To think that the form for my kids new school should not ask......

(196 Posts)
SuedeEffectPochette Tue 23-Apr-13 09:36:03

.......for my "christian" name! It's a state school. They must get all sorts of guidance on how not to cause offence. Surely this is a term from the 1950s these days!

BumpingFuglies Tue 23-Apr-13 09:38:18

Is it a C of E school?

Do you find it offensive?

Sugarice Tue 23-Apr-13 09:39:24

Why is asking for your first name offensive?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 09:40:18

Some would consider it outdated but it's certainly not offensive.

State schools are all Christian schools. Its the law.

AnyFucker Tue 23-Apr-13 09:41:36

Oh, give over

bedmonster Tue 23-Apr-13 09:41:45

Are you offended?

Why? Just.......why?

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 23-Apr-13 09:43:22

I am offended by the assumption that I am a Christian. And if I did hold another religion I would be more annoyed by that assumption - yes.

SallyCinnamonandNutmeg Tue 23-Apr-13 09:44:09

I agree it does seem a bit odd and most forms these days ask for "first name" - but to be honest I don't think I would really have noticed it. It's a minor administrative error I think.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 09:44:20

Then cross it out and write 'First name' or 'given name' in it's place.

moogy1a Tue 23-Apr-13 09:44:33

yeah, prosecute the bastards

I'd be offended by that too. It seems very old fashioned.

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 09:44:59

Suede - I take it that you are equally offended that this forum is called MUMSnet. Perhaps it should be changed to something gender neutral like ParentNet. But then that might offend people who aren't parents.

Some people just seem enjoy looking for things to feel offended about.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Apr-13 09:45:31

State schools are Christian, so it's a fairly safe bet that if you are happy for your child to go there, you are either Christian, or don't mind being exposed to Christian practises.

This is a bizarre thing to be angry about.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 09:46:02

Some people just seem enjoy looking for things to feel offended about.

Indeed.

Yup, it's old-fashioned but I don't know if that makes it rude or offensive.

DeWe Tue 23-Apr-13 09:46:31

"Peoplesnet" oh no that's offensive to by fruit bowl...

I think the issue is a wider one really.

OP, as a non christian, will you be segregating your children from collective worship?

Justaperfectday Tue 23-Apr-13 09:46:42

Christian name instead of first name irritates me too.

motherinferior Tue 23-Apr-13 09:47:18

YANBU.

I always say helpfully that my first name isn't a Christian name it's a Hindu name. (It is, although I am not a Hindu.) This pisses people off satisfyingly.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 09:47:31

We can all see the direction this thread is going to take.

Sugarice Tue 23-Apr-13 09:47:44

There are plenty of things to find fault with in life but your irritation at this is just daft. grin

State schools are Christian, so it's a fairly safe bet that if you are happy for your child to go there, you are either Christian, or don't mind being exposed to Christian practises.

But if the alternative is fee paying, what choice do people have unless they are wealthy or in receipt of a child genius?

State schools are Christian, so it's a fairly safe bet that if you are happy for your child to go there, you are either Christian, or don't mind being exposed to Christian practises.

Wrong. As there are no Secular schools in the UK, people who are not religious have no other choice.

State schools are Christian, so it's a fairly safe bet that if you are happy for your child to go there, you are either Christian, or don't mind being exposed to Christian practises.

No it's not a safe bet. A lot of parents with children in state schools do mind that schools are all Christian, but they have little choice.

undercoversahm Tue 23-Apr-13 09:52:43

YANBU but perhaps you are missing the more important bigger picture which is the lack of separation of religion and state in the UK. That should change - France has no trouble keeping education and religion separate.

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Tue 23-Apr-13 09:54:09

Are all state schools really Christian? Even secondaries, and academies? Or do academies not count as state? confused

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Tue 23-Apr-13 09:55:26

(I though ours was just a bit fundamental because it's overtly VA)

BumpingFuglies Tue 23-Apr-13 09:55:32

If the issue is that the school assumes you are Christian, but you do not want them to do that, would you not have looked into it before selecting the school? confused

If it's that important?

Either way I wouldn't get worked up about it. Plus, you're not another religion, are you?

lljkk Tue 23-Apr-13 10:02:24

I wish OP's problem was the biggest one I had to face this week.

We dont have academies where I live, so I cannot comment on that, but all secondaries here are Christian. Even integrated schools (N.Ireland).

Either way I wouldn't get worked up about it. Plus, you're not another religion, are you?

So Atheists should just suck it up should they? Its discrimination.

MidniteScribbler Tue 23-Apr-13 10:12:02

Oh FFS go and get worked up over something that is actually important.

littleducks Tue 23-Apr-13 10:14:19

All schools see not Christian, there are state funded Hindu, Sikh and Muslim schools that I am aware of and possibly others (Jewish?) I am not.

There are many non denominational schools that are broadly Christian in nature. I think many people accept that as the alternatives are expensive HE/private schooling.

It wouldn't offend me to see 'Christian' name on a form but I would wonder about it. Would the school be less accommodating to children of other or no belief?

MoaningYoniWhingesAgain Tue 23-Apr-13 10:29:31

I would think the form is dated and due a review. But offensive? I am atheist and I couldn't give the tiniest shite about this.

I do mind my DD has been instructed to pray at school. I do mind she is being taught christians beliefs as facts rather than as beliefs some people hold.

ShadowStorm Tue 23-Apr-13 10:32:27

It's a bit old-fashioned.

But it's probably more about a failure to update the form than about assumptions about children's religion.

iloveweetos Tue 23-Apr-13 10:36:16

Im sikh and i dont see anything wrong with Christian name...i actually like seeing it on forms etc
Old fashioned? so what...this country is being made to give up alot of 'old fashioned' traditions because of other religions!
Maybe i'm being ridiculous, but I wouldnt expect it to be changed.

undercoversahm Tue 23-Apr-13 10:38:56

All schools are religious (C of E if not specifically Hindu, Catholic or whatever). I am not aware of any atheist schools which seems crazy given that most of the population are not practicing anythings.

I agree that "Christian Name" is not in itself anything to get worked up about, but having 90% of schools be C of E with no real choice for the non religious is a big deal.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 23-Apr-13 10:39:15

YANBU, a school of all places ought to be sufficiently up-to-date to know to ask for your first, or forename, rather than your 'christian' name!

msrisotto Tue 23-Apr-13 10:39:49

I'm atheist and whilst I do have a problem with children being indoctrinated into religions before they can choose or even have a clue what is going on.....the term 'Christian name' honestly doesn't bother me.

YoniMaroney Tue 23-Apr-13 10:40:25

Kill them, kill them with fire.

This reminds me of that episode of South Park where the kids had to put on a Xmas play with no references to any religions what so ever in order to not accidentally offend or upset anyone grin

Seriously it's not something worth getting worked up over.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 23-Apr-13 10:45:14

Surname seems to be going out of fashion. When I was a student I worked in USA and nobody had heard of it. I think there should be some sort of campaign to keep it!

kim147 Tue 23-Apr-13 10:51:39

State Schools aren't really Christian. The only nod to religion is that assembly must have some collective worship of a broadly Christian nature. Most State schools don't go to that much effort and also discuss other religions.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 23-Apr-13 10:54:24

Our VC primary was v multicultural though did still have the local vicar in fairly often, and the Riding Lights Christian-y performances... but I'm sure they were always sufficiently aware not to use 'Christian name'!

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 11:01:37

My son's school wrote a letter addressed to Mr and Mrs A DeVere

'A' is my OH initial not mine.

I made me full of rage. I was livid (no, really, I properly was).
Fecking cheek referring to me by my OH's name.

I must point out at this point that I only took his surname because mine was truly awful. Doesn't mean I gave my first name as well.

Now that is an outmoded form of address.

Christian name wouldn't bother me although I would be mildly surprised to see it these days.

YoniMaroney Tue 23-Apr-13 11:01:38

Some state schools are very Christian. Particularly Catholic schools.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 23-Apr-13 11:05:56

YABU and a bit ridiculous.

HintofBream Tue 23-Apr-13 11:41:54

MrsDeVere,
That is the correct way to address a formal letter to a married couple. I can see why you don't like it, but hardly fair on the school to be enraged. If they had addresed letters home informally, no doubt there would have been complaints about that.
Do you also object to a letter beginning "Dear Ms DeVere" when you don't know the sender and have no reason to be "dear" to them?

mrsjay Tue 23-Apr-13 11:44:00

State schools are all Christian schools. Its the law.

^ ^ THAT how can people not know ^ ^ even non denomination schools are christian based, <rolls eyes> op find something useful to be offended about

Pandemoniaa Tue 23-Apr-13 11:44:30

YABU to waste a lot of anger on this. I also suspect you are massively over-thinking this so far as presumptions about your faith/religion are concerned since it is almost certainly an unintentional bit of rather outdated form design.

mrsjay Tue 23-Apr-13 11:44:32

the term christian name is out dated but not offensive imo

gazzalw Tue 23-Apr-13 11:59:28

Actually I wouldn't but only because I'm such a dinosaur that we always referred to first names as 'christian names' when we were growing up. In fact I think DW and I both had to consciously change our habits a few years ago when we realised that it wasn't at all PC to do so particularly as we live in a very multi-cultural society!

YoniLovesChachi Tue 23-Apr-13 11:59:37

The form to kick school life off is the least of your worries if all things Christian upset you.

wreckedone Tue 23-Apr-13 11:59:56

Why don't you petition your local education authority to fund an atheist school?

Takingbackmonday Tue 23-Apr-13 12:01:14

Dear Jesus you cannot really be offended by this.

On a serious note, if you do want to do something, you could just put in the suggestion box that the wording on school literature needs a re-think. When LA/LEA providers are awarded kite marks for things such as "diversity" and "difference", the literature and whole environment is looked at. We don't have such slip ups as this in our LA or in Statutory buildings, it is easy enough to print out forms or information which everyone can understand or translate.

LippiPongstocking Tue 23-Apr-13 12:11:55

The UK has a state religion, it's CofE. We have unelected bishops sitting in Parliament, if you're going to be upset about something, get upset about that. In what is officially a "Christian" country, and in a state school to boot, they're perfectly entitled to ask your "christian" name.

mrsjay Tue 23-Apr-13 12:14:18

The UK has a state religion, it's CofE.

um English schools are C OE not all of the uk is C OE

LippiPongstocking Tue 23-Apr-13 12:16:54

We have CofE Bishops in Parliament. Ergo: "state religion". I'm fully aware that not all of the UK is CofE.

mrsjay Tue 23-Apr-13 12:21:55

House of lords it is more historical than anything else

FoundAChopinLizt Tue 23-Apr-13 12:25:40

Op

What are you getting your dcs for christmas?

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to offend you.

Margetts Tue 23-Apr-13 12:28:34

If it offends you that much discuss it with the school.

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:30:05

grin at Found.

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:31:22

I wonder if the OP bought her DCs Easter eggs.smile

kim147 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:33:53

It's common for most official forms now to ask for first name.

As for Easter and Christmas, it's part of our tradition.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 23-Apr-13 12:35:53

Easter eggs aren't christian and neither is easter

Scholes34 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:35:54

Okay, so perhaps the form should have asked for "first name", but you're reading too much into it, OP. There's probably some underpaid office worker, rushed of his or her feet and who just hasn't had the time to read through and re-do a form that has been sent out year after year and comes back with all the information that's required.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:36:58

State schools are Christian, so it's a fairly safe bet that if you are happy for your child to go there, you are either Christian, or don't mind being exposed to Christian practises.

Or have little choice, given they're a STATE school. hmm Oh where are these secular schools we could choose from?

YANBU and entirely correct OP, it should state "First name/given name". It's not something I would make a giant fuss over, but I would mention it next time I go to the office.

Most Christian festivals have non christian origins.

Easter eggs are Pagan.

LippiPongstocking Tue 23-Apr-13 12:38:18

Those "historical" Bishops have a say in how the UK is run. Whilst they may be there because of historical precedent, the fact remains that they do play a massive role in our legislature. And they are unelected.

Also, the UK's head of state is also the head of the church. This is also historical, and also further proves my initial point that being asked for a "christian" name in a state-funded school in an officially Christian country shouldn't be something you're surprised by.

mrsjay Tue 23-Apr-13 12:38:53

and tbh if it is a church of England school then they will ask for Christian name as that is correct for them I do think it outdated though but i don't think it is something to be overly concerned about

fedupofnamechanging Tue 23-Apr-13 12:39:35

I am an atheist and still say 'Christian' name. I agree with the poster who said it is old fashioned, not offensive.

That said, I do get offended by letters addressed to Mr and Mrs A karmabeliever. A is my dh's initial, not mine. It makes me feel like I am property and not a person in my own right. And yet, I changed my last name upon marriage.

Scholes34 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:40:28

OP, don't mention it the next time you're in the office. Save important things for mentioning in the office.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 23-Apr-13 12:41:01

It's just not ideal that they're equating your given name with being a Christian - they ought to know better than this, and OP is NBU to think that they should. She's not raging or fuming - she's saying that she thinks a 21st century school ought to know better than to think your name is just automatically going to have been given to you in a Christian ceremony.

kim147 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:41:06

The only Christian practices in schools tend to be in CofE schools and Catholic schools. Prayers before lunch, end of the day. candles and prayers in assembly.

In other state schools, I've not really noticed them to be very Christian in their practice.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:41:44

The UK has a state religion, it's CofE. We have unelected bishops sitting in Parliament, if you're going to be upset about something, get upset about that. In what is officially a "Christian" country, and in a state school to boot, they're perfectly entitled to ask your "christian" name.

Doesn't mean any of those things are right though. It should be a secular country. And we have lots of different faiths as well as the vast majority of people not attending church or any other religious institution with any regularity.

And although a fairly minor thing, it is a bit 20th century to still have "Christian name" on the form. Sounds like they haven't updated it since about 1975. I'd be slightly worried about what else they haven't updated and think it is careless.

mrsjay Tue 23-Apr-13 12:42:41

other schools have assemblies where they pray the go to church services end of term they have religious stories etc, although yes Id imagine faith schools have more jesus than not wink

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:43:56

I am an atheist and still say 'Christian' name

I'm agnostic and found myself saying "the name they were christened" about DDs the other day, and they quite deliberately have not been christened! Brainwashed from an early age in an allegedly non-denominational state school, you see.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 23-Apr-13 12:53:11

You are probably right, Filly.

I think we should go down the French route and separate church and state. I feel very uncomfortable about my children being told Bible stories as if they were incontrovertible facts. Would much prefer an approach which says 'some people believe X to be true, other people do not'.

kim147 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:54:56

This would be a great time to use the word disestablishmentariaism.

And if you oppose that, then there's a word for you too.

BumpingFuglies Tue 23-Apr-13 13:03:04

So Atheists should just suck it up should they? Its discrimination.

It's a form. They want to know your name. Do calm down grin

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:03:31

Christian name clearly doesn't imply religion, it just means 'tell us what you like to be called'

Don't be so ridiculous

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:04:01

p.s. I'm an atheist

kim147 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:05:03

I go to schools which are non - religious and have pupils from a range of backgrounds and religions.

I don't think Muslims / Sikhs have Christian names.

BumpingFuglies Tue 23-Apr-13 13:05:09

kim you didn't spell it right!

antidisestablishmentarianism <slinks off to pedants corner

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:05:16

I think we should go down the French route and separate church and state. I feel very uncomfortable about my children being told Bible stories as if they were incontrovertible facts. Would much prefer an approach which says 'some people believe X to be true, other people do not'.

I agree entirely, though I probably wouldn't go as far as the French banning headscarves or any religious dress/symbols.

Do calm down?

Erm. I am perfectly calm thanks. Pointing out that something isnt right doesnt make me angry or worked up.

It is discrimination.

BumpingFuglies Tue 23-Apr-13 13:07:01

Er, ok. Explain how then?

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:09:51

I've read some of your earlier posts wanna just because I was interested to know what it is you are referring to as discrimination, but it is not clear to me.

Are you talking about the fact that there are no secular schools?

Despite the fact that many non-denominational schools (in my experience) tend to discuss all religions equally? (diwali, passover, easter etc..)

I wasnt referring to the form thing alone. More the whole picture.

State schools are christian. There are schools that cater for other religions. But if you have NO religion there is no option.

So those who have no religion are expected to either put up with it, or single their kids out by withdrawing them from collective worship.

If there was no option for Jewish or Hindu or any other religion it would be seen as discrimination. But when its a case of no religion it isnt?!

EldritchCleavage Tue 23-Apr-13 13:13:28

I think 'offended' is a bit strong. It is irritating, at most. Obviously the school forgot to update their form to the current usage. Ditto calling a married couple Mr. and Mrs. [His initial] [His surname]. That's not the set 'correct' usage anymore, but not everyone's updated yet. Again, irritating at most.

It's only bloody annoying when you ask people not to do these things and they keep doing it regardless. That is offensive.

My issue mainly is with collective worship.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Tue 23-Apr-13 13:15:36

It wouldn't bother me. (And I am 100% athirst). First Name is better though.

I wouldn't give it a second thought

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 13:17:48

I hear what you're saying wanna but even if there was a secular school there would still be a minority of children attending probably from a religious background who would take time out to pray. Then they would be the ones being singled out. I don't think there are any schools out there that are exclusive to any one belief. I think it's tolerance and understanding that is required all round.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:18:45

I see. Well yes, you have a point.
We are atheists, and my boys non-denominational school did an Easter service this year for the first time in a long time (so I'm told), probably down to new deputy head (whole other story).

I let them go, I even went and watched them (although I was a bit hmm) about it.

The kids sang beautifully, it was a nice enough 'show' and that was it, no more said about jesus dying on the cross.

They have no exposure to religion at all, not outside school and barely inside school and so I suppose, in the context of making sure they aren't unduly indoctrinated with these ideas, I can live with it. They ask me if I believe, I say no, but many others do and the conversation usually stops there (once I've explained my ratinonale for not believing).

I do see your point, but you are a much bigger influence over your DC so even if they do occasionally participate in worship, does it really matter?

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:19:32

p.s. I do think many state school allow for the no religion aspect of things. At least in my experience they do.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:20:52

My kids don't have a Christian name as they haven't been Christened. It's just incorrect and outdated. It annoys me in the same way that a form would if it contained a lot of obvious typos, misspellings or grocer's apostrophes, with the added dimension of confirming the established church's power over supposedly non-denominational schools.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 13:21:52

I think that would have been a good experience for your children DamnBamboo. By allowing them to participate you gave them an opportunity to understand other's beliefs which is always a good thing. smile

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:22:52

does it really matter?

A form doesn't matter but the issue of Christian normalcy in state schools is rather important, IMO.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:26:03

Well hoho I just don't sweat the small things, and to me, this is small.
It's important that they understand that lots of people believe in lots different faiths as I think it is insane to go through life not exposing them at all.

My oldest is 8 and I say, 'I don't believe and neither does daddy',but many people do and that's their choice' And perhaps when you are old enough to understand things yourself, you may agree with us or you may choose differently.

I can only guide him in what i think is the right direction.

even if there was a secular school there would still be a minority of children attending probably from a religious background who would take time out to pray. Then they would be the ones being singled out.

Providing that there were religious schools for those children then it would be the parents choice to single them out. As it stands now, atheists dont have any choice.

I fully agree that children should experience these things and learn about others beliefs. Its the unquestioned nature that is the issue.

We teach our children to listen to and respect their teachers, then we have to say that X believes in God but I dont. Its contradictory. Religion should be a personal choice practised in the home. It shouldnt be foisted upon childrem in a one size fits all format.

digerd Tue 23-Apr-13 13:32:24

Well, in all my too many years of life, I never realised that the word christian name was anything to do with religion. It was just a word which meant your first name and surname was the last name.

But now also realised that I haven't seen it for, can't remember how ,many years.
I lived in Germany for many years and they used the word Vorname = forename and still do.

We had jewish friends at school and never heard of any complaint or offence taken.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:33:53

We teach our children to listen to and respect their teachers, then we have to say that X believes in God but I dont. Its contradictory. Religion should be a personal choice practised in the home. It shouldnt be foisted upon childrem in a one size fits all format

Agree with this to some extent. But you can listen and respect your teachers, but not necessarily take everything they say as gospel (no pun intended). I don't understanad why you think it's contradictory to say 'X believes in God but I don't'

This is not contradictory, it's a difference in beliefs.

The sooner children understand it's o.k. to believe different things (within reason) the better. I am my sons primary educator, not his teacher...me. Therefore it's my responsibility to ensure he knows the difference between evidence and belief (and where the two sometimes meet)and at 8 he already has a good understanding of it.

I do see your point though wanna

There are some discussions to be had around this, it's true.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:35:40

Perhaps you have different experiences in state primaries than me wanna. I have never felt that religion was being foisted on my boys, and I am a pretty tough customer in that respect (i.e. if it was, I'd be one of the first to address it).

Maybe this is down to the heads etc...

I find it interesting that Easter was celebrated this year, yet they ignored Harvest festival.

I will watch closely for next year and see what they do.

Perhaps.

My Primary was linked very closely to the Presbyterian for no other reason than the close proximity. There was prayers in assembly and before lunch. The Minister came on Fridays and did a sermon kind of thing.

Jehovas Witnesses that attended had to sit out of assembly. And enter the dinner hall late. And perhaps this point alone is where my views come from. The girl was my friend. She was lovely. But she was very excluded in many aspects because of the assembly thing. Its always stuck with me.

Ok so I am 25 and things may have moved on. I am sending DD1 to an integrated school (N.Ireland) where they still have to have collective worship. I dont agree with it, but I simply cannot bring myself to exclude her from it because of what happened in my primary. I feel very pushed into a corner iyswim.

everlong Tue 23-Apr-13 13:43:36

Mind boggling.

kim147 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:46:17

Understand totally. If a parent wants their child to follow religious practices, send them to a faith school.

Otherwise they can go to a non - faith school where religion can be talked about - and even some stories used as well to show good examples of behaviour (without a miracle of God helping) but leave prayers and praising hymns out of it.

If you want prayers, hymns and talking about miracles, go to church etc at the weekend.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:48:17

See my sons school doesn't have collective worship.
We didn't even consider Church schools for that very reason and also because his level of exposure would have been so much higher than in a non-denominational primary.

Fargo86 Tue 23-Apr-13 14:05:32

Do you get offended by schools having Christmas and Easter holidays, despite some pupils not being Christian? No? Then why are you offended by them using the term "Christian name" to mean "First name"?

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 14:10:27

I am shocked that people find so many petty things to be offended by -you must have lovely lives if you are offended so easily by such little things!

I also cannot understand about the offence caused my addressing married couples correctly Mr and Mrs A Xxxxxx - its the correctly way of donig it - how is it offensive - it is your husbands name FFS and presumably you chose to take their surname so I don't see how it differs.

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 23-Apr-13 14:11:26

Oh no - I see we have entered into the realm of religion in schools. Whoever said it would head that way was right then!
Just for final reply, then.
1.No, it is not important and I do have better things to worry about.
2. I suppose I like to think that on the whole I don't say write things that might make people of different faiths uncomfortable or unwelcome. Actually I probably don't take offence myself to the "christian name" thing (I don't really care!), but maybe someone about to join the school who was say, muslim, would read that and think - "they aren't really thinking about me and my perspective are they?" Given that minorities are under-represented in this school, it might make someone feel less welcome, IMO, and that is a shame. It's a bit like that mural at Arsenal that someone painted with only white faces, until someone pointed out the error! It just shows an insular attitude. Not everyone is the same........

Re the taking husbands name thing. I think the issue with that is that it stems from our past when girls and women were seen as possessions. Fathers paid the future husbands family a dowery because they were effectively paying the new family to keep their daughter.

In those times a woman was Miss until married and then she was Mrs (Husbands name). Never her own person in her own right.

Just because thats how it always was doesnt mean thats how it should be. It doesnt offend me (neither does Christian name on a form, as its "normal" due to my upbringing) but are not ridiculous to be offended by these things. If it doesnt offend you then great, but dont expect everyone to brush it off.

2beornot Tue 23-Apr-13 14:25:50

And just to be even more annoying, those who suggest first name instead of Christian name are also wrong because it many cultures the first name is the family name, not the given (for want of a better term) name.

OP, I think you should just cross it out and put your preferred terminology. It's not worth bringing up.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 14:31:53

I also cannot understand about the offence caused my addressing married couples correctly Mr and Mrs A Xxxxxx - its the correctly way of donig it - how is it offensive - it is your husbands name FFS and presumably you chose to take their surname so I don't see how it differs

This is a completely different, and totally unrelated point.

I am not Mrs husband initial, husband surname and would never accept this.

At a push I am Mrs husband surname (cringe at the Mrs.)

I will accept Ms husband surname (better)

I prefer Dr. Bamboo.

You don't become an externsion of your husband, including name, just because you married them. Completely different.

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 14:34:58

It is related as has been mentioned numerous times in this thread!

montage Tue 23-Apr-13 14:35:11

"I take it that you are equally offended that this forum is called MUMSnet. Perhaps it should be changed to something gender neutral like ParentNet. But then that might offend people who aren't parents. "

There was a great thread where an earnestly nice (possibly student?) couple came on here to educate all of us about this. Anyone remember it?

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 14:36:26

It is not related at all.
The fact that it has been mentioned doesn't make it related.
Would you husband like to be called Mr <your maiden name>?

Why ever not?

hmm

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 14:37:06

You don't become an externsion of your husband, including name, just because you married them. Completely different.

I agree.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 14:37:45

1) A woman's marital status is nobody's business and should not be reflected in her name.

2) She doesn't doesn't just morph into a Mrs <her husband> because they're married.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 23-Apr-13 14:38:50

First thing I thought about Mumsnet is that it was a sexist title, put me off for ages!

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 14:49:27

MrsMelons are you serious?

It is not the correct form of address.

People do not go around calling each other Sirrah and My Good Lady any more do they?

How can it not be offensive to refer to a human being as if she were merely an extension of another?

My name is not Axxxxxx. It is Bxxxxxx. When I go to work people do not call me Axxxxxx because I am married to someone by that name. Why would they need to put it on a letter?

And what sort of message it that giving my children?

And I already told you that I only took my husband's name (therefore dropping my father's) because mine was so bloody awful I was glad to see the back of it.

As for the not having much to worry about crack..why do people write that?

Kewcumber Tue 23-Apr-13 14:54:47

I am a devout atheist. I would find "christian" name mildly irritating but not madly offensive. But if I married and anyone tried in writing or any other way to imply that my first name had mysteriously morphed into Fred I would be inclined to drop kick them to the kerb.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 14:57:42

Kew

'I would be inclined to drop kick them to the kerb.'

How succinctly put! smile

Of course it's wrong to say Christian name, but if it's just a form that's not been updated I wouldn't care at all. If they had purposely changed the form back to say Christian name that would be a bad sign.

As an atheist I'm more offended (disappointed would be a better word) by the people who imply that you shouldn't celebrate Christmas or Easter because you don't believe in their god. Do people really not know that Christmas was a pagan celebration before the church hijacked/renamed it? Do they really think that present giving, holly, the tree and log are about Jesus? (You don't want to know what Druids hung on trees) Do you put a fairy on the top of the tree as you think fond thoughts about baby Jesus and not realise the contradiction?

Easter even still has the name of the goddess. Not to mention the eggs which are nothing to do with Jesus unless he was a duck and a lot to do with fertility and re/birth.

Think about that when you hand out the cream eggs.

Excellant post backonlybriefly.

EldritchCleavage Tue 23-Apr-13 15:27:03

...it is your husbands name FFS and presumably you chose to take their surname so I don't see how it differs...

Er, no. I am still Miss [Birth name]. No call to refer to me as Mrs anything, or as [DH Initial] anything or as Miss/Ms/Mrs [DH surname] ever. That's rather the point, really.

Nowadays there is or should be no easy assumption that the wife has changed to her husband's name, nor is it right to asdume a married woman is content to be subsumed into her husband's identity and made invisible in this way. And 'etiquette' isn't a good reason to prevent people from choosing how to be addressed. I admit it sometimes makes life easier when you don't know the name or title, but convenience isn't a good reason to default to something so old-fashioned, in my view.

DH and I often get NHS and school things addressed to 'the parents or carers of mini Cleavage' which is a good example of a clear and neutral way of getting around the difficulty.

Ilovesunflowers Tue 23-Apr-13 15:36:10

Some people seem to look for reasons to be offended. I'm an aethiest but in no way would be offended by the term Christian name anymore than I would be offended by surname. Very odd to find it offensive tbh.

elQuintoConyo Tue 23-Apr-13 15:55:50

YABU

If the form said: "Write your Christian name in this space, you gobshite" then I'd say YADNBU.

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:49

As an aside...
Forms used to ask for ethnicity and you would have a box to tick for White. Black and Other.

I remember being enraged by that 'other'. Never filled it in. I used to draw my own box.

You don't see it now. Its gone because I was not the only one it pissed off. If MN had been part of my life then no doubt I would have got a hell of a lot of hmm faces about it.

I can understand those who say they are not offended in the way the OP is.
But I cannot bear this 'ffs don't be so stupid', 'is that all you have to be worried about' and 'some people want to be offended' type of reply.

I am quite certain that everyone on this thread will be offended by something that doesn't bother someone else. Why must people be so rude and dismissive of the beliefs and feelings of others.

soverylucky Tue 23-Apr-13 16:41:09

I teach in a secondary school where there are no prayers, hymns, crucifixes etc. I am surprised that every school is seen as Christian. I suppose there might be something written on paper somewhere but honestly in our school on a day to day basis there is no sign of Christianity at all. We can't be the only ones?

Iggi101 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:49:46

The many Muslim and Hindu pupils at my school would find it a bit odd to say they had a Christian name.
First name may not be correct form for everyone but it's correct for a lot more people than Christian name would be.

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:10:39

Eldritch if you have not taken your husbands surname then that is totally different - same way as some people are offended if referred to as Miss if they are Mrs. If you have then people are only using the correct way of addressing you and would probably get slated if they used the 'incorrect' way.

I do not mean to be dismissive of peoples beliefs at all but there are a lot of things in life people can get offended by (and quite rightly so) so I cannot understand it when the thing is not intended to be offensive and has no real effect of them. I would not wish to offend anyone myself but we are all entitled to an opinion.

digerd Tue 23-Apr-13 17:11:57

In my day, <olden days>, we had to put our religion down and father's occupation on job application forms. The word nationality or country of origin was used, not race/ethnicity.

rainbowslollipops Tue 23-Apr-13 17:12:21

This is just as pointless as the soft play blocks thread. hmm

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 17:12:40

What I find bizarre MrsMelons is that you don't see why someone should take issue with being called Mrs Husband initial, husbands name.

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:16:36

MrsDeVere you seem to be jumping on me when many other people in this thread have said similar. Your views are no more right or wrong than mine and we are all entitled to say what we think.

The message I give my children IMO is that I am comfortable with who I am, that is a wife, a mother, a professional plus many other things. I am not an extention of my husband but happy to take his name and be his wife but I completely understand why other people don't. It is a personal preference - I was just saying I can't understand why it is offensive and not just annoying or something.

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:18:07

damnbamboo I have never been called it - just had it on letters or something so have always just thought it to be a bit old fashioned rather than offensive I guess. I am not saying no one should have an issue with it but offensive seems a bit strong.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 17:24:50

*I am shocked that people find so many petty things to be offended by -you must have lovely lives if you are offended so easily by such little things!

I also cannot understand about the offence caused my addressing married couples correctly Mr and Mrs A Xxxxxx - its the correctly way of donig it - how is it offensive - it is your husbands name FFS and presumably you chose to take their surname so I don't see how it differs*

If you still stand by this original statement and presume that married women have be default taken their husband surname and that to address this on letter by default is ok, then yes, this is offensive. Why can't you see that? I am also comfortable with who I am for all the reasons you state, not changing my name has nothing to do with that at all.

nooka Tue 23-Apr-13 17:26:10

I'd be surprised and a little concerned about a school (or other publicly funded body) using 'christian name' as their wording. Because it is a fairly archaic term now. I'd think either they hadn't updated their paperwork for a long time, which is a bit disorganised or they were deliberately choosing to use the term (as opposed to the more neutral first name or forename) and I'd wonder why. I've not seen Christian name on anything formal for a very very long time.

I would be very pissed off if anyone ever referred to me as Mrs dh's name surname, and I would make a point of objecting. Why would anyone call a woman by a male first name, it's patently wrong (conforming to old sexist etiquette is no excuse). dh and I have the same first initial so it's less likely to obviously happen I guess, but my first name is my primary identity and I'm certainly not swopping it for dh's name!

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:30:26

I was only referring to those who have changed their names - sorry I wasn't clear on that. I was meaning people that are referred to Mr and Mrs Xxxxxx who do actually have their husbands surname - not those that don't whether they are or aren't married. I get that it would be offensive in the way that someone is not actually addressing you with your correct name and just assuming you are Mrs X.

It may seem odd but I took my husbands name before we were married as we had our DCs first so we could all have the same surname.

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 17:38:38

Jumping on you? Wha?

How is being called Arthur or John showing your children you are happy to be a mother? confused

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 17:40:05

Just re-read your post.
Are you saying that you have taken your husband's first name?

Because you do know that is what we are talking about don't you?

LippiPongstocking Tue 23-Apr-13 17:40:14

And people are complaining about being addressed as "Mr & Mrs Geoffrey Simpleton", not just as "Mr & Mrs Simpleton", Mrs Melons.

1. Let's change it to Given Name and Family Name on all the forms.

2. Let's call every woman Ms regardless of her marital status

3. Any suggestions on how to deal with the father's name/husband's name problem? I mean, I changed my name when I got married because it didn't make much difference to me - I still would have had a man's name. Can't figure out an answer to this one!

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:40:40

I was only talking about a letter being addressed to Mr and Mrs A Xxxxxx nothing else. I agree it would not be right if people actually referred to you in that way.

Mum2Luke Tue 23-Apr-13 17:41:20

I really cannot believe people are getting uptight about a form saying 'Christian'. Why is that so offensive for goodness sake? I am a Christian but I know I wouldn't be offended at a form asking for a Christian name. Perhaps its the school's policy to put this on the form.

I think I'm going to have a lie down in a dark room as JK (Jeremy Kyle) would say grin and before anyone asks its my day off work, I just watched it this morning.

Oh and (echoing LippiPong):

4. Let's stop using the "Mr & Mrs William Windsor" thing too and make it "Mr William and Mrs Catherine Windsor" or just "Mr & Mrs Windsor"

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:43:27

We were talking about crossed puposes slightly - I was meaning having letters addressed to you jointly with your husbands first initial sorry.

I took my husbands surname before we were married, I was still Mrs as not divorced and its slightly long and complicated but basically I was pregnant early in our relationship and it would have resulted in my previous married name being on the birth certificate but we didn't see the point in changing back to my maiden name then getting married and changing it again.

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 17:45:30

If they are sending you a letter a dressed in that way they are referring to you that way.

Why have you accused me of jumping on you you whilst several people have said exactly the same thing as me?

Hardly fair.

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 17:45:47

addressed

nooka Tue 23-Apr-13 17:46:58

But MrsMelons, assuming that your first name does not actually start with A, then there is in fact so such person as Mrs A xxxx. So why use that form of address? Especially when you can use Mr and Mrs xxx instead, or Mr A and Mrs P xxx, or whatever terms of address you have actually been given for the couple in question. It seems to me to be a sexist and lazy way to go about things.

ShadowStorm Tue 23-Apr-13 17:47:32

I took my husbands surname when I married, but I'd still get annoyed at being called Mrs John Storm. John is my husband, not me.

I know this may have been the proper form of address back when wives were pretty much legally the property of their husbands, but now women get to be people in their own right. I'm not just part of my husband.

And I really don't see how there's anything wrong, improper or impolite about simply addressing an envelope or whatever with "Mr & Mrs Storm", using no initials / names whatsoever.

MrsMelons Tue 23-Apr-13 17:47:43

Sorry MrsDeVere I shouldn't have really singled you out as you are right there are plenty of others agreeing/disagreeing on both sides, apologies.

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 17:48:37

In the past year there has been headlines like the one about the girl (can't remember if Pakistani or Afghan) that was shot for speaking out in favour of education for girls. On our doorsteps there was a number of stories about 'honour' killings where the male members would kill the daughtyer or wife that was supposed to have shamed the family.

All these things are going on and women are outraged at how they are addressed by some anonymous paper shuffler somewhere???

In one episode of the West Wing the black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was asked if he had any problems with the President having a black go-fer. He replied that he had real battles to fight and that he didn't have the time for the cosmetic ones.

I am reminded of that scene everytime some feminist goes on about how they are offended by the way they are addressed in a letter
My

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Apr-13 17:51:26

I am Christian, am I supposed to be offended when forms do not refer to my first name as a Christian name?

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 17:53:45

It's not a race to the bottom MTS you can be annoyed/enraged about actions other than than those that result in the rape/beating/death etc.. of women.

"Oh, people are being beaten and raped in Sudan, well then, never mind, you can just refer to me as if I'm the property of my husband"

FFS!

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 17:59:46

Go and put your last post as a new thread in the feminist section MTS and let's see what kind of responses you get there <sniggers>

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 23-Apr-13 18:13:05

As long as we only ever see you post again about 'real battles' on MN, MS, that is fine!

Despairs

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 18:23:38

I once ventured into the feminist section because other sections were a bit quiet. It was full of women going on about 'important' ishoos like how they are addressed in letters grin. Haven't been back since.

MrsDeVere Tue 23-Apr-13 18:28:56

MTS
again with the 'is that all you have to worry about' type postings.

If I tell you that Sunday is the anniversary of my only daughter's death and she will never get to be married and make the choice to change her name to her husband's

does that mean I get to be outraged about things YOU think are unimportant?

What about the fact that my husband can't walk and one of my sons will never be able to leave home?

Does that give me leeway to discuss the other things that piss me off?

Why don't you ask everyone who posts about these things what they have going on in their lives?

You might be surprised.

nooka Tue 23-Apr-13 18:29:44

I'm sure that there are things you get annoyed about MTS that I personally could not care less about, but you've every right to be annoyed by them nonetheless. It's not as if there is a limited pot to draw from. I would be incredibly surprised if all those who find being called the wrong name an irritating sexist act are not also even more angry about honour killings and Taliban sponsored mysogeny. You are making some pretty weird assumptions there.

AnyFucker Tue 23-Apr-13 18:38:43

MTS, what a ridiculously sweeping statement

The things you are typing make it sound like you might be a bit of a cock

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 23-Apr-13 18:43:23

Oh FFS. Write a very strongly worded letter to the Headteacher of their new school asking for all staff to kindly refer to it as 'GIVEN' name in future. That'll get everyone off to a good start.

Catmint Tue 23-Apr-13 18:49:23

Great post by backonlybriefly earlier.

Christian name on form would annoy me. It is thoughtless.

TheYoniWayisEssex Tue 23-Apr-13 18:58:03

The term doesn't offend me but I would be annoyed by it. I don't have a 'christian' name and neither do my DCs.

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 19:00:00

MrsDeVere - Are seriously equating death and disability with being outraged over how you are addressed in a letter or by a form that says 'Christian name'?

echt Tue 23-Apr-13 19:04:17

No, MTS, MrsDeVere is quite correctly pulling you up on your knee jerk whataboutery.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 19:10:22

No MTS she isn't!

MrsDV can speak for herself and no doubt she will, but do you think before you post?

Do you?

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 19:16:03

This thread started with a bunch of people being outraged because a form asked for a Christian name. It has now moved onto a bunch of people being outraged at how they are addressed in a letter.

Some people seem to have nothing better to do than to find things to be offended by. It's like those posters who trawl the Daily Mail looking for articles to be outraged over

This is getting boring so I'll leave you ladies to it.

LynetteScavo Tue 23-Apr-13 19:26:40

Well, if I ran a school I would be asking for first name, not Christian name, but I think it's a bit a case of "when in Rome".

England is a CofE country, isn't it? If we were in an Islamic country, I wouldn't be offended by being asked for my Islamic name. I would just chuckle that I didn't have one.

jessjessjess Wed 24-Apr-13 06:21:17

I'm wondering if the OP a) celebrates Christmas and b) ever uses phrases like "touch wood".

jessjessjess

This is taken from backonlybrieflys post on page 6.

As an atheist I'm more offended (disappointed would be a better word) by the people who imply that you shouldn't celebrate Christmas or Easter because you don't believe in their god. Do people really not know that Christmas was a pagan celebration before the church hijacked/renamed it? Do they really think that present giving, holly, the tree and log are about Jesus? (You don't want to know what Druids hung on trees) Do you put a fairy on the top of the tree as you think fond thoughts about baby Jesus and not realise the contradiction?

So your christmas arguement is nonsense.

Oh and I never say touch wood. Not because I am atheist. Just because its superstitious crap.

kim147 Wed 24-Apr-13 07:11:40

FFS - why do people always bring up the celebrate Christmas argument?
It's a tradition in this country - we haven't got many traditions in this country that brings us together so Christmas is a nice one to have.

Just because you come together as a family does not mean it has to have a religious meaning. It's just about the only communal thing we have in this country.

jessjessjess Wed 24-Apr-13 07:12:48

Because if you're willing to call it Christmas, you probably shouldn't have an issue with the term Christian name.

Because people are petty kim.

Christians muscled in on all the festivals and now they want any word with Christ in it. smile

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 24-Apr-13 07:17:49

Christmas is called Christmas no matter what you think about it.

Your first name is not called your christian name unless you were christened it.

I can't believe people struggle with this!

TiggyD Wed 24-Apr-13 08:17:49

The little baby Jesus forgives you OP, and says you'll only burn in hell for half an eternity.

sashh Wed 24-Apr-13 09:12:45

Asking for a 'christian name' is wrong because many people have a christian name that they took at baptism or confirmation but is not on any birth certificate or passport.

My mum has one name on her birth certificate. She was baptised and confirmed at the same time (as an adult) so took two christian names that she never uses.

Kewcumber Wed 24-Apr-13 11:49:42

I call it Christmas because thats what everyone else calls it of any religion or none confused Do christians have a problem with calling the celebration of the resurrection of christ by a pagan goddess's name "Oestre"? I doubt it.

Language is a marvellous thing as it evolves as people collectively want it to.

It isn't difficult to put "first name" "family name" on a form so on the whole its good practice to. OP didn't say she was frothing at the mouth with outrage just that she was offended that the assumption was that she was Christian.

Pigsmummy Wed 24-Apr-13 11:51:44

I am jealous that you have the time to worry about such things

Kewcumber Wed 24-Apr-13 11:53:45

On a separate but related matter - many years (maybe 20) ago I was in hosptial and a kindly little old lady came around to fill in some forms.

"Relgion?" she asked
"atheist" I replied
She looked slightly harrassed and stumped and eventually said...
"I'll call that CofE then dear"!!!

I think the CofE would be more offended than me in all honesty as she obviously equated it to having no significant belief! In all honesty the majority of people who ticked CofE probably hadn't been in a church since they were christened or married so I was sympathetic to her interpretation.

idiot55 Wed 24-Apr-13 11:55:32

oh give over, some peoples lives must be so boring if this is a concern.

The word Christian name is what the first name has been known as in this country since whenever, get over it!

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Apr-13 12:26:52

Can you read MTS or is that little flounce you suddenly realising you hadn't read my post properly?

Just in case you really are finding this thread hard to follow I will explain.

People with a LOT to worry about are also allowed to worry about the 'small' things too.
Hence my post.

I am assuming you think its a made up scenario. That is the only reason I can think of for your insensitive dismissal of my situation.

Kewcumber Wed 24-Apr-13 12:32:42

I am rather drawn to the idea that all MN threads should be about serious and weighty matters.

There presumably would have to be some kind of handicapping system - Mrs DV would be able to post 5 times more than me, I would would be able to post 2 times more than than another poster.

There would need to be some kind of committee though deciding who got the most opinions and on what matters.

JenaiMorris Wed 24-Apr-13 12:44:56

Using Christian name on the form would make me wonder just how archaic other aspects of the school were.

"If this is all you have to worry about..." is really, seriously irritating btw. If something described in an AIBU wouldn't bother you then by all means comment as such but to basically tell someone to get a life is just a bit crap really.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 24-Apr-13 13:08:22

I don't think MTS will be responding - she will obviously now be using MN solely to comment on matters of life and death. Unless that post was total bs wink

sashh Wed 24-Apr-13 13:45:33

The word Christian name is what the first name has been known as in this country since whenever

No it isn't. As in the example I gave, my mother has 2 christian names, neither are her first name.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 24-Apr-13 13:50:41

The term Christian name comes from a time and an expectation that your name was given to you at your Christening, because you were a Christian. That's not a very enlightened assumption to make any more.

I remember at school some well-intentioned friend telling me that my name wasn't 'really' my name because I hadn't been christened!

NynaevesSister Wed 24-Apr-13 16:20:13

I get annoyed when giving details for myself and my son they always say, when it gets to the surname bit, "is it the same as yours?" When they could just as easily say "and his surname?" The first question just seems loaded with baggage (are you married to the dad? Split and remarried?). I l know it is being sensitive but it is the sort of thing that can be sensitive (no feckless sperm donor said he'd marry me but ran off with my sister). Especially as the answer is the same no matter what the question. Either you will say it is the same as yours or no it is X.

TheYoniWayisEssex Wed 24-Apr-13 20:00:34

Well said JenaiMorris.

I haven't been christened, therefore I don't have a christian name.

It is an archaic expression.

chocoluvva Wed 24-Apr-13 20:04:30

"some people enjoy looking for things to be offended by"

And some people are more thoughtful than other people.

imour Wed 24-Apr-13 20:21:42

this is a joke right .

eccentrica Wed 24-Apr-13 20:22:02

DamnBamboo did you change your name when you got married, or not? Can't work it out from your posts.

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