Surviving the Surname Debate

There is a fabulously interesting discussion going on over at OffbeatBride.com. Someone wrote in a question about men changing their last names to the wife's last name when they get married {click here to see the post}. The comments being left and the men Ariel interviewed for the post are fascinating to say the least (one commenter in particular I wish wasn't married because I think I would ask him out on a date just from his intelligent and honest awareness of the history of society's subordination of women) .

This last name thing has always been a huge issue for me. I decided probably when I was about 14 or 15 that if I ever got married I would never take my husband's last name but keep my own, as it is who I am, it is my identity and to me taking a man's last name makes me feel like some sort of transferred property. However, the drawback of this of course is what about my Mom and all the other female lineage {on both sides} whose names I don't get to use or represent? It's really a fascinating issue and I must admit I was more than surprised to find so many men and women over on Offbeat Bride saying that they {the men} were taking their wives last names after marriage. I thought this was still a completely unheard of phenomenon.

If you're interested in the subject at all you should skidaddle over there and participate. What are your thoughts on the issue? I actually feel bad that none of my female lineage is represented in my name but then it never could be really could it? Since all women get their father's or husband's last names then there was never a "true" female last name. My maternal grandmother's family is Jewish and I embrace that past and history and enjoy it quite a lot but it is not represented in my name since my father's family was not Jewish. It's a very tangled web and unfortunately not one I personally, married or not, can do much about at this point unless I want a surname ten hyphenated names deep.

Oh, another great point a commenter left over there was the need for clear documentation if you and your soon-to-be decide to create an entirely new last name for yourselves or if he takes his lady's name, etc. My parents are huge into genealogy and the need for good clear record keeping is a must! My parents will get stopped dead in their researching tracks when a record has been kept badly. So, if you are going to get creative with the last name change then keep nice, easy to understand documentation in the family records so 100 years from now when someone is doing your ancestral family tree they won't want to come back in time and beat you silly!

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