"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!

missingmumxox Sun 10-Feb-13 03:06:27

don't worry about it, I wanted to keep my name on marrage only it was eroded by outside forces not my DH, first was our solicitor who sent the check for the sale of MY house in my first name and DH second name even though I told him not to, he said< I kid you not, dear lady you are married now, it is joint the bank will not recognise you under your maiden name", I told him they would, he sent the cheque in DH surname....3 times because I objected, I couldn't do it a 4th as we where buying a house and I needed the money, quicker to change my name at the bank.
second was my boss, female, changed my name on the rota and my name badge, and infromed payroll to change of my name....oddly payroll wasn't an issue for my bank?? unlike the cheque from my house sale.
the change on my badge and rota name I objected to as I am a nurse and you have to work under your name, my boss ignored my protests, so professionally I had to change my name in case someone complained about me or I wanted other empolyment.
the only place I stayed me was my passport and utilities,3 years into marrage my DH booked a trip abroad never thought about my name, and booked it in my name his surname, I had to change my passport, it was easiler as it needed renewing anyway so saved us the admin cost on top of the passport cost. the reason he didn't think was because I was his name in everything, by that point, bless him, he was so appologtic I cryed about it, It was the last part of my parents gone, both my parents had died by this point.
14 years down the line actually I don't care, I often still write my real name without thinking about once a month say, and when I refer to myself in the third person in convo I am still Missing maidenname,
but I think I am happy to be Dh name now as It gives a continum for our DS,

I lived in the US for some time and ther marrage doesn't seem to change the name, I remember women having to go and change there name? I have a great friend whos daughter unmarried is known as X post, her dad is postavoti

Himalaya Tue 05-Feb-13 07:27:16

Rosy71 - I agree. Your name is your name. Change it, don't change it, but don't try to make the argument that a woman's name is less a part of her identity than a man's.

FeltOverlooked Mon 04-Feb-13 20:56:17

Yes, Flora, it is only a thin slice of ancestors, but that slice is the slice that moved to the other side of the world and founded a new town which many of us still largely live in. Also there was a lot of inter-breeding (blush) so it is not just a straight line backwards through time - it is a slice I am quite fond of and certainly has more meaning to me than my husband's name. He is one of a large band of brothers who are producing sons and heirs at a rate of knots, so it won't make any difference to them if I hold onto my name for one generation. In fact, all their wives have kept their maiden names.

FloraFox Fri 01-Feb-13 22:23:41

Felt it's only the name of a very thin slice of your ancestors - your father's fathers and it won't be the name of your descendents.

drjohnsonscat Fri 01-Feb-13 21:33:17

Annoying. Your argument is correct. Also my name is my name that I've had since birth. It's become part of me regardless of who bequeathed it to me. So no I do not want to change it for anybody.

FeltOverlooked Fri 01-Feb-13 21:32:56

I kept my name. So did my sister. My DH only has brothers.

My children have my surname as their middle name and really like that it means they have a name in common with all their aunties and uncles. (not all their grandparents, as it happens, as one of them kept their maiden name too).

So I would say that yes it is my father's name but it is also my name, my mother's name, my siblings' name, my cousins' name, the name of my ancestors. And I wish to continue to share it!

rosy71 Fri 01-Feb-13 21:29:06

I can never see that argument either. Ok, so my name is the same as my father's, so I was given his name, but dp's name is the same as his father's too. That seems to imply that men's name's become their own but women's don't. confused Surely your name is your name, no matter where it came from?

WhentheRed Fri 01-Feb-13 20:10:27

I am in the camp that you can call yourself whatever you like, no reason needed. I changed my name on marriage. I have used a variation of the father argument, but only when I have been criticised for changing my name.

FloraFox Fri 01-Feb-13 19:23:20

It's no more of a stupid argument than the argument that surnames have any importance other than to denote patriarchal lineage. Call yourself whatever you like.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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)

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

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.

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

They're idiots. Leave the bastards.

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.

Yama Netherlands 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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