Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's in a Name?

I will admit that I wandered across this article and noticed that the journalist was remarking, with some horror, that some one thought her name sounded like a romance author's name. Blah, Blah, romance is crap, etc. It's not like that is a new tune.

But I found the general point of the piece interesting, that women may lose something by taking their husbands name when they marry. For example she referred to (but doesn't bother to name or cite, I think it's this one) a study suggesting that women who retain their maiden name earn more money and are perceived as more ambitious and less caring.

The comments on this article sink it to an even lower level with gems such as "Funny how women have no problem with a man spending half is salary on a diamond ring... yet feminists can't be asked to show the same kind of commitment" and "I have always thought that any woman who thought taking her husband's name was a problem, was a misandric pig. Show some commitment to the marriage or don't get married at all."

I was trying to think of any romance novel that covered the post-nuptial naming issue, but drawing a blank. I guess it falls under prosaic but alienating issues most writers just prefer to leave ambiguous (like circumcised versus natural or do heroines carry condoms).

6 comments:

Angie said...

"I have always thought that any woman who thought taking her husband's name was a problem, was a misandric pig. Show some commitment to the marriage or don't get married at all."

I've heard variations on that theme all my life. [nod] Funny, no one who huffed it out with great sarcasm or indignation was ever able to give me a good reason why the husband doesn't show committment to the marriage, or prove he's proud of his wife (my grandmother's favorite reason was that a woman should be proud to take her husband's name) by taking his wife's name. [eyeroll]

Angie

Ainsley said...

Good grief!

I kept the name I was born with after I got married. (Well, sort of--I do have pen names.)

I consider myself a feminist. I'm also a wife, mother, scientist and writer. I wear a 60$ gold wedding band. No diamond.

And I've been married for 29 years.

To those people who expect proof of commitment via some symbol like a name change: that's short-cut thinking. A marriage is good and long only if it IS good and long. No symbol will do that.

fiona glass said...

I was happy to take my hubby's name because it was easier to spell than mine. :D But it should be a matter of personal choice between couples, not peer pressure...

Angie said...

Fiona -- But it should be a matter of personal choice between couples, not peer pressure

That's it exactly. [nod] I took my husband's name too, because I wanted to. My maiden name was Jones, very bland and boring, and I'd always disliked it. I liked my husband's name very much (still do!) and was happy for a chance to switch.

It's the pressure and presumed obligation that's wrong.

Angie

Linda Mooney said...

My maiden name was Jones, very bland and boring, and I'd always disliked it.

LOL! I was a Smith before I was a Mooney (we celebrated 28 yrs in Jan.) I grew up meeting and competing with other Linda Smiths, which was why I was happy to take my new name. Not only am I further up in the alphabet, but I love affirming the Irish heritage on both sides of the family.

JS said...

That's right, the entire nations of China and Spain are filled with misandrist women who aren't committed to their marriages.

Pull the other one!