surname

Ms MyName

It’s really bugged me this year that all our Christmas cards have been addressed to “Mr and Mrs HisName” even though I’ve not changed my name to my husband’s. People shouldn’t assume the woman takes her husband’s name on marriage! It’s been really inconvenient when people have written me cheques and addressed parcels to the wrong person as well! But apparently I should suck it up and accept it, because it’s “petty” to “make a fuss” about it and actually encourage people to question traditions and challenge everyday sexism…

Amelia

Two days ago I told my fiance that I want to keep my surname when we get married. I expected him to support and accept my decision. However, he was very unhappy and we had an argument – he told me, “In my experience, all the women who keep their surnames when they get married expect to get divorced soon,” and “how will we be able to open a joint bank account if you keep your surname?” and “Well I’m not the one breaking tradition, so it’s your job to tell my father that you’re keeping your surname”. His response upset me because I completely accept his decision to keep his surname – it’s unfair of him to not support my decision to keep my surname, when my surname is as important to me as his surname is to him. I am really interested in my ancestry and family tree & want to pass my surname onto my children in some way, and my surname is part of my identity. My fiance’s come around a bit now & we’ve decided together that we’ll keep our respective birth surnames, and that our kids can have double-barrelled surnames (firstname mylastname-hislastname). This is a fair and equal compromise with the names, but I’m aware that much of society may view me as a ‘feminazi’ or ‘ball-crusher’ for this, and will view my fiance as an emasculated man. I’ll always have to defend my decision to keep my surname (and to pass it onto our kids), my fiance will never have to defend his decision to keep his surname or to pass it onto our kids. Double-barrelled surnames are a bit of a mouthful so at first I proposed that we give our daughters my surname only, and give our sons his surname only, and my fiance didn’t like that idea – and he didn’t like the idea of changing all of our names to my surname only – so double-barrelled names it is.