Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Taking Her Name, Part 2
“I believe more and more women will be requiring that their husbands take on the wife’s last name,” writes Elise Sutton, undoubtedly the most influential Internet voice on the subject of Female Led Relationships. “This is a societal dynamic that is still in its infancy but it is starting to become a trend that will continue to grow with each generation.”
But Ms. Sutton’s has not been a leading voice on the subject of “Taking Her Name.” As she explains, “I was once asked why I didn’t require my husband to take my last name. I explained that we decided not to buck that societal tradition out of respect for our parents. But that was over twenty years ago and society has changed a lot since then…”
One online forum that focused on this controversial issue was the old (as in “defunct,” alas) Spouseclub message board, or “Spousechat,” which was active between 2001 to 2003. Ms. Lynda, the board’s most prolific contributor, was a particular advocate of observing all patriarchal conventions in reverse, but she was by no means the only true believer on the topic, as you will see. There follows a “Taking Her Name” sampling (also available on this blog’s Spousechat Archive) in roughly chronological order:
As you know there is a small but increasing number of men who legally take their wife's name when they marry, which I hope will become a topic of discussion in this group. It seems to me that a man taking his wife's last name is the ultimate expression of spousehood.
Today a man who takes his wife's name can do so with pride and respect for his wife's status and accomplishments. As stated, a man who takes his wife's name pays tribute to women’s hard-fought and well-deserved current status, when he says he is honored to be known by his wife's last name. I find the large number of men taking their wives names today to be a very encouraging sign of the acceptance of the coming more matriarchal society.
In taking her last name, I acknowledged my wife’s leadership. I hope more men will consider taking their wife's last name as their own. This is most important when a wife has an important career. Why should she give up her identity? Let her celebrate her accomplishments. By taking her name, I can celebrate them also.
At the age of 28, I got married last year to a woman who is 5 years older than I am and, as the IT Manager she earns twice more than I do. I know nothing about matriarchisism, but it was an obvious choice that I should be the one who will gladly take her name as my own. After I legally changed my previous name and put her maiden name in all my documents, we both thought that we did a good thing and she is very proud of me.
My fiance and will be married in 4 months. She proposed to me. She is a very high powered partner in a large law firm. I have a Liberal arts degree. Needless to say she does and always will make more money than I will ever do… I read in a post here about the husband taking the wife’s name. Now that I think about it, it would be silly for her to change to my name - what for? Her name is a whole lot more relevant. I will discuss it with her. I would be proud to have her name.
We also talked about the name issue. She was going to keep her name regardless anyway so it’s up to me if I want to take her name. I feel that taking her name is a clear indication of our new roles and is a way that I can express to her and the world that she is the head of our household. I t am not sure how to do it legally, but I would be Mr (her first name) (her last name).
Take your wife's name and become Mr. (her first name) (her last name). In this way, you can tell society that your family is a female-centered household. If she is the head of your household, should you not be proud to announce it? Why should she give up her identity? Let her celebrate her accomplishments. The large number of men taking their wives names today is a very encouraging sign of the acceptance of the coming more matriarchal society.
In Sweden, where it is very common for the man to take the wife's name and where there is a growing number of househusbands, the groom is often presented to the bride. In a civil ceremony I attended, the groom was bound to the bride with a white cloth before he recited his vows to her. He promised to "love, honor, and obey"; she was a matriarchist and refused to be bound to him for her vows to him… It is good that you have decided to take your bride's name. I did it because my bachelor name was so difficult to write and say. However, I also wanted to do it because she is the Head of the Household.
FRANCES (WIFE OF LARS)
My husband is as much a man as anyone. He chose to take my name in marriage because I had the career, his name was impossible to pronounce, and, we chose a life where he is subordinate to me. He shows a lot of strength as a househusband and stay at home dad. He had the example of many of his European friends. IT IS HAPPENING. As women get more power, they may head their families; there is no shame in admitting who the head of the house is.
TOM AKA MR. BARBARA
[My wife Barbara] was always so bossy and demanding that I knew what life with her would be like, and, I accepted my role in the relationship. I am strong enough in my masculine abilities that I do not care that I am Mr. Barbara. It is great knowing that there are others. I thank Barbara for being the boss; I could not have done the job she has done. We are a well adjusted family because of her leadership and drive.
I will graduate from college this spring, and, the chances of my getting the higher paying job are great. My offers have already far exceeded what my boyfriend has been offered. My major has always paid more than his; my boyfriend has said he will move where I decide, will be a househusband if needed, and will support my career. I asked him if he would take my last name as his own in marriage. I was surprised. He said, "With honor and pleasure."
I and many others of us believe that power in relationships should belong to the female partner. In short we are "matriarchists." We believe that not only individual relationships but the world in general would be a far better place for all of us if women held the reins of power… As such we very much regard the question of "name changing" as a matter of power and gender, and believe that the question of who takes whose last name should be determined by who holds the power in the couple, and we believe that should be the female.
While people thinking matriarchal marriage is relatively new, I know several men who desire this life, and have found it with the women in their lives. In two cases, the women were medical doctors who could not take their husband's name in marriage. The husbands then took their wife's name in marriage. Both stay at home and take care of the house. One is a lawyer. Her husband works for his wife as an investigator. However, he is home in time to prepare and serve meals.
I recently married one very powerful woman; she is the leader in all things… Long live the matriarchy! And yes, I took her name in marriage so that any one might know who is at the center of our household.
I am getting married this fall, and my future Wife does not want to change Her name. We talked about me getting a new last name that is my name, hyphen, and Her name. But reading a couple of other posts here on the subject, I will ask Her for permission to adopt Her last name. If I, who believe in the matriarchal marriage and family structure, should not spearhead such a tradition, it will never happen.
I'm a 34-year-old man who's about to get married to the Woman of my dreams. We share the view that She's more fit to have the final word on important decisions in our life. She will be the natural head of the family, and I will do everything I can to support Her in Her career. Thanks to a post earlier about men taking their wives' last names, I've just decided that that's what I want to do: Take Her last name when we marry.
I am glad you are taking your wife's last name in marriage. My boyfriend is doing the same later this summer when we marry. Will you also be Mr. (Her First Name) (Her Family Name) for formal purposes?
I am getting more comfortable with my status in the relationship… I am comfortable taking Lynda's last name… At parties or gatherings, are you ever known as Mr. Lisa? I am comfortable with Ms. and Mr. Lynda BJ as our formal address as I think it opens new ground for a career woman.
As far as names, my name since marriage is Charles (Lisa’s last name). I took it from the beginning. However, I've never used or been called Mr. Lisa (LLN), by anybody. Women have always taken their husbands last name, so I don’t see what the big deal is.
This is the evening I will get married… Both my mother and future mother-in-law are ardent feminists. They have been very supportive of our decisions, including my soon to be husband taking my name and letting our family address be Ms. and Mr. Lynda BJ in the most formal sense… [After the ceremony] his mother said, "I entrust him to you for further training and love. He is a good boy who needs the direction of a strong woman. Let him be your helpmate." It was my time to cry.
Although I took my wife's last name when we got married, I've never been called Mr. Lisa (her last name), but I must admit after seeing the list [posted here recently] (i.e., Mr. Betsy B. English, Mr. Catherine Morecold, Mr. Sarah McCowlick, Mr. Senator Mary Shearman, Mr. Senator Jayne Tocsin, etc.), it does make me wonder. Ms. and Mr. Lisa Smith (not real last name). I must admit there does not seem to be a more true act of open devotion and subordination.
I know that you are Charles most of the time. [But you should always] be Mr. Lisa when being addressed formally. My husband will also keep his masculine name forever. However, I do intend to always address him as Mr. Lynda in public. Someone must begin to set some new standards… The other day, I called my husband Mr. Lynda in front of friends because my mind went blank and I could not remember his male name. (I was very tired; it came back to me within a nanosecond.) He just laughed and said he enjoyed it! I enjoyed it too.
How do you feel being addressed by me as Mr. Lisa? You are still Charles, but, you are also part of the Ms. and Mr. Lisa (Smith) matriarchal clan.
Ms. Lynda, the fact that you addressed me as Mr. Lisa, without first asking me, really says a lot about you. You obviously are decisive and have no problem making decisions for men. You made the decision to call me Mr. Lisa without my input. Even though I do not know you, this little thing made me feel very subordinate to you, in a very positive way. The fact that you call me only by this name is a constant reminder to me of my place. Thank you.
How did last evening go? What did you serve to [Lisa’s real estate] agents for dinner? How did you serve? Does Lisa hire men as well as women? Are you more comfortable around women than men? What would happen if the women agents brought the men they were dating or to whom they were married? I also hope you took one moment to introduce yourself in terms of Ms. Lisa being the head of your family. “Welcome to the home of Ms. and Mr. Lisa Smith.”
Ms. Lynda, I regret to say that I do not have the courage to do that yet. What I did do however, was when I greeted them at the door, I introduced myself only as “Lisa's husband,” not saying my first name. The first woman, Cathy, did not pick up on this, and asked me my name. The second woman, Terri, had a little bit of fun with me. She said, “Nice to meet you Lisa's husband, I'm Terri. So do you have a name of your own or shall I call you ‘Lisa's husband’ all evening?” I replied, half jokingly, “Yes, it's Charles, but I answer to ‘Lisa's husband,’ ‘Hey you with the apron,’ or even ‘Mr. Lisa.’ Terri laughed and said “Well, I see this is going to be fun.”
Dear Mr. Lisa, Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I think you did the right thing in your introduction. As I said before, you are still Charles; I just think it is as important to be Mr. Lisa Smith as shamelessly as possible.
Now, Mr. Lisa, I have decided to always ask a man if he enjoys being called Mr. Lisa Smith. Men have expected women to give up their names so easily and for so long. Even if a couple will take the man's name, a man should have the feeling of being called by his wife's first and last name as the family name. I would hope that this would create even more respect for his wife. I think junior and senior high school-aged boys should be required to write the name of their girlfriends like Ms. and Mr. Lauren Tyler.
Give the honor and prestige to Lisa by also being Mr. Lisa Smith. After you have done it, ask yourself: How do I feel giving up my identity? What honor do I give Lisa by proclaiming her leadership in our family?
I was at lunch today with five other women who will be getting married within the next year and a half. Three are keeping their names in marriage. Two are taking the name of their husband. I asked each to ask their boyfriend how he would feel taking her name in marriage. My point is that he may have a greater respect for her and her role in the family if he realizes what she is giving up. I think I am going to make it a mission of mine to encourage young women to ask that questions of their future spouses. I am for freedom for everyone. I just want the matriarchal to stand shamelessly with the patriarchal.
Have you shared with Ms. Lisa about being Ms. and Mr. Lisa Smith?
Lisa and I have decided that from now on we will be known as Ms. and Mr. Lisa Smith, thanks to you Ms. Lynda. I decided to take this step because I feel I need to do more to further the new matriarchy, and hopefully this will generate questions and comments from women and men. I must admit, it may possibly be a little uncomfortable at first. I am going to the stationery store today to order some stationery (envelopes, address labels) with the name Ms. and Mr. Lisa S., so I guess today will be my first test as to how I will go about this. But anyway, I will let you know how it goes. Lisa's mother (Catherine) shares most of Lisa's viewpoints on this matter, so of course she thought it was a fantastic idea. As a matter of fact, Catherine is a member of a local feminist group, and she has been talking for a long time about having Lisa and me as guest speakers at one of their meetings. I can hear her now introducing us: “Please welcome my daughter and her husband, Ms. and Mr. Lisa S.”
I am so very proud of you for taking the step to become Ms. and Mr. Lisa Smith. And, I feel a special closeness to my sister Lisa. How did yesterday go at the stationery shop? Were you waited on by a male or female clerk?
The female clerk was quite surprised when I told her the names I wanted on the items I was ordering. When I explained it to her, she thought it was the greatest thing that I was actually taking my wife's name. She told me that I was a really enlightened man and that she wished more men were like me. I think this is typical of the reaction of most women.
ANOTHER MR. HER
I am the husband of a very important woman, and I have become Mr. Her with few problems. It has been great finding other men who have adopted both the wife's first name and last name for the family. I also agree with not using “my wife” as often as we do. Have any of you used “Woman and husband”? We did at our wedding ceremony, and I noticed that Ms. Lynda and her husband did the same.
When we were married over 15 years ago, I took my wife's last name in marriage, but kept my name for professional reasons. In other words, only the closest family members and children knew of our family by my wife's name. At home, I would be Mr. Her, but in public I stayed Mr. Me. But I was so inspired by [many examples of husbands taking their wife’s name] that I took the step and changed my driver's license and other ID to my wife's name. I also told church members, and others that our family would be known as Dr. and Mr. (Her First Name) (Her Last Name) in formal settings. Except for the “That's cool” and “You are too pussywhipped,” no one seems to care. Her mother thinks it is the most wonderful thing since sliced bread. She loves to introduce me to her friends. I even think she has forgotten my first name.
I sometimes am referred to as Mr. S____, my wife's name. While she chuckles about it, I get a very nice sensation that comes over me. Looking back on our relationship, she has always been the dominant partner. I offer my opinion, and defer to her decision always! I believe that as a male within an FLR everything (big or small) that I can do to overtly place her first does, in fact, create those sensations and ripples that underscore actively sublimating the masculine to female authority. Not as an act of sacrifice or even submission, but rather more of attunement and congruence with what I experience as the more natural relationship.
Mrs. Louise and I were married last year and were fully aware of our roles before we walked down the aisle. I took her name. No, not secretly and not just on paper. We walked into our reception as Ms. and Mr. D. (her name) and I've never looked back.
It was through our discussions that Mr. Lisa decided to become Mr. Lisa in the most formal of ways. We know several men who are doing this. We hope that it becomes more and more. In your group, how many men are known by their wife's last name?
Most are legally, but all are known that way in our personal group.
MODERN DAY AMAZON
Like Ms. Lynda and Ms. Lisa, I make it easy for my husband to submit to me because I do love him. By the way, while it is no big thing, he also took my last name when we married. I tease him about being Ms. and Mr. Amazon Warrior/Woman.
(End of Part 2)