Why are male surnames used?

@atulperx (735)
India
June 18, 2007 11:03pm CST
Why do girls change their surname after marriage? Why do they adopt the guy's surname? Why doesn't the guy adopt the girl's surname? Why do the children get their father's name when their mother goes through the trouble of gestation, birth, etc. Why do most form ask for father's name and not mother's name? I ask WHY????
2 people like this
12 responses
@binny29 (1527)
• India
19 Jun 07
i think its because we think man are more dominent and in my case i think women should also have the right to keep her surname and not its husband days are gone when women were far below men but now they are also working andrunning their own family and as per your question dont worry time will come when they ll ask their mother
• United States
21 Jun 07
So are you going to Join the Military?? That would make be all part of equality. Just a thought?
1 person likes this
@Nardz13 (5059)
• New Zealand
19 Jun 07
Well I know for a fact in my culture, the male name carries ownership to the lands, usually parents or grandparents give land to the male line, so that the land is always kept in the family and under the families name. Other then that Ive often wonder why the surname is taken on and thats globally without cultral issues...
1 person likes this
@atulperx (735)
• India
19 Jun 07
nardz i think you are right that is because of parents or grandparents give land to the male line .
1 person likes this
@maean_19 (4662)
• Philippines
16 Jul 07
Philippine Laws, the Civil Code in particular recognizes man or the husband as the Head of the Family, hence, for this main reason, the wife carries or follows the surname of the husband. However, the usage of the husband's surname is not absolute. The Civil Code of the Philippines made use of the " married women may use....x...x..x" Meaning, it is not an obligation or mandatory to use it. Children who were born before the effectivity of the Revilla Law (2004) shall carry and follow the surname of their father. Exception is the illegitimate ones, who has to follow the surname of their mother. After the effectivity of said Revilla Law, illegitimate children may follow the surname of the father if they so choses or when recognized or acknowledged by their fathers.
• United States
15 Jul 07
Not all women take their husband's last name when they get married. Some keep their own or hyphenate the two names. I even have a couple of friends who, when they got married, chose a new last name, which they both took as their last name. I thought that was a very egalitarian way of doing things. In my case, however, when I get married, I will take my husband's last name. I am engaged right now, and my fiance is a "3rd"--he has the same name as his grandfather and his father. So there is a lot of family tradition there, and if we have a son, he will be the "4th."
@nielcdg (709)
• Philippines
19 Jun 07
From what I learned from my old prof in college it was once believed that women after marriage are now the property of their husbands hence their names must be changed to their husbands to become an evidence of ownership. For the children its like a legacy that you must carry your father's name to identify you from society and as a status symbol or a way to keep track of your lineage and the family you belong to.
1 person likes this
@bbliss17 (15)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Because this has happened for a long time and it is just apart of culture. Also in american culture the male is the head of the household and therefore the woman takes his name. Why do woman have abortions? Why not adopt it. Some woman do keep there old name as well.
1 person likes this
@senthil2k (1501)
• India
19 Jun 07
I believe the reason might be the following. In the earlier days,even though the mother gives birth to the child, its the father who need to take care of both the mother and child. He will be the one to provide the food, home and security to the mother and children. And same is the case after the marriage for the girl. So I believe they should have started using the Male's name as the surname to show who is actually taking care of the lady then. This is just my guess, not sure though.
1 person likes this
@ibsnet (1268)
• India
19 Jun 07
Well this is mostly prevalent in Asian and African countries and some Eurpoean countries also. Actually this is a tradition. The tradition developed from a very ancient age. There was some social reasons as well. People first stayed in small groups, then came the being to a village, a city, a town. More this society grew the struggles for food shelter and water grew more. Since that time people started fighting each other for their basic needs. And these struggle for existence was mainly fought by the male member of the family. And that's why their is is tradition to keep the family name in the name of the father. As it is easy to diagonise also who belongs to that family. If after marriage women continue with their old surnames and their kids go with surnames of mother, then the family can;t be recognized. These creates social problem. Mainly this was the cause. Man and woman are equally important for a family but we have to maintain some traditions of the society also.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
19 Jun 07
It is a tradition passed down in most cultures, but I think there are some where it is the reverse. Checking on some search enging might find them if I am right.
1 person likes this
@mayenskie (1308)
• Philippines
19 Jun 07
I think it shows ownership. But in other countries, girls even when they get married do not necessarily change their last name, the still use their maiden name.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jun 07
Well without the father, there wouldn't be a child in the first place. But then again without the mother, there wouldn't be a child either. So I'm not really sure on this one.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Jul 07
A very good question. I've asked this question for years. I got sick of the archaic tradition and dropped my father's surname alltogether, taking the birth name of my mother. I'm so happy because my new name reflects my Danish heritage. I already speak English and people know I'm Canadian but now when they see CHRISTENSEN they know I'm also half Danish.