Name-Change Stereotypes

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Do you plan to change your surname when you marry?

I am a guy, and I would never change my name.
11
26%
I am a guy, and I might, if there were a good reason.
6
14%
I am a guy, and I'd have no problem with it.
4
10%
I am a guy, and I have another idea.
0
No votes
I am a girl, and I plan to.
9
21%
I am a girl, and I might.
6
14%
I am a girl, and I will not change my name.
3
7%
I am a girl, and I have another idea.
3
7%
 
Total votes: 42

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Name-Change Stereotypes

Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:09 pm

I was browsing the news today, and an item about legal name-changes caught my eye.

The article describes a lawsuit current in California wherein a couple is suing the state to change laws that make the husband-to-be fill out paperwork and pay a lot of money to change his name to his wife's, when for her it is a simple matter of filling in a field on a single form.

I agree with them that such laws are silly and outdated. The article claims that only six states have equal name-change processes.

All of this got me thinking.

When I was younger, I assumed I would change my name. At first, simpy because that's what you do. Later, because I wanted to have a sense of unity in my future family. Now, as I look forward to the beginnings of a professional life, the issue is more complicated.

If I publish something before I get married, it will have my current name. Changing my name would mean some confusion there. But I still like the idea of unity for my family. I may change my name legally, but keep my academic name as is. I don't know for sure, since I don't face the problem at all yet.

And now I'm curious about the rest of Pweb. Guys, would you change your name? For what reasons could you be convinced to? Girls, do you plan to change your name? Why or why not? And if you have some other answer, what is it and why?
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Postby Seiryu » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:15 pm

If the surname was better than mine, then yes.
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Postby anonshadow » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:17 pm

I don't want to change my name.
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Postby neo-dragon » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:24 pm

I am a guy, and I will never change my name. Nor would I pressure or expect my wife-to-be to change her name... But I would secretly hope that she chooses to, just for convenience and tradition's sake. But, you know, a rose by any other name... so it doesn't really matter.

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Postby Petra456 » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:38 pm

I absolutly love my name, but i'm willing to change it for the sake of tradition if I get married. When I was little I assumed you had to change it, and even after I found out you didn't, I still like the idea.
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Postby Oliver Dale » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:46 pm

Won't change my name for relationship reasons.

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Postby Rei » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:02 am

I know that I would really rather not change my name. My main reason being that we have two certain heirlooms which are to stay with the family name and I am in line to have them and the one is especially valuable to me. To either not receive them or to break the terms of succession (which I know my dad is lax on, but I have large difficulties with that) would be immensely dismaying to me. That aside, though, I think it would take a bit for me to warm up to the idea of changing my name, but I think I would be willing. It would just take a bit to be comfortable with it. I like tradition a lot, but my name is not so important to me as to prevent me from being willing to change it for someone I love.
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Postby fawkes » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:14 am

I haven't decided. It's kind of funny, both my dad and uncle had girls, and my aunt had boys, so there's no one to carry on the family name. I'm not sure whether or not I want to change my name (or have my child's last name be Clark).
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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:27 am

It's a total slap in the face to a guy if the girl won't change her name. Not because she's a girl, but because that's the custom.

If the custom were for guys to change their names, I would have no problem doing it. But if a girl loves a name more than me, she's not for me.
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:45 am

Ya know, I get where you're coming from, but I can't stand those "if you really love me you'd make the sacrifice" ultimatums (in general, not just for name changes). Sometimes they're reasonable, for instance, asking your mate to give up smoking so as not to kill you with second hand smoke. However, when you use that approach in this particular case it just smacks of pure ego. I say, if you love someone you don't ask them to give up other things that they truly care about for you, and that may include a family name in some cases.

In other words, you say: "if you really love me you'd change your name to make me happy." She says: "If you really loved me you wouldn't make me unhappy by insisting that I do it." Who's right? Both? Neither?

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Postby Sibyl » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:52 am

I am a woman, and I did change my name when I married. When I divorced, I kept my husband's name, because I'd also be keeping our daughter, and I felt there were entirely too many complications in my life already without having a different name from hers. Now she's married, and has yet another name, and I still have his. I think if I were to do it again, I'd keep my own name, but I wouldn't be at all sure what to do about children. There isn't any simple, logical way. The Spanish do it well, but their way also gets complicated.

I didn't vote in the poll, because there was no answer to fit me.
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Postby anonshadow » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:05 am

It's a total slap in the face to a guy if the girl won't change her name. Not because she's a girl, but because that's the custom.

If the custom were for guys to change their names, I would have no problem doing it. But if a girl loves a name more than me, she's not for me.
Only to an insecure guy.

If you love a name more than a girl, you're not worth marrying. Or dating, for that matter. I hate men like that. Why doesn't your argument apply to you?



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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:06 am

Ya know, I get where you're coming from, but I can't stand those "if you really love me you'd make the sacrifice" ultimatums (in general, not just for name changes). Sometimes they're reasonable, for instance, asking your mate to give up smoking so as not to kill you with second hand smoke. However, when you use that approach in this particular case it just smacks of pure ego. I say, if you love someone you don't ask them to give up other things that they truly care about for you, and that may include a family name in some cases.

In other words, you say: "if you really love me you'd change your name to make me happy." She says: "If you really loved me you wouldn't make me unhappy by insisting that I do it." Who's right? Both? Neither?
I see where you are coming from. I may be wrong, and I've obviously never been in the situation, but I definitely feel it's a slap in the face to not be willing to change your name. It's not something I would say outright, like you said: "if you really love me you'd change your name to make me happy." It's just something I would expect. That's how it works. I just think it's rude to not be willing to change your name, something so trivial really.

Of course, I will never enter into a marriage without being completely 100% positive there will be no divorce. So that makes so many things so much simpler.
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Postby Firegirl » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:06 am

It's a total slap in the face to a guy if the girl won't change her name. Not because she's a girl, but because that's the custom.

If the custom were for guys to change their names, I would have no problem doing it. But if a girl loves a name more than me, she's not for me.
Lum as much as I hate saying this, but it is in your best interests to find out more about today's changing customs and historical precedents on name changing. In matriachial societies, men often took the last name of the female. In patriachal societies (many countries in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and North America) , women were were often veiwed as subordinate and with that subordination came the name change when women were looked upon customarily and legally as chattel (property). Just because something is a tradition, does not make it right or worthy of continuing. After all many things were customs, i. e. slavery, torture, discrimination and exploitation, that does not make them right just because they were traditional. Your view doesn't take into account that some people's last names are really horrible and should be changed anyway like Rottman, Dick, Hogg or many others, which could cause distress or humiliation for the girl. It is more of a slap in the girl's face, if she merely follows the custom and doesn't really want to change her name. A name is just a name, Lum if you really loved her, you would let her keep her last name or change your's to hers.
I on the other hand intend to change my last to a name completely different than that of a future possible potential spouse and my own current last name for personal reasons and I intend to keep that name.
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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:08 am

Only to an insecure guy.

If you love a name more than a girl, you're not worth marrying. Or dating, for that matter. I hate men like that. Why doesn't your argument apply to you?
It isn't insecurity. I can see the other side of the debate, but it isn't insecurity at all. It's a matter of, this is how it works in our culture. Why do you want to work so hard to avoid my name? Why is your name so important to you?

And like I stated, it DOES in fact apply to me. If the culture said the guy changes his name, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Look, it's just how I feel okay? It's not your right to attack me for that. I'm simply stating my own opinion, and it's not like it's something that could be factually proven, so it's really not fair for you to attack me for my stance on the issue.
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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:11 am

Lum as much as I hate saying this, but it is in your best interests to find out more about today's changing customs and historical precedents on name changing. In matriachial societies, men often took the last name of the female. In patriachal societies (many countries in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and North America) , women were were often veiwed as subordinate and with that subordination came the name change when women were looked upon customarily and legally as chattel (property). Just because something is a tradition, does not make it right or worthy of continuing. After all many things were customs, i. e. slavery, torture, discrimination and exploitation, that does not make them right just because they were traditional. Your view doesn't take into account that some people's last names are really horrible and should be changed anyway like Rottman, Dick, Hogg or many others, which could cause distress or humiliation for the girl. It is more of a slap in the girl's face, if she merely follows the custom and doesn't really want to change her name. A name is just a name, Lum if you really loved her, you would let her keep her last name or change your's to hers.
I on the other hand intend to change my last to a name completely different than that of a future possible potential spouse and my own current last name for personal reasons and I intend to keep that name.
I see where you are coming from.

But it is very important to me that the names be the same. And I wouldn't be opposed to changing MY name to hers, except that why should it be her choice? I think it should be a choice made together, and I don't think it's fair for one to say "I'm NOT going to change my name". That's really the slap, not the fact that it isn't MY name.
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:12 am


Of course, I will never enter into a marriage without being completely 100% positive there will be no divorce. So that makes so many things so much simpler.
You know what's funny? I fully realize how utterly naive and idealistic that statement is, but I feel the same way. I still think that you're being unreasonable about the name change though. I hope you'll fall in love with a girl who wants to change her name, so it won't be an issue. I hope that for myself as well, but like I said, I won't insist.

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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:16 am

You know what's funny? I fully realize how utterly naive and idealistic that statement is, but I feel the same way.
It's not naive at all. I think it's pretty naive for people to go into a marriage unsure.

The problem is, people go into marriage with the idea that they can always get out if they need to. I don't see divorce as an option.

Now, I KNOW there are extreme circumstances, things happen (believe me...I know...) And I do NOT pass any judgement whatsoever on those who do get a divorce.

But for the vast majority of divorces, they could easily be avoided. The couple should have either never gotten married (they weren't right for each other to begin with) or simply gone into it without the idea that divorce was an option.
I still think that you're being unreasonable about the name change though. I hope you'll fall in love with a girl who wants to change her name, so it won't be an issue. I hope that for myself as well, but like I said, I won't insist.
Well, maybe it's unreasonable. I think a lot of things most girls expect of the guys are unreasonable (like requiring them to dance, requiring a huge fancy wedding, etc etc) but I am still willing to do it because it makes them feel good and is important to them. There doesn't need to be a reason it is important, it just is. That's how I am about the name thing.

And I'm not morally inferior because of it.
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Postby anonshadow » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:22 am

Of course it applies both way. If you can say to a girl, "why is your name worth more to you than me?", it's equally applicable for her to ask you why your name is worth more to you than her.

I love my name. It's something I share with both my father's side of the family and my mother's side of the family (since both are part of my full name), and I like the way it flows. My parents chose my name based on how it went with both my da's last name and my mother's maiden name, and I like the way the whole thing flows. It means a lot to me, and it connects me to many of the people I love.

My eventual husband is going to understand that living with me and having me commit to marry him is enough. I won't have him any other way.

There's also that, if I make a name for myself before I get married (which I likely will), I'm not going to give it up.



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Postby AnthonyByakko » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:27 am

Names are things that other people give you.

I wouldn't ask anyone to change their name on my behalf. If I were to marry, they would choose what they would want - take my name if they wish, or keep the one they already have. Not only would it be irrelevant to the relationship, but adhering to custom for the sake of custom is what helps keeps societies from progressing. Tradition is simply a means of keeping things from changing. If the hypothetical spouse in question wants to take on my name for the sake of simplicity and unity, so be it. That works for me. If not, it works just fine too.

I've changed my name in the past, unrelated to a relationship. It's relatively easy; it only took like 2 pieces of paperwork and the charges for that paperwork. It was pretty simple and low-cost; and since a name is, to me at least, just what people choose to call you, I have no particular attachment to mine. I'd change it if it was important to the person I was marrying, I guess. I would actually be more open to a "third option" so to speak - the two people marrying taking on a seperate, new family name that applies to both.
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:30 am

It's not naive at all. I think it's pretty naive for people to go into a marriage unsure.

The problem is, people go into marriage with the idea that they can always get out if they need to. I don't see divorce as an option.
I totally agree. But there really isn't much that you can be 100% certain about in life. I know that intellectually, but emotionally I share your conviction that I will NEVER divorce.

Now, I KNOW there are extreme circumstances, things happen (believe me...I know...) And I do NOT pass any judgement whatsoever on those who do get a divorce.

But for the vast majority of divorces, they could easily be avoided. The couple should have either never gotten married (they weren't right for each other to begin with) or simply gone into it without the idea that divorce was an option.
Again, I agree.

Well, maybe it's unreasonable. I think a lot of things most girls expect of the guys are unreasonable (like requiring them to dance, requiring a huge fancy wedding, etc etc) but I am still willing to do it because it makes them feel good and is important to them. There doesn't need to be a reason it is important, it just is. That's how I am about the name thing.

And I'm not morally inferior because of it.
I still say that it's a lot to ask someone to change their name if they don't want to, and there are many good reasons why she might not want to. You should make your feelings known but I certainly don't think that it should be a deal breaker.

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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:32 am

Names are things that other people give you.

I wouldn't ask anyone to change their name on my behalf. If I were to marry, they would choose what they would want - take my name if they wish, or keep the one they already have. Not only would it be irrelevant to the relationship, but adhering to custom for the sake of custom is what helps keeps societies from progressing. Tradition is simply a means of keeping things from changing. If the hypothetical spouse in question wants to take on my name for the sake of simplicity and unity, so be it. That works for me. If not, it works just fine too.
I'm having a really rough time explaining my point of view.

I'm not nazi-like about it as anon seems to think. I can understand, if her name were known, it could affect the career and there's no sense in that. I would probably change my own name to hers. More likely I'd ask her to change it, but use her old one when it came to work.

I don't know how to explain it. I think the closest I've come is
Well, maybe it's unreasonable. I think a lot of things most girls expect of the guys are unreasonable (like requiring them to dance, requiring a huge fancy wedding, etc etc) but I am still willing to do it because it makes them feel good and is important to them. There doesn't need to be a reason it is important, it just is. That's how I am about the name thing.
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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:35 am

I still say that it's a lot to ask someone to change their name if they don't want to, and there are many good reasons why she might not want to. You should make your feelings known but I certainly don't think that it should be a deal breaker.
I highly doubt it would be. I've been making my point dramatically, but I've never been in love, and I probably wouldn't let that ruin it if I was.

It's just the way I feel now. And I think when it comes down to it, they'll either have no qualms in the first place or I'll be perfectly willing to change mine to hers instead of hers to mine.

Okay I just thought of another way to explain it. I think the willingness for her to change her name to mine is an expression of love. It is a big change and it says, I want to be with you forever. Sometimes people don't look at it that way, but that's why I sort of look forward to having a wife with my name.
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Postby jotabe » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:38 am

*glad to live in Spain*

But yes, as you may still remember, about 2 years ago i was in a relationship with an American girl. And we discussed this topic:
I was insisting her that she should keep her surname, because i thought it was a sexist custom to make the woman change her surname for the guy's. Furthermore, i have 2 surnames (one from my father and one from my mother), and it would be a pain. She, instead, wanted to take my surname. Since she wished it so much, i accepted. Later on, i would understand why, though...
Anyway, i still stand by my belief: changing the surname is just a signal of submission of one of the members of the couple to the other. In a relationship, the two people have to stand in equal footing, and changing surnames doesn't help for that.

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Postby lovesonia » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:54 am

I voted that I wouldn't be changing my name. My last name is important to me. I may be the last generation of my family. It's not that it's a great name or anything, but I've grown attached to it, and the possibility of being the last generation makes me sentimental about it.

Also, it's easier to keep my name. I don't want to change my bills, my credit cards, my red cross card, my license, etc. etc. etc. My mom changed her name each time she was married. I wasn't there for the holy terror that it was to change everything from her maiden name to my fathers name and back to her maiden name after the divorce. I was, however, there to see the process to change it to her second husbands name, partially back to her maiden name after the divorce and recently she's been changing everything to her current husbands name. Complicated much? Thanks but no thanks. I think I'll skip that.

As far as marriages and divorces go, I think just about everyone hopes they don't have to go through divorce. Sure, some think it's not an option. Personally, though, I don't want to be miserable in a relationship that doesn't work and has no hope of working. If I loved them and they loved me, I'd certainly give couples therapy a fighting chance but after that... We'd have to call it quits. It just isn't something I'd put myself or my partner through. My dad's been married for 17 years now and he was pretty much fed up with all the drama and thoroughly unhappy with it the past decade. He finally split up with her last summer and has a restraining order against her. It took her ruining a very important birthday, throwing hissyfits at every opportunity and my telling him that I'd never feel safe there. (The last two times I visited she'd threatened to kill us.) Better late than never, I suppose.
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Postby Jebus » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:05 am

I'd like it if my wife took my name, but more importantly I'd want my children to have my name. I realise it's sexist and I would be willing to back down on it.

As to double barrelled names I think they sound stupid and if everyone had them, then in a few generations time our descendants would all have eight last names. I'd be more willing to go with a third option like Satya mentioned then a double barrelled name.

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Postby jotabe » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:44 am

We have 2 surnames. So our children take the first surname of the father and the first surname of the mother. So, only 2 surnames at any time.
The order of the surnames isn't necesarily firsd dad's and then mom's, but it can be the other way around (though the first option is the tradition).
Let's say i am Jey Be A, and my hypotetical couple is A Pe Ve, so our children would be L Be Pe or L Pe Be.

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Postby luminousnerd » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:33 am

Anyway, i still stand by my belief: changing the surname is just a signal of submission of one of the members of the couple to the other. In a relationship, the two people have to stand in equal footing, and changing surnames doesn't help for that.
It is NOT a signal of submission...it's a signal of love. It is not a sexist custom at all. As I said, I have no qualms with changing my name to hers, but the names HAVE to be the same.
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Postby eriador » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:32 am

I don't think that anybody should be made to change their names, it's a choice. 'Nuff said.

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Postby anonshadow » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:57 am

Anyway, i still stand by my belief: changing the surname is just a signal of submission of one of the members of the couple to the other. In a relationship, the two people have to stand in equal footing, and changing surnames doesn't help for that.
It is NOT a signal of submission...it's a signal of love. It is not a sexist custom at all. As I said, I have no qualms with changing my name to hers, but the names HAVE to be the same.
I think that if the love you share with someone is so fragile that it needs that symbol, it's not love.



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Postby jotabe » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:01 am

I don't see the love where one has to abandon their identity to asume the other's identity. That's a terribly biased kind of love... it is not love. It's the opposite.

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eriador
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Postby eriador » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:02 am

Oh well. Differences of opinion happen.

Though I must say Lum, I totally disagree with what you're saying, for the reasons mentioned by others.

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Postby mr_thebrain » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:26 am

I wasn't about to force my wife into accepting my name. however, i'm exceptionally pleased that she chose to take on my last name. it makes things easier, in my opinion, once we have children.

We both have proud families, and both families are traditional. This of course made the decision pretty simple because there really wasn't much question as to her taking on my name.

She did express a small amount of sadness in dropping her last name (something that i just kept my mouth shut on, because it really isn't my decision, and i didn't want to force the issue) she worked it out on her own though. essentially we both hold the opinion that while she's a Dudzek now, she is also a Bianco. so she's not really losing anything.

really the only problem came due to her school/profession. she's in her final year of university to become an elementary school teacher. she's also doing her practicum. she wasn't sure how the kids would understand the name change, as she started the practicum as bianco, but is now dudzek. I have no problem with her keeping bianco till she graduates. still she decided to change her name to dudzek. basically we figured that the kids aren't dumb. *shrug*

now that she's married to me, she's pretty excited about the name thing. she gets all giddy when she gets a credit card or whatever that has Dudzek printed on it. i tend to think it's pretty kool as well. especially since we can't be together until at least august (due to immigration) so her being dudzek really reenforces the fact that we're married.

for me, i see my family and family name to be a very proud tradition, and seeing as how i'm the only son, i have to hope that i can continue on the name... and that means a whole lot to me surprisingly. i feel it's an honor to my father, and his father, and so on and so forth. a proud tradition of woodworking excellence, or something. i'm carrying on that tradition.

my business recently took on a change in name from kei kei guitars to Dudzek Custom Luthery and Woodworking (though the guitars only have the name Dudzek on the headstock with the DCLW emblem underneath it.) the reason for this change was the addition of my father to the business, the tradition of our name, and the hope that perhaps if i have children, they will be interested in continuing the business.

perhaps it all boils down to ego. i don't really care. i think of it as a love of my family.
Last edited by mr_thebrain on Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ubernaustrum

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Postby powerfulcheese04 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:45 am

I don't have strong feelings about changing my name. I'm not super attached to it.

My changing it depends on where I am in my career when I get married. It I already have my graduate degree in my maiden name, I'll keep the maiden name.

I like the way one of the mothers of a kid on my brother's soccer team did it. She used her maiden name in her work (art history professor) and let us kids all call her by her husband's name. It was easier than correcting us. I've no idea what her bills and such were addressed to.
-Kim

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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:09 pm

As for the kids, frankly, I think they should take my name regardless of whether my wife changes her name or not. They have to take someone's name (I think giving them both would be cumbersome), so we might as well go with tradition. However, I fully intend to give my wife dibs on their given names. I'll certainly offer my suggestions and I'm sure we can come up with names that we both like, but seeing as how she'll be the one who carries and gives birth to them I think it's fair for her to have the final say on that matter.


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