what's in the name?
July 19, 2007 8:52pm CST
THe cultural norm of having a woman take on the name of her husband when the two are wed is outdated. It is dearly sexist, and it does not allow for the newer phenomena od same-gender marriages. Neither are other solutions to the problem adequate: hyphenated names still put one name first, as well as becoming unwieldly by the second generation;keeping the original last name prevents the bond that a common last name provodes. I therefore propose a new solution. Every couple upon being wed, will choose a new last name for both partners. This signifies the creation of a new family, and encourages a healthy unity. The last name will be passed on to hte children taht this couple bears. THe first names of the children, though will be the old last names of the parents. For example, bob jones and alex smith get hitched, and they choose the last name delove. thier children would then be jones delove and smith delove this is an idealist suggetion for away to chenge the culturally accepted neming . It has many advantages: Nuclear families have a common last name, encouraging bonding. Both women and men change thier names, so no gender is treated as inferior maintaining the practice of changing names also signifies the life change that such a commited relationship is. naming pratices in general become dissociated with gender, because last names are not gendered.
20 Jul 07
While your suggestion is interesting, I agree with the previous poster who pointed out the problems with the names. Would you really want your grandchildren/children be saddled with a name like "DeLove Prudence?" Where I come from, most do not take on the name of their husbands/wives. For instance, if Erica DeSilva marries Robert DeSouza, she will be called Mrs DeSouza, but when she signs off, it will still be as Erica DeSilva and not DeSouza. Children automatically take on their father's name, though in some cases, they may take on their mother's name through a change in the deed poll. In some families where there's no other male children to carry on the name, there's the option of giving one of the grandchildren the family name that might die out: ie Ms Tamora Chan is the only child of her parents, and her father was the last Chan, she can name her son Alex Chan instead of her husband's name of Lee. Her son can also choose to take the Lee, becoming Lee-Chan. The naming will have to be done at birth though, otherwise it will have to be changed via deed poll. It would be easier to simply banish the custom altogether.
• United States
20 Jul 07
I like the general idea of what you are suggesting. The only problem with taking on the old last names as the children's first names is that there are some pretty interesting last names out there that I'd hate to place a child with. Some are even extremely hard to pronounce. I do think that there are several people out there that are using maiden names as first names for their children. I wouldn't have wanted to do that to my child though.