Whose last name?

13 Sep

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any conservative Christian marriages of my acquaintance where the wife didn’t take the husband’s last name.  Even among the nominal or seculars, I know very few couples who don’t share the husband’s last name.  (Although my own family is an exception.  One of my cousins married a woman who hyphenated her surname, which caused my grandmother great distress and many subtextual remarks…until one of my other cousins married a secular Hindu who didn’t change her name at all and they had the audacity to send out a Christmas card signed with both of their full names.  That caused a bit of a behind-their-backs stir.)

Perhaps surprisingly, given my upbringing and general conservatism, I’m pretty agnostic on marital naming conventions.  The wife’s taking her husband’s name is a Western cultural tradition, but it’s only that:  a tradition.  It’s not mandated by the Bible, and I can’t recall ever hearing any sermons even addressing the issue.  Sharing the husband’s last name doesn’t make a couple more or less married, nor does it make their marriage better or worse off, just like wearing a wedding band in and of itself doesn’t make someone married or make a marriage better or worse.

I do think that it’s best that married couples with kids all share the last name.  It’s just easier to identify the family as a unit, it cuts down on confusion with teachers and other parents, and it gives kids a tangible “belonging” as a family member.  As for hyphenation, it’s just cumbersome.  Think of poor little Johnny taking his SATs and only being able to bubble in “Nakopokoulous-Sm” because his hyphenated name is just too frickin’ long.  Not everyone can have a hyphenated surname as snappy as the Jolie-Pitts.

Of course, it’s easiest just to follow convention.  (That’s why it’s convention.)  If you decide not to follow convention, you should also be willing to accept that other people won’t agree with your decision and may even get confrontational/judgmental about it.  Then again, I would expect people to be understanding if your fiance’s last name is, say, Fahrts or something along that line.

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88 Responses to “Whose last name?”

  1. Samson September 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I’m pretty agnostic on marital naming conventions. The wife’s taking her husband’s name is a Western cultural tradition, but it’s only that: a tradition. It’s not mandated by the Bible

    I’ve left comments addressing this issue on several blogs in the past couple of years. In sum: you’re right that taking a husband’s name is a man-made tradition peculiar to Western European societies. In a vacuum, there’s no reason to think it necessary. But we don’t live in a vacuum – we live in a society in which, when a woman doesn’t take her husband’s name, she is making a very clear statement about sexual roles, headship, independence, and so forth. Even today, a woman who keeps her last name is very clearly aligning herself with… them.

    And, guys, don’t fool yourselves: if your wife doesn’t take your name, other men *do* think less of you behind your back.

    While we’re on this topic, what is the deal with a woman taking her husband’s name and keeping her original as a kind of new “middle” name? See, for instance, Suzanne Hadley Gosselin. This strikes me as a pseduo-feminist “cheat” to kind of pretend that she’s taking your name without really surrendering her grrl power.

  2. Langobard September 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Perhaps surprisingly, given my upbringing and general conservatism, I’m pretty agnostic on marital naming conventions. The wife’s taking her husband’s name is a Western cultural tradition, but it’s only that: a tradition. It’s not mandated by the Bible, and I can’t recall ever hearing any sermons even addressing the issue. …

    Well, the Christians of Southern Europe, and especially of the Iberian Peninsula and their colonial societies such as Latin America (and the Philippines in Asia, for example) have hyphenated and taken the names of both the mother and father without ever being accused or thought of engaging in religious ‘heresy’.

    Interesting point though, Haley – especially from our Anglo-European perspective.

  3. Langobard September 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    I’ve left comments addressing this issue on several blogs in the past couple of years. In sum: you’re right that taking a husband’s name is a man-made tradition peculiar to Western European societies. …

    Peculiar moreso to Northwestern European, Protestant societies, Samson (although Catholic Italy has historically maintained this tradition and not, for example, [predominantly] Catholic France).

  4. Smooth T September 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    I have an acquaintance who got married, changed her maiden name to be her first name, and took her husband’s last name. So instead of being Amy Graham, she’s now Graham Johnson. Just a bizarre twist on the whole thing.

    But yeah, whenever I see a married woman with a hyphenated last name, it’s pretty clear where she stands on the liberal/conservative spectrum

  5. Jennifer September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Oh please, a couple of you are already over-reacting about the last name thing.

    Haley, good and funny post. I certainly don’t mind taking my husband’s name; hyphenated names are annoying. Is there any particular reason why the woman should, that doesn’t put HER in a subordinate-type place? Well, yes: men are usually the providers, which makes them the financial and supportive family head (this does not mean boss over the wife).

  6. Jennifer Vaughn September 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Western? Or English? I think there’s a lot of varying traditions.

    I know at particular times in history, French women kept their names, while at others they changed to their husbands. I really doubt that Jean Frédéric Joliot, the famous physicist and chemistry Nobel Prize winner ever got a negative comment for tacking on his wife’s name, Curie. Everyone was probably too jealous of his advantageous match.

    My Mexican brother-in-law is from a particular socio-economic class in Mexico where everyone’s very traditional, so he made my sister keep her name. She, of course, was upset initially since she has a traditional American background and they live in the US, interacting with people who are constantly raising their eyebrows at her continued use of her “maiden name.”

  7. The Man Who Was . . . September 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Quebec women keep their maiden name. Not sure what the story is behind that, but it may be related to Quebec long holding on to some really old French traditions.

  8. The Man Who Was . . . September 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    A quick check on Wikipedia reveals that in French cultures the women go by their husbands’ name in daily life, but for legal purposes are still under their maiden name.

  9. nbvfrtyujk September 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    In high school I knew a girl who later married a man who had the same last name she did. No one knew whether she kept her name.

  10. stanleydwilliams September 14, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    “…whenever I see a married woman with a hyphenated last name, it’s pretty clear where she stands on the liberal/conservative spectrum.”

    Really? I can think of three reasons, other than tradition or supposed political that have existed in my experience: (a) legal, (b) privacy and (c) dignity. LEGALLY a woman, who marries late in life, may have financial or intellectual holdings that are tied to a particular name that is registered in thousands of legal documents. Changing a name can jeopardize and confuse the ownership of the same if not be prohibitively expensive to change. PRIVACY and protection of immediate and extended family for political, law enforcement or very public figures (entertainers, authors, et al) can keep con-artists and identity thieves at bay. Stage names and alias for authors have long been used this way, as well. DIGNITY might be a good moral reason to keep your maiden name, especially if the name has value to society in terms of doing good, or the man wants to respect and honor the reputation of his wife.

  11. Tom September 14, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    Stanley, you’re describing outlier cases/exceptions to the rule. All other things being equal, smooth t’s point is accurate.

  12. Jen September 14, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    Why is this even an issue? Its so silly. Keeping your name is just stubborn silliness…and hyphenating is the height of ridiculousness. When I was a manager, I would toss any resumes with hyphenated names. I do not understand why women would make things so difficult and complicated when they could be so easy.

    Does the next generation then have to hyphenate their 2 names together?? so you get Jane with 4 last names??

  13. Jennifer September 14, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    It goes both ways, Jen. Why is keeping a woman’s last name such an issue for you?

  14. Strong Man September 14, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    “Does the next generation then have to hyphenate their 2 names together?? so you get Jane with 4 last names??”

    Good question! The hyphenated last name is one more example of how the woman is thinking more about herself than about others. I doubt she’s worried much about future generations.

    I view this as a clear indicator about how the woman views her relationship with her husband. A hyphenated last-name results in a loss of respect for her husband and a clear indicator that she’s very independent-minded, and nervous about losing her identity. That’s is not a good sign for the rigors of motherhood–which involves countless unsung, unthanked unrecognized sacrifices for others.

    If a woman is marrying a bit later in life, there may be challenges with pre-existing careers, brand names, or legal documents. But even in those cases, making the effort to change her name is a significant indicator of her respect for her husband. At the least, she could shift her maiden to middle name and then use the middle name for awhile as a transition.

    I don’t think I would have married a woman who refused to change her name.

    Other examples of this as an indicator of respect include law firms, accounting firms, etc., that continually merge and have to adopt certain partners names. It very much does matter whose names are actually on the title of the company.

  15. Brendan September 14, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Barring the exceptional cases mentioned of privacy or established celebrities or preserving extensive property holdings in name and the like, in the average, garden-variety, case, this is a political marker, primarily.

  16. y81 September 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    “If you decide not to follow convention, you should also be willing to accept that other people won’t agree with your decision and may even get confrontational/judgmental about it.”

    Well, as the commenters demonstrate, there certainly won’t be a shortage of people willing to get judgmental. For myself, I have enough to do looking down on all the people with less in the way of income or educational credentials than I or with ugly wives or unfaithful husbands or ne’er-do-well children; I haven’t had time to worry too much about the married women’s surnames.

  17. ASDF September 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    I wouldn’t marry a woman who insisted on keeping her last name. It would mean that she isn’t fully on board with being a part of the family unit, and is non-traditional (liberal) in general.

    A retarded new trend that I’m seeing is couples smooshing their names together, informally. Susie Jones and Michael Smith get married, and they refer to themselves (say on the facebook invitation to their party) as the Smijoneses.

  18. lifeinlonglegs September 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    When a woman takes a man’s name it is NOT a legal name change. It’s an honor to take a man’s name, and should be received as one. It is no more than a passive-aggressive rejection of your husband not to take his name. Ridiculous. If you don’t like his last name, and would let pride get in the way of carrying on his family name – he should turf you, plain and simple. Fahrt or no Fahrt.

  19. Samson September 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    A retarded new trend that I’m seeing is couples smooshing their names together, informally. Susie Jones and Michael Smith get married, and they refer to themselves (say on the facebook invitation to their party) as the Smijoneses.

    That *has* to only be happening in the coastal cities. Although I do know a real-life couple whose surnames were (for example) McGinnis and Brown, and after marriage she changed hers to McBrown. He didn’t change his.

  20. Aunt Haley September 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    In high school I knew a girl who later married a man who had the same last name she did. No one knew whether she kept her name.

    Steven Curtis Chapman’s wife’s maiden name was Chapman. Their shared surname was actually how they met, due to sharing a mailbox at college.

  21. Aunt Haley September 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    ASDF lives! Good to see you commenting again. :)

    lifeinlonglegs–
    When a woman takes a man’s name it is NOT a legal name change.

    Maybe not where you’re from, but it is in the United States.

    y81–
    I haven’t had time to worry too much about the married women’s surnames.

    I hope you gave yourself a gold star for that and a position as line leader for the week as well.

  22. Lily September 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    As someone/several already pointed out it is the norm in countries traditionally less ‘feminist’ than the USA for the woman to keep her last name, e.g. Spain.

    Re legal name change, it’s certainly the case in the UK that it would be one. One of my friends got quite a shock on divorce (after her husband cheated) that she couldn’t revert to her maiden name as she’d had her married name on her passport, she would have to change her name back by deed poll. Imagine, going to the lawyers just to use your own name. For the guys, whilst I understand that you’re used to women changing their name, think about how you’d feel that you completely lose rights to the name you were born with.

    Re deed poll, my granny says in the olden days when people were in relationships that weren’t marriage the woman would sometimes change her name by deed poll so the neighbours wouldn’t gossip (though this was the more scandalous sort of woman).

    I took my husband’s name, I didn’t think different at the time. The boy and I aren’t married, I didn’t really want to go through it again & I feel having children together is a bigger commitment than marriage. In fact the main reason I’d like to get married is that I’d like his surname because we belong together. It would also be nice for us all to have the same surname, I’ve been talking to schools for the babies recently (for the future obviously heh) and it’s been a touch awkward.

    That said I am known by my name professionally. I feel probably at this stage it’s ok for me to change (but would have impacted career a few years ago). It’s also a bit awkward that as I got married young that the name I’m known by professionally is my ex husband’s name not my maiden name.

  23. ASDF September 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    When a woman takes a man’s name it is NOT a legal name change.

    Aren’t you Canadian? Go look at your mother’s drivers license or passport. You can’t just put any name you like on there.

    That *has* to only be happening in the coastal cities.

    Vancouver. Good guess, though I suppose it wasn’t hard.

    ASDF lives! Good to see you commenting again. :)

    Good to be back. :)

  24. Cameron September 15, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    As someone who utterly rejects the patrilineal idea of taking a man’s last name in marriage – because its origin was to signify the woman was his chattel property – I certainly chose to keep my own name, the name I was born with, which is just as good as my husband’s name. The matrilineal approach, taking the woman’s name, seemed odd to me for the same reason. It does not indicate a lower commitment to marriage or to him or anything else. And as we’ve been married for 25 years, probably longer than some couples where the woman is forced to change her name for fear that she is viewed as “not being in board” – it seems like to worked out, family wise. “Carrying on the family name” only seems vital if you are aristocracy with significant landholdings that go along with that – not most of us, I suspect. And don’t get me started on women who have several marriages and are pushed into changing their names several times during their lifetimes … which really underscores how silly – and sexist – women changing their name is.

    And there is a simple way to avoid all this nonsense. Women keep your birth names, and men keep yours. For children, the bilineal solution: girls take the mother’s last name, and use the father’s last name as a middle name, boys take the father’s last name, with the mother’s as a middle name. Simple, fair, and it works in real life just fine, as we found with our family.

  25. Mark Slater September 15, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    I would suppose that it is based on I Corinthians 11:3 — headship. Before a girl is married, she is under the headship of her father; thus she bears his name. After she is married, she is under the headship of her husband; and then bears *his* name.

    Golly, Miss Cameron, “Bilineal” isn’t in my 1964 Thorndike-Barnhart dictionary, and I slept through most of “women’s studies” in college; so I remain unenlightened on how the “bilineal” solution would be simpler.

  26. Cameron September 15, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    “Headship” means property owner, and that’s what I reject in terms of basic human rights, no one can be the property of another. The old Testament also approves of selling your daughters into slavery so I think most of us have generally moved past those proclamations as statements of human values.

    Bilineal is simpler because it does not promote one gender or the name over the other, and it does not push one partner in marriage into changing his/her name, whether desired or not. It eliminates the “if you really loved me you’d change your name” discussion, as wel as the “if you really loved me you’d understand why I don;t want to change or hyphenate my name.”

    A few citations about the term “bilineal,” which is well-established in the social sciences, though probably post-1964. It is also used in the medical sciences as a term related to tracing inherited characteristics and diseases which may go through either the mother’s or the father’s genetic line.

    http://bitbucket.icaap.org/dict.pl?term=BILINEAL%20DESCENT
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bilineal
    http://anthro.palomar.edu/kinship/glossary.htm

  27. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    I don’t think father-headship is really a Biblical concept as much as a societal one.

  28. Lily September 15, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    I had a think today about the women I know who kept their own names and I realised overwhelmingly they are also the ones who would go on my least likely to divorce their husbands. I don’t know if there is any correlation, they are just more on the serious than frivolous side of people generally. Just struck me when I was thinking about it, it’s in odds with some of the stuff that is written the manosphere.

  29. Samson September 15, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    “Headship” means property owner

    No, it doesn’t.

    It eliminates the “if you really loved me you’d change your name” discussion

    It’s not “if you really loved me”; it’s if you really respected me”. Women subconsciously crave male authority and dominance, and if your woman won’t take your last name, she disrespects you on some basic level. Similarly, a woman who respects her husband subconsciously adopts his values and perspectives over the years. If your wife hasn’t done that, she doesn’t respect you as a man.

  30. Samson September 15, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I had a think today about the women I know who kept their own names and I realised overwhelmingly they are also the ones who would go on my least likely to divorce their husbands.

    Intelligent arch-feminists *are* usually people with decent future-time orientation and self-discipline, so they may well be less likely to divorce. But the quality of the relationship is something else.

  31. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Your comments are all-assuming, Samson, and the idea that a woman must adopt all her husband’s perspectives and values is very false.

  32. Mark Slater September 15, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    “‘Headship’ means property owner, and that’s what I reject in terms of basic human rights, no one can be the property of another.”

    Miss Cameron: Much like your “bilineal” solution of surnaming children, your understanding of headship is convoluted. If you are a man’s wife, you belong to him. Likewise, he has not power over himself, but belongs to you. (I Corinthians 7:3-4).

    This sense of belonging, I think, is what everybody craves. Even little children, robbed of a father or any stable home life, craves that belongingness. As you are happily married, I would wager that you incorporate these concepts in your marriage more than you yourself might care to admit.

    But know this, there is only one *head* of the family: the father. It is he who ultimately bears responsibility for the moral and spiritual health of the home. The family body, just like a physical body, would be monstrous with more than one head.

    Thank you for the links. I have been trying to thing of examples of “bilinealism” in my own life, and I believe I have one: When I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I was accepted on the basis of my MOTHER’S great-great grandfather. (To qualify for membership, one must be a direct descendant of one who fought for the South, mine is Lieutenant Thomas Jefferson Mixon, Louisiana Infantry)

  33. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    “It is he who ultimately bears responsibility for the moral and spiritual health of the home”

    I do not believe that he bears any more responsibility than the wife and mother; such beliefs, in fact, have harmed men with overly heavy burdens. It’s ironic, really; some gamers also pander to this idea with the contrary notions that women should simultaneously be responsible for their own actions, and constantly follow whatever their men say. Make up your mind, men; if you want women responsible, try pushing them to give input in the biggest decisions even if they resist. And if they refuse and are unhappy with your choices, tell them to suck it up because they took no part in the decision-making.

  34. Brendan September 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    the idea that a woman must adopt all her husband’s perspectives and values is very false.

    Of course, she can do what she pleases in all things — it’s a free country, after all, right?

    But, personally, I would never be interested in marrying someone who didn’t share virtually all of my “values” and the *important* “perspectives” as well. I think a lot of people think similarly as well. There are others who thrive on the constant friction that comes from having very different values and perspectives, I guess.

  35. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Point is, they should share the MOST important values from the beginning, not involve the wife simply adapting all her husband’s traits by default.

  36. Will S. September 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    A wife taking her husband’s last name is symbolic; it symbolizes the joining of the two, into one flesh.

    It indicates (ideally) that she is willing to submit to him, and won’t be contesting his being the head of the marriage, and that she will defer to him, ultimately.

    If a woman doesn’t want to do this symbolic gesture, that’s a red flag right there.

    Feminism started the hyphenization crap, and so a desire to hyphenate one’s name, rather than lose it, means one has bought into feminist dogma on this issue (the issue of rich families doesn’t apply to the rest of us; the rich are different, as they say). Red flag, for sure.

    A wife keeps her first and middle names, because she remains an individual, she doesn’t completely lose her identity and become swallowed up in being ‘Mrs. John Smith’ (even if she can be called that, legally, too.) But she needs to lose her last name, or she’s not worth it. A man who takes his wife’s name instead, is a loser, or at least, a freak, like Jack White of the White Stripes. Normal men don’t do that. Weirdo rock stars, and losers, might.

    A woman who argues about any or all of this, isn’t worth pursuing; red flag right there.

  37. Samson September 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    the idea that a woman must adopt all her husband’s perspectives and values is very false.

    I’m not saying she “must”. I’m saying she *will* adopt a lot of them, gradually, over years, if she is attracted to him and respects him.

    But, personally, I would never be interested in marrying someone who didn’t share virtually all of my “values” and the *important* “perspectives” as well.

    I agree, with this caveat: for some men (I’m speaking basically about non-Christians here; Christians should of course be marrying other believers), in our current culture, if they can’t find a woman who shares their values, sometimes the best thing to do is find someone who is apolitical and mold her, or rather, let her mold herself to his views, over time.

  38. Will S. September 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    @ Brendan, and @ Samson: agree with both of you here.

    Frankly, I’m too lazy to want to try to remold someone, nor would I be confident that it had truly taken. Better to start out as close as possible, and let her come the rest of the way willingly – by picking someone who will do that.

  39. Samson September 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    To be absolutely clear: I am not saying that a woman “must” or *will* absorb her husband’s values as part of her wifely duties. I’m saying it will just *happen* – that’s how women work. They are empty vessels by nature, waiting to be filled up by either their husband, or substitute authority figure (e.g., the State).

  40. Lily September 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Will
    ‘being ‘Mrs. John Smith’ (even if she can be called that, legally, too.)’
    This is indeed the case.

    It’s not so long since it was considered, at least in the UK to refer to her as Mrs Jane Smith as opposed to Mrs John Smith.

    “But she needs to lose her last name, or she’s not worth it”
    Does this mean you think Spanish women aren’t worth it? Even if they are devout Catholics?

  41. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    LOL Here we go with the trad-pride.

    “They are empty vessels by nature”

    That’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard.

  42. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Incidentally, many statements like these are what make women feel defensive and more receptive to feminism; I like the idea of my husband and I adapting to each other, but those empty vessel comments automatically make me want to pull away from such an idea because suddenly, it’s become objectifying and simplistic.

  43. grizzledwolf September 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Just a thing about Spanish cultures and family names. When a woman gets married in Spain, she gets to retain both her maiden name and gains her husband’s name. Legal documents would show her as y . But when she is out in the world, she usually refers to herself by her husband’s name (name husband’s name), IF she is of the traditional / old-fashioned sort. After all, Spain is infected by the feminist virus too, and feminazis are in power, so there will be womynz doing the passive-aggressive rejection thing.

    ““Headship” means property owner”

    Yeah, and “rule of thumb” means the size of a stick I can beat you with. Please, get over yourself and your feminist myth-making. “Property Owner” and “Family Head” are distinct, even when there were situations wherein their roles overlapped. After all, even groups disallowed any property at all (such as slaves) still had family heads.

  44. Will S. September 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    @ Lily: We’re talking in English here; I’m referring to the English-speaking-world here (Britain, Ireland, and the settler-colonies), not to other cultures with other deeply-ingrained, long-entrenched practices.

  45. lifeinlonglegs September 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    ASDF – “You can’t just put any name you like on there.” — a legal name change changes your name from birth. e.g. on your birth records, certificate, etc.

    Aunt H – fair comment.

  46. lifeinlonglegs September 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Will – “A woman who argues about any or all of this, isn’t worth pursuing; red flag right there.”

    Exactly. Well put.

  47. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I think that’s a ludicrous assertion, Life. I didn’t even think keeping or changing a name was a big deal either way, until suddenly every woman even considering keeping her name was massively smeared; that’s a ridiculously possessive attitude, at least if the man won’t be supporting the woman financially (if he will, OTOH, I’d doubly expect her to take his name). Tells me one thing, though: Emaios really was a moron for gutting you. You couldn’t be farther from a feminist.

  48. Kathy September 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    “Incidentally, many statements like these are what make women feel defensive and more receptive to feminism; I like the idea of my husband and I adapting to each other, but those empty vessel comments automatically make me want to pull away from such an idea because suddenly, it’s become objectifying and simplistic.”

    Very true Jen..

    “They are empty vessels by nature, waiting to be filled up by either their husband, or substitute authority figure (e.g., the State).”

    Such arrogant and crass assumptions serving only to denigrate women, won’t get you a wife anytime soon Samson.. Lol..

    The Christian view is that women and men have different but complimentary roles, in life and in marriage. We are equal but different.

    “Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out. “

  49. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Thanks Kathy :) Well-put, though I get the impression Samson honestly believes his empty vessel comment, based perhaps on sad behavior from women; based on that, it disturbed me more than anything. Like I said, I always planned on taking my husband’s name, but being dependent on a man for everything, including identity, is not why.

  50. Mark Slater September 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I don’t believe that anyone is saying, Miss Jennifer, that the woman also doesn’t have a powerful influence on her husband. This is why men are admonished many times in God’s Word to select wisely.

  51. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    True, Mark. I just don’t believe that one spouse’s personality should dominate the entire marriage, by principal or just practice. But we are all doppelgangers to some extent, as actor Cillian Murphy put it, so we should be cautious about everything and everyone we surround ourselves with.

  52. Samson September 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    That’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard.

    You don’t matter.

    Men: “Being politically incorrect, but not racist, is a fast way to generate gina tingles.”
    –http://collegeslacker.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/a-day-for-confessions/

    Such arrogant and crass assumptions serving only to denigrate women, won’t get you a wife anytime soon Samson.

    You are unintentionally hilarious.

    In fact, women are not much more than organic robots, with little free will of their own. As a rule, a given input produces a given output with startling regularity. I would guess that if there are any mature, honestly introspective, happily married women around, they will confirm what I say: that over the duration of their marriage, they found themselves, without meaning to be, drawn to their husband’s values.

  53. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    LOL Wow, your words are now scathingly pathetic. Being politically incorrect and being arrogantly incorrect are two hugely different things. In the space of real life, with both egalitarian and complimentarian couples who truly love and respect each other, you and the other shallow onliners don’t matter. Once again, there’s a difference between adapting to each other, even emulating each other, and behaving as blank slates; honest women with true beliefs don’t behave that way. But you, rather than offering any balanced clarification, chose to deliberately speak more offensively and nonsensically. On the subject of adaptation, though, thanks for reminding me all the more to stay away from men who believe even slightly in relational dominance. Yet another point here to make women wary.

    “I would guess that if there are any mature, honestly introspective women”

    It wouldn’t matter what your definition of those women said; they’re just robots, remember? They wouldn’t know better one way or another.

  54. Jennifer September 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Heh, it always amuses me how even the male dipwads compliment Susan Walsh for being smart. Amusing because the reason she IS smart is that she constantly tells women not to go for immature jerks like them.

  55. Kathy September 15, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    “It wouldn’t matter what your definition of those women said; they’re just robots, remember? They wouldn’t know better one way or another.”

    Lol. Yes Jen, that one made me chuckle.

    “I would guess that if there are any mature, honestly introspective, happily married women around, they will confirm what I say: that over the duration of their marriage, they found themselves, without meaning to be, drawn to their husband’s values.”

    Where do you come up with this stuff, Samson?.. “I would guess”???? Indeed.. Just a guess.

    I have been happily married for fifteen years now to a wonderful man. We have two kids. Ours is a traditional complementarian marriage.

    Though a good man, my husband was not a practicing Christian when we married. I was…

    Do you know what? He IS now.. He credits me with making him aware and bringing him back to the church..( God used me to bring my husband back to the church..) We are both on the same page now. We reinforce each other’s faith.

    Do not speak about things you know nothing of, nor have any experience in.

    “There are four types of men in this world: 1. The man who knows, and knows that he knows; he is wise, so consult him.

    2. The man who knows, but doesn’t know that he knows; help him not forget what he knows.

    3. The man who knows not, and knows that he knows not; teach him.

    4. Finally, there is the man who knows not but pretends that he knows; he is a fool, so avoid him. ”

    Guess I’ll just be avoiding you from now on Samson :D

  56. grizzledwolf September 16, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    Looks like I encountered a formatting problem. I meant to say that in Spanish culture, when a woman gets married, her legal name is formatted as (given name) (husband’s name) y (maiden name).

    “I would guess that if there are any mature, honestly introspective, happily married women around, they will confirm what I say: that over the duration of their marriage, they found themselves, without meaning to be, drawn to their husband’s values.”

    I don’t think Sampson’s entirely wrong, though I wouldn’t say it like he does. Ever see an old couple and realize how similar they look? Over time, constant exposure to each other draws the two people in a relationship into each other’s habits. This also encompasses beliefs. If you marry someone of a very different worldview, over time both of you will moderate towards an unspoken middle, though that middle often favors the husband. (If you marry a feminazi propagandist though, all bets are off.)

  57. Kathy September 16, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    grizzledwolf, you are quite right when you say that:

    “exposure to each other draws the two people in a relationship into each other’s habits. This also encompasses beliefs.”

    I also now enjoy watching the football more than I ever did because I have learnt so much more about the game(tactics positions etc) from my hubby who is an avid follower and a purist.

    You are not at all saying what Samson is saying . He is saying that it is ALWAYS the woman who soaks up the values and beliefs of her husband,(he says that’s how women work) because she is basically an airhead(empty vessel)

    This is not true at all. I know of a couple who split because she was a practicing Christian, whilst he was an avowed Atheist. She initiated the split because she could no longer tolerate his disrespect toward God and her Religion.. Empty vessel.. Er, no, I think not.

    But I understand and agree with much of what you say. Yours is a reasoned and intelligent response.

  58. Jennifer September 16, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    Grizzled, you’re quite right; it’s actually startled me to see how much couples can even physically resemble each other (though this wasn’t even always in their older years). As you can imagine, it was the strong word usage to describe women that disturbed us.

  59. Jennifer September 16, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    “If you marry someone of a very different worldview, over time both of you will moderate towards an unspoken middle, though that middle often favors the husband”

    Yes, sometimes; personalities vary.

  60. terri September 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I would guess that if there are any mature, honestly introspective, happily married women around, they will confirm what I say: that over the duration of their marriage, they found themselves, without meaning to be, drawn to their husband’s values.

    It’s true.

  61. Jennifer September 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    You know there’s a difference between that and the main kind of thing he described, Terri.

  62. Langobard September 17, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    “That’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard.”

    You don’t matter.

    Actually, this is a Christian blog, and everyone here matters.

    Men: “Being politically incorrect, but not racist, is a fast way to generate gina tingles.”
    –http://collegeslacker.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/a-day-for-confessions/

    Which means that el ‘collegeslacker’ is really not politically incorrect after all, but simply posturing like a ‘tough guy’ in an establishment-approved ‘safe’ way.

    Samson – don’t take this guy too seriously at all – since he is truly deserving of the term *slacker*:

    Speaking of hedonism, it is something that comes naturally to me. A Christian upbringing did little to temper this. I believe it takes a big streak of selfishness to become a hedonist, and selfishness I have in spades. I care about my good friends, my family, and little else besides me.

    What a revelation…

  63. Brendan September 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    The thing is, Jennifer, you should have -zero- problem finding a Christian man who would be happy to have you keep your last name, as the majority of Christians are not traditional in any sense whatsoever. The folks here tend to be traditional — traditional evangelicals, Reformed, Catholic and Orthodox. That is because traditionals of all confessions tend to have a prominent place on the internet to counterbalance their relative weakness in the world at large. The “average” Christian in any evangelical, Reformed, Catholic or Orthodox parish/congregation doesn’t care a whit about things like last names after marriage, so it shouldn’t really be an issue for you personally, I would think.

  64. Jennifer September 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    It’s not an issue for me, Brendan; I plan on changing my name. My issue was with attacking any woman who didn’t intend to.

  65. Eumaios September 18, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    “Why is keeping a woman’s last name such an issue for you?”

    Jennifer is revealed as an Eliza bot.

  66. Eumaios September 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    An anecdote, the plural of which you should all know: http://eumaios.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/why-she-wanted-to-keep-her-last-name/

  67. AnonymousDog September 19, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Re: A woman taking her husband’s name and using her maiden name as a “middle” name.

    Samson, this isn’t anything new. Women in business and politics have done this for years to advertise their family connections, not as some exercise of “pseudo-feminist girrrl power”. They want potential customers or voters to recognize them as part of their father’s family.

  68. Cameron September 19, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Wow, there are a lot of seriously illogical and female-denigrating comments going on here. One by one:

    Value sharing: “a woman who respects her husband subconsciously adopts his values and perspectives over the years.” To say this happens almost automatically is a logical flaw. It’s likely that couples who share values (about family, work, roles, finances, religion, child-rearing, etc.) are more likely to agree to settle down together,and will probably stay together longer than those who don’t simply because there would be less arguing and conflict, rather than vice-versa. The writer implies that women, prior to marriage to some all-intelligent guy, have no values of their own. Wrong. We manage to grow up with values of our own and bring those values into marriage, thank you very much,.

    Women as robots: “women are not much more than organic robots, with little free will of their own.” That’s simply and insanely misogynistic. It’s our free will that tells us to avoid men who talk like that, because thank goodness our parents don’t choose our husbands for us or we might end up with a lifetime of that kind of that kind of nonsense.

    Dominance: “Women subconsciously crave male authority and dominance” Actually not. I’m among many women who can say for certain that I have never craved male dominance, and are not masochists. Never ever craved that. Not once.

    Head of the family: “there is only one *head* of the family: the father. It is he who ultimately bears responsibility for the moral and spiritual health of the home. ” Both parents bear responsibility for the moral tenor of the home and the education of children. Why bother educating women at all if doing so does not help them develop values, free will and be able to share in the creation of a good home life? Oh, that WAS the way it was for more years than we can count, universal education for women being only about 100years old and only in some countries.

    So the lesson from those quoted above seems to be: by keeping women uneducated they won’t have any values, or ideas, other than those forced upon them by the men (father, then husband) who dominate them. Pretty nice for the guys who get to do no heavy lifting in building an equal marriage or an equal society. But the truth is, thanks to those feminists some have denigrated here, women now do have rights to property, to employment and housing and education, to child custody, to equal pay for equal work (though we’re not there yet). And we expect and deserve an equal role in shaping our families and our society, and that’s what we’re fighting for.

  69. Langobard September 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Re: A woman taking her husband’s name and using her maiden name as a “middle” name.

    Samson, this isn’t anything new. Women in business and politics have done this for years to advertise their family connections, not as some exercise of “pseudo-feminist girrrl power”. They want potential customers or voters to recognize them as part of their father’s family. @AnonymousDog

    Historically, even well before the pre-1960’s feminist age, many nations in Western civilization – and not just in Spain, Portugal and France, for example – many people, both women and men took the mother’s maiden name as their ‘middle’ to advertise and show pride in their family lineage, especially among the aristocracy, the upper-classes and the ‘bourgeoisie’.

    This noble tradition was particularly strong in, of all places, Teutonic Germany, especially the Kingdom of Prussia, one of the most powerful and certainly the most dynamic and innovative state that so profoundly shaped and influenced modern European civilization.

  70. Lily September 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    “Women as robots: “women are not much more than organic robots, with little free will of their own.” That’s simply and insanely misogynistic. It’s our free will that tells us to avoid men who talk like that, because thank goodness our parents don’t choose our husbands for us or we might end up with a lifetime of that kind of that kind of nonsense”
    Not my parents, my pa would not choose me a husband like that, he’d have me living at home with him forever over that kind of malarkey lol.

  71. Jennifer September 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    LOL An Eliza bot, Emaois?

  72. dragnet September 20, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    “But we don’t live in a vacuum – we live in a society in which, when a woman doesn’t take her husband’s name, she is making a very clear statement about sexual roles, headship, independence, and so forth. Even today, a woman who keeps her last name is very clearly aligning herself with… them.”

    Nailed it right outta the gate.

  73. Jennifer September 20, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Actually, we’re living in a society where sex roles are not usually so sharply defined anymore.

  74. Lily September 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    I think a better indication on whether a woman is going to be a bit of a handful rather than changing her name on her passport and/or her work (given most people marry closer to 30 than 20) is whether she makes a fuss if she’s referred to as Mrs X in a Mr and Mrs X way rather than insisting people say Mr X and Mrs or Ms Y. None of the women I was thinking above would mind or think to mention it. I can only think of a couple of women who would.

    But of course each to their own. People should marry whom they have the best fit with.

  75. Will S. September 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Only problem there, Lily, is you have to wait till she becomes Mrs. X to find out, according to how you’ve laid it out.

    Better to find out beforehand, I should think.

  76. Bb September 21, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Jen says, “When I was a manager, I would toss any resumes with hyphenated names.”

    You’d throw out a resume without any regard to an applicant’s qualifications? Would a man with a hyphenated name suffer the same fate? Some people have hyphenated last names because their parents gave it to them, not because of their personal or political beliefs.

    I could see not approving or making judgements on a person’s last name in social situations, but in terms of people seeking jobs, this seems very prejudicial.

  77. grizzledwolf September 22, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    “Dominance: “Women subconsciously crave male authority and dominance” Actually not. I’m among many women who can say for certain that I have never craved male dominance, and are not masochists. Never ever craved that. Not once”

    Reminds me of the woman who “doesn’t kiss on the first date” giving head in the bathroom. The hamster says something, but the female hindbrain knows what it wants. This is just talk.

    “Both parents bear responsibility for the moral tenor of the home and the education of children. Why bother educating women at all if doing so does not help them develop values, free will and be able to share in the creation of a good home life? Oh, that WAS the way it was for more years than we can count, universal education for women being only about 100years old and only in some countries.”

    Ah, like the crazy aunt at a family dinner party, the feminist narrative shows up. Both parents most certainly don’t bear responsibility for the moral tenor of the family. Most often it is the father, by virtue of his actions, his presence (or non-presence) and his character, that determines the moral tenor of the family. Why do you think that the only way to break a civilization down without resorting to a large-scale barbarian invasion is by creating so many single mothers? (You overload the state and create a society of nihilistic push-overs.) As for the notion that women before the “Great Leap Forward” were uneducated and ignorant, I’d wager they’d know more about how to be a wife and mother through their “old wives’ tales” than many of our so-called “educated” women, most of whom seem to think that being an abrasive pseudo-man makes them better partners.

    “But the truth is, thanks to those feminists some have denigrated here, women now do have rights to property, to employment and housing and education, to child custody, to equal pay for equal work (though we’re not there yet). ”

    Yeah, how’s that working for ya? Wage slaves with a pitiful reproduction rate. At least, she can now exponentially predict the explosion of the local cat populace with her “education”. Although, I don’t think they teach Math over at Womyn’s Studies.

  78. y81 September 22, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    “Reminds me of the woman who “doesn’t kiss on the first date” giving head in the bathroom.”

    I really haven’t found that to be a pervasive phenomenon, at least outside of the Penthouse letters section. I believe that both my wife and our hostess fall into the first category, and neither of them falls into the second. But Haley (or any other women in the first category) can speak for herself.

  79. Jennifer September 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    “Reminds me of the woman who “doesn’t kiss on the first date” giving head in the bathroom. The hamster says something, but the female hindbrain knows what it wants. This is just talk”

    Don’t bother giving us the “just talk” crap. Women with functioning forebrains know that what their bodies want isn’t always what’s best.

  80. Cameron September 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Grizzled’s comments … really, the hamster thing is a new low. Sad. Women who are educated can’t be good wives and mothers? Please. Tell that to the women who earn good salaries and take care of their families and have happy marriages – there are plenty of them. And women aren’t good at math? Guess you conveniently gloss over the women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies – companies which seem to be the ones that are thriving, not causing economic chaos and fraud, nor screwing their employees.

    Feminism means creating and defending equal rights for women, which are human rights. We haven’t yet gotten to actual equality, but having a legal and moral framework will help us get there, and get there we will. The old ways and old attitudes are dying, more and a more every day, thank goodness. If you think that all women should be submissive, uneducated and subordinate, then you’re just hopeless.

  81. Jennifer September 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Whoa Cameron, feminism hasn’t been about equality in a long time. Now divorce laws are very unfair towards men and women are encouraged to be sluts; the results have been disastrous. Your thoughts are good, but feminism’s not what you should call it.

  82. Eumaios September 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    “feminism hasn’t been about equality in a long time”

    Feminism has never been about equality. There’s a reason it’s not called “egalitarianism”.

    There’s also a reason it was supported by Marxists, using Gramscian tactics.

  83. Eumaios September 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    “Women who are educated can’t be good wives and mothers?”

    They have the significant disadvantages of starting a decade late, with claptrap-ridden minds, and lacking basic household-management skills.

  84. Jennifer September 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    “There’s a reason it’s not called “egalitarianism””

    True enough. The country was on its way to achieving the latter, when the former decided to jump the gun. Feminism was about empowering liberal women, not making men and women equal.

    Educated women can easily be good wives and mothers, if they are taught this by their own moms or other women along with their education; to suggest otherwise is a bad assumption.

  85. grizzledwolf September 24, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    “Grizzled’s comments … really, the hamster thing is a new low. Sad. Women who are educated can’t be good wives and mothers?”

    Oh, they can be. Especially when they don’t let the “education” get in the way. If anything, they’ll unlearn much of what they were “educated” with.

    “Tell that to the women who earn good salaries and take care of their families and have happy marriages – there are plenty of them.”

    Far fewer than those left destitute by the wasteland.

    “Guess you conveniently gloss over the women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies – companies which seem to be the ones that are thriving, not causing economic chaos and fraud, nor screwing their employees. ”

    And how many of these ball-busters took up Women’s Studies in college? (That was the point of the quip, but never mind.) Better yet, how many of them are there? And how many of them got there without the benefit of daddy’s legacy? If anything, the very masculine look of a Fortune 500 CEO gathering remains one of the sticking points of feminists who peddle the “pay gap” lie.

    “Feminism means creating and defending equal rights for women, which are human rights.”

    I’d believe you, except that feminism invented a whole plethora of rights under the Orwellian term “reproductive rights” that are not human rights at all. Ah, the war of a few bitter harpies against reality.

    “If you think that all women should be submissive, uneducated and subordinate, then you’re just hopeless.”

    We will see who is hopeless when the world men built crumbles and you end up having to face the darkness yourselves. There is an old African saying; you never tear down an old fence without knowing what it kept in or out. The old ways preserved us, which is why they survived long enough to become the “old ways”. When the old fences are ripped out, don’t come crying when the monsters it kept out come rampaging in.

    I have nothing against educated women. Educated women have existed long before the Great Leap Forward. (Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila…all great women, and none of them feminists) Educated women have defended the old ways, just as much as some of them have foolishly tried to dismantle them. Its feminism and its destruction of femininity and male-female relations, of which submissiveness is a key component, that I find abominable. It is the last one standing of all the destructive ideologies that make the 20th century one of the most shameful in human history.

  86. imnobody September 27, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    Well, being from Southern Europe, this does not seem a problem to me. Here every people has two last names: the one that inherits from the father and the one that inherits from the mother. It’s like hyphenated names in USA but without the hyphen.

    Having said that, it’s different in America. Since wife’s taking her husband’s last name is the tradition, departing from this behavior is making a statement. In this case, it is a statement of independence, female power and all this crap. I have nothing against women’s independence, but they can be independent by being single. Marriage is an interdependent institution.

    So, no, if I lived in America, I would never marry a woman who refused taking my last name. Men bear the primary costs of marriage so they must be the head of the family (as Bible says). Every other kind of family has proved to be a disaster. A woman who refuses taking her husband’s last name is going to refuse to accept her husband’s authority. And this means trouble.

  87. Langobard September 27, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    imnobody – you are one of the most interesting commentators I have ever read that deals with the topics of what I like to call ‘red-pill Christianity’.

    Please comment here more often.

  88. Jennifer September 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Both husband and wife should be heads of the family; the Bible does not call the husband the “authority” of his wife, but “head” of her (and not lone head of the house, or the family as a whole), as in the prime cornerstone of a building, a source of strength, support, and life. Yes, there are many families who don’t have husbands holding authority over their wives and they are vibrant and healthy families; the disaster fear is a myth, created generally by the same kind of stuff as practiced by those gamers who claim the man must always maintain control and limit his partner’s input.

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