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What is in a name change?

Should men be able to change their names?

  • Yes, It would be great

    Votes: 7 36.8%
  • No, That would just make things to confusing

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • By God that is the name my Ma & Pa pick for me and I will keep it forever!

    Votes: 5 26.3%
  • Other explained below

    Votes: 5 26.3%

  • Total voters
    19

Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,179
Points
25
So with all this name changing going on, this thought comes to mind.
Many of us realize that our identity is actually tied to a number so should we be more able to personalize our own identity by chosing different names, than those assigned at birth?
It has been interesting to see the struggle that the men on Cyburbia have choosing a new name. Little girls are allowed to go through those senerios while playing house.
Little boys are raised to have more little boys and carry on that family name.

Matter of fact, when I named my daughter I chose her first and middle name to sound good together knowing that she would get married and who knows what her name would be.

Should our society allow men to change their names?
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
I think the law should require everyone to keep the name they got at birth. Unless, of course, it is too bizarre or embarrassing. It would save a lot of confusion, plus the money and time spent changing documents every time someone gets married/divorced. The parents would then pick which last name (or combo) their kids would get. My son thinks it's a little embarrassing that we have different last names, so that kind of situation would now become the norm.

I only changed my name when I got married because of extreme family pressure, so naturally I reverted to the "real" me when divorcing.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
The first time I got serious enough to start talking marriage, I wanted my girlfriend to take my last name. Fortunately, I dodged the bullet.

The second time I was in that serious enough a relationship, we talked about hyphenation. I was lucky enough to figure out she was psychotic before we actually tied the knot.

The third time (and now) I could care less if she wants to keep her name or take mine. Unless I marry some twenty-year old (still hoping ;) ) the woman I marry is likely to be well into her career and already have a professional identity. I wouldn't expect her to give that up. Since I don't plan to have kids, there isn't a questions of whose name they will take. I will want some say in naming the dogs, though.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I was just having this conversation at bowling last night. One of the guys is in the mortgage industry, and had a "problem case" today getting someone VA funding because when they got married he took her last name. No one in their office could figure out why. So I had to ask the obvious question -- what is her first name and "his maiden name"? The result made him go DUH: Rachel Green. Who the hell wants to go through life with a bad Freinds character hanging over you everywhere you go.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
My husband is a 'junior' and career army. His dad was career army and retired while hubby was in basic training. And they had bank accounts at the same bank. He got his dad's E-8 pay for his very first paycheck and they had to issue him 'casual pay', which is basically 'cash' (and his dad got 'our' pay -- which did not go over too well with him).

Additionally, his dad's dad has a similar first name to what they have, so, to avoid all of them going by the same 'short' version, grandpa and grandson got nicknames. My husband hated his, with a passion.

My brother has the same middle name as my father's first name but they both go by that same name. So, even though there is no 'junior' or 'senior' in the house, they used to asked 'junior or senior?' when answering the phone because asking 'big or little?' or 'younger or elder?' never made sense to the person who was calling.

Because of all that, not only do we not have a son named 'XX Xone The Third", we didn't give either boy a name remotely similar to 'daddy's' name.

As far as the idea that we should just keep the same name 'for life' or something, I have issues with that. Last names serve a social purpose in that you can trace your lineage, relatives, etc. If you are going to keep one name all your life, then what would we do? Give each child a unique name, having no tie to lineage? That has problems of its own. Give names that name both parents? Can you imagine how long names would get in a few short generations? (Think 2x2x2x2...)

Frankly, I think we would be better off to have a matrilineal system. A lot of evil things are done in cultures that trace lineage through the father because of the desire to control reproduction of the woman -- to make sure her child is also *his* child. Matrilineal societies have no such issue. You are legitimately of that line if you were born of her body, and whether her husband was your daddy or not is irrellevant to property issues and other rights associated with lineage. Anecdotally, it seems to cut way down on abusive, misogynistic practices of all kinds.

(And matrilineal does not imply matriarchal -- a society can trace lineage through the mother and still place power in the hands of men. I would prefer something more equitable than that but when I say matrilineal, I mean Lineage only.)
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
When I first got married, I hyphenated my name since I establish a career and been published under my maiden name. It was the most difficult thing for people to understand b/c they never called me my hyphenated name. I either got one name or the other, never both. Then it caused confusion with the banks and stuff like that. So I just started going by my husband's last name, which really eased things. Although I do keep some things with my maiden name so I can have my own identity. But one of my grandmother's ruins it by writing me and not even identifying me exept as Mrs. (insert husband's name here).

However, I don't think anyone should have to change their last name. It was save the confusion factor.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
What ever happened to the hyphenated name? It seemed to be popular in the 80’s but had died out.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Huston said:
What ever happened to the hyphenated name? It seemed to be popular in the 80’s but had died out.
Hyphens don't work too well in practice (see MZ post above). I just know that I hated being pressured from all sides to give up my name. Luckily, I kept it as a middle name while I was hitched; on my AICP certificate and other non-government documents, I only had to put a piece of tape over the ex's name, and whee, it was me again.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
I think it should be an option.

My sisters and I would be the end of the line for our surname if we got married and changed our names as we have no brothers or male cousins.

When I was engaged, we got to 6 weeks before the wedding and had not resolved the issue of surnames. I wanted to keep mine, he wanted me to take his. Didn't have to resolve it in the end ;-)
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Zoning Goddess said:
Luckily, I kept it as a middle name while I was hitched;.
That is something of a Southern tradition, as I understand it. My sister did that -- she dropped her middle name and kept her maiden name as her middle name when she took her husband's last name. Her middle name never meant anything to her -- she never went by it or anything. So, for her, this was a painless compromise.

As for JNL's point about her surname, that brings to mind the following:
This whole 'naming' business and 'women's lib' are butting heads in a big way, and not just over 'what will she be called when she marries?' A few years back, my sister wanted to give me a plane ticket from her frequent flyer miles program (so I and my kids could fly home for a visit). The rules are written up such that you can give a ticket to a family member. But part of it says "if they have the same last name". I do not remember the rest of it.

She was outraged at the possibility that she might not be able to give her own sister a plane ticket because we no longer had the same last name. If they were going to be real strict about it, this meant that two male cousins whose fathers were brothers could take advantage of this, married or not, but two sisters, one of whom had married and taken her husband's name, could not. Or, even, like ZG's situation, if mom and child had different last names due to divorce and/or re-marriage of the mom. It was potentially highly discriminatory towards women.

She did get the plane ticket for me, but I think the way the policy was worded was sort of thoughtless. I do not think they really thought about how women so often change names when they wrote that policy. And it kind of unthinkingly falls back on the assumption of 'women as property': two sisters aren't really related once they marry because now they belong to the families of their husbands, not their blood relatives. Or: "Real relatives all have the same last name." Sheesh!
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Michele Zone said:


And it kind of unthinkingly falls back on the assumption of 'women as property': two sisters aren't really related once they marry because now they belong to the families of their husbands, not their blood relatives.
OT: when I was "hitched" i had to go into the hospital for a minor procedure, and my spouse was billed. I had a major confrontation with the hospital and would not pay until they sent ME the bill. They made that dang assumption that the man pays all the bills. (Sorry, men).
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Zoning Goddess said:
OT: when I was "hitched" i had to go into the hospital for a minor procedure, and my spouse was billed. I had a major confrontation with the hospital and would not pay until they sent ME the bill. They made that dang assumption that the man pays all the bills. (Sorry, men).
Also OT and in that same vein: I paid the bills for 17+ years. Hubby was in the infantry and was gone up to 6 months out of the year. It wasn't practical for him to pay the bills. In all those years, ONE company had the good sense to notice who signed the checks and to address a letter to *me* when they made some kind of change to the billing procedure. All other mail pretty much came in his name. He never saw most of it because I also handled all the mail (Duh! -- he wasn't there much of the time). It made me very aware of how much of a 'second class citizen' I was. In the eyes of 'the world', I didn't even exist. I guess that, as a homemaker, my first name was "Mrs."

I really had not intended to be a homemaker -- and certainly not for so long. But I chose to do right by my kids, who have special needs and require extra care (particularly my oldest). I graduated high school with honors and had only 2 B's and the rest A's in my first couple of years of college, as a teenager. I always expected to have a jam-up career. Being a homemaker has been very eye-opening and I have concluded that wives are the unacknowledged 'slaves' of America today. By that, I mean that a slave is a person who does not have legal entitlement to the fruits of their own labor and that is true of most wives today. The explanation for that is very long. But I think it victimizes men as well as women. A lot of women are 'gold diggers' because of this social dynamic -- and valuing a man solely (or primarily) for his paycheck is as dehumanizing as valuing a woman primarily for sex.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
Do whatever makes you feel good. Problems will develop with the children. Would the child take on the hyphenated name, and then what happens when two hyphenated named persons marry? And their children?

I was stuck with a hyphenated name. Looks cool at first, but too many headaches (ever apply for a credit card with a 17 character last name?) I dropped the hyphen, and now consider the first part as an additional middle name.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
What's with that tradition in the US? Here we don't do such things... and I bet our society is even more machist that the US (but of course less machist than Afghanistan or any islamic nation).
Women here don't change their last names and if the do their husband's surname goes after her surname; as in: [her name] [Her last name] of [his last name]

My mom had quite a struggle in the US because many people insisted in calling her by my fathers last name... and she got pissed by that...on the opposite side, my brother's teacher's last name changed every semester or so :p
 
Messages
130
Points
6
A little off-topic, but I'll offer these thoughts (what else is a webboard for?)

My wife was a "Smith" before we were married. She abandoned that name with no regrets.

I have a friend named Andy Schaewe (pronounced "shay-wee"), whose wife's middle name is Shae (pronounced "shay"). She kept the middle name when they got married although I told her she should shift her old last name to become her middle name. Did she listen to my wisdom? Oh no. She is now Valerie Shae Schaewe.

Maybe we need to talk about changing more middle names. :)
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,179
Points
25
Very interesting responses but I guess I was looking more for the male response about whether they ever gave a second thought to being allowed to change their names????

And what would happen if both parties decided to just take a new name of their very own?
That whole new name thing happened as people imigrated and they either changed or someone spelled it wrong and they ended up with a whole new twist.

Personally, I am counting on my second hand the number of last names I have had during my life. They just kind of mark chapters of time. I am stil me no matter how my last name is spelled.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
Queen B said:
Very interesting responses but I guess I was looking more for the male response about whether they ever gave a second thought to being allowed to change their names????
I'm a bloke and no I haven't ever thought about it for myself. When I got married I left it entirely up to the little lady because I'm no chauvinist.;)

And what would happen if both parties decided to just take a new name of their very own?
That whole new name thing happened as people imigrated and they either changed or someone spelled it wrong and they ended up with a whole new twist.

Personally, I am counting on my second hand the number of last names I have had during my life. They just kind of mark chapters of time. I am stil me no matter how my last name is spelled.
I am not good at remembering names and for the above reasons reckon that unless your parents had especially twisted senses of humour, keep the original. After all, it's all about me is it not?
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
When we were getting married, I told my wife I didn't have a strong opinion on the surname thing. She could do whatever she wanted. She took my name because she wanted to, and because that was the way she was raised (rightly or wrongly). I would have considered changing my last name, though in this case I'm glad I didn't have to (sorry dear) :)

In Quebec, women keep their last name when getting married. If you want to change it, you have to apply for an official name change.

As for billing, etc. either things have changed recently or are better up here - my wife has had few problems getting acknowledged by banks, etc. Those times that we are out shopping for something "for her" I make a point of getting the salesperson to talk to her if they start talking to me instead. To the point I'll walk away and look at something else (but remain within earshot just in case my wife does something silly ;) )
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
I would never change my name if marrying... because it should be fair enough, for both that none change surnames...

just my 13 chilean pesos :) (2 cents more or less)
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
My first boyfriend didn't like his last name (Spusta) and decided that when we were to marry (which was the plan at the time), that he would take my name. I never really thought of it as weird... I thought it was pretty cool, actually.
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,169
Points
29
Andy Dobson said:
I have a friend named Andy Schaewe (pronounced "shay-wee"), whose wife's middle name is Shae (pronounced "shay"). She kept the middle name when they got married although I told her she should shift her old last name to become her middle name. Did she listen to my wisdom? Oh no. She is now Valerie Shae Schaewe.
Do they know that "shay-shay" is Chinese for "thank you"?


Anyway, everyone is "allowed" to change their name. You can do it "leaglly" by getting a court order (I did that - more an that below). Or you can just change it by starting to use a new name. It's tougher with credit card companies and such, but your name is whatever you say it is, as long as you're not trying to defraud anyone or have any other illegal purpose. So if you want to change your name, just do it.

I changed my name shortly after I got married. I had been considering it for a long time, and my wife, who had decided to take my name, whatever it was, said she was only going to change her name once, so if I was going to do it, I should do it now.

My reasons for changing were mainly that I was XXX, Jr. and I hated not having my own identity, and not having a place on forms to put the suffix (only forms I have ever run into that actually have a place for the suffix are forms from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which makes sense-- being Oglethorpe Fairfax Lee XI is important there). Also my original last name, if mispronounced, as it ofetn was, became a word that means "small and annoying." Sexual connotations aside, I'm tall and annoying and didn't like the ha-has it created to be called small.

I did it by filing a petition with the county court when I lived in Arlington, VA. Cost me all of $10.00. I still haven't gotten a new birth certificate, but that's just a matter of sending the state the signed court order.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,387
Points
26
Before my wife and I were married, she tossed around the idea of hyphenating her name. I was not sold on the idea. We came to a compromise, however. Since she did not have a middle name, she used her maiden name for her middle name. We also named our first child with her maiden name.
 
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