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Baby name dispute with partner

(56 Posts)
MsP0b Fri 27-Oct-17 10:31:07

I am nearly 6 months pregnant with our first child, a daughter. My partner, her father, is a committed feminist and our relationship is fantastic. We are not married and even if we ever were (unlikely) I would not change my name, which he supports.

However naming the baby is causing row after row and stress. At first he was determined she should take his surname. I feel strongly that this would mean I was betraying her and women in general by making the first thing I do for her- naming her- a reinforcement of patriarchal bullshit! I thought we’d agreed on a cumbersome but fair double barrel but he says he can’t stand to double barrel and she should just take my surname, with his as a middle name (which is reality would be rarely used).

His condition is, he gets TOTAL control of the first name as I have got my “choice” for the surname. (I don’t see it as a choice really as it’s a deeply help principle not a “choice” to me.) The first problem is he hates all names except one that he’s fixated on from the start, that I don’t really like. I’ve given him a list of about 10 suggestions, he’s dismissed them all. Anytime I mention a possible first name, he shouts “oh no!”. This started even before the surname debate!

I hate this method of making the name decision- surely we need to choose together, not chop the decision in half?
Last night there was another heated debate. Getting exhausted by it and stressed.

What do you think?

BlackberryandNettle Sat 04-Aug-18 23:39:47

Why the anti marriage stance? It gives you legal rights as a family - I'd get down the registry office before having a child. No need for this to affect your surname obviously.

Gronky Tue 28-Aug-18 15:44:46

Apologies in advance that this veers more towards conflict resolution than purely feminist support but game theory is a topic that I rather enjoy.

WARNING: super geeky

Might I suggest a somewhat odd but seemingly fair selection process? You each have to write down 10 different names you'd be happy with and, if there's one on both lists then you go with that name. If there's no commonality then you add another 10 to the list and so on until you reach an agreement. At no time does one party see the list of the other until an agreement is reached.

To prevent cheating, you can either have a neutral third party check both lists for commonalities or use a cryptographic hash. The former is simpler but the latter works like this:

Enter the name here (make sure you agree beforehand whether you're entering them with the first letter capitalised, all lowercase or all in capitals, each will produce different hashes) in the 'string hash' box: and write down the CRC32 hash, you can use any of the hashes but that's short enough to be easy to compare.

Compile a 'private' list of your name choices with each hash next to it and a 'public' list of just hashes which you show to your partner.

Compare lists and look to see if the same hash appears in both. If it does, then refer to your private lists for the actual name (unless you want to name your child bcf845e1 or similar).

If there's no commonalities, add another 10 names to the list, hash them and compare your lists of 20 hashes.

If more than one commonality arises, you can use preference voting, if there's a tie then perhaps you could play Monopoly or Trivial Pursuits to decide wink.

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Tue 28-Aug-18 15:46:25

how is he a 'committed feminist' exactly?
The personal is the

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Tue 28-Aug-18 15:47:11

..and marriage protects women..

TubeTop Tue 28-Aug-18 16:38:36

@Gronky Thank you! The baby was born and named in Feb but we will use your method for next dc!

TubeTop Tue 28-Aug-18 16:45:07


Very interesting that this thread has been reawakened right now... I have been v anti marriage for a long time because I thought it had been used to perpetuate sexism for such a long time, and that if we ever really wanted a legal union it'd be a civil partnership. However, just last week I was reading something along the lines of... now marriage is open to gay couples as well so is no longer discriminatory I've been persuaded that the actual best thing to do is get married and help reform the institution of marriage by living ours in equality.

So... mission: Make marriage not bullshit!

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