"Your surname isn't your own it's your fathers"

(34 Posts)
heidihole Fri 01-Feb-13 16:01:43

I'm struggling to get my head around an argument I keep hearing.

I'm married and kept my name.

I read a lot of threads on here that say basically "it's not your own name anyway its your fathers, so why don't you drop it and take your husbands"

But by that argument my husbands name isn't his own, it's HIS fathers. So if I'm choosing between my father's name, or my father-in-law's name of course my preference is for my father! He's my family, my dad!

If i'm choosing between my name or husbands name then of course my preference is for my name.

It's not comparing like-for-like to say my names my dads, but DH's name is his.

Does anyone know why people use this stupid argument because it does my head it!

wem Fri 01-Feb-13 16:04:56

It's absurd isn't it? I hear it a lot. Usually people who are blindly looking for a reason why keeping your name is wrong and just don't want to think too deeply about it.

Sunnywithshowers Fri 01-Feb-13 16:11:52

It's stupid.

I figure that, after having used my name for so long, it's my bloody name.

Booyhoo Fri 01-Feb-13 16:20:27

this is my name. there are many like it, but this one is mine.
grin

i inherited this name from my father, that is true. but the fact that it is preceeded by 'booyhoo' means that booyhoo is the owner of the name until I decide to change it for another (which i may never do). if i do, i will then own which ever name i decide to attach to booyhoo.

It's a daft argument.

I took DH's name when we got married because I wanted to. I have friends who have kept theirs because they wanted to. I even have a friend who blended her surname with her husband's so they both have a brand new surname.

Sorry, my point was - it's your decision, who cares what anyone else thinks?

KatherineKrupnik Fri 01-Feb-13 16:28:33

My name is my mothers name! And the last man it belonged to was my great great grandfather.

TheFallenNinja Fri 01-Feb-13 16:30:13

It's a pretty thin argument really. Take the name, don't take the name. It's nobody else's business.

FloraFox Fri 01-Feb-13 16:40:22

I meet quite a lot of people who are like hmm that I changed my name, including people who knew me when I was younger. I have occasionally used the father's name argument usually without the follow up "so I chose the name of the man who was actually at the wedding". My mum had already changed her name to her mother's maiden name. Name schmame.

44SoStartingOver Fri 01-Feb-13 16:43:03

I made mine up, so no it isn't!

dublinrose37 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:45:13

Personal choice, I kept my name because I like it and it feels more me. Most women I know have changed their names and so long as they are not being pressured I don't have a beef with it.

diplodocus Fri 01-Feb-13 16:50:11

I think each to his own. However, I did feel a bit irritated at being acsused of being unfeminist when I changed to my husbands name (for purely practical reasons) by people who had chosen to keep their father's- which is all part of the same patriarchal system.

OddBoots Fri 01-Feb-13 16:50:15

There are a lot of people who seem to bother themselves beyond idle curiosity about the decisions people make which impact only themselves - it's true of all areas of life.

Yama Fri 01-Feb-13 16:52:00

Well, my dd's name is my name so at least she won't hear that tired, lazy, old argument.

bigbadbarry Fri 01-Feb-13 16:53:47

I might have been given it because it was my father's, but I have had it all my life so Barry is just as much my name, given to me at birth, as Big Bad.

MarinaIvy Fri 01-Feb-13 16:58:03

They're idiots. Leave the bastards.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Feb-13 17:01:05

I think it's a rubbish argument against keeping your maiden name, but it's a reasonable enough argument to defend a decision to change it.

PromQueenWithin Fri 01-Feb-13 17:01:09

I changed because my original surname had an odd spelling and it was irritating to have to point this out to everyone. However, I haven't adopted DH's christian name, something several envelope addressers would do well to note hmm

feministefatale Fri 01-Feb-13 17:02:05

People are stupid. I was born with my maiden name, so it's my name. Men who are named John Jr aren't told John isn't their real name.

Even if they really believed that it still isn't an explanation for changing a name you have lived with for 25 years (and I actually did change my name)

feministefatale Fri 01-Feb-13 17:03:25

Also it doesn't expalin why men don't change their names.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 01-Feb-13 17:08:01

I'm not sure of the thinking behind that argument for the people that use it.

I suppose the giving of fathers' names to their children could be seen as a marker of ownership - in past times children were the property of fathers as well as wives weren't they? So in that sense the fact you were once given a name by your father to mark his ownership of you could be seen as no different from being given a name by your husband to mark his ownership of you.

I think particularly if you haven't had a good relationship with your father then it might seem like a bit of a relief to get away from his name, and that argument would seem quite supportive.

Not really my point of view though. I see the uneven nature of just one half of the couple giving up a name and breaking the narrative of their life (in a small way) to be the problematic aspect of it.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 01-Feb-13 17:19:10

It's a weak argument, at best, but one that wouldn't be put forward at all if women who have chosen to change their name weren't criticised for blindly doing so without thought and against all reason. I had several reasons for wanting to ditch my maiden name, and several reasons for wanting to take my married name. Almost 20 years down the line I would probably have taken the opportunity to take my mothers maiden name which is nicer than my married name and a million times better than my bloody awful maiden name. However it's a choice I made at the time, a considered choice and when people infer that I must be a bit stupid or unthinking or I am anti-feminist then it is almost so annoying that I might trot out some ridiculous counter argument. I haven't got to that point yet but I've been close.

I kept my name when I married.
It is my Mum's name, not my Dad's.

The man it comes from is my lovely grandfather. I am proud to have his name and I would never change it.

wherearemysocka Fri 01-Feb-13 18:06:00

It's not my father's name though, is it? He didn't exactly make it up himself. He got it when he was born, same as my brothers, my fiancé and I did. Only thing is that they all get to keep theirs, but mine is apparently only temporary until I get passed on.

MidnightMasquerader Fri 01-Feb-13 18:20:37

It's an utterly daft argument.

My brother would get to keep the name - his name - on entering the marriage stakes. But apparently the name is only on loan to me because I'm a woman?

Why does it belong more to him than to me?

Besides, if you're going to make a stand about something, you have to start somewhere. Just passively going along with I for this particular reason is the silliest reason ever.

Disclaimer 1. I took my husband's name after a few years of marriage but will defend to the death any woman's right to keep their own name.

Disclaimer 2. My brother is gay so is really never going to have to give up his name. grin

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