Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Please Omit the Mrs.

I have a name... and it is one I have had for 31 years. When I got married, changing my name was not an option. Other people can make any choice they see fit, but I still equate the name changing practice to the outdated belief that a woman becomes a man's property upon walking down the aisle and therefore needs to take his name to reflect that ownership. I am trying to be open minded with others who choose to take their husbands name, but I admittedly have a hard time every time a friend or family member changes their name.

When My Loving Husband and I got married, I was very vocal about my keeping my name. I didn't feel like I should have to be so vocal. People should assume a woman kept her name unless she indicates otherwise. Even with my very vocal outcry that I would be keeping my birthname, I quickly started to receive mail to Michelle "Loving Husband"... or even worse, Mrs. "My Loving Husband". Ick. It's bad enough that the tradition of taking a man's last name has gone on so long, but can't we lose the complete identity loss of women through just being a Mrs.?

I gave everyone a year to figure out that I meant business with the name thing. After that year of consistently reminding people that I didn't change my name, I started returning mail to sender. Person unknown. For other women who have made the same decision I highly recommend this practice. It is a sure-fire way of standing your ground and getting your point across.

So this week, I received a wedding invitation to Mrs. "My Loving Husband". From a friend of mine. Mine. I'm still debating on whether I should go or not. Technically speaking, I wasn't invited... I was no where on that invite.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Well, here's a twist. When my husband and I got married, I didn't want to change my name (his name would have sounded awful with mine, anyway), and we both wanted to have the same last name. He had spent his whole life having his name misspelled and mispronounced, (his "ladden name" as he calls it, was Dutch), and my name was easy, and he wanted to be a doctor (he did become a doctor, by the way). Anyway, you know the upshot of this by now--he took my last name. His name goes much better with mine than the other way around, and in his profession it is helpful to have an easy name. So it worked out well all around (except the grumpiness we experienced from my father-in-law for quite awhile after he found out). I personally think that if both people want to have the same name after they get married, they should just go with whichever one sounds better with both names--I see no good reason for the woman to be the one to automatically change her name.