Why when westerns get married the wife take the husband's last name?

I know it not everyone do that but the people who do why? And do the woman's name change in the ID card too


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I don't know, feels foolish to me, I would feel so weird changing my own last name that i've had my entire life, especially to some other name I may not even like or didn't come up with myself.

    A lot of people say it's to show everyone that "you're a family". Well my grandmother, aunt, sister and myself all have different last names, doesn't make us any less of a family...

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    • @Omar5881 where are you from? do they not do that there?

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    • But I bet you have the same last name as your mother. And when you were small and learning about your place in life, that was important.

      As to changing your last name when you marry, it would probably make a big difference. You would then be know as GirlsDon'tLie. lol

    • lol well my grandmother raised me, not my mother and we didn't have same last names and my grandmothers children have different last names and not a single person ever said anything about it.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Because if somebody didn't take the other's name, the second generation would have two last names, then four last names, then eight last names, then sixteen last names, then thirty-two last names.

    That's only 5 generations. 100 years give or take.

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    • No they only take the father last name

    • That's just as arbitrary as any other system.

      What I described is the end result of a purely fair system, and as you can see, completely unworkable.

What Girls Said 18

  • It's a tradition that exists from back in the days of patriarchy when, through marriage, a woman basically became her husband's property. Women had very few rights, were not able to vote or work, so they were fully dependent on their husband. In which case, it makes sense that they would take his name versus him taking theirs.

    I can't imagine that this gender inequality from the past existed in only western society though, aside from last-name changes through marriage...

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  • A lot of this is trying to balance the scales. Balance against the fact that, biologically, you can never really truly know who the father is.

    Really. Taking his name, his bloodline, his X, his Y, his Z... pretty much all of that is compensation for that possibility. The possibility that, as Maury says, "You are not the father".

    That's the biggest reason.

    Nothing to do with "patriarchy" or "oppression" or bla bla bla bla. Nope. As usual, that is just about 100% bullshit.

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    • You only have to worry about this if you've been sleeping around with multiple men.

    • @Realfire22 Right, but it's a cultural tradition.

      Cultural traditions usually cater to the basest, least common denominator. Like criminal laws, and rules of society in general.

      People who win at life don't need their behavior regulated.

  • It's nice for the whole family to have the same surname.

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  • I didn't realize that was different somewhere. How does it work in your country?

    But well it's a tradition that comes from times when marriage was seen as exchange of property between your father and your new husband, so you'd change from your fathers last name to your husbands

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  • I will keep mine, and he'll keep his, although our kids will have his last name. I guess it's traditional in the western world to take the husband's last name.

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  • It's sort of a tradition, because they become family officially... so the last name is the same and there is no dilemma about the last name of the kids. However... some women keep their original last name and add their husband's and in some cases they both have both last names. It's a choice really.:D

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  • Because in the bible we are taught to become one with our husband and that's where the tradition started I believe. I for one want the same last name as my children.

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  • When you get married, you become 'as one' and so you share one name. I like it that way. It's romantic, belonging to him. Knowing that he chose me out of all the women in the world, and that he wants to give me his last name. There is a lot of trust in that. A man's name is like his reputation... he wants to uphold it. He trusts you to do so as well. I don't take that lightly.

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  • Both of my parents have diff last names and I always get asked if they are divorced because its so foreign here

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  • It used to be mandatory. Now you get the choice. Personally, I think I will do it. It's not a matter of the man having a better last name. I just want to have the same last name as him and my children so we can be a family together. I see it that way.
    My boyfriend has two sisters and their kids will wear their father's name. I have a brother so my last name will keep up anyway.
    And yes, it does change on the ID card.

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    • Why not the woman's last name?

    • I guess the tradition somehow remains. And many men think it emasculates them to wear their woman's last name.
      Woman often keep their last name and add their husband name's afterwards.

  • so it doesn't happen there?

    What about kids? (will they take the father's name? Just curious)

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    • No it doesn't happen here the woman jeeps her last name and the childeren gets the father last name

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    • No we don't take more than 5 names after the father name

    • I was speaking hypothetically

      tbh I don't know if we here have a name quantity limit

  • It used to be mandatory now it's becoming more common to hyphenate the two last names.

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  • It's traditional.

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    • Yeah I know what's the origins of this? and why do they do it? And why not take the woman's last name?

  • I don't know man. I never really understood marriage, it's just a christian piece of paper..

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  • i want to know too even though im American. i was thinking my name would stay the same..

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  • *sigh* here we go again...

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    • I swear I am just asking not trolling or anything

    • You good. Do u. I know you're not trolling.

  • Just tradition. Its like that everywhere though.

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  • It's usually tradition for the whole family to have the same surname. sometimes they hyphen and join the two families, sometimes the woman keeps her name. Yes, if the woman decides to take her partner's name, then when she gets new IDs done, it will have her new name. I don't think you need to have the maiden name on there.

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What Guys Said 4

  • My wife uses her name most of the time. Easier to spell.

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  • It identifies the family as one group. With different names, there can be confusion, especially for kids in school trying to understand who is "Tommy's" mother? If it is "Tommy Jones" then "Mrs Smith" does not logically sound like "Tommy's" mother.

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    • If u allow me but it's not a reason to me
      I mean we here everyone has his name and nothing happen

    • That is your society and it works well for you. Here we find this way works better. Most women are happy to take their husband's name and have their children have the same name. Usually only professional women keep their maiden name because they need to have continuity for professional purposes. People trying to make an appointment with their doctor would have trouble finding her if whe changed her name when when got married.

    • Yes I understand that I was just asking what's the origins of that , that's all 😊

  • It probably goes back to women as property, having few if any rights, as well as issues of making a 'family' a unit, shared name.

    Why it is the tradition and many people like or feel comfortable following the traditions of their parents, grandparents, family, country, etc.

    Some women will change their id especially if they have things like bank accounts that might need to be in the new name others will not.

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  • It's an old tradition. Before we used that system, childrens surnames were after their parents names. For example a man named Marcus with a father named Eric would be named Marcus Ericson.

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