Advanced search

to be baffled why so many parents automatically give their DCs the fathers surname?

(453 Posts)
mackereltin Thu 23-Aug-12 15:42:50

It baffles me as women have come so far in the last century but the one thing that still seems to be very much the norm is giving the fathers surname to children. It doesn't seem to be questioned very much by society in general but for me it just seems to be one of the biggest symbols of patriachy. Or am I just going on? smile

I'm particularly thinking about married couples as I know lots of unmarried couples double barrell. I'm genuinely interested to hear peoples point of view on this - AIBU?

MyLastDuchess Thu 23-Aug-12 16:02:07

Oops HTML failure, should have read the instructions!

LineRunner Thu 23-Aug-12 16:04:34

My surname's just my father's name anyway.

Unless we adopt an Icelandic system or similar, it's always going to be a stick of rock with patriarchy running through the middle.

eurochick Thu 23-Aug-12 16:04:53

Not that much more progressive as it is prescriptive about surnames and according to your earlier post, you cannot double barrell or give different children of the same family different names!

wimblehorse Thu 23-Aug-12 16:06:31

DS took DP's surname because DP really wanted him to and I wasn't too fussed. Although I did say I might find it odd to have a different surname to my DS, so DP and I got married and I took DH's surname too.

If you are married and have taken your husband's name, or think you may do so in future surely it is sensible to use the same name for the child?

MyLastDuchess Thu 23-Aug-12 16:06:32

Oooh someone's in a bad mood!

squoosh Thu 23-Aug-12 16:08:59


I'm a fan of the Icelandic way of doing things.

maswera Thu 23-Aug-12 16:10:14

This is one of my pet subjects too OP! I am equally amazed at how many women still take their husband's surname when they get married. DP & I had a deal that a girl would have my surname and a boy his, and predictably we had a boy. As perfect as he is, I would have quite liked the opportunity to make my point! grin

I'm currently pregnant with no 2, and haven't yet decided whether I will push for us to have 'one each' wink Ooh but you should see some faces when I suggest our DC might have different surnames <shock, horror>

I do hear a lot of couples say the kids had the man's name because the woman thought 'didn't like hers' or thought it was 'boring'. Incidentally I have never heard those reasons for not taking the man's...

Each to their own I say, but it still surprises me that so many women go along with this tradition


nickelcognito Thu 23-Aug-12 16:10:16

It baffles me too.
it baffles me why women automatically take the husband's name on marriage too, regardless of hideous a name it is!

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 23-Aug-12 16:10:17

Double barrels are unwieldy and a bit pretentious.

DH has a far nicer surname than mine.

Why does it matter so much to you, OP? I took DH name as it makes life simpler and because I liked it. Are you saying that women who do that are somehow knocking the feminist cause? Do feminists not have bigger issues to worry about than what people like to call themselves?confused

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 23-Aug-12 16:10:44

Sorry, I meant to say and since DH and I share a name it makes sense for the DC to share it too.

nickelcognito Thu 23-Aug-12 16:12:37

"If parents don't share the same name then they have to pick one or the other...especially if they think double barrels are a bit wanky."


we made a whole new name for DD using parts of our names - his is shit, mine is brill, not fair on either of us to have one used over the other, so we split it.

she got his first 3 letters, PAY and my first 3 letters (well, only) DON
and made a whole new name.

that's the third way - new name altogether.

squoosh Thu 23-Aug-12 16:13:23

It is a legitimate question but one that people get very defensive about.

cantspel Thu 23-Aug-12 16:13:53

I took my husbands name and both our children have his name for the simple reason i wanted to.

Is that ok or should i go whip myself now for letting down the feminist cause?

LeftTheBlimminWashingOutAgain Thu 23-Aug-12 16:14:55

i wanted to give my DD my surname and DH wanted to give her his (we weren't married at the time). DH was adopted by his parents and it meant a lot for him to pass his surname onto her, more than it did to me to pass my surname on, so thats what we did. she has my surname as an extra middle name. i'm not keen on double barrelling kids names as if they marry someone with a double barrelled name it all gets a bit confusing. i can see why its an option for some people though. when DH and i got married i took his surname and kept my surname as an extra middle name. i mostly go by my maiden name still except when out with the family.
i don't think it is assumed that children will get the fathers name anymore. i know a couple who couldn't decide on which surname, so they looked through their family tree and found a common surname in each of them, so thats what they decided to use for all of them. i think that was a good idea.

squoosh Thu 23-Aug-12 16:15:30

As I said, very defensive.

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 23-Aug-12 16:15:38

Also the OP assumes that just because the DC have their father's name it was 'unthinking'. How does she know? Maybe the parents thought for a long time about it and decided to go with the husband's name. Just because it goes along with convention, doesn't mean it wasn't thought about.

So yes YABU.

WorraLiberty Thu 23-Aug-12 16:17:28

nickelcognito You're right, I didn't really mean they have to.

squoosh Thu 23-Aug-12 16:17:46

She never used the term 'unthinking' thought did she? hmm

LineRunner Thu 23-Aug-12 16:18:10

Mums really need to go to Iceland.

Boom tish.

shrimponastick Thu 23-Aug-12 16:18:47

All of my unmarried friends gave their DC the fathers name.

My DS had my surname, which went down badly with the IL.

None of the friends plan to marry their DC fathers, some are now separated. Seems wrong to me....

cantspel Thu 23-Aug-12 16:19:12

But i think a new name is even more wanky than double barrels but if thats someone's choice then it is no skin off my nose.

Maybe we should all give up on names and just number each other like the borg. Baggie i get to be seven of nine as it sound better than one two of four.

MyLastDuchess Thu 23-Aug-12 16:19:27

Yeah I can't see any mention of 'unthinking'.

TBH I don't think this site is really the place for me. Attacks seem to get very personal very quickly, and I have no idea why. I thought the question was worded reasonably and asked a genuine question, which some people have answered sincerely (regardless of their naming choices) and others have just gone off on one that anyone dared to mention it!

Mrsjay Thu 23-Aug-12 16:19:52

It is personal choice if a woman is married with her husbands name then the children take that name I dont see what is so baffiling about it , it is a tradition doesnt make it wrong, each to their own i say ,

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 23-Aug-12 16:21:02

I took my husbands name when we married. Our son shares our name and we are all happy with our conservative, square, little family unit.

What i DONT like is the fact that I will never in my soul feel like my surname belongs to me - four years down the line it still sticks in my throat.

And when I asked my husband before we got married if he wouod EVER give up his name for me - the answer was a resounding, shocked NO!!!

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 23-Aug-12 16:21:41

automatically implies unthinking does it not?

I would have thought that if you think about things and discuss them and work out the best way it works for you, there is nothing automatic about it. You have made a reasoned decision based on your own circumstances and beliefs.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: