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Feminism: chat

To be really surprised by this? Married surname

145 replies

Hereagainnewlogin · 15/12/2021 11:40

So DP and I recently decided to get married. It'll be registry office and nice dinner - no big wedding, not our style. I won't be changing my name - for a number of reasons, but obviously don't care what other people do with their names. And totally understand people with children all wanting to have the same surname.

But what has really surprised me is the amount of women I know - women my age, who have asked me if DP and I have 'had the discussion about what's happening with my name' and 'will he not be annoyed that you're not taking his name' and 'omg was he disappointed you are not taking his name'. My DP does not give a toss tbh!

These are women who proclaim to be feminists. I thought part of that was not caring about what other women did with their surnames? It's so weird to me. I'm early 30s. Has anyone else found this? Honestly so surprised

OP posts:
TerribleCustomerCervix · 15/12/2021 11:45

Doesn’t surprise me one bit.

I’m early thirties and my sister and I are the only women I know they’ve kept their own names after marriage.

I think a lot of the judgment from other women is from a place of insecurity. If you were so sure of your own decision to lose your birth name, you wouldn’t feel the need to second guess another women’s decision to keep hers.

SickAndTiredAgain · 15/12/2021 11:46

I do find that surprising, I got married a couple of years ago and I don’t think anyone asked what I was doing with my name, except my mum. I don’t really use social media so friends probably don’t know for certain what my surname actually is - not that I hid it or anything, I just don’t think anyone asked me, and they have no reason to really see it written down unless they happen to see some post or something.

Howeverdoyouneedme · 15/12/2021 11:49

It’s one of those things that aren’t anyone else’s business, but come up from time to time. (Usually in the run up to a wedding). I’ve been married ten years and no one cares about my surname. I’d say it goes both ways though, I have my husband’s surname and it’s no one’s business why that is.

BobbieT1999 · 15/12/2021 11:52

I would ask but no judgement whatever you choose. Actually useful to know if someone's name has changed or not.

Aimee1987 · 15/12/2021 11:55

In my field its quite common for women not to change names. The only time I've ever heard an issue is when a colleague was talking about how they were going to break the news to her in laws to be.
Her fiance doesnt give a toss but the parents are a bit more old school. To be honest if you and your partner are happy just a it works for us is a sufficient reply.

RhinestoneCowgirl · 15/12/2021 11:58

I got married young 20 years ago and it never occurred to me to change my name, it was only afterwards that I realised that most of my contemporaries changed theirs on marriage. Usually because his name was 'nicer' Hmm or because they wanted to have same name as any DC.

Shedmistress · 15/12/2021 12:01

It is so ingrained that they just can't see it.

TottiePlantagenet · 15/12/2021 12:01

In my parent's culture, women keep their surnames. If we marry, we may be referred to as Mrs X, but we will be introduced and known by our birth name.

When I got married here in the UK I kept my surname, husband had no issue with that. I'm one of the few amongst my married female friends who have done so though (in our 40s and 50s).

Hereagainnewlogin · 15/12/2021 12:05

To be clear - I don't have any opinions on what other people do with their names, it's just not for me. Was just surprised I guess because I didn't think people would presume that I would change it?

I've never asked anyone if they were changing their name. Most of my friends and colleagues are on social media so if they do change it I see it there and address them accordingly (when sending cards etc).

OP posts:
peboh · 15/12/2021 12:05

I still find the majority of people take their partners last name upon marriage, as I myself did, so perhaps that why? For me personally it's just a name, I don't hold any sentimentality over my maiden name, nor do I use it in my career or anything, so it was an easy decision to take his name. I personally wouldn't question it though. A friend of mine is choosing to keep her maiden name when she marries her long term partner next year, and I can't say it even crossed my mind to question it. It's not my business what her name is.

Anoisagusaris · 15/12/2021 12:06

I consider myself a feminist but over the years have started using my husband’s surname and have personal reasons for doing so (nc for father and lost contact with his family). I still use my birth name in work as it would be such a faff to change it but I hate it.

Anyone who judges me can perhaps own their minds as to why some women might do this.

Mittenmob · 15/12/2021 12:10

Not surprised. My DH wouldn't care but his family would, if I hadn't taken his name (I did because I hated my maiden name) they would have taken it as a slight on the family. They are very 'traditional' (sexist) though and over the years we've reduced contact with them largely as a result of their views on such things, they can't, for example comprehend that I have a job and want to keep working full time despite having two DC. At family events the men and women split off too, men watch sport, women have to sit in the kitchen. If you try to watch sport with the men then there will be visible discomfort. It's all very odd.

CheesyFootballsAreEvil · 15/12/2021 12:12

I think asking of you've decided what to do is ok. It's still not the norm for women in the UK to not change their name so the more it gets normalised in discussions like this then the more it will encourage others. The asking if your DH will be annoyed or disappointed is just stupidly childish.

Sportsnight · 15/12/2021 12:13

I changed mine and I don’t even really quite know why, thinking about it. It seemed exciting and part of becoming a unit and starting a family, but actually I slightly regret it. I use my original name for work, so I haven’t lost it all together.

BiscuitLover3679 · 15/12/2021 12:14

I'm early 30s. I got asked a bit but nobody asked if dp would mind, more just curious about it all. The more I've told people, the more friends who have chosen to do the same.

CheesyFootballsAreEvil · 15/12/2021 12:16


I'm early 30s. I got asked a bit but nobody asked if dp would mind, more just curious about it all. The more I've told people, the more friends who have chosen to do the same.

Yes this has been my experience.
DSGR · 15/12/2021 12:18

I haven’t changed mine and I’m mid-40s. So old fashioned in my opinion. Just ignore them

HepzibahGreen · 15/12/2021 12:21

I always find it more surprising how many women give their children the fathers name when they keep their own. Given the divorce rate and the fact that women are overwhelmingly left holding the baby. I think all my friends who have children but are not married gave the children dads name too, even when their own name was much nicer!
I must be a right selfish mare cos it never even occurred to me that the baby I gave birth to might not be baby Green! It would have been fine with me if the dad had changed his name to Mr Green though, to be the same.

Hereagainnewlogin · 15/12/2021 12:22

I don't mind if people ask, it's more the presumption I would change it that surprised me.

I think I presumed no one would care or comment whether I changed my name or not, but I feel naive for thinking that now Grin

OP posts:
peboh · 15/12/2021 12:24

I don't think it's naivety, and I definitely think as time goes on it won't necessarily be a presumption that a woman who change hers as more are choosing to keep their own. I think whilst it's still in the minority though, people will continue to assume that the family name will come from the male side.

Topseyt · 15/12/2021 12:25

I'm not surprised that it comes up occasionally, but I think it is nobody else's business.

I personally think that it is a "tradition" that is now starting to be questioned more and more. And that is good. Why is it always still presumed by so many that the woman will be changing her surname but the man will not?

I did change to DH's surname when we married 28 years ago. I was more naïve and less questioning then than I am now. I sort of regret not keeping my birth surname as part of my official identity. Since my Dad died earlier this year I have been toying with the idea of bringing it back as a middle name and rearranging all of my names to accommodate it. I'm a bit put off by all of the paperwork though as at the age of 55 my names are on a lot of legal and other stuff!

SecondhandTable · 15/12/2021 12:26

I got married nearly a decade ago when me and DH were both students. That raised a lot of eyebrows...! We both double-barrelled our names. Nobody seemed to bat an eyelid at my decision to do this, but there was a lot of shock expressed about DH also doing this! Some of his family were also quite vocal in criticising his decision to do this. We were very young and didn't anticipate that they would react like that, we were quite shocked. For some context my DF comes from a culture were women don't change their surnames upon marriage and I was raised I guess with the assumption that I would not (which is interesting as my DM did take his surname, but he himself was very against this), so I never considered just taking DH's name. I only considered whether to keep my surname or double-barrell and I was adamant any children would either have my surname or be double-barelled. Decided to double-barrell as we agreed future children would be, and I thought it would be preferable to share a surname with them. DH felt the same so also changed his.

DynamiteFilledRadish · 15/12/2021 12:27

Doesn't surprise me at all.

The trouble I am having with getting people to STOP calling me his surname is honestly upsetting!

gogohm · 15/12/2021 12:29

No judgement on you but I would change my name. I currently use my ex's name though so perhaps that makes a difference

Echobelly · 15/12/2021 12:30

I don't think anyone asked me about name (I kept mine) and definitely no one suggested dh would be upset. It was a real non issue for us, I told DH I'd keep my name and he didn't think anything of it.

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