Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life in the kitchen and out of it. She has a weekly food column on CBC Radio One, Here & Now. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to university student, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman and Instagram. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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« Strong Reaction to Name Changing | Main | Closet Catch-up »
Thursday
Feb042010

I Am Not a Mrs.

I don't have a maiden name nor a married name. I have a name. And my name is Emma Waverman. It is the name I was born with and the name I write under; it’s the name on my birth certificate and degrees, the one the kid's school uses when they call and what I answer to. In short, I did not change my name.


I kept my name because it is who I am. My husband I met when we were young but our marriage is a partnership. Changing my name would have meant that I was subsuming myself to be part of a married unit. Marriage may be about compromise but it’s not about bending to an archaic traditional view of husband and wife.


I  am sure its nice for the whole family to have one name, and it’s nice to have the same name as your kids. And sometimes when we travel together I feel like the odd-person out. And sometimes it is confusing. But so what? None of those reasons were good enough to convince me to throw out my name and take my husband’s. And yes, the kids have my husband’s  name and they have Waverman in there as a middle name, so yes their legal names are long but it makes it a lot easier when crossing the border.


184923443v7_350x350_Front_Color-White[1] Sorry to get all judgy on you, but if you changed your name then I have lost a little respect for you. I am sure people have lots of personal reasons to want to jettison their last name. But the tradition of changing one’s name is straight from the patriarchy, it denotes ownership clear and simple. I never considered doing it, and I am a little bit shocked when people I know and admire do.


One of the most romantic conversations my husband (then fiancée)and I had was on this topic. A few days before the wedding I said to him: Is there any part of you that wants me to change my name? His answer: You wouldn’t be you if you wanted to change your name.


That is my kind of romance.


I understand that most women change their names because they want their family to be a unit. I find that faulty logic – you are a unit, it doesn’t matter what your last name is. A name doesn’t make a family.


In fact, my mother and father have been divorced for 35 years and she still has his name because she didn’t change it back when they split and she didn’t take her second husband’s name. So she lives on with her other husband’s name. Understandably but maybe a little cynically, she advises just to stay out of the whole mess and stick with what you were born with.


We have friends who combined their last names into a new name, and friends who combined their middle names into a whole new name (Benjamin and Marie into Benmar). We have friends who have both hyphenated, or just the woman hyphenated or just the kids. And it all works out.


In Quebec it is extremely difficult to change your name because of marriage and it seems like the tradition is dying in Canada. But in the U.S. the last estimate was that 90 percent of women change their names. We lived in the U.S. for two years after we were married and I was shocked at the amount of pressure and questioning I got for keeping my name. From credit card companies to our landlord; everyone made me feel like I was some kind of pariah for not being a Mrs. . But that is better than crying a few weeks before my wedding like my cousin did because she wanted to keep her name and her mother was forcing her to take her husband to-be’s.


The Lucy Stone League is an American organization that is committed to “equal rights for women and men to create, retain, modify and keep their own names”. They are named after Lucy Stone (1818-1893), a suffragette who famously said, “ "A wife should no more take her husband's name than he should her's. My name is my identity and must not be lost." She was also the first woman to legally keep her name after marriage.


And now that same-sex marriage is legal: do we expect partners of the same sex to change their names? Probably not, we only expect it when it is a woman and a man. And why is that?


184923440v16_350x350_Front[1]


T-shirt and stickers available at http://www.cafepress.ca/lucystone


UPDATE: There were lots of opinions for and against on this post. Click here for some of my thoughts and check back on Monday when I will gather up some of the most thoughtful posts on both sides of the issue.


Don't want to read all the comments? Read my comment round-up.

Reader Comments (485)

I was excited to take my husband's name. I don't mind being "owned" by him. Anyway, it was nicer than my maiden name. In some cultures one changes their names when significant life events happen. The name represents who they are and where they've been. I think marriage is a significant event. Changing my name represented me starting a new life. I have many names. Nick names. A Hindi name. Soon I'll have a Hebrew name. I love my many names.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa
Its your choice and I respect that but it strikes me you do not want anybody telling you what to do or owning you. Well the truth is when you marry some one you do belong to each other and that means giving up some personal freedoms as you commit to each other.If thats too big a commitment then please stay single, marriage is not for you!No wonder western women are struggling to find partners, this attitude puts men off even approaching you, its becoming a real battle of the sexes and women are going to be the losers when all this pc pans out over time.The media is messing with womens heads big time, even they do not know what they want now.

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Rodgers
you're contradicting yourself.

"A name doesn’t make a family", however, you seem to think that a name can make a person, "I kept my name because it is who I am".

i have friends who have changed their names, and friends who haven't. i have my feelings towards those of you who haven't changed your names. but i don't bash them or tell them i've lost respect for them.

here's to losing respect for you.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralison
Three cheers for Emma Waverman!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
Wow. I heard every one of these arguments when I got married as well but they were directed at the opposite point because I CHOSE to change my name. Its about choice either way. No one forced me to change it. I did it because there were a lot of things that I liked about changing my name. I have nothing against my birth name (which by the way is the name I inherited from my father- how's that for patriarchal?). The fact that the author is passing judgment on me or any other woman who didn't choose her path is at least as obnoxious and self-righteous as anyone questioning why she wouldn't change her name. Possibly even more so. Demanding that women buck tradition for the sake of bucking tradition or they will be looked down on by more "enlightened" females is garbage. That is just another way of taking away a choice that should be freely decided for each individual. It should not dictated by either forced convention or forced nonconformity.

Its a choice. Plain and simple. If I had chosen to go against my own feelings and kept my name because a self-righteous observer would pass judgment on me, I would be no better off than changing my name just because someone told me I should. I have equal respect for women who choose to make the change or not as long as they are doing it for the right reasons and are being guided by their own conscience and feelings. The only time I lose respect is if someone goes against her own ideals or beliefs simply to conform to either "traditionalism" or "modernism".
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennie
IF when I get married I take my husband's last name, you shouldn't judge. Of all of the things to judge someone on that would tear people down and attack their self-esteem this seems pretty trivial.

Changing names is a personal opinion. I'm shocked at your attitude towards it. I am a pure egalitarian who believes that marriage is an equal partnership between two people but we live in a society where for the convience of the family it is just easier. Again I said a big "IF" at the beginning of this post because I myself struggle with what I will do when I get married.

I just think it is wrong to judge people for their name choice. Good for you and your personal decision but seriously, get over it!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Wow, Keith Rodgers, that comment is scary. Patriarchy at work.

I am certainly grateful that my husband does not have this attitude towards marriage and I imagine that neither does Ms. Waverman's.

I think you and Alisa both need to ask yourselves one thing - why is it always the WOMAN in marriage that needs to give up the most "personal freedom" and its only the woman who must be "owned"?

I'm totally disgusted with your threat against women in this "battle of the sexes". If I had to choose between marrying a sexist, oppressive man who expected me to give up my identity and submit to his, or being alone, you can bet that I would choose to be alone.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkcs819
Usually, Emma, I agree with most things you write. But I'm actually offended by this entry. I respect your choice to keep the name you were born with because your reasons are obviously very important to you. That said, the reasons I had for changing my surname when I married were/are equally important to me. How dare you pass judgement on other women for simply making a different choice than you? No matter where the custom originated, or what symbolism you chose to read into it, taking one's husband's name means something different to every woman who choses it. Surely we all have different, bigger, and more important issues to delve into than something so trivial.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
This is one of the worst blogs I have read in a long time. Belittling traditional woman for taking their husband's name? "I have lost respect for you".

I didn't take my husband's name because he OWNS me. I make most of the financial decisions in our family. And believe me, his name is ethnic, and I am not, so I didn't do it for the love of his last name. I still roll my eyes when my name is called at the clinic and everyone is shocked to see a caucasian woman standing when it should OBVIOUSLY have been a cantonese woman. I took his name because to me, that is a symbol of love. We became a family unit, and as such, we are all under the same name. He would gladly of taken mine, but I am very traditional. It's a RESPECT thing... you know, the thing you lost as soon as I let you know in my post I changed my name?

So what's next cupcake... you going to start bra burning now? Are you dis-respected when a man opens the door for you?

It's a personal choice, and maybe you should remove the stick up your a$$ so you can see that.

PSMSN: Please stop putting this kind of crap up. It only fuels the opinion of morons like this that they are free to "disrespect" women for a personal choice.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
It's your choice, and i won't judge you, but you have no right to judge my wife for taking my name. in saying that you have lost respect for women who change their names, i think you lost quite a bit of it yourself.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKory Michael
I am one of those women in Quebec you mention and I would love to change my name but can't. They have stripped me of my right to chose. No doubt some male politician who had daughters came up with the law about name changes. I feel choice is more empowering than being told what to do. I think every woman or man for that matter, should be able to chose their last name upon marriage. A person's reasons are their own, and the fact that you lose respect for the choices people make, shows how narrow your field of vision may be.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I think that it is completely up to the individual wether or not to change their name. The whole tone of the article is mean. Especially "if you changed your name then I have lost a little respect for you", well that attitue has made me lose a little respect for you.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
Dear Emma, I like you kept my name and for me there was never any thought that I would change it ,changing it would have made me feel like a piece of chattel.My husband never assumed that I would take his name and he and my daughters are both proud that I kept it.If you want proof that this is still a patriarcal idea thaen ask your husband to be if he is willing to flip a coin to see what family name you will both go by.Tails, you take his name and heads he takes yours .I have yet to meet a man willing to do this .
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjohanne
Ridiculous. You shouldn't measure your self worth by your last name. Don't lose respect for women who make decisions based on reason, convenience, and their families instead of how it makes them look and feel. You earn respect, you can't demand it.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT
I really couldn't care less if my future wife changes her name or not. I knoe couples who have done it both ways. No biggie.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Schmoe
You lose respect if someone changes their name? Well, that is really your own problem, not the other person's problem, and it is your own choice if you want to keep, maintain, and promote prejudiced, and bigotted views. Your identity is far bigger than the name you are called at birth. Your identity is changed, manipulated, influenced by the people you are connected to, both by circumstance and by choice. Your resistance to assume your husband's surname is an issue that goes far deeper than just changing your signature, if you are really honest with yourself. You have a significant fear connecting to other people in general, and you are clearly compensating for this by writing some twisted perspective about being "subsumed" within the context of marriage. Your essay suggests you really have not done sufficient research about what a "traditional" marriage is, only what a "contemporary" marriage is at best, using only examples that have not epitomised the reverance of marriage. Your husband's colleagues must be laughing pretty hard at him, after reading your post.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin L
You lose respect if someone changes their name? Well, that is really your own problem, not the other person's problem, and it is your own choice if you want to keep, maintain, and promote prejudiced, and bigotted views. Your identity is far bigger than the name you are called at birth. Your identity is changed, manipulated, influenced by the people you are connected to, both by circumstance and by choice. Your resistance to assume your husband's surname is an issue that goes far deeper than just changing your signature, if you are really honest with yourself. You have a significant fear connecting to other people in general, and you are clearly compensating for this by writing some twisted perspective about being "subsumed" within the context of marriage. Your essay suggests you really have not done sufficient research about what a "traditional" marriage is, only what a "contemporary" marriage is at best, using only examples that have not epitomised the reverance of marriage. Your husband's colleagues must be laughing pretty hard at him, after reading your post.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin L
Actually, I couldn't care less one way or the other. I say do whatever makes you happy, but don't judge others too harshly either. Everybody just chill.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Schmoe
When people comment that I didn't change my name when I got married I reply that my husband didn't change his, either.

If the argument is truly about freedom of choice, then one must ask how many men express this freedom. I haven't met one man yet who changed his last name to his wife's. So the choice itself is on unequal footing.

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
I lost a little respect for you reading this. Very judgemental.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAK
Thanks Alison, you said it well.

I hope Emma didn't partake in any of the other wedding "patriarchal" traditions such as exchanging rings, having a father figure walk you down the aisle and give you away, saying vows, etc. In fact, I am not sure why someone with her nontraditional views would partake in such an "archaic tradition" like marriage in the first place.

Having your own traditions is great, and choosing to keep your own name is certainly a personal choice, but losing respect for people who choose to carry on their own traditions and change their name seems very immature and an uneducated way to make yourself sound "liberated." Liberation is about making your own choices about how to live your life.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertiff
I find it interesting that the issue of a woman keeping her own name is such a hot topic, but meanwhile no one seems to question that the children of a marriage should still take the fathers name. Isn't that also denoting ownership...his ownership of the children? why can't the children take on the womans last name...or half the children take on her name and the other half his? After all, there is already more than one last name in the family....why should the woman be the odd one out?
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkim
Love the post Kevin L! Very observant!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,Nor arm, nor face, nor any other partBelonging to a man. O, be some other name!What's in a name? that which we call a roseBy any other name would smell as sweet;

I have ZERO respect for someone who would judge someone else based on a personal decision such as this. The authors’ lack of tolerance towards others simply baffles me. It is one thing to defend the choices that you have made in life but to do so by attacking the choices of others is disgusting.

Get over it honey.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. PW
The hardest part about changing my name was my signature, that was the biggest adjustment. You dont lose who you are with a name, I am still who I was with or without my old last name. I refer to myself by my mom's maiden name and my dad's name I am a part of those families just as much as I am a part of my husbands family.I feel more a part of his family because I share that name with them. I never looked at it as being owned and I am a strong believer in womens independance. It didn't matter to me to change my name or not, it was important to my husband. My brother married a Nicole and it was easy to not have to have the same name as her as she changed her last name to mine. I think that we should all have choices in this matter without being judged either way, if your partner doesn't understand your choice then thats their problem and their insecurities. And I have gay friends and one of them did take the name of the other so... I think there are bigger things in life to worry about then a name, because if thats all that defines you then there are larger issues you need to deal with.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
I was happy to take my husband's last name. I am honored to be a Mrs. I earn that "r" in my title every single day. His ex-wife also still has his last name. That doesn't make her part of our family unit, nor does it means he "owns" her. Don't apologize for getting "all judgy" on us, then go ahead and do it anyway. Personal decisions about personal lives are just that: personal.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mrs.
You are an idiot - you lost respect for me?....I am proud to bear which ever name I choose to use...maiden or married. I chose my husbands name....You are too INTO yourself! Explain to your kids why YOU have a different name then them...not good enough for you to take but ok for your kids....whatever lady.....
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterProud to be a MRS.
Wow. Talk about over the top, judgmental, eh? It's this kind of narcissistic b.s. that really ruffles my feathers. When I got married, I change my name -- I am not close to my family at all and I "jettisoned' my name in exchange for my husband's. We're family, why not? I in NO way, gave up who I was, nor did that change in any way. It was a sentimental, emotional thing that I did and I was very proud of becoming part of his family...

Regardless? It's not yours or anyone's business as to why or what or who or how I changed my name... I just find your article so over the top judgmental, it was really hard to find any charm in it.At all.And I am a very open minded person -- you should check into that sometime, it might open your writing scope up a bit...
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia
*rolls eyes* here we go, another feminist with a " Ooh, look how I'm standing up against male oppression by not taking my life partner's name in ceremonial bliss" attitude What the hell did you hope to accomplish with this article?Thousands of married women in marching down to the DMV to change their names back? . I'm sick of you fucking bitches whining that men are the oppressers, when no, they are NOT. It's captialism that you should be aiming to change, not trying to turn men into YOUR sumissives ( Wellgosh darn it if that isn't a double standard!) You and you sucky attitude are what gives feminism a bad and hated image. I wasn't "forced" or "oppressed" into chaging my last name, I chose to, because by being married means I am welcomed into a new family and a new life. To me, a name does mean family. It means I'm the Wife of a man I've loved since i was seven years old. You really want to feel free of male oppression, lady? Then get a fucking divorce and raise your children as an independant single mother. Then you'll see how good it is to be free of men ruining your life. That's my take and I'm sticking to it.
Emma - I didn't realize that when you changed your name you had to destroy/delete/forget all memories of your past when you had a different name.

I have lost a little respect for YOU for writing this column.

I embraced the name change as I feel that I was not a complete person before I met my husband. He has completed me, we have joined as one, and to do that, I graciously took on his name. It was my choice, he asked me if I wanted to keep it, and I told him no.

I will have his name for some 60 - 70 years of my life, whereas I had my birth name for 25 years. More of my life will be spent with my husband and the family I have created with him. This is where I make even more memories to cherish.

Another argument, for your children's sake, how will you feel when they are confronted by other children at school about why their parents have different names. They will grow up without that identity of being a family "unit" as you call it, having to explain time and time again their family situation.

It may be harsh, but for those reasons (and I have many more that I have not listed) I think women are SELFISH for keeping their birth surname.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrittney T
I completely agree with Mrs. Kennie's post.

I find it appalling that you're judging women because they are making a CHOICE to change their name. How on earth do you feel that you have the right to "lose respct" for women because they are making a PERSONAL decision??? By attacking the choice a woman is making, you're attacking the women's movement all together.

You sit there and quote suffragette's and act like a woman who's "fighting for women's rights," but all you are is a radical feminist wannabe who gives modern feminists a bad name.

There are numerous traditions that start off with different values and purposes, but over hundreds of years, these change. You seem to be stuck in a past that is exaclty that, the past!

So let me ask, when your little girl grows up, and possibly marries...will you lose respect for HER if she decides to take her husband's name??

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRae
I am supposing the name you were born with is your Father's? So you are climbing onto your high horse to proclaim you are keeping your FATHER's name.

Taking my husband's name was not about me, it was about cohesion for my future children. Frankly we discussed him taking my last name, we felt his name needed to be passed on due to the line dying out. Don't assume every family with one name has not had enlightened conversations about who they are and what they choose for their family. That just makes you look ignoragnt.

I judge people who lump their children with mulitple names. By society norms people want to belong, it is in our DNA. Anthropology 101. You choose to stand apart by making partial hyphenated names know that you are swimming upstream from your natural instincts. You admit in your article that it can be confusing, imagine your children's maze? Will they hyphenate their hyphenated names?

One final thing Ms. So-And-So...chances are in life you are one of these people who are difficult and entitled because that is the general perception most the world makes about people with hyphenated names. You wouldn't relise that because you are so self absorbed with being you. Your hyphenated names makes me inconvenienced when I have to process any of your paperwork, or try to figure out who belongs to who in your families.

Really judge all you want single name families but do not think they are not judging you in return. You think less of women who change their names? Well I wouldn't think much of a woman who is ignorant in thinking that keeping or changing your name denotes ownership. I am my own mind and person and if it was deemed I change my name again tomorrow it would not change who I am at my core. Maybe you are of lesser stuff and be made malliable by change. That's unfortunate for you but luckily your sort do not often understand this....it is the price of self absorbtion.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Rowland
You are FULL of yourself...OK for your children too take your husband's last name but not you...you are an idiot to have lost respect for people who take on their husbands name...get over yourself lady
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterProud to be a MRS.
Emma,

This has been very interesting reading. I do agree on the concept that women no longer have to go by their husbands surname to be a unit. I do disagree that you have less respect for the people who have freely wanted to change their surnames. We all have a right to do what we please and we should respect each others decisions even if we don't agree with it.

You need to also remember that no matter what surname you carry you will always be who you are.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPauline
Wow. Here's to losing respect for you is right. A name is just a name. I wanted to change back to my maiden name after my divorce, but I felt it would insult my sons. So I haven't and probably won't unless I re-marry. My name doesn't make me who I am. It's annoying to me now, but people know me and like me for the person I am, not the label I have. I don't suppose you have any 'pet' names either, or would succumb to allowing one...seeing the it might change 'who you are'. It's a personal thing and really none of your business what other people choose to do.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
It's a choice, and my wife chose to keep hers and add mine with a hyphen out of respect for both families. I know couples that have done the addition both ways (and for the record, they just went in the order that sounded better). I didn't because her last name is the same as my first name, so it would've sounded really weird. eg. Clark Kent marries Valerie Clark, so she became Valerie Clark-Kent. I would've become Clark Clark-Kent (Who's on first...). However, losing respect because someone chose to sacrifice out of love and respect (or just because they've always hated their last name for WHATEVER reason)? Sheesh... By the way, is Waverman a family name? Where did you get it from, your mom or dad, and where did it come from before that? Maybe you should just choose your own new name since you don't respect possibly your mother or grandmother for taking it to begin with. Just a thought. Ironically, your initials are the same as many reactions to this post. EW...
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill
This is definitely a personal decision. I have a friend who recently was married. Before the big day she actually asked her father for his blessing in changing her name. I had never even considered asking anyone before I changed mine, which I did when I got married. Now divorced, I am back to my maiden name. I have decided that should I ever remarry I will be keeping my last name. I am agree with Emma on a few points. I do not think that we should be openly judging for decisions that quite frankly have nothing to do with us. If asked, then sure give your opinion. I don't think that my name is my identity, but it is the name my parents gave me, and I like it!!!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Ms WAVERMAN...you sure are a piece of work. I guess your husband has also handed you his pants to wear and on top of that got rid of any NUT traces he may have had left in him. There could be a million people with a million different opinions on this topic. Why is yours "right"? Why is your opinion "correct"? The fact is that it is NOT. What is different MS Waverman is that you have the ability to WRITE in the blog and express your opinion, while many others do not. For whatever reason, someone decided that you should be able to "project" your opinions onto others, even when badly flawed. Someone gave you that ability, but that doesn't mean you are a person with any talent on the journalism world. It is people like you that constantly keep feeding the media channels with flawed ideas and information. Too bad that those that cvan correct this are not going to to that since this is their precise intention, which is why they allow you to say what you say (nothing to do with freedom of speech here). Getting back to your topic, the fact is that in this insitution that has been working like this for thousands of years you are the exception not the norm. And no matter how much propaganda you try and feed wherever you can, it will not change what is logical and works.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPisto
Emma,

You never said weather or not your Mother took your Fathers name??? Therefore, just because it is the name you grew up with doesn't mean that is WHO YOU ARE. Either way people change names for alot of reasons, dislike of the first or last name they grew up with, change of identity or even keeping a lineage going. I agree with it being a personal choice. You also agree in staying married FOREVER, or are you like so many people who don't think it will work out as 50% of mariages fail now so keeping your name is Easier? instead of changing all your ID? going into a marrigage you AGREE to belong to someone for better or for worse till death do you part. your making a big deal out of a mole hill.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacey
What a load of crap. Change your name, don't change your name, who cares! When I got married I said to my wife that I wasn't about to try and make her change her name, she wanted to. You losing respect for someone for not keeping their own name is just absolutely ridiculous. I guess the internet really is a forum for any idiot to pointlessly complain about things that no one else cares about.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Wow...Emma, I'm sure you have a perfectly good reason as to why you feel the way you do...and while you tried to explain your reasoning to the rest of us in this piece, all I got from what could have been a piece worthy of consideration was ranting, anger and judgement...

I have not changed my name legally...not because I would feel like it demeans me or makes "me" less me, but simply because I've been to lazy to change it legally but I plan to soon.

I have more self esteem than to define my worth by the last name I CHOOSE to take

I love it when socially I get called by my husbands last name. I am proud to wear his last name as a sign of my love for him....but I guess to each his own...just try to be less judgemental towards those women who CHOOSE to take on their husbands last name....

you are being no better than those you critize as "taking away" a women's value and worth when you MAKE FUN and JUDGE a women for CHOOSING to take on a different last name.

Cheers,MRS. SMITH
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Are you kidding me....you said you lose respect for anyone that changes their name...It's tradition, not about ownership, and if you don't believe in tradition i hope you didn't accept the sybolic guesture that is the ring..but i bet you where it proudly! If you cant respect your friends enough to allow them to have a diiferent opinions than yours the respect you claim you lose for them must not have had much value in the first place.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrob
Wow-how to fuel a fire!I love this blog and all these comments have been interesting.I personally - feel exactly like you do!I did not change my name. Yes it was my choice, and everyone has a choice - NOW. But as mentioned back in Lucy Stone's day and for centuries prior there were no choices. I am not property, never have been and never will be. That's it's origin and it should not be the standard.I identify myself with my birth name that includes both my parents' last names. That's me.Funny enough though when I was engaged my fiance assumed I would take his name. It actually became an issue for him. I said if he added my name to his then I would add his name to mine. And guess what, that didn't happen. The comments mention that this is such a trivial thing to be judged on but wow, look at these reponses. Very passionate and opinionated. But all judgemental - to each his own.Funny, my sister and her fiance are having the same disagreement - she's taking it a little bit farther though. She wants their kids to have her last name. I can't wait to see how this turns out.My son has both our last names. He can make his choice later in his own life.Thanks Emma for this! Great-just love it!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatz
I'm secure enough in myself and who I am that taking my husbands' name is an honor. If you feel that your name defines you, then I have no more respect for you than you have for me.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMRS. Dana Murphy
"Sorry to get all judgy on you, but if you changed your name then I have lost a little respect for you."

And that makes you no better than the people who criticized you for keeping your name. It's a personal decision.

My mum didn't change her name when she married my dad and neither of them have never gotten grief for it or cared. I might change my name when I'm married, maybe not. I haven't decided, but it's *my choice* to make.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauraaaa
Wow, you have no respect for women that chose to take their husband's name? You do know feminism is about choice, right? You made yours, I made mine -- isn't it great we were both free to do so? The fact that I decided to share my husband's name has zero reflection on our relationship, we're partners, no one "owns" anyone here (he doesn't "own" our kids either, even though they have his last name -- our last name). I in no way think women *should* take their husband's name if they don't want to, but I am not sure, if this is your view of marriage, why you got married at all? Historically, women did become the property of their husbands -- I'd say most people don't see it that way today, thank goodness, regardless of what name a spouse chooses to use. So stop judging other women for a single choice they make.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
If your theory is at all viable, you and your kids should have a last name like this:

Emma Stanley-Tucci-Stick-Up-My-Ass-Waverman

That should cover a good chunk of the women in your history, you know to be "self respectful." Because if you change your name to your husband's instead of keeping your own and hyphening your kids' name, you shouldn't even be able to look at yourself in the mirror. THE SHAME!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
Why is it that we women have the title Miss, Ms, or Mrs and yet men are only referred to as Mr? It is no-one elses business whether I am single,married, or divorced. I would prefer that I be addressed just by my name without the Miss, Ms, or Mrs.I can remember back to the time when women were addressed as "Mrs. JOHN Doe - they didn't even retain their own first name in their "titles". This outdated tradition goes back to the time when women were considered 'chattle' - they were nothing more than property of their husbands. I'd like to think that we as a society are a little more forward in our thinking. I would be very disappointed if my daughter chose to change her name in marriage. Personally, I also think that marriage is a dying institution.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane Doe
Wow, WhiteWraith, you and Emma have more in common than you'd like to believe: You're both ignorant, close-minded morons.
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRae
Aren't there other problems bigger than this? Grow up!
February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

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