Marriage last names?

I just read a article about how some woman want to keep there last names when there married, and how some men want to take there wifes last name. And in the comment section a lot of people were offended by it, because it makes them feel less manly if they take there wives last name or because they dont feel as dominant in the relationship or something. But i honestly dont see what the big deal is. If a wife wants to keep there last name when there married, it doesn't mean there marriage is fail, or that she's not committed, she just likes her last name. And if a man wants to take his wife's last name, it doesn't make him less manly, he just likes her last name and wants to take it. Even if it was the other way around, if the wife wants to take her husbands last name she's not losing her identity or power, she just wants to go with tradition and take his last name. Some of the comments even said it was because of the fact that he just wants to pass on family 'dynasty' which i totally get but why does it so suddenly become a big deal if a woman wants to keep her last name or pass it on to her and her husbands children, but not when a guy wants to?

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What do you think?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • You are correct in all accounts. If people choose to take the other's last name or not they are not hurting anyone. There have been several comments here from both people deciding to take the other's last names, and they are fine. Big debates like this tend to come about when there is some kind of political agenda that people want to try and force down other people's throats. Like "The woman must do this its tradition" Or "If the man doesn't do this he is a misogynist, and is taking away the woman's power."

    As from the comments to this question people are perfectly fine of working out the last name thing without some political group turning it into an epic struggle for power, which it is not. I mean your getting married to the love of your life! Be happy, don't turn small things like this into a life or death struggle for power!

    That more than who takes who's name will determine weather the marriage succeeds or fails.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Personally I think this is one of those archaic institutions that people just make too big a deal out of. Status quo cr@p. I mean, why not pick a whole new surname together that signifies your new bond? That'd be cool, right?

    People change their names all the time for a multitude of reasons:
    - They don't like their name
    - They want a "fresh start"
    - They found a name they like better
    - Witness protection
    - They adopt a child or are adopted
    - Their financial situation changes (e. g. they become an heir to a prestigious family)

    Hell, people change or keep their names for WAY less important reasons than a lifetime commitment (i. e. marriage). Frankly I don't get why the bigger the commitment, the more willing people are to let something like a name destroy it. It's just a whole nother point of contention if you approach your significant other saying, in order to symbolize our equal commitment to each other, I expect you to change your last name to mine, while I keep mine as is, m'kay?

    Names are things other people give you. Like with any gift, you should appreciate it, but it doesn't mean you've got to hold onto it forever, especially if it means destroying the most important relationship in your life.

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    • I like your suggestion, hinders perpetuating the family name, but its an interesting idea , if the man and woman can agree on one

What Guys Said 20

  • The reason women took the mans last name was to be a part of his family, it signified that he was responsible for her well being no different then any other member of his family. So, if she was willing to treat me like an equal, meaning every thing was evenly divided and I did not pay for dates or buy her flowers, jewelry, etc. with out equal (and I do mean equal) compensation, that all responsibilities where evenly divided, if she was expected to defend her self when some guy comes up to her and hassles her or if she would go down to the kitchen to investigate the noise she heard at night, if we where truly equal (not this half equal where all responsibility falls on me and she is entitled to all the benefits) then I would not care if she didn't take my name. I would never take her name, I see no point in it since we would be equal in all respects. Otherwise I do in fact expect her to take my name, if I am bound by tradition then I expect her to be as well.

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  • I honestly don't care about my last name, I mean, I'm proud of it, but it's not who I am. My worth is based on my actions not my last name.
    I wouldn't mind taking my wife's last name, and I probably will, cause I plan o staying in the US and give my future kids American names, therefore they will look better with the whole name in English, and it'll avoid them future problems with the spelling of the last name (it's not difficult but some people misspell it).
    Some say I could keep my own last name while my wife and kids have her last name, but I want us to be a family and have the same last name for all of us, so I most likely will take hers.

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  • If taking your husband's name is an irrelevant tradition then surely so is the institution of marriage itself that would be my attitude if my Fiancee choose to keep her maiden name.
    I mean why is it necessary for two people who live together and love each other to be licensed by a government to do so. Why should i go out and buy $10000 engagement ring to prove mu commitment when I could buy a new car. Why do we have to stuff all our relatives into a church to have a deity "sanctify" our union when we've been joined together many times from the third date and when most of the congregation doesn't believe in God or marital traditions. Why pay for s $1000 plus dress to be worn only once or even a reception that all in all is a good chunk of a mortgage for a house.
    If she chooses not to give my child our last name would I accept the child as my own that I dont know.
    All together if I was going to commit to marriage then I would need a woman who was willing to commit to me otherwise why put myself through all that nonsense and traditions that are no longer relevant in this modern world.

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  • Couldn't care less about other people, but if I'm marrying a woman she is taking my last name. If she objects, then I know exactly what her political mindset is, and I won't want to spend my life competing with my wife for social dominance and leadership in the relationship.

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    • Odd how many women downvoted this. I guess it's individuals choice unless you choose "wrong".

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    • What does a last name have to do with being a leader in the relationship.

    • The real question is why does it matter what I want in my life when I've said that I won't force people to live up to my ideals? I want my wife to have my last name, and if a woman won't take it then I know what her political stance is and I don't want to deal with a woman like that. Modern women battle for dominance in relationships, and I don't want to be with a loud, obnoxious, whiny modern woman.

      You don't want to take a last name? Don't, I won't shame you for it since it doesn't affect me. I, however, require a woman to take mine as part of a marriage agreement, otherwise I won't marry her.

  • I highly agree with you i would have no problem taking a girls last name
    my last name is a horrible, embarrassing German name and i can't help it
    I don't care if people see me as less than manly for taking a girls last name
    i see things this way talk is cheap. I don't see why people make a big deal
    out of things that i do agree

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  • I work in a Human Resources/Payroll field and changing of names is an administrative nightmare ( not nightmare ) but such a pain.

    You have a name and I would be fine if it stayed like that ,
    If I was about to marry , I'd prefer she's keep her name, her parents gave it to her,

    Then the arguments of how do you name the children if that blessing is bestowed on you?
    Personally , I can go three ways , would it bother me if he wanted his moher last name, maybe, but I'd get over it , he's still my son, but ask me if and when that is an option I must choose, I might feel differently , but not that much.

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  • Whatever side of the issue you're on, you have to admit it creates a lot of stupidly long last names and would get out of control in a couple generations.

    Let's say John McKay and Lindsey Smith get married, and their children are the McKay-Smiths. Little Susie marries Jason Williams and becomes Susie Williams-McKay-Smith. Her daughter Lily marries Caleb Johnson-Patterson, and she becomes:

    Lilly Johnson-Patterson-Williams-McKay-Smith.

    You see how asinine that is?

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    • No, in the countries where they do this. They only take the father's surname, and the surname of the mother's father.

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    • You take your father's name and add on your mother's maiden name at the end

      If your father is John Smith-Winston, and your mother is Mary Smith-Johnson you will be Thomas Smith-Johnson. You are overthinking it. It is just Father's Surname + Mother's maiden name. The mother gets her maiden name from her father.

    • @DaddyRollingStone

      That's really complicated to me, but I'm seeing it

      Still think that the present system works fine though.

  • Taking the husband's name is a tradition in my culture. I want to follow this practice and would prefer if my wife did as well. Besides, it's her father's name anyway. Or her grandfathers if she is a single mom. Might as well keep it going.

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  • Didn't the tradition of women taking the man's last name, and the children having his last name start as a gesture that the man had enough faith in the woman's loyalty that he was sure the children were his?

    And taking last names... heh. If I marry some woman who out earns me and is willing to pay the bills, I'd consider taking her last name, maybe.

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  • I would have no problem if my wife wanted to keep her own name, but I would never take my wife's name, if only for the fact that my friends would never let it go, they would call me "Mrs. Whatever" FOREVER.

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  • When I came to the US and got married I took over my wife's surname, first of all it was rather impractical, Van den Brink, a Dutch name, well explaining over and over how people had to write it, and that there were spaces in between them, nobody seemed to get it, so when I married I took my wife's name, Mason, which is a bit easier to write for most Americans, and thereby I feel more integrated.

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  • I get your point, but "traditionally speaking" women take the man's last name. If people want to break with that tradition it's up to them.
    I personally wouldn't do it.

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  • Though not a big issue other than for feminists and rights groups or some other liberal (candle societies). If a women wants to keep her name it is okay but if she wants to be a good wife she should follow what the husband says to her. Provided it is not something that is against the law.

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    • Why not "if the guy wants to be a good husband he should follow what the wife says to him"? Doesn't sound right does it?
      Getting married doesn't make one property of the other

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    • Biologist here. If you want to get down to precise genetics, the only 100% traceable DNA is maternal/mitochondrial DNA because it is found in 100% of the population, does not undergo mendelian assortment during reproduction, does not undergo point mutation, and is not marked for post-fertilization destruction like paternal DNA. That's how we know that every living person on this planet is a descendant from the person known as "Mitochondrial Eve."

    • That is precisely what give male DNA edge. It is unique. You need it to be male but females don't need it. Y chromosome.
      Other than that you can involve religious issues. The origin of man. First came man than the woman from him.
      By the way point mutation can take place in all DNA. It just needs the write catalyst.

  • I think her keeping her last name is her choice but children should always have their father's name.

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    • Why? Just curious :)

    • In many cultures and religions including Islam it is a sin to denounce or disrespect your father. Not taking his name is one such way of doing that it is also common in many parts of the world were the wife doesn't take her husbands name.

  • Not a problem for me, and i wish my future woman to have his own name, because it's her name. It's very common women last name use husland last name... but i dont think thats respecting the woman.

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  • Why don't men just be men and deal with it.
    Must their egos play a role in every little freaking thing~

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  • I'm for changing both last names though it doesn't matter

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  • i'd rather keep mine... changed it once already.

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  • I'd keep my name and she would take mine.

    I don't care what other people do.

    If she doesn't like it then I probably wouldn't want to marry her anyways so no problem.

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  • No, those men are being pussies and trying to seem all "I'm a politically correct lover of women and equal rights." Fuck those losers.

    No problem with a woman keeping her last name. Just irritated at fake, loser men.

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What Girls Said 19

  • Because it's always been that the guy's last name is passed on and not everyone likes change so when people try to switch it up it definitely brings about some discussion. Personally, I think it should be about the best name wins. If the name is a really awesome name, then whatever gender has the better name, they should use it as their last name.

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  • There are so many reasons why a woman wouldn't want to change her name:

    - she just likes it
    - professional career recognition
    - rich family heritage
    - his last name is ugly (who'd want to go from Richards to Wigglebottom?)

    If a guy INSISTS on a change because his ickle winky will shrink even more if he doesn't prove to society that he's "da man", I wouldn't want to be with him anyway.

    It's one thing to want to be traditional, but if you try to forcefully change a person to your liking, then you can just go eat a bag of dicks.

    If my boyfriend and I decide to get married, I genuinely have no idea what we'll do, neither of us really care either way, so it'll be a mutual decision.

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  • I would not date a guy who expects me to change my last name after marriage because I should be allowed to uphold my family traditions and honour the RIGHTEOUS people in my family - very few fall into this category.

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  • I want to keep my last name. I've been writing it my whole life, I've been signing my artwork with this name. I do not become a new person or someone's property when I get married. If it's "just a last name why not change it" if it's just a last name then why does it matter? If it's just a last name then why doesn't HE change his name?
    Why is only the mans name important when passing on HIS legacy? Why is only okay for the woman's family name to die out?

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  • I don't see the deal with it. It's a tradition for the female to change her last name to her husband, because the world used to be a male dominant. The females didn't have a say, and even today it still exist. Women were considered property and only existed for procreation, and to serve the men. Today, women are just as equal as men (sometimes it becomes a bit unfair against men), but so much better off now than what they were before, and it wasn't that long ago. Again, we are still fighting for women equality around the globe. There are some men out there that believe in the traditional male and female roles in society. There are women today who believe in them, too. It's just that now it's okay for a woman to keep her last name. Why? It's becoming a norm.

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  • I have an awesome last name, so if his surname isn't black or smith then I can be happy to incorporate it.

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  • Because people are silly

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  • I agree, the whole debate is idiotic. I'm keeping my last name no matter what because of the professional recognition I will have built up. If I change my name, I have to start from square one. No thanks!

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  • I'd rather take my husbands last name, I'm becoming one with the man I marry and taking his last name would be an honor. :)

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  • I don't see it as a big deal either. Some women prefer their last name. The tradition started because it showed that the man had ownership of the woman. Many women don't want to do that anymore.

    I think those guys need to get over themselves.

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  • I will also never change my name, I find it too odd, I would feel weird being called by a different name, writing a different name, getting my name changed just because I married someone.

    I don't care about names, it's not like you made it yourself or did anything to deserve your name, I can't ever take people who put so much emphasis on a name seriously.

    If my husband insisted that I change it, our relationship wouldn't work because I feel like they don't respect me and my decisions.

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    • I would be open to making a new last name together, that sounds pretty fun lol

  • I think that would be a deal breaker for most men considering how hard it is to get a man to commit to marriage. Ultimately if a guy your going to marry won't go along with that what could you do. Men will go along with almost every decision the woman makes regarding weddings and marriage, even where they live and the house they buy but when guys get really stubborn about something they dont like or won't accept they draw a line in the sand and thats it.

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  • this is why so many couples do hyphenated last names now

    well, in my culture, when a woman gets married, her maiden name becomes her middle name and all the children are bestowed her maiden name as their middle name. so i'm not worried about this

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    • What culture is that might I ask?

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    • That actually makes sense. A middle name instead of two confusing last names or refusing you husband's name.

    • I think it's a good alternative but I don't like the idea of just replacing a middle name like it didn't exist, I like my middle name. I still would never take that option or change my last name, I would never remember to use it or write it lol

  • I wouldn't want my husband to take my last name. Lol, especially since my last name is basically my first name.

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  • I've heard that and as of recently I heard of the joining of the names which was I think is the best solution.

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  • Some people so stuck in tradition that they get butthurt about what others decide just because it's different than what they're used to.

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  • I agree with you completely. Names are the business of the couple only and no one else should be stepping in

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  • My cousin kept her last name but it's funny, she had a son before she got married and she gave him the fathers last name and the baby she just had has her husbands last name but she refuses to change hers. I personally will take my husbandsast name, I'm sorta old fashioned with a lot of things and I feel like those things are going away and I like some of it and plan to keep those things in my life. Like I'd want a traditional wedding in a church, I don't want to know the sex of my child till its born, the last name thing and so on.

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  • I would keep my own last name. It's just easier

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