Friday, July 22, 2011

Mrs. Mr. Right - The Last Name Game


My last name isn't Grant. My editor and I picked the name out of the Baby Name Dictionary because I didn't want to write under my own last name (in an attempt to keep my HR consulting life separate from my writing life). Also I wanted a name near the beginning of the alphabet so that my books would be at eye-level on shelves in stores. I'm sneaky like that. I say all of that but if (when) I get married, I do intend to take my husband's last name personally though I'll probably always write under Grant. 

Several weeks ago, I sat in on one of Dr. Jayme's pre-marital group sessions as research for a short story I'm playing around with. The topic of the class was "What stays in your single life when you get married?" It was fascinating. Instead of giving couples the answers, Jayme lets each person write out a list and then everybody compares notes. One issue that was debated heatedly was whether a woman should take her husband's last name after marriage.

One young lady not only was eager to take her man's last name, she wanted the first name too. Instead of being Mary Smith, she was going to be Mrs. John Doe. Another lady was going to do a mash-up, moving her last name to her middle name so she would be Mary S. Doe. One woman felt that her family name was just as important as his so she wanted to hyphenate. Her fiance didn't care one way or the other. Another woman said she wouldn't change her name because she had worked hard to make a name for herself in her profession. Her future husband felt that she was clinging to her singlehood by clinging to her maiden name. 

Jayme talked about creating unity in a marriage. If one partner feels strongly about the issue, it can be a sticking point for years to come. She also shared a study that showed that women who take their husband's name are seen as warmer but less competent. They're also less likely to be hired for a job and will make about $500,000 less over the course of their lifetime:
Marital name change is not without consequences. Women who took their partner's name appear to be different from women who kept their own name on a variety of demographics and beliefs, which are more or less associated with the female stereotype (Study 1). Subsequent studies show that women's surnames are used as a cue for judgment (Studies 2–4). A woman who took her partner's name or a hyphenated name was judged as more caring, more dependent, less intelligent, more emotional, less competent, and less ambitious in comparison with a woman who kept her own name. A woman with her own name, on the other hand, was judged as less caring, more independent, more ambitious, more intelligent, and more competent, which was similar to an unmarried woman living together or a man. Finally, a job applicant who took her partner's name, in comparison with one with her own name, was less likely to be hired for a job and her monthly salary was estimated [euro]861,21 lower (calculated to a working life, [euro]361.708,20).
Source: "What's in a Name? 361.708 Euros: The Effects of Marital Name Change" from Basic and Applied Social Psychology Volume 32, Issue 1, 2010
That's wild. All of that in a name? So it got me to wondering how BougieLand feels about this. Ladies, will you (did you) take your husband's name when you marry? Why or why not? Fellas, do you expect your wife to take your name? Why or why not? Do share...

178 comments:

Michele said...

Definitely taking my future husband's name.  Why?  Because right now I'm carrying my ex-husband's name ... it just seems like the right thing to do.

bashowell said...

Should I ever marry there's no way I would take my husband's name.  No thank you. 

Diana said...

I don't know...sometimes I wonder if it's futile to think about if I don't even have a man/bf/husband in sight. LOL! That said...I love my last name! I like how my full name sounds together. I don't want to give that up! And what if his last name's not as awesome?!?! These are the things I think about and I hope it's something I can calmly discuss with my boo without him looking at me like I'm cray cray...

Jubilance said...

I've had this conversation with many men, and as of yet, I have yet to hear a good reason why taking a man's name is so important that would make me decide to do it. Going through the hassle & paperwork of changing my name is not an indicator of how devoted/committed I am to him & our marriage. I have been Jubilance LastName my entire life, and yes part of my identity is wrapped up in my name. Men love to use that "It's just a name, not your identity" reason, but if its really just a name, then why do I have to take my husbands? Its just a name right?  I don't want kids, so changing it for the kids isn't necessary either. And while I'm the most important scientist in the world, I have established a career with my current name, with publications & other identifiers, and I do not want to lose that connection.

Every answer for why a woman should take her husband's name has always boiled down to "tradition" and that simply isn't enough of a reason for me. I just need to find a man who knows that my love & devotion to him isn't indicated by whether or not I choose to change my name to his.

bashowell said...

*Family Feud clap*  Good answer!  Good answer!

maureen said...

Great post, and that passage from Basic and applied Pyschology threw me for a loop. Great info nonetheless. Let me  get through these series of meeting. Will be right back.

Miz JJ said...

I found the quote from "Basic and Applied Social Psychology" very interesting about the perceptions of women who change their name. I would not change my last name. I have developed a professional reputation with this name. Perhaps if I were in my twenties, but where I am now? I can't see it. Many of my friends have not changed their last name either. Their husbands did not seem to care and I kind of give a side-eye to dudes who make a big deal about it or talk about it being a deal breaker.

Lady Ngo said...

Man, there was a hooooott, 2-day long debate about this just the other day over at SBM. Personally, i have considered hyphenating, particularly if my hubby is not of the same ethnicity as me. But i'm not set in either direction. So if my husband really feels strongly about not hyphenating and he can give me at least a halfway decent argument for it (and "because im the man and i said so clearly doesn't count) then i'd probaly just change it. But i'll have to explore the idea when the time actually comes. For now im just plain on LadyNgo *insert last name here* lol

Ms. Smart said...

If y'all knew my last name, you'd understand why I intend to change it the minute I get engaged.  To hell with that that study says!  I can work under my maiden name but still change my name.  Lots of my friends do it.

Shah said...

Finally, a
job applicant who took her partner's name, in comparison with one with
her own name, was less likely to be hired for a job and her monthly
salary was estimated [euro]861,21 lower (calculated to a working life,
[euro]361.708,20).


Lines like the above confuse me a little because if you are applying for a job, how does anyone know if you are married and whether or not you retained your maiden name?


Anyway, I was 20 when I got married and I did take my husband's name. Part of it was probably tradition but I also felt that it was part of our joining together. I wanted all of us (him, me & our future children) to have the same name. I was young enough that I was not established in my career so the name wasn't that big a deal to me. And, it was a big deal to him.

 Let's fast forward 20 years to the divorce. While I was going through, people kept asking me if I was going to change my name back to my maiden name. I thought it would be too much trouble changing. I had this name for the last 20 years & I was used to it. My kids have that last name. I was thinking, is it really that serious? Until I actually got my divorce papers. Then there was no more thought, I immediately wanted MY name back, the one I was born with, the one that said ME & not HIM.

So now, if for some reason I was to get married again, I think I will hold onto my name. I'm not having any more children. I like my name. Unity can be expressed in other actions. I'm too old to do something just because many other people do it & have been doing it for years. And if it is that serious to him, then I am with the wrong dude for me.

Foxy Brown said...

Quick story:

Shortly after my grandparents married, my grandmother found herself pregnant and my grandfather unemployed. While walking down the street, he passed a crew digging a ditch. There was a shovel with no man on it. He jumped in the ditch and started digging. He worked the rest of the week and in Friday got in the pay line. The man over the crew was so impressed with my grandfather that he hired him on his permanent team. My grandfather worked for years digging ditches to feed his family.

This is why I am keeping my name.

MichelleG said...

^This right here! Its ironic that I've been single so long because growing up I had every intention of changing my lat name the minute I turned 18 until I found out the cost & hassle.

Anonymous said...

I'm not taking my future husband's last name professionally. I'm known by my current last name, and it was one I chose (long sordid family history), so I'm loathe to just give it up. I may have two last names personally, but I don't know.

SingLikeSassy said...

I added my husband's last name to mine, no hyphen. I didn't lose a name I gained one. Our children would have had both our last names. I didn't and don't care what other people do with their names. It wasn't any more of a hassle to change than it is to change your address IMO.

William Martin said...

First up - how is it that I've met you IRL and didn't know your last name isn't Grant? You are like Fort Knox with that real last name!

Second, I'd like my future wife to take my name but I could see where she wouldn't want to do it professionally.

blackprofessor said...

I have to read that study, it is kind of shocking that taking a husband's name had that much of an impact!

I have always been of the mindset that I would take my husband's name and use my maiden name as my middle name. At this point, I have a publication record and need to maintain some type of continuity with my maiden name for my academic career.

I was raised to be a Southern belle and used to believe that women had to take their husband's name.  Not taking your husband's name was unheard of in my extended family! Thankfully, I have had enough life experiences to know that two people determine what works in their relationship and that whether a woman takes a man's name does not assure that one will have a healthy and happy marital relationship. I know couples who are blissfully happy after decades of marriage where the woman did not take the husband's name, as well as women did take the husband's name.  It depends on the two individuals!    

Grace said...

My name rocks. My husband should take mine. *crosses arms and waits*

EvolvingElle said...

As the traditional girl, I use to think that I would change my last name once I got married.  But seeing as how I'm an only child, I have thought about hyphenating my last name but giving my future children their father's last name.  It's not that big of a deal to me and hopefully it won't be for my future husband, either.  I may just have to be a little vain to see how my "new" name will roll of tongues. Right now, my name sounds pretty good!

Expresso said...

Well, I was in my twenties and considering marriage with my first love, I did not want to take his name or I would hyphenate it. He was not happy-big debate. We never married. When I did get married, I did take my husbands name, that was 21 years ago......we have been divorced for 17 years-HA! I kept the name because I have a son, I liked the name and at the time felt as close to his family if not closer than mine.

I am now in a serious relationship, and it has occurred to me that if I were to re-marry, I want to keep my current name. Now I know that is a little odd, but I now consider it " my name" . Not sure how the current would feel about my wanting to keep my ex's name over taking his......

Strange but true!

SouthernWes said...

The wife and I had a battle royal over this one. She didn't want to change her name. At all. Like ever. She had lists of reasons to keep her name. My only argument was "but I want you to and it means a lot to me" - she finally said what the hell and changed it. I'm old school. I like Mr. and Mrs. SouthernWes.

keishabrown said...

They're also less likely to be hired for a job and will make about $500,000 less over the course of their lifetimeWOW. this is an eye-opener.
More and more of my friends who are getting married aren't taking their husbands name. One is a dental hygienist who with all the different certifications and such, didn't want to deal with the costs/hassles. 

I always wonder what about the kids. I read a story in which a mother was accused of kidnapping at the airport because her name and her child's name wasn't the same. 

Honestly, for me - it's not a deal breaker. AND it MIGHT depend on the name itself. 

I see both sides of the issue, as aren't you told the only thing you have in this world is your name? 

I wonder if it's things like this, that are causing strain in male/female relations. Is it seen as independence/feminism gone too far to the fellas?  

*deep thoughts..imma come back...

datdudeincali said...

On the flip, when I got divorced I told old girl to give the name back. I went very Ike-Turner-what's-love-got-to-do-with-it-but-not-in-a-violent-way "The name stays with me, that's my Daddy's name. It stays with me"

She actually tried to use that as a bargaining chip in the custody arrangement. See why I wanted my name back?

Afro WinterNights said...

Professionally, I would love to keep my last name. My publications are in my last name. I have discussed with my To Be and he is cool with a hyphenated last name (I'm trying to see if I can get him to adopt mine as his middle name, one of my professors did it and I thought that was so cool).
In my culture, women take on their husbands first name as one of their middle names. My Mum did it. It makes for a long name but she is known as Mrs  Hername HusbandsName WinterNights.

Brown Babe said...

I always intended to take my husband's last name when I get married.  As I get older though, I'm leaning more toward the mash-up so that there will be some continuity with my established identity.

I find the quote interesting, I'd like to hunt down the source to find out about the study.  As has been said before, it seems a little odd you're choice of last name would have any bearing on a new job...they didn't know you before.  If we were talking promotions, raises, etc. that would make more sense. IMO

bkbisous said...

When my mom re-married, she asked me if I wanted my stepfather to legally adopt me so that I would have his last name (my legal surname is my mom's maiden name). I all but revolted. 

My name is simple, to the point, and so much of who I am, that I couldn't imagine changing it. The most give I'm willing to take is B_ K_ PartnerName Bisous, no hyphen, second middle name, still rocking B_ Bisous professionally.

I'm vocal enough as a feminist that I don't imagine this ever being an issue for me in a relationship that makes it that far.

OneChele said...

It's lengthy but here's the link to full study: http://tandfprod.literatumonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01973530903539812

GuessImJay said...

I'm Neanderthal, I guess. The name comes with the ring. Period. I can be talked into a hyphen. That's about it.

taut_7 said...

i would expect my wife to take my last name. its not a deal breaker but i would feel some type of way if my wife decided to keep her last name. our children would definitely have my last name. no arguments there. 

GuessImJay said...

Whoa.

taut_7 said...

lol i wonder how long you'll be waiting. 

taut_7 said...

but you want an engagement ring though? isn't that tradition as well? 

md_KG said...

I've never understood why it was so important to men for their wives to take their last names. And like @Jubilance:disqus said "tradition" seems to be the stock answer. That being said, this is one "tradition" that I don't feel any strong opposition to so I'll take his last name. However, if I have established myself professionally under my single name then I'll retain that professionally.

What intrigues me most is the naming of children (first, middle and last names). Where I come from ethnic/tribal identity tends to be strong, so when people intermarry there is always the potential for battle royales over naming rights. Every party wants their ethnic identity to be represented in the child's name and it can get ugly.    

thinklikeRiley said...

Yep, yep. Take the ring, take the name.

AnnettePearl said...

I would take my husband's name. Not a big deal to me at all.

Andrea M said...

If I buy my own ring, can I keep my own name?

Regina said...

I've thought about this a  lot. In my career (journalism) your byline represents your whole body of work. If someone googles my name, it pulls up all the stories I've written (even dating back to college o_O). I don't necessarily want to lose that. Also, my dad only has two girls, so there's no one to carry on "the family name" (I am named after him, and I'll probably name a boy child with our first initial as a tribute).

I think for work purposes (if I'm still doing journalism) I may make my last name my middle name and still use my husband's last name (the Mary Smith Doe example). But I will use his last name for everything else. We'll be united as one house, so having a different name doesn't really make sense to me. "Good morning Bro. Doe! How are you Sis. Smith?" would be so awkward at church, you know?

OwenCinDallas said...

Jayme and I met young, married young and it never occurred to either of us to be anything other than traditional. When she finished her schooling, she wanted to practice as Dr. Jayme Maiden Name. Cue the drama. As much as both of us seat for those degrees? Dr. Carter will see you now.

ccb296 said...

I’ve always seen women who keep their maiden name, hyphenate, or “mash up” their last name as just trying to keep their option open for being single again and they really aren’t that committed to being married.  I think the issue of using a “nom de plume” or a professional name is a completely separate and valid issue.  But I have personally seen where women who have no real body of work to associate with their name still choose to go by some hyphenated last name.  I can think of a specific example where a billing clerk who’s name was (not her real name) Lisa Smith-Jones.

AppleBerryMIA said...

I've always found it awkward when you meet a family and everybody has different last names, the wife, the husband, two kids - what's the story there? I know, blended families, yadda blah. I like things simple. I'm going Amy Bleek (Lord help me). But Amy Berry-Bleek sounds like a twisted fairy tale name and Amy B. Bleek is depressing. I haven't blazed a bright enough trail to be worried about losing the Berry part. As you say, Chele - Le Sigh. Amy Bleek it is.

ccb296 said...

But if you have to buy your own ring, you might want to consider the fact that you don't have a real man.  So maybe he should take your last name then.

ccb296 said...

But if you have to buy your own ring, you might want to consider the fact that you don't have a real man.  So maybe he should take your last name then.

OneChele said...

I could swear I introduced myself with my real name when we met ;-)

rozb said...

I will be taking my husband's last name come October! But I do wonder - is my identity tied up in that last name? Keep in my I will still be Roz B (w have the same initials), but I think it is an honor that he wants to me have his name, and in turn, his family (a family that is so awesome, BTW!).

What about any men taking her last name? Does anybody here know someone like that?

Regina Rdennis said...

 I had a dude tell me the same thing, if he divorced someone he wanted his name back. That seems a *little* petty to me, because what if her career flourished during the time you were married? She wouldn't be able to use the name she built up. And if she had the name for a 20-year marriage with three kids, it should be up to her whether she will give it up.

If the woman was the one who ended the marriage, or who constantly cheated, I can understand asking for the name back...

The_A said...

Oooo you're hurling me back to undergrad social science research & design with this one. I have such a peeve with findings presented in this way. How many women exposed to this tidbit are now questioning the decision to take or not take his last name because they don't want to or that they have already impacted their lifetime earning potential. Truthfully one could also state with relative certainty that women who post on this blog are not named Becky.
 

Correlation is not causation

ccb296 said...

But if you have to buy your own ring, you might want to consider the fact that you don't have a real man.  So maybe he should take your last name.

Pure Choco said...

That's just not true. A lot of women keep their own name because of pride in the family name. If I was a Kennday, I'd keep that ish.

Andrea M said...

If I make more than him and I want a ring that costs more than he can afford, hell yes - I'm buying my own ring. That doesn't make him less real. Maybe he should take my last name. I have zero problem with that.

Sueboney1125 said...

I hypenated my last name when I got married. Hubby (at the time had no problem with it) However, I always used my married name on all documents, never the hyphenated name. When the marriage was over I didn't go back to my maiden name (kids asked me not to). Now since he has re-married there are 2 of us. Not a problem, we all get along great and to my knowledge there is no problem with it.  But if I happen to remarry I do believe that I will take his name (without hyphenation)

LikeLena said...

My girlfriend and her husband both hyphenated. So they went from Mary Smith and John Doe to Mary Smith-Doe and John Smith-Doe.

ccb296 said...

YES!!!  By the way, I love those lips.

ccb296 said...

forever

Cherelle Mattox said...

I struggle on this topic since I come from a family of all girls and my dad is the only man on his side of the family. If I take my husband's last name then nobody will be around to carry on his name and legacy. On the other hand, I'm old school and want to take my husband's last name. I think I've settled on using a variation of my father's name as well as the family name for my future children to carry on his legacy.

Jubilance said...

Would it be nice & would I accept it if offered? Absolutely. Is it a requirement & I wouldn't get married without it? Nope.

I see what you're trying to do, but you know how I roll, I'm not about that double standard life. I never said either of us have to subscribe to traditions.

md_KG said...

"Mary Smith-Doe and John Smith-Doe" might be okay for now but what happens when the Smith-Doe's run into and marry the Thompson-Johnson's? What name do those couples now take? LOL.

GrownAzzMan said...

I don't have any strong feelings about this. I think the woman should decide for herself what she wants to do and I can roll with any decision.

maureen palmer said...

I will take my husband's last when I get married, I'm traditional like that, accomplishments and all. Here is my question for  @Jayme:disqus . How  are employers telling  that your last name is maiden/married name, what if you marry a fellow  Smith? Then again, uncle Sam with his long arm they might snooping on this one too.

Jubilance said...

Who said anything about "having" to buy her own ring? She just said she wants to buy her own ring because it doesn't have stipulations, that's not the same as a man not being able to afford it.

Jubilance said...

So if changing one's name is the indicator of how devoted a person is to the marriage, does that mean that men aren't devoted to their marriages & their wives since they don't change their names, or even offer? Hmmm...

LikeLena said...

I thought it was a hot mess. How do you decide which name comes first? Now everybody gotta change driver's license, passport, bank accounts - too much.

LikeLena said...

Amy Bleek is kind of cute though!

Rob said...

Good answer.

Rob said...

My mother still introduces herself as Mrs. Robert K. Bleek, Senior. She signs checks, correspondence, answers phones, the whole nine with it. There are probably people who have no idea her name is Delores. That's old school but she likes it.

GrownAzzMan said...

Were can I get tickets for the big debate when you share this tidbit?

GrownAzzMan said...

When I got divorced my ex insisted on going back to her maiden name. I think she thought it would get to me. I was like, fine (Kanye shrug)

Deb B said...

When I got married, I took my husband's name. When I got divorced, I gave it the hell back. If we'd had kids, I would have kept it but wanting no reminders - I changed it.

ccb296 said...

That's different, he's the man.  Yes there is a double standard.  And feel free to quote me in whatever feminist manifesto that's keeping y’all single and talking about this topic that is for most of y’all nothing more than a theoretical exercise. 

Evansaw said...

I did not initially take my husband's last name when we first married(for professional reasons) and I was surprised how upset he was at first.  As the years went by, I started to hypenate, and because I don't have a middle name (Mom's choice), I now use my maiden name as a middle name. Everybody's happy.

Deb B said...

Don't. Do. It! I bought my ring because of financial crunch and it was an issue for the entire three and a half years we were married. Had it made into a lovely pendant after the divorce.

ccb296 said...

You do have a point.  If she wants to buy herself a nice piece of jewelry then she should. But an engagement ring should represent much more than what she can afford.  Then again, clearly I’m just old fashioned.

Jubilance said...

Ahhh...and finally the F-word makes it into this discussion. Yet "its a double standard" really isn't a good answer to the question, its like saying "so there!" and sticking out your tongue.

Reecie said...

I plan to take my husband's name

Bryan Anthony said...

My wife didn't want to take my name at first and for all of you all wondering - it feels like a rejection to some of us. We get that you are your own person and all that but all we hear is "I don't want your name". My wife's grandmother shamed her into taking it. And now she loves it. Having last name that begins with "A" has it's privileges.

thinklikeRiley said...

Did she give the ring back, tho?

Penny said...

I have a cousin who wanted to take her husband's name. She had bad credit and he did not.  He refused to let her change her name until she cleaned up her credit.  He did not want any associations with her poor credit history.  For years, I thought she wanted to maintain her maiden name. 

For me, it is just simpler for everyone in the household to have the same name.

md_KG said...

Too much indeed...Lol.

ccb296 said...

Hold on now!  You asked a question, I gave an answer.  That's the way conversations work.  Then what what is your theory?

OneChele said...

He gets the bad credit anyway just by virtue of being the spouse. 

JohnKinPDX said...

I like the idea of my wife taking my name but it's not a dealbreaker.

tiffanyinhouston said...

My last name doesn't sound right hypenated with damn near anything. I took hubs name. It was the only thing he asked of me. I pretty much get what I want when I ask for it (within reason) so if it made him happy, I was happy to do so. My close friends still call me by my maiden name (which happens to be my nickname) anyway.

On a more macro level, I think the whole argument is bullshit. Hold up and let me explain. The point of the feminist movement was to some degree allow women more choices. I see this as yet another argument (like SAHM vs working moms or whether to have kids or not) that divides and conquers women and keeps us from more pressing issues that women have such as gaining wage parity with men.

At the end of the day, the world doesn't stop if you change your name or if you don't. But if you don't wanna change your name and it's going to block the blessing of a wonderful spouse, then think hard and long about whether you want to win the battle or the war.

md_KG said...

"My wife didn't want to take my name at first and for all of you all wondering - it feels like a rejection to some of us. We get that you are your own
person and all that but all we hear is "I don't want your name"


That makes sense but a lot of women don't mean it as a rejection. Some men also take it too far with the whole "You got my name so I own you" schpeel which can be very off-putting. 

"Having last name that begins with "A" has its privileges."

Ha!! Getting to be 1st for anything alphabetical no? 

SingLikeSassy said...

I'd like to add that I am a working journalist with a byline and many awards. I still had no problem taking my husband's name and adding it to mine. I went from First Middle Maiden to First Middle Maiden Married. I am divorcing and not changing it back. If I get married again I'll change it again. My father has a son.

Trey Charles said...

Chele - you know changing your last name to Chase would put you higher up on the shelves.
*flees BougieLand*

ccb296 said...

"You got my name so I own you" schpeel which can be very off-putting" Other than in a Lifetime movie, who the hell does that?

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

I've seen this name thing vary culturally. In the West, the woman's expected to take her husband's family name upon marriage )though we've seen how that has changed), but I've seen in the East where the woman keeps her family name but the children's gets their father's. With this world become more globalized by the minute, this name issue is going to get very interesting in the decades to come.

As for me? *shrugs* I don't know if I would, and I don't know if I wouldn't take my husband's name. Right now, I have my mother's family name - and it is common as dirt. Maybe if the prospect of marriage comes along, my opinion on the matter will be more defined. It's a shame that a woman with her husband's name is seen (according to that study) as more caring, but less competent and intelligent, though.

JaymeC said...

You'd be surprised. I had a guy say that the ring and the name were his "stamp of ownership" on his woman. The whole counseling session went downhill from there. But I've heard men say this stuff time and time again.

JaymeC said...

You'd be surprised. I had a guy say that the ring and the name were his
"stamp of ownership" on his woman. The whole counseling session went
downhill from there. But I've heard men say this stuff time and time
again.

JaymeC said...

We see you Trey. He's going to get you.

JaymeC said...

Amy B. Bleek?!

JaymeC said...

It was a passing thought over ten years ago and ya still talking about it. Lawd, Lawd.

OwenCinDallas said...

Just. Saying.

md_KG said...

Assuming you're not being sarcastic, I'll refer to Dr.  JaymeC 's comment below - "You'd be surprised. I had a guy say that the ring and the name were his "stamp of ownership" on his woman."

Men do say stuff like that. 

OwenCinDallas said...

Wow son.

Singlikesassy said...

And damn that buying my own ring ish. My husband is a teacher/musician and still found enough money to have a ring custom-made me for me based on the ring I wanted the was outside his budget. It is beautiful.

Jesse said...

It seems such a little thing to ask. I give you everything I have to give, you take my name.

ccb296 said...

No i was not being sarcastic at all.  Clearly I don't know enough of these Ike Turner types.  But if that's you're experience, then I'll take your word on it.

David Chase said...

Sir.

OneChele said...

Aw - I still call you TT in my head ;-)

David Chase said...

People are really passionate about this, huh? Personally, I'm the one who would send my woman out in the world with a "Property of David Chase" stamped on her forehead if I could. I've been made to understand that that's not plausible. So yes, I would like my wife to take my name and wear my ring (none of this on a necklace nonsense). That makes me old school. I'm okay with that. And I would only ever be in a relationship with a woman who was okay with that.

MelaninEnriched said...

I'm still debating. My first name doesn't sound right with a lot of names period (I know that sounds silly) so it would kind of depend on the last name and how strongly he felt about it. Hyphenation wouldn't be so bad if there were standards on which name to use, so it's kind of pain with the hyphenation.

All Honey said...

You are doing the utmost today.

All Honey said...

My parents named me Honey, I can't tack that on to just anything? Honey Long? Honey White? Honey Summer? Honey Knight?  No. I refuse to have a stripper name. I'm hyphenating.

MariSol said...

In Spanish cultures they comingle the names, one from the father and one from the mother so what's one more?

mutemia said...

I hope you'll have property of Ms. David Chase stamped on yours. : P

Jeannette said...

I don't have a middle name, so i've always envisioned my maiden name becoming my middle name and taking my husband's last name.  My entire name as it is, is 20 letters long, and there's no way i'll hypenate my maiden and my married name.. aint gone be able to dur it!

Jeannette said...

I know i have one! and the 2nd letter is a "b".... i'm usually first for everything!

Moabmu said...

I hyphenated. Hubby was/is  fine with it. BUT,  it was 'mentioned' that his name had to be in the mix.

David Chase said...

Someone suggested a tattoo "This property belongs to.... please return if found" ;)

mutemia said...

IDK-I'm a youngin'  so it depends on a  whole lot of things. I see marriage as a partnership, and yes while the man is "giving" you a lot with engagement ring the woman if she accepts will also be "giving" a lot to the man.  I might hyphenate I might not but probably not if I like my future husband's. The only place it would matter if my husband's last name sucked like Weiner, Bohener, Mycock,and  Knipl. In that instance we're hyphenating or if he's on board taking my name so my hypothetical children won't be mocked on the playground. : )

Diana said...

Great in theory. I gave everything too. Now what?

mutemia said...

LMAO : D

BlackButterfly said...

None of my options has ever included dropping my name.

If had married young and planned to start a family I would have taken his name and moved my last name to the middle.  If I marry anytime going forward from now (I will not be having any children in that union) I would keep my name or choose to hyphenate. 

Cocoa Winston said...

Ya know?!

Cocoa Winston said...

I wish you could share more about some of those sessions, I have a feeling it would be illuminating.

mutemia said...

IDK-I'm a youngin'  so it depends on a  whole lot of things. I see marriage as a partnership, and yes while the man is "giving" you a lot with engagement ring the woman if she accepts will also be "giving" a lot to the man.  I might hyphenate I might not but probably not if I like my future husband's. The only place it would matter if my husband's last name sucked like Weiner, Bohener, Mycock, and  Knipl. Sorry for the unbougie language but these are all legitimate names.  In that instance we're hyphenating or if he's on board taking my name so my hypothetical children won't be mocked on the playground. : ) 

Jubilance said...

Ok, some Twitter discussion on this topic really highlighted something for me. I'm not opposed to changing my name, I just need a good reason to. And I may decide that my love for him & wanting to make him happy is enough of a reason. But I've seen in almost all the comments from the men, that a woman MUST or HAS to change her name or the whole thing is off, and that's what doesn't sit well with me. Really fellas? Why are you making a demand instead of asking? Do you want a partner or someone you can simply tell what to do? And this shadowing for how the entire relationship will be - you making demands & barking orders & the wife being forced to comply?

A Twitter commenter referenced Christianity & I'm sure for many ppl that's the foundation for their beliefs on this matter. But for a lot of folks a "cause its in the Bible" isn't really an answer...IJS

Jubilance said...

You are absolutely right, this should be about the individual woman's choice. But I see a lot of men dictating, and that point, is it really her choice anymore?

DFig said...

I didn't take my husbands name professionally, because my work (published articles) was already tied to my maiden name. Plus, we are both in a similar field and I wanted it to be clear which Dr. people were referring to. I have seen women professors take their husbands name when they are in the same field and people ALWAYS assume the prestigious Dr. Whoever is the husband, not the wife.

In our personal lives, I am Mrs. HusbandsLastName because it is easier and it was important to him. But he's latin so as someone mentioned you just tack it on at the end.

Cocoa Winston said...

*fist bump*

Mina B. said...

I never knew this was such a hot topic. I got married at what I considered a young age and my husband wanted me to take his name. I didn't have a problem with it and didn't see any reason not to comply. Now that I'm older, I feel more connected to my name and like it really defines who I am now which is different from who I was before I was married. So I think if I remarried I still wouldn't have a problem taking the hubby's name but I would probably make my current last name my official middle name. I don't like the hyphenated names.

Mykeia said...

Welcome back, I hope that you had a wonderful vacation.

Ahhhh, the name question.  I HAPPILY took on my husband's last name and I am so glad that I did.  It was not even a second thought for me to take on his name.  Taking his name was a new start for me and my marriage meant something different for me when I got married.  I don't believe that I am his property and I didn't feel as though I was losing my identity.  Now, fast forward 15 years of marriage later...sooooo glad I took his last name even more so today because the younger set of my family does not always live on the up and up and when people have found out who I am related to, well let's just say I have to explain a whole lot.  

I have a few people in my friendship circle that are doing the name mash-up...The woman's name is hyphenated and so is the husbands...he takes on her last name also...another situation I have a friend doctor Smith in women's history and studies there was no way she was giving up her name and it works for their family, the kids have the hubby's last name.  Do what works for you.

I don't believe in all studies like the above reference because nine times out of ten I never fall into any category and I believe that I have become more independent and have had more successful opportunities now that I am married.  Also, I can't recall ever being perceived as being warm.  (I do see that this is not in dollars but euros...I am sure that makes a huge difference.) 

Comments today as always will be interesting.  

Mykeia said...

One of my favorite posters.  
Great response.  
I love to see other women of color feel comfortable stating that they don't want kids.
E-hugs.

Mykeia said...

It can happen, my friend's fiance is taking on her last name along with his...

diamond life said...

I'm right there with you. I was seriously dating this man with the last name Downes. Diamond Downes? No. Not gonna happen. Hyphen!

md_KG said...

Re: culture, sometimes the Hausas (Nigeria & other West African countries) have the kids take the father's first name as the last name. Don't remember if it works the same for their wives though.

md_KG said...

I know right??!!

Mykeia said...

Huh?
So does your comment mean that her man has to make more money than she does?  If so, wow.

Mykeia said...

Girl, and most of them do!  They keep that tie/identity going! Hahahaha!

GrownAzzMan said...

Nope. All I wanted was free and joint custody. I got both.

GrownAzzMan said...

JaymeC, You know OwernC is a man right. One thing we have in common with elephants...

MochaMuffin said...

Those Twitter discussions, though! Chele went IN!

Mykeia said...

See, I like your mom.
I have signed things Mrs. John Doe and my hubby finds it to be hilarious, but he's like if it makes you happy...

GrownAzzMan said...

Better point. Call me shallow if you like but at this stage of life I can't with a woman with bad credit. I am not #teambackgroundcheck but absent a great reason this would be a deal breaker.

*Ducks behind parked Hummer to avoid the incoming*

Mykeia said...

"I think the whole argument is bullshit."--Dead
" SAHM vs working moms or whether to have kids or not) that divides and conquers women and keeps us from more pressing issues that women have such as gaining wage parity with men."--CO-SIGN!

MochaMuffin said...

For goodness sake, just take the man's name and be done with it. Less drama.
And to answer Chele's Twitter questions - no, I'm not buying my own ring.
No, I don't want my husband to take my name.
Yes, we are both going to war rings.
And if he takes his off before going out, he's in trouble.

GrownAzzMan said...

You missed my comment. I'm #teamyourchoice all day.

Mykeia said...

"But for a lot of folks a "cause its in the Bible" isn't really an answer"---ummm...amen.
Miss me with that...it's in the Bible.

Carey Jackson said...

I'm taking the name. Jackson is not so fancy that I can trade it in.

Mykeia said...

Co-sign, alllllll day long. 

Penny said...

No shots fired from me. :)   This couple married shortly after college (her bad credit was due primarily to job losses which resulted in student loan defaults, as opposed to shoppingitis.)   I know, still not a good look.  However, they have now been married close to 20 years (way before anyone with $29.99 could do a credit check online on you.)

I am with you-I think I am at that stage of life as well.  I won't say bad credit would be a complete deal breaker (not with today's high unemployment and financial messes that have wrecked havoc on many folks) but take the position of my cousin's husband-you would need to straighten out your situation before we became legally responsible together (meaning spouses) for financial issues.

LOL@ #teambackgroundcheck!!!

C Nelson said...

I'm ... doing neither, really. The first time around, I hyphenated; it then became easy to drop his name when we went our separate ways. But I'm not really that fond of my maiden name either; so much so that I gave my children a different last name. I always intended to (and still intend to) take the last name I gave my children, and may hyphenate with my fiance's, or may not. He doesn't have strong feelings either way, and like me he's been married once already -- "Mrs J---" is probably always going to mean either his mother or his first wife to both of us. I'm not a fan of the way taking a husband's last name often makes a woman's lineage all but disappear and be difficult to trace, as if her family and her roots aren't important enough to be remembered.

ccb296 said...

I was just going to ignore your comment, but I have to ask.  When did I indicate in any way that he has to make more than she does?  I understand that men and women think very differently; but I think your interpretation is more of a statement of the value you place on a ring.  Is that the case?

C Nelson said...

I read a story in which a mother was accused of kidnapping at the
airport because her name and her child's name wasn't the same.


I had a couple of those moments; I learned to just take the birth certificates with me whenever we were doing something official or something that meant I needed to interact with security or officials.

OneChele said...

Come out from behind the Hummer sir. I agree. Finances add such a sticky situation to relationships anyway. That discussion needs to be handled early and often. 

GrownAzzMan said...

Great reason: I went in the hole financially helping pay for my mother's chemo. (verified)
Poor reason: I just love the latest designer gear.

OneChele said...

This cracks me up because she is so verrry "Hi, I'm Mrs. Jazz Anthony" now.

Jubilance said...

I saw it & I applaud you. Sadly you're in the minority.

Penny said...

Perhaps I missed it, but, er-future post on this?

Cyn said...

When I married I took on the hubby's last name and used my last name as my middle name.  At first I hyphenated to get people accustomed to the transition and then after while I just used Cyn My Last Name Initial His Last Name.  Ironically, we had the hardest time getting a copy of our marriage license and even feared for a short time that we weren't married so I had never even legally changed.  It was an easy switch back to my maiden.

If and when I get married again I will gladly take on my hubby's last name even though I am far more established now then when I first married.  It's partly traditional and because it's partly a gift.  I see it as the man is offering me his heart, family, name and his promise to be a good provider.  I in turn give my heart, my support and my body to birth his children (if we choose to have them).  That works for the traditonal hopeless romantic in me though.

Angel Blanca said...

I'm late checking in on the fresh bouge today, but I'm living the melting life up here. I've had my maiden name for 44 years.  I'm used to it, and all of my degrees, presentations, and professional publications to date have been earned under that name, so I'm not sure about this.  I am open to adding my husband's name (hyphenated with mine), as a way to demonstrate the coming together and blending of two lives (and histories).  I also want to keep my maiden name as part of my last name because my daughter's last name contains both my name and her father's name; it's important for me to keep that connection with her, even though she's technically an adult.

Those are *my* thoughts on the matter, but really the decision will be something that my husband and I come to together, after much discussion about what it means to change names, how important it is to each of us, and what presuppostional thinking informs our perspectives (sorry, even in the summer heat, I'm a nerd).

Natasha Hunter said...

That last part is my feeling. My Dad is the only male Hunter left in my immediate family and I'm the only child with his last name. I feel some kind of way about that.

OneChele said...

HopeFUL romantic, never hopeless ;-)

TNDRHRT said...

My maiden name will become my middle name.  Current two (yes, two) middle names will be dropped.  I'm taking the guy's last name.

Cyn said...

Good catch. I always say hopeless! Maybe I should quit jinxing myself. 

C Nelson said...

I think the trouble is that the phrasing "should represent much more than what she can afford" sounds like you're saying the engagement ring should be more expensive than the woman could afford to buy for herself -- which would mean the man had to be wealthier than she is.

OneChele said...

I present to you the post on Pimpim' w/o Paper: http://www.blacknbougie.com/2010/07/no-shiggity-pimpin-without-paper.html
Enjoy!

OneChele said...

*snickers behind hand*

Mykeia said...

"But an engagement ring should represent much more than what she can afford."<= that line...you're right, men and women do see things differently.  

Mykeia said...

Thank you, that it what I meant.  

derek love said...

Who wouldn't want a wonderful last name like Love?

Mykeia said...

Thank you, that it what I meant.  C Nelson to my rescue!

Mr. Skyywalker said...

This was never an issue. I said will you be Mrs. Skyy, she said yes. That was that. I never assumed she wouldn't take the name. I guess if she really didn't want to, it would be something to talk about but it never came up.

Joy Andrews said...

I worked like hell to have a decent name in "the business" so professionally, I'm keeping it. Everywhere else I'll be Mrs. He Better Act Right.

Bailey said...

I like Bailey Quincy. So I hope future husband is okay with the hyphen or at the very least, I'd like to be Bailey Q. HisLastName.

Bailey said...

Why play the "this is why you are all single and always going to be" card? It's not relevant to the conversation or courteous to the commenters.Tacky.

Singlelif said...

Here's another who doesn't want kids.  I make a great Aunt, though.  And if I were to ever marry, I'd do the "mashup".

lawsoncomp said...

I haven't perused all of the comments yet, so forgive any redundancy. I want to point out a couple of things. One, it is 2011.  Black people and women are no longer property to be "named". I will call myself whatever regardless of the relationship I have to you.  I happen to be in a very long-term committed relationship with two children.  My children have both of our surnames without the hyphen.  If they choose to, they can be known by either surname.  We are family, and everyone acknowledges us as such.  Two, there are more and more families where the men and the children assume the name of the woman if it's a heterosexual union. In different cultures, there are different rules (know any Ethiopians?). I understand the need for lineal clarity, but love makes a family more than a name.

The bottom line for me is Do You.  If you have an established reputation as an adult woman and are attached to your name, keep it. If you feel the need to establish a new identity as the Mrs., rock on.

Sadzaku said...

I've been wanting to legally change my name for a long time because of one middle name I absolutely detest and never use but it exists on some documents. Plus my first and other middle names are switched on different official documents (long story). It gets annoying. So I figured if I ever get married I might as well just clean up the whole name thing, take his last name and be done with it. Maybe one day I'll clean up the name mess anyway (without marriage) but I'm too lazy to go through changing my name multiple times.

That said, I have very distinctive Ghanaian names and a last name which can't be hyphenated, so it might all boil down to what the whole name sounds like at the end of the day.

lawsoncomp said...

I like your profile pic very much, and I can totally relate to the middle name thing. I love my first and last name, but I want to kick my parent's asses for the middle one. The only good thing about it is the first letter.  It's just too much expense/hassle to change though.

My final thought about this is that I am picking up more than a whiff of insecurity in some of the comments. Given the numbers of the eligible black folk who get married in the first place and the percentage who marry and then divorce, you'd think we'd wouldn't be so "traditional" about the name thing. There are lots of issues in there to examine -- worthy of its own blog post I'd say.

JojoRaze said...

You can legally do that, though?

GammasWorld said...

I took my ex-husband's last name (kept it too) just cause my maiden name was a pain in the butt -- how do you spell that? Where did you Black folk get a name like *that*?  You kin to that other maidennamedude who got arrested last weekend?   

MsJamie14 (CaliSlim) said...

I came from a traditional Huxtable like upbringing, so I intend to take my husbands name. My mom took my dad's name and it was definitely easier to come from a family where everyone had the same last name.

But there is this Berkeley feminist girl power side of me that will mourn the loss of my maiden name. It's more than who I am, it also connects me to my family. My dad doesn't have any sons. Both of my sisters have married and taken their husbands' names so I'm the only one left. And it's weird to have siblings whose last name differs than mine. I definitely intend to make my maiden name my middle name when the time comes.

Rayna-Sybelle said...

I absolutely want my hubby's name. I'll take my maiden name and make it a middle name. I think I've earned that name, and I want everyone to know that I'm his.

CorettaJG said...

I kept all my names, but added his to the end with no hyphen.  I still have it.  Too much of a hassle and too lazy to change it back, especially with professional certificates, credit cards, military records, etc. I'll change it to my new name when I marry again. Not a big deal to me or those around me (I've prospered and been promoted and so have other name changers around me - if anything they were given the funny look if they didn't change their name).  I don't put much stock into that European study.

kjnetic aka Peter Parker said...

i'm pretty much late...and everyone gave interestin' answers...

in the end, it's 2011, everyone will have to work out for themselves.

as for me i'm a traditionalist Captain Caveman. So i would be very happy if the woman who is to be my wife, takes my last name.

if she doesn't...there is a good chance she won't be my wife, simple as that.

CorettaJG said...

Reminds me of Mo' Better Blues. actually :)

jcam said...

I don't know about this study - no offense to Dr. Jayme, but it the findings don't seem to correlate with the tradition and culture of the US. 

It's just within the last generation (I'm 23, so my mother's who is 52) that some women opted out of the tradition of taking their husband's name. The practice of women changing their last names after marriage was normal then and I think I can say with confidence its' still very normal/standard now, with some exceptions. 

So it sounds strange to me that something has been and still for the most part is normal would have negative backlash against women professionally. 

If you think about it, in the working world the people who have the authority in the workplace to make decisions that can significantly impact people's careers in terms of raises, hiring, and promotions are 1) typically older, read my mother's generation where the practice of of changing one's last name was completely common place with no exceptions. 

Hmmm, I wonder what were the demographics of the study and how large was the sample size? Did they interview senior management? co-workers? HR staff? 

Nadette said...

I actually decided when I was pretty young that I would keep my last name in some form or the other , before I really understood WHY I felt so strongly about it. For starters, I'm Nigerian-American and my father who is my Nigerian parent, only had daugheters, and long since passed away. So my name, which is one in a million [literally, anyone in the US with the same last name is a direct blood relative] means a LOT to me in terms of my heritage as well as carrying the family name. And research has shown that there's more to a name than just a name. I feel like taking on my future husband name would change my identity in a sense, and when it comes to marriage, there is already a lot of identity changing going on. So I shall hyphenate my name, and further confuse and confound people with it's pronunciation and length, because it's my perogative. And whomever I marry will inherently have to be cool with that, or I wouldn't be marrying him in the first place.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails