In a name

Because Becky asked.

            The day after we got married, my husband and I opened a joint bank account.  A week after we got back from our honeymoon, I queued up at the Social Security Administration office and changed my last name.

            Now, I am a feminist of the old-school, second-generation type.  I think it is moronic that women feel obligated to change their names and that so many men simply expect it of them.  I am offended by the name “Mrs. J Rosenbaum,” both because it is patriarchal and because it is inaccurate.  My name is not J – that is my husband’s name.  (While we are on the subject, I have a Ph.D., so I ought to be referred to as “Dr. Emily Rosenbaum” if we are getting all formal and correct, although I prefer simply “Ms.”)

            But, I changed my name in an awfully big hurry.  My rationale?  My maiden name was my father’s name.  Either way, I was going to have a man’s name.  Might as well at least have a man I like.

14 responses to “In a name

  1. That makes sense.

    I kept my name because I was the last of 4 girls to marry and all my sisters had given up their last names. I wanted my dad’s last name to stick around a little longer.

  2. You had a good reason.

    I didn’t change my name, because of the old-school feminist thing. And, I gave my daughter my last name – because our one prenuptial agreement was that girls would get my last name, and boys would get his.

  3. Interesting. I didn’t take my husband’s name. I am [Mad Hatter] and always will be. It’s something I would never even have considered even if he had tongue candy for a surname. Instead, his name is something quite close to “Frankenstein.”

    Our daughter does, however, carry his last name–in part b/c his name is dying out whereas mine is one of the most common English surnames. The real reason, though, is that my daughter has my mother’s given name. It would have been too weird for her to carry my mother’s last name as well. The way we’ve done it means that she has carries family tradition in both names.

  4. I never considered not taking my husbands last name. Although I do hate it when someone says you are Mrs. Husbands first name, Husbands last name. I do have a my own first name, thank you.

    I guess I am just traditional in that respect, although what others do is fine with me too.

  5. I took my husbands name. I hate, hate, hate hypenated names. I just hate them. (no offense to others who post how they love them) I was the last in the family to keep my maiden name.

    What’s weird….I always had to spell my last name. (it was Toy). I thought that would be over with my new name and now no one knows how to spell it or say it.

    Yes it’s 4 letters!

  6. I’ve been thinking of changing my last name to my Grandaddy’s.

  7. i didn’t change my name when i married…never even considered it. when i got divorced a few years later, i was ever so pleased that i’d kept that part of things, at least, simple.

    in this relationship, our children have Dave’s last name, b/c he is the last of his line and my name is a dime a dozen…and also i suppose b/c, kinda like you say, i thought the kids should have the name of a man who deserved the title “father.”

  8. yes, yes, I hate when they drop my last name and use only my surname, too (I really hate the Mrs. Man’s first and last name) because no where in there is the name I was given by my parents, or the name I was baptized with

  9. Never felt strongly about it. I changed when I married, then we both changed when a very long and complicated thing happened and it seemed like a good idea. Of course I think Kirk was just well pleased to get rid of a name he didn’t like (aesthetically) so obviously neither of us was particularly attached to any one name or another. Given I went from one unusual name to another and then another I think just for simplicity I’d quite like to be a Brown or something now!

  10. You know how I feel and I understand how you feel as well.

  11. well.
    since I’m not legally married, I still have my name.
    but even if we ever did sign that piece of paper I would still keep my name.
    we’ve argued about it at length.
    He wants us both to hyphenate our names.
    I hate hyphenated names.
    the only reason I agreed to hyphenate our daughter’s was b/c I realized it wouldn’t be fair of me to just give her my name.
    that said, I still roll my eyes a bit every time I see her last name on paper. lol.

  12. well, i didn’t change my name when i got married because i felt that was who i was for 27 years. my husband is fine with it and my kids are fine with it, too. i should be called “dr” also instead of mrs, but it’s funny how that seems to fall by the wayside when it is a woman who is “dr” instead of a man. for example, i can’t imagine any of my male doctor friends making a dinner reservation under “mr.” it is such a larger part of their identity and fulfills expectations of what doctor should look like, i guess.
    i, on the other hand, usually just use my first name…

  13. I sort of juggle two names, which I rather like as it feels as if it offers me two people to be, a professional person and a private one. However, I am expecting one day to be asked to step into the manager’s office in a store where I’ve just offered a charge card and said ‘oh, remind me once again – what’s the name on that one?’

  14. I kept mine, mostly because I was too lazy to change it.

    Can I ask, what’s your Ph.D. in?