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:


MAL
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.

PAUL
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.

JON JAMES
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.

MR. BARBARA
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.

MICHAEL BRADSHAW
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.
Update:
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).

ARTEMIS
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.

LARS
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.

JUDITH
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."

ELIZABETH
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.

CHRIS
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.

ANONYMOUS FIANCÉ
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.

SUBMALE
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.

MS. LYNDA
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?

MR. LYNDA
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.

CHARLES
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.

MS. LYNDA
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.

CHARLES
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.

MS. LYNDA
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.

CHARLES
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.

MS. LYNDA
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.”

CHARLES
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.”

MS. LYNDA
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?

MR. LISA
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.”

MS. LYNDA
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?

MR. LISA
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.

JON
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.

NP757
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.

MR. LOUISE
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.

MS.LYNDA
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?

MR. LOUISE
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)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read your two posts about having a husband take his wife's name. A close friend of mine used to subscribe to group that focused on female dominated marriage. She forwarded me an email a few years ago that dealt with the very same subject. I thought your readers might find it interesting. It's a little long, so I need to send it in parts. Hope it all shows up.

----------------------------------

Wife Led Marriage - What’s In A Name?

Apparently nothing if you’re a woman and everything if
you’re a man.

One of my subscribers wrote me about a sermon she
heard at her parent’s (very conservative) church
recently. The pastor was speaking about the many
perils of the women’s movement. During the sermon the
pastor touched on, or maybe more to the point, stomped
through the old familiar ground of the marital roles
of each spouse. And of course this was all backed up
by scripture. She was particularly offended by what he
said concerning the wife taking her husband’s surname.


He said that a woman’s life before marriage is not
unlike the stages that a caterpillar must go through
before becoming a butterfly. He equated her maiden
name to the cocoon that protects the caterpillar
during its metamorphosis. When the time is right she
breaks free of her name just as the caterpillar breaks
free of its cocoon to emerge as a beautiful butterfly.
At that point it has served its purpose and is no
longer needed. If you ask me, this man of God has been
hitting the communion wine a little heavy. I should
get him in touch with good old Pastor Bob.

What kind of message are we sending to society with
this bullshit? What effect did his words have on the
children who were sitting in the congregation that
morning? Did the little boys puff out their chests
knowing that their names were more important in God’s
eyes? Did the little girls slump down in their seats
knowing that they would be stuck with their
disposable, inferior names until they were lucky
enough to find a boy to marry them? Since when was it
God’s will that women need to “break free” from their
maiden names. Is this really such a good thing?

If you ask me it’s just another way of detaching women
from their identity. As enlightened and
forward-thinking as our society claims to be, there is
no denying that patriarchy is still as pervasive as
ever. It is nothing more than an annoying two year old
child who constantly yells “Mine, Mine, Mine!”
whenever someone dares to touch or even look at an
object within his view. The last thing husbands need
is to have these messages, sometimes blatantly,
sometimes subliminally pumped into their brains. His
woman, his property, his law, his identity. Mine,
Mine, Mine!!! That’s the last thing any of us need.

Anonymous said...

Part 3

I suppose this topic now swings me around to yet
another issue. An even lesser spoken of issue,
children’s surnames. While the percentage of women who
retain their own name hovers somewhere around 10%,
much lower than I would have imagined, the number of
children who are given anything other than their
fathers name is even lower. I couldn’t really find any
studies with concrete numbers. All the evidence was
pretty much anecdotal. It’s apparently just too small
to be on anyone’s radar at this point. It does still
happen though, and not just with women who have
children out of wedlock. Although even with these
women, many give their child the fathers name even if
he’s completely out of the picture and not at all
involved in the child’s life. Just goes to show how
strong traditions can be. Or who knows, maybe it’s
more in an effort to get him to pay child support.

As far as this tradition goes, I suppose I initially
followed along too. When my daughter was born, I
didn’t bat an eyelash when it came to giving her a
last name, she took her father’s. We had much more
discussion over what her first name would be. The same
thing happened when the Evil One popped out. It wasn’t
until a few months after he was born that I was
watching a documentary on parenting and divorce in the
US. It was your typical Public TV style documentary.
Some of the stuff you already knew, some of it you
didn’t. You all know what I’m talking about. What
really struck me though was some of the interviews
with the parents and children. Four of the mothers who
were interviewed had different last names than their
children. I don’t know what it was, I personally know
families like this and really never thought anything
of it. There was just something about seeing the
family members sitting together on the couch and then
seeing their names printed out across the bottom of
the screen. It was like she was disconnected from that
family. Like she was someone else.

…Yes CCC’s, I do realize that none of this would be a
problem if everyone would just follow God’s orders and
take the male head of household’s last name. That’s
not the point though, that’s the problem…

That program really stayed with me. About a year ago
my daughter and I were doing a project together at the
kitchen table. We were writing out the names of all
her friends and relatives. We talked a little about
why people have a first, middle and last name. We
talked about family trees and how people get the names
that they have. Later that night before I went to bed
I checked on the kids and when I went into her room I
saw that she had been writing in her notebook. She had
drawn more family trees and a family forest with all
her relatives. I flipped to the next page and she
written out her full name about fifty times using my
last name as hers. I sat on the edge of her bed and
stroked the hair away from her face. She woke up and I
said that I saw her notebook. She said she had been
practicing her writing. I asked her why she had
written her name so many times using my last name. She
said “Because you’re my mommy”. OK, that was it. The
tears started knocking on the door. I gave her big
hug, kissed her, told her I loved her and got the fuck
out of there before I started bawling like a baby. It
must have been that time of the month, I can usually
hold it together better than that.

About a month after that she asked if she could use my
name for real. We talked it over for a bit and I said
that I’d discuss it with her dad. A couple of months
later, both of our children have new names, my
husbands as a middle and mine as their last name. We
talked about doing some combination of last names,
hyphen/ no hyphen, but they all seemed cluttered. Both
of our names are fairly long. In the end I really like
what we came up with. It seems more fitting and more
natural. They are after all my children too.

Anonymous said...

Part 4

Carol Llyod, an editor for Salon wrote an article a
few years ago about this very subject. Here’s the link
if anyone is interested.
http://archive.salon.com/mwt/feature/2000/01/20/surnames/index.html
At the time she was pregnant with her first child, and
was considering some of these same issues. Below is an
excerpt from the end of the article.

“But just because women are blessed and cursed with
the vital umbilical connection, it doesn't mean that
we have to relent on every symbolic front. Long after
my husband hacks through that bloody rope, long after
my breast milk has dried up and my pregnancy leave is
but a sleep-deprived memory, we will both be parents,
working equally, I hope, inside and outside the home.
My husband won't need to brand our daughter to
compensate for the fact that she is in his care less
often than she is in mine. He won't need any exterior
sign to remind him of his responsibility, his
connection, his importance.
Yesterday I felt the tiny kicks and stretches of our
first collaboration in reproductive love. After much
discussion, we decided: She's getting both our last
names (no hyphen) -- with mine as the last, last name.
Biological motherhood is an awesome process but its
powers won't last as long as the symbolic gift to my
daughter of her mother's last name. And when she is
old enough to ask me why she has the name she has, I
won't need to come up with some justification that I
don't even believe myself.”

I don’t believe she’s in a wife led marriage, but I
like how she thinks. It’s a very good first step.

Take care,
K

Mark Remond said...

For some reason, the 2nd part of this article, posted by "Anonymous" K, didn't show up. Here it is:

This is actually part 2. I thought I just sent it, but it didn't show up, sorry about that. Her last line is really good.

In the little bit of research I did on the subject, I found a few facts worth noting.

-In quite a few countries, including some Asia and Muslim countries, it’s not unusual for woman to retain their maiden name after marriage. Now I know what
you’re saying, that’s a pretty progressive society, huh. Well no, not really. One of the main reasons for this was to show honor to the bride’s father. We certainly wouldn’t want to upset the patriarch of her family. And how’s this for a good reason to let women keep their names. This comes from an ABC News report.
Up until about 100 years ago, Korean men were allowed to practice polygamy. Because of this they let their wives keep their last names in order to avoid
confusion. My, how gallant.

-More women in the 1970’s kept their maiden names and did women in the 1990’s. No, feminism is not dead, just pacified for the moment.

-Various surveys over the years have had this to say about women who keep their maiden names. On the
positive side they are seen as highly educated, self-confident, professionally established and progressive.
On the negative side they are seen as unattractive and bad cooks. Well negative leaning survey takers, I hate to burst your bubble, but…

-An informal study on how children view their mothers concluded that, though small, there is a certain loss of common identity and connection between mother and
child when there is no shared name. They did however hold them in higher respect and authority, especially older children.

-On the celebrity front, and I had no idea of this, John Lennon changed his name to John Ono Lennon after he married Yoko. Don’t get too excited, she changed
her name too.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to any of you that when I married I kept my maiden name. I never considered for a moment that I would take my husband’s. It’s not that my family heritage contained any notable historic figures or that my father is a
great champion of woman’s rights. To the contrary, he is just as entrenched in the patriarchal mindset as the rest the fogies of his day. Again, don’t get me
wrong, he is an honest, hard working man, but he definitely believes in the old “barefoot and pregnant” adage when it comes to women.

I kept my name for two reasons. First, it’s a really cool sounding Italian name. It just has a good ring to it, and names like this don’t grow on trees. Secondly and more importantly I kept it because it’s mine. It’s the name I came with, it’s who I am. And again, while I’d love to be able to say that my mother or grandmother or great grandmother had been some
remarkably inspirational figure, I can’t. They were ordinary women who simply toed the line and then
some. Hopefully one day my granddaughter or some more distant relative down the road will say proudly that she is keeping her maiden name and point back to me or
maybe to my daughter as her inspiration. That’s probably the most wonderful legacy I could leave in this world.

A women’s maiden name is not a piece of trash to be thrown from the car window as she heads off on her honeymoon.

Anonymous said...

These are great posts Mark! Maybe in part 3 you can point out how taking the wife's name has become more common as of late, citing news articles, other websites and non-FLR blogs.

For example:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/i-took-my-wifes-last-name/article1232071/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-20-names-marriage_N.htm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/no-one-understood-why-i-took-my-wifes-surname-894075.html

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2001/01/07/loc_couple_keeps_wifes.html

http://bluemilk.wordpress.com/2008/07/05/when-the-husband-takes-a-wife-and-then-also-takes-her-name/


http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style/nutrition-and-wellbeing/in-the-name-of-love-20081027-59gb.html

Mark Remond said...

Anonymous (the last one above), I'm not planning a Part 3, but I think you have provided one. I thank you very much for researching and linking to the informative articles above. Only the story of the
Ellisons was familiar to me. It seems the practice is gradually mainstreaming! Again, thanks.

Patrick said...

I understand why some men might want to take their wife's last name, to make some kind of statement.

But do these guys actually refer to themselves as Mr. [wife's first name]? Married women who have their husband's last name don't refer to themselves as Mrs. Bill or Mrs. Tony. That's just too goofy.

Sometimes, trying to advertise their submissiveness to their wives, men go too far. If you ever introduce yourself as something like Mr. Lisa, as opposed to Mr. Johnson (husband of Lisa Johnson), don't expect anyone to take your seriously.

It has nothing to do with the fact that you took your wife's last name, it's that you are doing something so ridiculous as introducing yourself via your wife's first name. It ranks right up there with talking about yourself in the third person.

Mark Remond said...

Patrick, I suspect I'm a bit older than you, because I do remember wives being affectionately shorthanded "Mrs. Tony" or "Mrs. Bill." You'd probably have to watch some of the vintage sitcoms to hear this today. Of course this practice is sneered upon today, post-feminism, as you have shown us. It has been adopted by some FLR practitioners as a role-reversal demonstration, in the same way that Maribel Morgan's "Total Woman" has, with the hubby catering to the wife instead of the reverse. But isn't all this obvious?

Patrick said...

Yeah, that's definitely before my time, Mark. The way you describe it, it sounds like it was used as sort of a joke, something the wives would say followed by a child-like giggle.

I find it odd that people are advocating introducing yourself this way in a formal setting. It sounds very informal and puts a strain on your credibility.

Secondly, it's peculiar to define yourself only as an adjunct to your spouse. It's like you don't own yourself, but maybe that's the point for those who go that route.

Arida said...

I applaud men who take their wives last names. They are courageous pioneers.

Irin said...

In my last few years of property transaction, I notice that most of the final agreement and purchase were all made by the wife.
I seldom discuss much with the man in the house because i know that they would not be able to decide.
In my recent transaction, I notice my clients introduce me to her husband at her lawyers' office.
There i notice that her husband was actually taking the wife's name.
As the society is evolving towards female power and being the head of the house. I think taking a wife's name will become normal in the near future.
Most of my female friends & colleges are in authority over their B/f or husband. I for sure would want my husband to be to accept that before we married.

Mark Remond said...

Irin, This is a very interesting post. I have heard similar stories about today's young women, especially college-educated young women, becoming more empowered in their romantic relationships, even taking the female-led dynamic for granted. I would think that feminist principles becoming totally accepted would be one reason, and possibly a second might be the mainstreaming of FLR ideas, beginning with the web, but certainly pervasive in movies, magazines and television. Good signs, I say. And I'd like to think I'm doing my bit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to whoever posted the multipart email at the beginning of the comments. It was very thought provoking. While not all churches are as blatant about gender and name issues as the one mentioned, it does always seem to be there just under the surface.

Irin, I'm sorry to say that I don't share your experience with couples names. I only know one other couple where the husband took a hyphenated last name. Sadly, so did his wife. It kind of counts, but at the same time it kind of doesn't. It feels like too much of a 50/50, equality based marriage. Still though, the guy did change his name, so I at least have to give him points for that.

I hope you're right about the trend you've noticed. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

subservient-husband said...

I would like to take my wife's maiden name and have offered to. She has declined as we already have two children with my name and she feels it would be confusing, even if it was just a legal thing.

Irin said...

I was pretty sure because her daughters had her name too. She was too domineering for her husband to handle.
Most of the top achievers or top sellers are woman and that's what we have notice the changing trend.
As we woman are empowering, I think we should starts our woman's culture where we set house rules for our husband to follow.

BOB said...

MR Remond
I would just like to thank you for posting the past two intesting posts.

I enjoy reading about the everyday aspects of wife-led marriages.and i also enjoy and am interested in how society is changing as far as how it views the roles of both genders.

Too often many blogs only look at FLR's and WLMs in a sexual way. I like the fact that you look at it in a romantic way. And i think that it is also interesting to look at wife-led marriages in a feminist way as well. Instead of just as a kinky hobby.

It would be interesting to read about different ways in which you think that men and women can help promote a more Female led society

Don Godo said...

I have told my wife that I want to take her name. She says that that wouldn't really mean anything to her. But for me it means a lot. She is the head of our family, and it just seems natural that I should assume her name.

We live in Central America, and so I guess she is trying to give me an inducement to learn Spanish, because she told me that when I become efficient in Spanish, I can then take her name because I would have earned it. How can a Gringo have a Hispanic name if he doesn't know Spanish? Now with the proper motivation, my Spanish is improving remarkedly (Rosetta Stone also helps)!!!

I also told her that there are practical reasons for me to have her name, mainly, no one understands my name and I have to repeat it several times or spell it! With her name, everything will just be simpler!!

I'm not sure if I will go to the trouble of changing it legally in the States or whether I will just assume her name. Would like to read others comments on this aspect.

Meantime, I'm already subscribing to magazines, etc. using her last name as my name. You would be surprised at how much junk mail comes now addressed with my 'new name' (I also maintain a USA residence).

Anonymous said...

Elise Sutton said that:

"...more and more men, if given this choice [to take her last name]], will choose to submit to the desires of the female regardless of any fallout caused by bucking societal traditions. I also agree that lots of men will find such a request to be exciting and it will cause them to go even deeper into submission to their bride.”

Every day there is more evidence that this is happening. For example:

http://31datesin31days.blogspot.com/2011/01/man-takes-wifes-last-name-groom-of-21st.html

Tamara, the blogger, quotes a gentleman named Mark:


"Then she said (and I'll never forget this), "If we all have the same last name, why can't it be mine?" She said it as a joke, but I told her that I'd think about it seriously. So I did. And then I found myself in the position of the typical female. Hyphenate? Too bulky. Keep my name? But then we'd have different family names. Take her name? Yowww. Big blow to male ego.

"Then I thought about it some more. She is well established in her career and I am not."


Quite an interesting commentary from Mark. I'm guessing that the reason the statistics for men taking on their wives' last names is so low is that neither husband nor wife had ever thought of the possibility that a husband could even take his wife's name. Once that idea begins to pop up in people's heads, as Elise Sutton suggests, it will begin to occur much more.

15 or 20 years from now, it could even be as common (or more so) as the wife taking the husband's name.