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Miscellaneous Discussion of non-Trek topics.

View Poll Results: Where do you stand on the issue of changing a surname in marriage?
I am a married man, and my wife has my last name. 22 21.36%
I am a married man, and my wife does not have my last name. 2 1.94%
I am an unmarried man, and I would want my wife to take my last name. 16 15.53%
I am an unmarried man, and it doesn't matter to me what last name my spouse chooses to go by. 19 18.45%
I am an unmarried man, and I would definitely not want my wife to take my last name. 6 5.83%
I am a married gay man, and my husband has my last name. 0 0%
I am a married gay man, and I have my husband's last name. 0 0%
I am an unmarried gay man, and I would want my husband to take my last name. 1 0.97%
I am an unmarried gay man, and I would want to take my husband's last name. 1 0.97%
I am a married man, and I have my wife's last name. 0 0%
I am an unmarried man, and I would want to take/be open to taking my wife's last name. 2 1.94%
I am a married woman, and I have my husband's last name. 11 10.68%
I am a married woman, and I kept my own last name. 2 1.94%
I am an unmarried woman, and I would want to take my husband's last name. 2 1.94%
I am an unmarried woman, and I have not decided yet if I would take my spouse's last name. 6 5.83%
I am an unmarried woman, and I would not want to take my husband's last name. 11 10.68%
I am a married gay woman, and my wife has my last name. 0 0%
I am a married gay woman, and I have my wife's last name. 0 0%
I am an unmarried gay woman, and I would want my wife to take my last name. 0 0%
I am an unmarried gay woman, and I would want to take my wife's name. 0 0%
I am a married woman, and my husband has my last name. 0 0%
I am an unmarried woman, and I would want my husband to take my last name. 0 0%
Other. 2 1.94%
Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 28 2009, 05:48 PM   #1
Daneel
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Marriage and changing one's surname.

There have been some threads in the TNG and Voyager forums recently that have discussed how common it is in the 24th century for a woman to still take her husband's name upon getting married. Some have even speculated that it might not be uncommon for a man to take his wife's surname, especially given the various alien cultures and inter-species marriages seen in the Trek universe.

It got me thinking: what are our attitudes towards this today? Do we still expect a woman to take her husband's name? Have we reached a point where it no longer matters to most of us? I'm very curious to see the results.

Myself, if I were to get married (not bloody likely!), I personally would not care one way or the other if my wife took my last name or not. I mean, it's her life, and she can call herself whatever she wants to call herself. If she did, for whatever reason, choose to take my surname, that would be fine, but honestly, I think I'd kind of hope she didn't. IMO, the tradition of a woman taking her husband's name is an archaic holdover from a time when women were considered a man's property, and the change in name simply indicated a transfer of ownership from her father to her new husband. But as I said, I'd leave the choice up to her, and whatever decision she makes, I would respect it.

So, what say the rest of you?

Last edited by Don't Eat Yellow Snow; March 28 2009 at 09:30 PM.
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Old March 28 2009, 05:57 PM   #2
FalTorPan
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

I'm neutral about which spouse does or does not change surname, assuming either does at all. I do wonder what happens with a child's surname when neither spouse changes surname. Do the parents just pick one of the surnames? Do the surnames become combined and hyphenated? What if this were to continue over multiple generations? I can imagine someone having a surname like Metzger-Dodsworth-Okragly-Roberts-Krause-Hoffman-Buckley-Dickens.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:03 PM   #3
LaxScrutiny
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

Daneel wrote: View Post
There have been some threads in the TNG and Voyager forums recently that speculate on how common it is in the 24th century for a woman to still take her husband's name upon getting married. Some have even speculated that it might not be uncommon for a man to take his wife's surname, especially given the various alien cultures and inter-species marriages seen in the Trek universe.

It got me thinking: what are our attitudes towards this today? Do we still expect a woman to take her husband's name? Have we reached a point where it no longer matters to most of us? I'm very curious to see the results.

Myself, if I were to get married (not bloody likely!), I personally would not care one way or the other if my wife took my last name or not. I mean, it's her life, and she can call herself whatever she wants to call herself. If she did, for whatever reason, choose to take my surname, that would be fine, but honestly, I think I'd kind of hope she didn't. IMO, the tradition of a woman taking her husband's name is an archaic holdover from a time when women were considered a man's property, and the change in name simply indicated a transfer of ownership from her father to her new husband. But as I said, I'd leave the choice up to her, and whatever decision she makes, I would respect it.

So, what say the rest of you?
When I married, we were both lefty progressive feminist types, and I didn't care one way or the other.

My ex strongly felt that our (eventual) children should have the same last name as both of us. For her, the common last name was "family". She was lefty progressive feminist, but she still had some fairly conservative upbringing and she didn't want to be constantly explaining herself, and she also wanted it clear that the children were "both of ours" ie that they had one father, one mother, we were all a family. In our downtown urbane neighbourhood with mixed incomes and such, this wasn't necessarily common.

A side issue for her, she was of Polish decent, but her name had been anglicized. I was, by coincidence, also of Polish decent (both our families had emigrated in the 19th century) but had a Polish last name, which she thought was cool. I have no particular attachment to my name or heritage and would have just as easily have changed my name to hers if it was a cool name like "Vormulac" or "Deathshead"...

Anyway, she changed her name to mine out of sense of family and heritage. Then we divorced and she now hates my guts, jokes on her .
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Old March 28 2009, 06:15 PM   #4
Daneel
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

Okay, I've added a poll now (my first one, actually)... man, that took awhile.

My apologies if it seems like there's way too many choices, but I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases (and I'm still not entirely sure I did).
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Old March 28 2009, 06:19 PM   #5
LaxScrutiny
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

You forgot options for bisexual men and women in polyamorous relationships, and transgendered folk.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:20 PM   #6
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

I'm not married, but if I ever am, I would leave it up to my wife what to do about her last name.

I don't know if I could take hers, though. I'd have to talk to my dad first.

Yeah, I know, I'm an adult and I can make my own choices, but my dad gave me everything - including my name - and if I ever changed it, I'd want to clear it with him first. I owe him that much, at least.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:23 PM   #7
Daneel
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

LaxScrutiny wrote: View Post
You forgot options for bisexual men and women in polyamorous relationships, and transgendered folk.
Let's file that under "other", shall we?
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Old March 28 2009, 06:26 PM   #8
Mallory
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

I got married over thirty years ago and my wife changed her name. That was still the expected practice at the time. My brother got married a few years later and his wife kept her maiden name. All of his kids have his surname though.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
I'm not married, but if I ever am, I would leave it up to my wife what to do about her last name.

I don't know if I could take hers, though. I'd have to talk to my dad first.

Yeah, I know, I'm an adult and I can make my own choices, but my dad gave me everything - including my name - and if I ever changed it, I'd want to clear it with him first. I owe him that much, at least.
That's just all kinds of sad. You're a grown adult, make your own damned mind up when it comes to your life. Your parents don't have control over you for your entire life.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:28 PM   #10
iguana_tonante
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

Daneel wrote: View Post
Myself, if I were to get married (not bloody likely!), I personally would not care one way or the other if my wife took my last name or not. I mean, it's her life, and she can call herself whatever she wants to call herself. If she did, for whatever reason, choose to take my surname, that would be fine, but honestly, I think I'd kind of hope she didn't. IMO, the tradition of a woman taking her husband's name is an archaic holdover from a time when women were considered a man's property, and the change in name simply indicated a transfer of ownership from her father to her new husband. But as I said, I'd leave the choice up to her, and whatever decision she makes, I would respect it.
Same here. I would leave the choice to her, but I think that the process is chauvinist to begin with, so I would hope that she won't.

However, it's mostly academic, because here in Italy in the last 30 years it's very rare for a woman to change name upon marriage. If a woman want to take his husband's surname, she would have to go with the same procedure for anyone that want to change their name for any reason.

Children are usually named with the father's surname, but that attitude is changing too. A name is a name, nothing more. When we will have children, we will talk about it. Personally, I think it would be cool to merge the surnames and get something unique, so the offspring of John Smith and Jane Brown would be Jason Smown and Jessica Brith.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:30 PM   #11
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

JonathonWally wrote: View Post
Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
I'm not married, but if I ever am, I would leave it up to my wife what to do about her last name.

I don't know if I could take hers, though. I'd have to talk to my dad first.

Yeah, I know, I'm an adult and I can make my own choices, but my dad gave me everything - including my name - and if I ever changed it, I'd want to clear it with him first. I owe him that much, at least.
That's just all kinds of sad. You're a grown adult, make your own damned mind up when it comes to your life. Your parents don't have control over you for your entire life.
That's funny, I wasn't aware that actually having respect for one's parents was so out of fashion.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:34 PM   #12
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

I've no interest in marriage but if I were to change my wife on that I'd never want my wife to change her name for me. It seems so very silly.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:55 PM   #13
K'Ehleyr
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

That's the biggest poll I've ever seen

And the most confusing answer you're going to get;

I was an 'unexpected gift' in the 60's. My Mum married another guy and I was given his surname. As I was bought up by my Grandparents I went through a stage of wanting to take their surname - my Mum's maiden name.
I have a son - his surname is doubled, I had a feeling I was not going to marry his father and wanted my son to carry my name ~ which isn't really mine to start with. (Children out of marriage seem to run in the family)
I have a man who I'd love to marry and I'm leaning towards taking his surname ~ if it happens.
But then what to do with my son?

FalTorPan wrote: View Post
... I do wonder what happens with a child's surname when neither spouse changes surname. Do the parents just pick one of the surnames? Do the surnames become combined and hyphenated? What if this were to continue over multiple generations? I can imagine someone having a surname like Metzger-Dodsworth-Okragly-Roberts-Krause-Hoffman-Buckley-Dickens.
Exactly

I'm really considering doing what a friends Father did and just create a surname. I mean 'Dubois' is quite cool

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post

That's funny, I wasn't aware that actually having respect for one's parents was so out of fashion.
Stick with it Baba, if you are really proud of your family and their name, then keep it. Definately. And if you do marry and she doesn't want to take your name, double it up.
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Old March 28 2009, 06:59 PM   #14
Alpinemaps
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

Been married for 10 years now, and Mrs. Alpinemaps does not have my last name.

When we first got married, she tried to change it, but it was too much trouble (go to the bank, they refer you to the DMV, who refers you to Social Security, etc).

Two years ago, while she was pregnant with Little Miss Alpinemaps, she tried again. But, we didn't bring the proper paperwork with us to Social Security, she got mad (don't cross a pregnant woman! ), and we left. She hasn't gone back.

To me, it's not a big deal. I know she's married to me. That's really all that matters.
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Old March 28 2009, 07:06 PM   #15
RJDiogenes
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Re: Marriage and changing one's surname.

This is one of my pet peeves; it really disturbs me that this custom is still practiced. If I were to decide to spend the rest of my life with a woman (and I don't believe in marriage, so it shouldn't even be an issue), I would never expect her to change anything about herself, including her name-- if I love her that much, why make changes? Of course, I couldn't tell her what to do and if that's what she wanted, it's her Right to do so; but it would definitely bother me.
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