I am probably going to hyphenate when I get married, regardless of my spouse’s gender. If they’re male, why should I HAVE to take their name and abandon mine? It just screams ownership to me, but I’m cool with hyphenating.
If women shouldn’t have to take their husband’s…
Hi, that post was clearly satirical. (Not my commentary, but the original post.)
Yes. Exactly. It was satire.
To completely kill the joke: My original post was supposed to shed light on how ridiculous it is that people expect women to take their husbands’ names when they get married and give them unnecessary grief when they don’t. I don’t believe men should have take their wives’ names… just as I don’t believe women should have to take their husbands’ names.
I got married last month and I’ve been frustrated at how many people have been asking “What’s your name now?” My name is the same as it always was. My husband’s name is the same as it always was. We made the personal decision not to change our names, a decision which was made for our own personal reasons, and which might not be the right decision for every other couple out there. What’s important is that we made the right decision for US, nobody else.
And I am beyond tired of everyone who brings up any of the following stupid arguments for why our decision is wrong:
- "But what if you have kids!? What will their last name be?!" We’re not having children. And if we were, that would certainly factor into our decision. But we’re not, so it doesn’t matter.
- "But how will people know you’re married?" We will tell them. We also wear wedding bands. And if they need legal proof, we’ve got the license. Really not that big a deal.
- "Aren’t you disrespecting your husband by not taking his name?" My husband is a feminist. He understands.
- "But TRADITION." There are lots of terrible traditions out there. There’s no reason to stick to one that I am uncomfortable with.
- "I just think that’s how it should be." Good for you. When/if you get married, you and your spouse may do whatever you want with your surnames. But this is our marriage, and my life, and what you think really doesn’t matter.
- "But technically you have your own father’s last name anyway, so what’s the harm in taking another man’s last name?" Because it’s my NAME. It’s my IDENTITY. I’ve had it my whole life and I’m uncomfortable just throwing it away. Married men may not be able to empathize with that feeling because they’ve never been asked to change something as indelible to their own sense of self as their name.
- "Oh so this is a feminist thing, huh?" If rebelling in my own small way against millennia of men’s ownership over their wives counts as a feminist act, then yeah.
- "Your husband must be so pussy whipped." My husband could whip your fuckin’ ass.
- "Why don’t you keep your maiden name professionally, and change to his last name for your personal life?" Because I don’t want to.
- "But how do we refer to you guys collectively as a married couple?" However the fuck you want. Our friends have been jokingly calling us by a humorous combination of our last names, which I think is adorable and I encourage. But if people refer to us as "The [Husband’s last name]s" I’m not going to make a big stink over it. We’ve gotten a couple Christmas cards addressed to "Mr. & Mrs. Husband’s First and Last Name" though, and I must admit that that does bother me slightly. I don’t even get a first name? My whole identity is just absorbed by my husband’s? Not cool.
So there you have it. I made a short satirical post to vent my frustrations, but apparently a longer explanation was necessary.
TL;DR Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything with your name that you don’t want to do when you get married, no matter your gender.
^^^^^ All of these things are relevant to my experience with not changing my last name.
Others also including: relatives sending checks to Mrs. Husband, checks which the bank will no longer cash. Correcting people and having them stare at me or the floor and give a startled “OH” with that edge of suspicion. Having to use a false name for insurance billing purposes because my parents changed my name on their insurance without asking me (which I was eligable for until the age of 26, thank you ACA) and to change it back I would have to get them to go to HR at the employer, instead of just calling the insurance company WHICH I DID A NUMBER OF TIMES.
But I didn’t even do it for political reasons. Although in hindsight, it kind of was. I hate the way my name sounds if I become Sunny (husbandname). It doesn’t sound like me. It sounds like someone else. And also jfc changing your name is a tedious and complicated process. I’m just barely able to manage being an adult here, and now you want me to go change all my paperwork?
also re: “How will people know you are married” um like maybe you should just. Take my word for it? And also treat me with the same level of respect and gravitas that you would a married woman regardless of your knowledge of my
property marital status.
So here’s a thing. I wear my ring around my neck because otherwise I’d lose it. And I think it’s kind of important to have, it has emotional meaning, so I don’t want to do that.
The number of times I have been told “well if you don’t want men to bother you then you should put your ring on your finger” is enough to make me scream.
Boom. I like this game. Any other married folks out there want to share their negative experiences re: changing/not changing their name?
I feel you about checks. After our wedding I went to the bank to deposit a bunch of checks we’d received from guests. I had like 13 checks. They allowed me to deposit 2: the ones that had my legal name on them. All the ones addressed to me with my husband’s last name they wouldn’t let me deposit until I came back with our notarized marriage license. It was annoying as fuck.
And then there is the common misconception that men will “leave you alone” if they see a wedding ring. It’s not true. Assholes don’t give a shit if you’re married or not. If you’re an unaccompanied woman in public, you’re fair game as far as they’re concerned. I was shocked the FIRST time some guy tried to pick me up and when I told him I was married he looked around and said “But he’s not here,” and continued as if I was still available for him to pick up. It has happened again and again since then and I definitely wear a ring.
Obligatory Not-All-Guys-Are-Like-That Note: There are some men who won’t hit on a woman wearing a ring. Which is great, really.