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Why shouldn't I take my wife's surname? watch

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    With your logic, why bother getting married? You're following one meaningless tradition, but ditching another one, and thinking yourself very clever for doing it.

    My view on this is that the idea of taking the wife's surname is only on the cards because the entire institution has been picked apart, as the culture ditches its previously religious affiliation. I mean, just look at the whole gay marriage thing. Should either man take the other's surname? Clearly these questions are ridiculous. The only reason why we ask them is because we have taken the traditions far beyond what they were designed for in the first place. The institution is meaningless self-satisfaction now.
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    (Original post by ABsoluteX)
    Comparing those things is pointless. Sticking with the tradition of a woman taking a man's name does no harm.
    Harmless, in your eyes, but with respect, I can't agree for the reason the OP has already outlined: a woman automatically, unquestioningly changing her name & opting to use the title Mrs creates a gender based inequality.
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    (Original post by MsTabitha)
    Harmless, in your eyes, but with respect, I can't agree for the reason the OP has already outlined: a woman automatically, unquestioningly changing her name & opting to use the title Mrs creates a gender based inequality.

    Harmless in most women's eyes as well.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    With your logic, why bother getting married? You're following one meaningless tradition, but ditching another one, and thinking yourself very clever for doing it.

    My view on this is that the idea of taking the wife's surname is only on the cards because the entire institution has been picked apart, as the culture ditches its previously religious affiliation. I mean, just look at the whole gay marriage thing. Should either man take the other's surname? Clearly these questions are ridiculous. The only reason why we ask them is because we have taken the traditions far beyond what they were designed for in the first place. The institution is meaningless self-satisfaction now.
    That is a fair question although I don't think myself clever for not aligning with tradition; it's just my point of view. I am not at all sure I DO want to get married. It's not likely to happen any time soon anyway but I certainly don't gaze dreamily through the windows of bridal shops. I think a lot of people, particularly girls, can get caught up in the idea of a wedding, rather than a marriage.
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    (Original post by ABsoluteX)
    Harmless in most women's eyes as well.
    Yup, statistics back your statement up but that still doesn't make it right for me. The number of women not taking their husband's name is slowly increasing though.
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    (Original post by MsTabitha)
    Yup, statistics back your statement up but that still doesn't make it right for me. The number of women not taking their husband's name is slowly increasing though.
    Okay.....
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    (Original post by Pride)
    With your logic, why bother getting married? You're following one meaningless tradition, but ditching another one, and thinking yourself very clever for doing it.
    Well, meaningfulness is subjective, no? We're ditching one tradition because we don't like it and sticking with another because we do. I'm not sure what's so problematic about this. Traditions can be valuable, but not solely by virtue of being traditions.


    My view on this is that the idea of taking the wife's surname is only on the cards because the entire institution has been picked apart, as the culture ditches its previously religious affiliation. I mean, just look at the whole gay marriage thing. Should either man take the other's surname? Clearly these questions are ridiculous. The only reason why we ask them is because we have taken the traditions far beyond what they were designed for in the first place. The institution is meaningless self-satisfaction now.
    I don't see that the latter sentence follows from the rest of what you've said. Even if we concede that we as a society have taken traditions beyond what they were 'designed for in the first place'*, so what?


    *I actually also think it's worth thinking very carefully about precisely what you mean by this. Historically, marriage hasn't ever had a particularly rigorous definition. It hasn't always been affiliated with any religion, it hasn't always been exclusively heterosexual, it hasn't always involved changing names... I could go on!
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    Is she going to keep your balls in her purse too?
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    (Original post by ABsoluteX)
    I think we are past it being done because a woman is inferior to a man. It is simply tradition in marriage. I'm not sure exactly what proportion of women choose to keep their name but I'm guessing it is pretty low.


    I'm all for choice though so if a woman want's to keep her name then so be it, although personally I would keep my own name.

    I have had this conversation with my girlfriend and she agreed that she would take my surname.
    (Original post by JBLondon)
    Understood, but I really think that's a silly argument for any circumstance. I don't believe that a woman would think that her husband was trying to oppress her by expecting her to take his name; just that it's a tradition.

    There's a great scene in The West Wing where the chief of staff wants to appoint a young black man to be the president (Martin Sheen)'s personal aide. He's apparently uncomfortable to appoint a young black man to wait on an old white man. In the end, the (black) chairman of the joint chiefs gives his opinion, saying as long as they are going to treat him with respect and pay him a decent wage, that's all that matters. "I'm an old black man, and I wait on the president".

    People these days are, in my opinion, quick to assume that just because something happened before for an entirely wrong reason, the same reason is being applied again.

    Absolutely. I don't seriously think (m)any heterosexual couples who choose to take the male's surname do so because they think the female is inferior. If my fianceé hadn't particularly wanted to keep her name, I'm sure that's what we would have done without much of a thought.

    So to clarify my position, I don't by any means think there is anything wrong with sticking with tradition and taking the male's surname. It's just what's expected, and in the absence of any other factors, why not? I do, however, think there is something wrong with the way in which society seems to try to hold us to this tradition and judge us for not sticking to it. As I have said, traditions can be valuable, but not solely by virtue of being traditions. I don't see 'it's traditional' to be a very compelling argument for doing something when there are other factors at play - such as what the two individuals involved actually want.

    Also, I can understand why taking the male's name may make some women (e.g. MsTabitha) feel uncomfortable due to the explicitly sexist historical context.
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    (Original post by RhaegoTarg)
    Does that mean your kids will take her name too?
    Sorry, but I wouldn't stand for it. Marriage is already pro-women enough.

    If it doesn't bother you, fine, but it's a strange request.
    Yes, we want to have the same name as each other and want our kids to have the same name as us.

    Out of interest, why do you think the fact that by the sheerest chance I happen to have XY chromosomes and my partner XX should make a difference to who takes whose name?
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    (Original post by Implication)
    Yes, we want to have the same name as each other and want our kids to have the same name as us.

    Out of interest, why do you think the fact that by the sheerest chance I happen to have XY chromosomes and my partner XX should make a difference to who takes whose name?
    Just doesn't seem right to me. Perhaps it's illogical, perhaps it's old fashioned, but the idea of giving up my name, and not passing my name to my kids, doesn't sit well with me.
    If you're happy with it, then all the power to you and I wish you and your Mrs the best.

    I'm not a great fan of marriage anyway. It's a financial contract at the end of the day.
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    (Original post by RhaegoTarg)
    Just doesn't seem right to me. Perhaps it's illogical, perhaps it's old fashioned, but the idea of giving up my name, and not passing my name to my kids, doesn't sit well with me.
    If you're happy with it, then all the power to you and I wish you and your Mrs the best.

    I'm not a great fan of marriage anyway. It's a financial contract at the end of the day.
    I understand what you're saying, but the problem for me is that any argument one formulates of that kind would apply just as much to my wife as to me :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Implication)
    I understand what you're saying, but the problem for me is that any argument one formulates of that kind would apply just as much to my wife as to me :dontknow:
    Is this an equal rights issue or just preference? Is she not prepared to marry you unless you take her name?

    Equal rights shouldn't come at the cost of upending all established conventions.
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    (Original post by RhaegoTarg)
    Is this an equal rights issue or just preference? Is she not prepared to marry you unless you take her name?
    I just don't particularly mind, and she would rather keep hers. We want the same name, so it seems like a no-brainer.


    Equal rights shouldn't come at the cost of upending all established conventions.
    Conventions and traditions shouldn't be valued for their own sake. If the only cost of equal rights is a tradition that has no value, then I consider those rights to be a bargain.
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    (Original post by Implication)
    I just don't particularly mind, and she would rather keep hers. We want the same name, so it seems like a no-brainer.

    Conventions and traditions shouldn't be valued for their own sake. If the only cost of equal rights is a tradition that has no value, then I consider those rights to be a bargain.
    Largely irrelevant to this conversation but Men traditionally propose to Women. We get down on one knee and are expected to pay for a pricey engagement ring.
    I sense that's something women don't want changed.

    If you're happy with taking her name, then go for it dude. Nothing wrong with it. I just personally don't like the idea.
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    (Original post by Implication)
    Well, meaningfulness is subjective, no? We're ditching one tradition because we don't like it and sticking with another because we do. I'm not sure what's so problematic about this. Traditions can be valuable, but not solely by virtue of being traditions.
    I don't think it is subjective. Let me explain. A snail could consider itself to be valuable, because of, say, the pattern of his shell. Yet that doesn't actually make that snail valuable. It's a snail.

    In the same way, we as humans don't get to define our own value. If we did, then underneath that is the inevitable conclusion that we don't actually have value. That's the whole reason why we are inventing one to put on ourselves. Indeed that would be a subjective meaningfulness. But it's not actually true meaningfulness though is it?

    In the same way, marriage is not meaningful just because we place meaning on it. You need God to define the value of marriage.

    I don't see that the latter sentence follows from the rest of what you've said. Even if we concede that we as a society have taken traditions beyond what they were 'designed for in the first place'*, so what?
    I feel like I have explained the latter sentence above. It doesn't make sense that any of this would have any value if you take God out of the equation. You may say 'religion', but I'm talking about something more specific than that. I'm talking about the unavoidable implications of there being nothing but the natural world.

    Anyway, my point was that the OP's question is ridiculous because the situation our culture is in is ridiculous. That was as far as my post went. I hope me expanding on it has made me clearer.

    *I actually also think it's worth thinking very carefully about precisely what you mean by this. Historically, marriage hasn't ever had a particularly rigorous definition. It hasn't always been affiliated with any religion, it hasn't always been exclusively heterosexual, it hasn't always involved changing names... I could go on!
    I'm not talking about every marriage tradition there has ever been. I'm talking about the one we used to have in this country, which had some meaning because it was based on the Judaeo-Christian God (of course, here I'm assuming that he is God).
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    ****ing PC is going crazy...
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    You'll probably always get some people thinking it's strange, just because it goes against tradition, but at the end of the day you should just do what you want.

    I personally have no problem with it . I'm not sure what my boyfriend and I are gonna do in regards to surnames at marriage. He's mentioned that he doesn't really like his surname due to issues with his estranged biological dad and other relatives on that side of the family. We don't want to double barrel though because our surnames wouldn't look very together, and I'm not really a fan of double-barrelled surnames anyway. So I suppose he could take mine or we could just get a new surname altogether, who knows, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. At the end of the day, the being married and together is what matters :yep:
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    I'm not changing my surname so I think k it's a good idea
 
 
 
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