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to not want to be defined by my marital status or surname?

(812 Posts)
tealight Mon 19-Oct-09 23:05:06

To be not at all surprised that women still strive to achieve equality when some/many/most (???)women in marriage take on men’s surnames and (in marriage or not) agree to their children taking the man’s surname? That is the way it used to be when women and children were literally, in the eyes of the law, men’s property. That is the basis o the tradition for fathers to give their daughters away. And why should my marital status be used to define me every time I fill out my personal details? Miss, Mrs, Ms? Men just have Mr. Yet many of us still subscribe to this. Why why why?????

PeachesMcLean Mon 19-Oct-09 23:06:47

Just use Ms?

SolidGhoulBrass Mon 19-Oct-09 23:08:38

I usually use Ms for exactly that reason but some people interpret Ms to mean 'bitter feminist divorced harridan' - I had quite a spat with someone at the CRB checking office about this, they kept insisting I must have had another surname ie been married and divorced if I was a Ms.

PeachesMcLean Mon 19-Oct-09 23:10:28

But some people are idiots.

TigerBitesAgain Mon 19-Oct-09 23:10:33

Couldn't agree more. I loathe being asked : is that Miss or Mrs? Or if someone rings up or delivers something for DH : are you Mrs BitesAgain's DH's name. Just so incredibly annoying, and even though it's easier to say, yes, I always end up saying, no, I'm Ms BitesAgain actually.

tealight Mon 19-Oct-09 23:12:02

I do. The issue is that the fact that the options exist and some women still wish to be defined that way means that women in general still continue to be defined by their marital status.

PeachesMcLean Mon 19-Oct-09 23:15:11

I know, it's a mystery to me as well, but some women are delighted to become Mrs and to take their husband's name. It's an odd, old fashioned business, but not one which winds me up.

Dawnybabe Mon 19-Oct-09 23:16:01

I like the tradition, it has to be said. I wasn't fussed about a big wedding or a white dress or any of that hoo haa, but I did want to be Mrs. When speaking to tradespeople etc I always say Mrs and sad and old-fashioned I may be but I like it!

I can assure you my dh is not master of this house....

madlentileater Mon 19-Oct-09 23:16:21

yanbu
and I've been there with CRB too.

mazzystartled Mon 19-Oct-09 23:20:20

It's pathetic really
I am married, but kept my own surname. I am amazed by the number of people who can't get their head around that.
Whenever I can I decline to give a title. They don't like that either.

ninagleams Mon 19-Oct-09 23:23:22

Next time give them a cheery lecture on the origin of the title, that's what I do. "In 1961 Sheila Michaels blah blah blah". Trust me they stop arguing.

tealight Mon 19-Oct-09 23:24:49

what about children though? we are not married yet DP assumed DD would take his name. I was of the view that I had done all the hard work, not drunk, not eaten soft boiled eggs or lovely french cheese in months, gave birth and tore my bits to shreds in the process. She will have my name too!!! Still now he kind of resents it. [hmmm]

benjysmum Mon 19-Oct-09 23:32:29

lol, my DS is getting the hubby's name. More evidence for getting alimony/child support if he ever gets rich enough to divorce grin.

On a serious note though, I've kept my maiden name and just stick with Miss for the title, don't particularly care what anyone thinks.

mazzystartled Mon 19-Oct-09 23:34:51

DCs have their fathers name. Purely on the basis that it is more user-friendly. And don't go in for all the double-barrelled stuff which has the potential to get v silly in a couple of generations time.

tealight Mon 19-Oct-09 23:41:07

Double barrel could get complicated, actually, it already has, she lost one half on her library card (grrr my half!) but what other options are there?

ninagleams Mon 19-Oct-09 23:50:29

My DD has my name. My DP was keen on this, it's an unusual name and it was my mum's name (they chose to call me after her). I'm pleased with the decision but wouldn't reject the idea of calling other DC after my DP if he felt he wanted to do so. I grew up with a different name to my dad and it was never a disadvantage because I was secure in their relationship and they were always patient about explaining the situation. I think I'm relaxed about the whole thing because I feel it's left me laughing at the ill humour most people seem to feel in relation to names and gender.

Beveridge Tue 20-Oct-09 00:02:32

I am still fighting the good fight after getting married last year - I made sure I mentioned I would still be Ms Beveridge on the wedding Thank Yous and the Xmas cards still poured in to Mr&Mrs BeveridgeDH (with his initial too! Like I don't even have my own first name anymore!)

It's really annoying me, in fact it's downright rude in my book to ignore what people have said they would like to be called - if your name was Emma how annoyed would you be if people ignored that and called you Laura instead?! A bit of common courtesy would be appreciated. And no, it's not just the older generation, younger people who should know better keep doing this too.angry

Ironically, in Scotland it's more traditional to keep your own name - taking your husbands surname is an English custom that became fashionable here after the Treaty of Union so culturally I feel even more justified as it not a tradition here!

I am dreading this Xmas, as is DH as I go ballistic every time a card arrives for him and his "other wife". Don't know whether to pre-empt it and put a slip in with the Xmas cards explaining in detail what the situation is (we did put our full postal address with titles on the Thank Yous for DDs presents in the summer but I have no confidence that it will have registered with anyone).

ninagleams Tue 20-Oct-09 00:08:42

Send them Xmas cards from him and "his wifey" since that's all you are to them!

mrsboogie Tue 20-Oct-09 00:23:57

It really irritates me when professional grown up women can't wait to take to a man's name.

I work with one woman who got married and changed her name, divorced a year later (went back to maiden name so as not to annoy her bloke on the side by reminding him of her husband's existence) and remarried (changed name again to new married name)in the space of about 2 yrs. She has had 4 surnames in that space of time. No-one can keep up with her latest name in order to email her at work.hmm

differentnameforthis Tue 20-Oct-09 05:17:57

So, PeachesMcLean just because a woman decides that she wants to take her husbands name, and her children have that surname, these women are idiots?

Nice attitude!

I took dh's surname. Wouldn't have occured to me not to, tbh. I don't see that being traditional makes me an idiot! I just wanted his name so our children would have the same name.

I actually don't think it has anything to do with anyone else what we decide to do when we get married, tbh. Women I have worked with have kept their maiden name & the title Miss, so what, who cares?

Just something else to judge each other on, imo!

cory Tue 20-Oct-09 08:01:41

I went double barrelled when I emigrated. If you'd seen my surname you'd understand why. When you're arguing with the water board or whatever, it is just so much more convenient to be mrs X.

scaryteacher Tue 20-Oct-09 08:03:25

Depends on your maiden name as well. Mine was awful, so was glad to change it, plus it was a fresh start for me. Ds had dh's name - wouldn't have occurred to me to do anything else. Double barrelled? No way, everyone would fall over laughing with the juxtaposition of the names.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 20-Oct-09 08:04:30

I can't understand why women still change their names - for the life of me. Or use Miss/Mrs. Still, some of my best friends are mrs DH and so is my mum so I can hardly say they are idiots smile

DS has DH's surname which was fine because we are bringing him up here so having a name from DH's country seemed right to recognise both identities.

sprogger Tue 20-Oct-09 08:12:22

differentnameforthis, by saying that you wanted your children to have "the same name," are you saying that you wanted them to have their father's surname so he's feel more bonded to them?

scarletlilybug Tue 20-Oct-09 08:13:02

I changed my name on marriage to Mrs Scarletlilybug becuase I knew we were going to have children, and it was important to me that we all had the same name.

I absolutely can't get my head around women who keep their "own" name (i.e their father's name), yet let their children have their dh's/dp's name. No way would I have a different name from my children.

I do agree with finding the Miss/Ms/Mrs thing irritating. In other countries, the female title is a sign of maturity, rather than marital status - and I prefer it that way. In other words, "Miss" or equivalent (Fraulein, say) is used for girls, "Mrs" (Frau) for adult women. The question "Is it Miss or Mrs?" over here is tantamount to asking whether or not you are married, which is rarely of any relevence to the questioner.

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