’ names) when she remarried after my dad died. They thought about hyphenating but ended up just keeping their own names.
    I don’t know what I’d do. I like being a Quinn especially since my dad died and it’s HIS name, but that seems just as patriarchal as taking the name of my future husband?

  17. clivec says:

    It falls under the category of “it’s what we all do” category. People have a knee jerk negative reaction to it because it’s different, and no better reason than that (though they’ll give you equally knee jerk reasons why one should not be different).
    My person favorite categories are:
    1: I want to join (insert religion or denomination here). Reaction: But don’t you know they (insert bizzare rumor about said religion or denomniation).
    2: I want to homeskill my child. Reaction: But your child needs socialization!
    Keeping your name is the same. It doesn’t matter one wit, but it bothers people when you do things they don’t do.
    To be fair, when we were married more than 10 years ago, my wife considerd keeping her name. I gave her the same knee jerk responses everyone else did. I hope I have become a tiny bit wiser since then.

  18. clivec says:

    It falls under the category of “it’s what we all do” category. People have a knee jerk negative reaction to it because it’s different, and no better reason than that (though they’ll give you equally knee jerk reasons why one should not be different).
    My person favorite categories are:
    1: I want to join (insert religion or denomination here). Reaction: But don’t you know they (insert bizzare rumor about said religion or denomniation).
    2: I want to homeskill my child. Reaction: But your child needs socialization!
    Keeping your name is the same. It doesn’t matter one wit, but it bothers people when you do things they don’t do.
    To be fair, when we were married more than 10 years ago, my wife considerd keeping her name. I gave her the same knee jerk responses everyone else did. I hope I have become a tiny bit wiser since then.


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