Skip to comments.Women Are Still Being Judged for Not Taking Their Husbands' Last Names
Posted on 02/24/2012 3:44:35 PM PST by ConservativeStatement
Right now in the most of the developed world, it could be argued, women are considered about as "equal" to men as they have ever been. And yet, countering any "We've come a long way, baby"-type sentiment you might cheer about (intelligence in a woman is now considered by men to be more important than being pleasant and a good housekeeper; France is doing away with the term "mademoiselle"), there are deep, abiding problems that we're still working through. Some, like birth control access, are matters of health and freedom, while others are more "semantic," though no less problematic.
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When I hear a 12 year girl (not related to me) tell me that women are worse drivers than men it just confirms my own observations.
..my Mrs. actually believes that it is an honor to carry my surname—and I, an honor that she would do so...
Maybe the real problem is that you’re trying to trace your ancestry back through a tribe that had no written language? Seems to me that is going to make it difficult pretty much all the way round.
I’m pretty sure that when it comes to Judaism, the mother is what determines whether you are considered “a Jew” or not, but lineages and tribal membership were still reckoned by paternal descent.
“In our family, middle names have been used to delineate maternal geneology.”
A nice idea.
I wonder too. If this convention has something to do with a historic problem. Men staying around for their offstring and their mother.
Maybe harder when she has taken your name, and your kids bear his name. Society can easily know if he abandons. During the “chattel” era, this was the mark of a scoundrel.
Oh jeez, I hadn’t even thought about the scenario you are describing. Combine that with the propensity for ghetto men to “sow their oats”, and the tendency of genetic relations to find each other sexually attractive... it’s a ticking time bomb.
Dude,, that was an observation worthy of your screen name. LOL
No kidding. Even worse is visiting family graves and finding “Mother” or “Wife” on the headstone and nothing else for her. It’s sad. I’m quite sure these women had actual names. And a date of birth and death.
And yes, it is quite difficult doing genealogy on a lot of women. I’ve dealt with, and so has my dad.
I don’t have a huge problem with a women keeping her name for professional reasons, but hyphenation is beyond silly. If we made it the general practice, in a few generations, everyone would have 16 last names!
Still, if my prospective wife needed to keep her last name, I might choose to take hers as well. Personally, I’d like everyone in my family to have the same last name, I think that is more important than everyone having MY last name.
She is Chinese (born and raised in Taiwan until age 15, when she legally immigrated to the USA with her family)
My last name is difficult for Chinese English speakers to pronounce, impossible to translate into Chinese, and can not be written in Chinese in any simple way.
So she kept her name. It hasn't presented any problems. Children got my last name. Her step daughter, who I raised from age 4 kept her dads last name.
We always joked that our mail box looked like a law firm.
I'd never thought about until this article. I'm interested to ask my adult daughter what she thinks, what she imagines she will do if she meets Mr. Right.
My wife is the antithesis of a feminist, so perhaps the fact that she would have taken my name if I had insisted, and that she wasn't implying anything other than "that's really hard for all the Chinese people in my life to say" made this situation slightly different.
In general, now that I think about it, I like the idea of the wife taking the man's name.
I also found the bias of the article so typically liberal it was funny.
Yet it would seem clear that these students are wrong: Changing one's name has absolutely nothing to do with one's level of commitment to one's relationship. Take the fact that educated women who are more likely to marry at a later age also tend to have the must sustaining (and happiest) marriages. There are no ready statistics on how many of these women are actually keeping their names, but it's not much of a leap to assume that a woman is more likely to hang onto her own name after years of having it, establishing herself and her career under that "brand." (Which, it must be pointed out, likely came from her father.)
The author insists that "changing ones name has absolutely nothing to do with one's level of commitment". I disagree. That is simply and obviously false. Changing your name is a big deal, and so it is a demonstration of commitment. It's funny how libs think and write. They assert obvious false statements like this as obvious truths.
I'd love to challenge the author on this point. Also no evidence is given for the claim that professional woman marrying late in life have "the most sustaining (and happiest) marriages". That is again merely asserted without refernce to any study or facts to support it. This is how liberals think! Because I think this is true -> IT IS TRUE!!
Why the HELL would I EVER want to be EQUAL to a man? Why would I come down to their level for any reason? LOL!
Oh, I LOVES me my men. Useful idiots that can lift heavy things for you when need be... ;)
As for Genealogy, the women you speak of would probably been appalled to think that they shouldn't have changed their names. Most men aren't in the business of treating women as property that they love, although I'm sure some have historically. But I don't think changing your name does that. There's nothing I could buy or own that I would want to have a family with, snuggle up to at night, or share my life with.
If you're having trouble with Genealogy records, try to find marriage records dealing with the mans name in the line. I have found a lot of good information about family history and names from those records. In my family, my children have my family tree going back to when they first arrived in MA in 1628 ( and that line even before that in England) but has no clue about my husband's families except for the past two generations who were born here in the U.S. Funny thing to is that my brother is the only one that jokes I threw away a perfectly good English name, that can be traced back hundreds of years, to "become Irish". A few years back I'd have to fight myself in Northern Ireland!
My mom came from a once prominent family in Detroit. She was also the last person to have that last name. If anyone has a reason to keep it, it was her. She took my dad’s last name and they are still married to this day. If that name is good enough for my mom, it’s good enough for whomever I marry and my kids, as long as I don’t disgrace the name.
Well I never took hubby’s name and it still irritates him.
In Ireland women do not do this (and I am Irish, but I never found out about that until much later in life).
He may get his own back, so to speak, as the daughty says she may keep her own name (which is his).
But we’ll see about that last part.
I really hated my name with his, and I love my original name. So, sorry, it doesn’t mean I love him any less.
“The worst ones are the princesses with two long last names like Debbie Rabinowitz Gonzalez.”
I think the hyphenated stuff has gone way too far, but remember, in many Spanish cultures that is ALWAYS done, and I think (not sure) the mother’s name is last, so those are the ones that get passed along, but I’m not sure. And this is NOT standard throughout all countries.
However, as to hyphenated names the worst I’ve seen is a woman professional my outfit had some business with, she had two extremely long Greek names, ohmigosh you’d get tired just reading it!
I hope this does not become popular amoung the Indian community!
Women working in the professional marketplace keep their maiden names for economic reasons.
Another reason is to provide privacy for the children and family. I can see why some women attorneys, famous entertainers, or those who have significant press coverage, might want to their children's names to be different from their public name.
Here's another reason.
The husband of my children's pediatrician died in his early thirties. She used his last name and the entire town knew her by her husband's name. (She likely had several thousand children in her practice). About 15 years later she remarried and again changed her name. Do you think anyone in the town accepted this new name? NO! She was always known by her dead first husband's name.
In my case, I simply did not mind if people, in private settings, called me by my husband's last name. It was not a big deal to me, but legally changing it absolutely would have been a big deal. Once a professional practice is established and a network of professional contacts is made, it is economic idiocy to change one’s name.
By the way, my children have their father's last name.
We are likely cousins. One of my ancestors arrived in Massaschusetts in 1630. :-)
I am not opposed to a woman taking her husband's name. The majority of the women I know have done just that. Then there are some I know that kept their maiden names, because for business purposes had already become established in their profession and did not want to start over with a new name.
What I have found, depending on where the census was taken, is only the head of the house full name is given. Sometimes that can be a woman. The husband certainly did not design the census form. But somebody did. AND some 'families' did indeed keep and maintain good records on all the members of their family. I have found a few in my ancestry where that was the case.
I have also run into the situation where buildings holding the records (county court houses) burned down, and unless the families kept a 'Bible' or their own records, no records exist today for that particular time frame.
I have also found on ships manifest, IF the woman traveled unmarried her full name was given. Not so if the woman was married.
I had no clue how some are so sensitive about the 'status' of history and ancestry of woman.
So true, I had forgotten about grave stone markings. I was very fortunate that my grandmother gave me an actual 'program' for her grandfather's burial service. I am thrilled when I can find new nuggets... but some of these women in my ancestry are blank slates, I have so little and keep hitting walls.
When I was doing a lot of my Genealogy, I noticed that if I couldn't trace my grandfathers or grandmothers (however many generations back) mothers last names through my own line, I'd take a step back and check all the info I could find in that last generation about brothers and sisters to my direct ancestor. A lot of times another person on Ancestry.com or in public records of say my great-great-great grandmothers family would have listed mothers name, first and last on their marriage or birth certificate, where my direct ancestor did not. I just had to make sure I hadn't veered off into a different line, making sure these people were brothers/sisters, Aunts/Uncles of my ancestor in question. Yes, I think it would have been easier to just list the females maiden last name on all documents, but I bet most of these women didn't even care— it was just the way it was done. I don't think they realized five generations later it would cause me trouble! I also have a picture of 5 generations of my families women taken in 1910. For the life of me I could not figure out the last name of the grandmother in the picture. (My great-great grandmother). I knew the rest. Finally, a great aunt still living explained that she had out lived 5 husbands and had different names all over the place! She was very Independent, ran three boarding houses that she owned to support herself but wouldn't have dreamed of not taking her new husbands name(s). Yes it was 1910 but even today, personal preference between the couple I say. And like I said I'm traditional and wanted my husbands last name, my only prerequisite was that it wasn't Hitler or something like that!
I am so sorry my words appeared to be directed to you. That is so not the case. Personally, I do not think I have any say one way or the other what a married couple decide to do about 'names'. My complaint and frustration comes about because more often than not the record keepers did not see fit to record the woman's maiden name.
When I was doing a lot of my Genealogy, I noticed that if I couldn't trace my grandfathers or grandmothers (however many generations back) mothers last names through my own line, I'd take a step back and check all the info I could find in that last generation about brothers and sisters to my direct ancestor. A lot of times another person on Ancestry.com or in public records of say my great-great-great grandmothers family would have listed mothers name, first and last on their marriage or birth certificate, where my direct ancestor did not. I just had to make sure I hadn't veered off into a different line, making sure these people were brothers/sisters, Aunts/Uncles of my ancestor in question. Yes, I think it would have been easier to just list the females maiden last name on all documents, but I bet most of these women didn't even care it was just the way it was done. I don't think they realized five generations later it would cause me trouble! I also have a picture of 5 generations of my families women taken in 1910. For the life of me I could not figure out the last name of the grandmother in the picture. (My great-great grandmother). I knew the rest. Finally, a great aunt still living explained that she had out lived 5 husbands and had different names all over the place! She was very Independent, ran three boarding houses that she owned to support herself but wouldn't have dreamed of not taking her new husbands name(s). Yes it was 1910 but even today, personal preference between the couple I say. And like I said I'm traditional and wanted my husbands last name, my only prerequisite was that it wasn't Hitler or something like that!
On my father's side, I have the names of three sons, and all of them in their lines only have the first name of their mother. I have their father's name my gggggrandfather's birth date, and birth place. Nothing about who his parents were. I would like to know when that line came here and from where they left. The earliest date I can document is 1750 in VA, and I know they were Scottish. It is irritating to me that nobody saw fit to record her maiden name.
Yes! The little nuggets and clues are absolute treasures. The funeral program is not something many would keep for so long. You’re lucky.
My parents recently gave me a large box of what they called “stuff from the garage”. I put it away thinking it was indeed, just stuff. So recently I finally dug through it. It had my grandma’s jewelry and wallet,untouched since her death many many moons ago. It had my grandpa’s gas ration stamps from WWII, photos, cards from my father’s childhood, etc. I spent 2 days going through it all. Priceless.
Newspaper articles that use the title “Mrs. John Smith” instead of the woman’s name is another frustrating path.
She’s absolutely smart as a whip!
When Justmythoughts makes the statements she did they come across as the same Feminist mumbojumbo I’ve heard forever. She should try it over at DU just to see if it passes for it.
The mumbomumbo did not begin in your life time. As best as I can find in the record Adam began this blame game first. Or maybe you never read what Adam had to say about his behavior. Genesis 3:12 And the man said, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, *she* gave me of the tree, and I did eat."
Oh, I can handle your fury, so you got something to say about me say it to me.
Pulling the Bible card? Still can’t handle being responsible for your own hateful words towards men? Just go back to DU, troll!
I used NO hate filled words. I do NOT hate men. Did I accuse you of anything? Now I have never been to DU, and I am NO troll. But I sure do get your sense of superiority, loud and clear... And what is wrong with using the 'Bible' as ones standard?
“I think that women who hypenate their names are a pain in the a**.”
Where I work as an RN, we dread it when we have to admit a patient with a hyphenated last name; all sorts of drama tends to come from such folk.
Hey, not only was the pun (double entendre) fully intended, the name was also pejorative term for those men who would sleep with another man’s wife.
Hey, not only was the pun (double entendre) fully intended, the name was also a pejorative term for those men who would sleep with another man’s wife.
I wasn’t going to say that, but...
Well, trying to get records for intermarriages back then is very difficult, but I don’t think that is caused so much by women taking their husband’s last names as it is to faulty record keeping that far back and people also typically living more ‘off the grid’ and beyond the reach of those records.
When you get back to the 18th century, the tree gets increasingly difficult to flesh out. No doubt about that. Not to mention how many ancestors decided to change the spelling of the their names, which is another curve ball to watch out for.
That example is tough to follow. Imagine how hard it is for the kids who are not being taught the basics of genetics and heredity (don’t sleep with your sister/brother half-sister/half-brother!).
If you haven’t read his book yet, you may be very interested in Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve.”
That book is a study of exactly where you and I are headed in this train of thought.
The main point of his work is that because of (for lack of a better term) better self control (and societal regulation such as forced recognition of parents, correct naming of children to track bloodlines in order to receive handouts, etc.) in the breeding in urban areas, the cities are breeding genetically inferior bloodlines and subsequent generations are going to be prone to greater and greater crime and violence and dependency on handouts. The bad are breeding with the bad and their offspring is breeding both more bad and are even inter-breeding within their own to create an inbred subclass.
Based on genetics alone, the ‘urban project’ (the lab that leftists use for their societal experiments) is not going to end well.
Srsly? Primeval? I'd suggest that there is a greater practical (and genealogical) reason ....
Imagine if Rowland-Smith ...
marries Joyner-Kersee ....
Their kids will have the surname of Rowland-Smith-Joyner-Kersee ...
And their kid's kids will have the surname of ........................................
Just my thoughts ...
My brother went to the courthouse in Harrisburg PA where my mothers family was from and lived to search for records but a fire in the 1940s and several floods afterward destroyed many records and his search turned up nothing. We even searched on Ancestry.com and no census records from that time mention a child by that name.
It was so sad that this little girl so long forgotten was buried with no grave maker, no last name and apparently no record or memory of anyone living of who she was.
As this was the last plot, we had my mother buried and the childs small casket reburied on top of her. When we had my mothers name added to the family tombstone, we also had the name Margaret with the approximate year of her birth and date of her burial engraved too.
Ugh! That’s heartbreaking. I’d do exactly like you did and dig and dig to find something/anything on that little girl.
And kudos on reburying her, appropriately.
My wife was a radio personality when we married. She asked if I minded if she kept her “on air” name. I asked what the name on the check was going to be. As long as it was going into our bank account she could call herself whatever she wanted.
To most of the world she retained her name. To me, and our children...she has mine. I figured that was fair enough.