Its my NAME

Bit of an emotive topic this one. For me anyway. I chose not to change my name when I got married. It didn’t feel right to me. It didn’t indicate a lack of love or respect for the mister. It didn’t mean I wasn’t committed to getting married. Its just that, as I said many times to disbelieving friends and colleagues “Its my name!”.  There’s a feminist aspect to it, sure. I’ve never fancied buying into the traditional patriarchy wherein a woman ‘belongs’ to her father and then to her husband. But mainly, you know, its my NAME.

The mister did not feel strongly about this (in truth, I can’t see myself falling in love with someone who did). We talked about it a lot. His take on it was that Mrs S was his mother and Beth B the girl he started dating in sixth year so why would that change because we got married (I know, he’s a keeper).

I really, really didn’t expect it to be a big deal. My mum was a radical feminist, and didn’t change her name when she married my dad way back in 1979, so surely 22 years later, society would have moved on enough for it just to be something some people did. Not so. 

Lots of people were very confused. Some still are. We still get mail addressed to Mr and Mrs R S___. In truth, I think the people who do this are being belligerent.

Let me be clear. This is a choice I made, for me. I have never ever told another woman she was wrong to change her name, or tried to talk someone into keeping theirs. I’m not sure why this is a tradition that maintains, but I respect that it does. But people, usually men, seem to find it threatening that I kept my name. Well, that’s just rude. I’ve never had a discussion with a man on this that didn’t end with this line: ‘did you/would you consider changing your name to your wife’s?’. Their reaction to this (always, always incredulity) should educate them as to why I kept my own. But it never does.

Also, my name is neat. Four letters in each word, both starting with a B. It looks nice (I think). It has symmetry.

Plus, you know, its my NAME!

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25/07/2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized.

5 Comments

  1. bethheartscake replied:

    I asked R to proof this. Upon reading the title, he asked ‘is it about you not taking your slave name?’. The boy is a dream.

  2. John Self replied:

    I wanted Mrs Self to keep her name, but she declined. Bloody post-feminists.

  3. bethheartscake replied:

    In her defence, Self is a very cool surname…

  4. Emily replied:

    When we were in Slovenia, I got Toby drunk and rather than get married, he agreed to change our names to Rolfsall. x

  5. bethheartscake replied:

    Em, you are a wee legend

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