• Mon, Aug 2 2010

Why I’d Be Offended If A Woman Didn’t Take My Last Name

A ladyfriend of mine and I were recently exchanging romantic glances through the light aromatic steam lifting from our morning cups of coffee when mine slipped from my hands and fell to the floor, breaking into a million tiny telltale pieces. The scalding coffee seeping through my pant leg and melting the skin on my shin were but an afterthought as I pondered the untimely death of yet another promising relationship.

In this “fight,” no tears were shed. No epithets were yelled. And no dishes were thrown. But a single offhand comment was made, and that was more than enough. It was when “I won’t take my husband’s name when I marry” wandered out of her mouth that our relationship lost its footing. And it’s a damn slippery slope to climb back up.

Of course, I’m young and I am far from ready to declare myself as looking for a long-term relationship, let alone one that involves a ceremony. I will hopefully enjoy many romantic liaisons over the coming years and share unforgettable nights and never-ending mornings in bed, but principle differences are the strongest interpersonal contraceptive.

Call me old fashioned. Call me traditional. Call me chauvinistic. Call me whatever you will, but don’t emasculate me. Leave my manliness in tact.

I do understand that for centuries women have struggled in a patriarchal society and that the last name is one of the final fronts. But please understand our plight. This isn’t about establishing a hierarchy in the relationship or taking possession of you. As deeply rooted as it is in our societal traditions, it is even more so in the man’s bible. It is a privilege for a man to take a woman’s hand in marriage, and an even greater honor of offering our family name as a token of our undying devotion. Arguably more so than a ring.

If you’re going to nag us about wearing our band during pick-up games and not leaving it by the bathroom sink after we wash our hands, then please remember to take our surname with you on your girls’ night out.

Ladies, I beg of you, allow us this. For if you are asking for our devotion in sickness and in health, pride will allow it to prevail. If we feel like a man, we’ll act like one. And stripping of us the honor of bestowing on you our surname is one surefire way of knocking off a chunk from that pride.

As my surname is “Woodsmall,” I have been on the receiving end of countless jabs, from friendly nudges as well as malicious punches. And, to be honest, I would rather my son, if I am to have one, not have to endure the mindless ridicule that I at times have struggled with throughout my young life. But I’m proud of my father and his father and so forth, as well as my heritage, and I hope to share that with my family, especially my wife.

But I would like to think that I am a reasonable man, and appreciate that family pride isn’t limited to the husband. I would hope that my future wife would be as close with her family as I am with mine, and if she would like to keep you maiden name, then I would gladly oblige. Hyphenation is a compromise I’m more than willing to share vows, as well as morning cups of coffee, over.

Might I have overreacted with my latest girlfriend? Possibly. Will I ever stumble across a woman for whom I would be willing to look past this faux pas? Probably. But as for now, I will be drinking coffee out of my own cup in my own apartment enjoying the latest issue of Reason.

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  • R

    Really? I gather, based on the other posts that this writer has done, that he actually is coming from a semi-serious point of view when he broadcasts his machismo-themed insecurities, and on the one hand, the honesty is kind of refreshing. But on this site it’s surrounded by writing by the kind of women that Michael Woodsmall seems to be so afraid of and/or offended by! Read your co-bloggers, and please join them and your readers in the 21st century. Women who feel pride in their own identities and want (expect!) to be equal partners in fact and in name with their spouses are not scary! Sure there are plenty of adult women who apparently feel little attachment to the name they’ve been called by forever (largely because we’re told as children that one of the highest titles we can aspire to is Mrs. Prince Charming), but this kind of unreasoned hooey is just petulance hiding behind “pride” and “tradition.”

  • Lindsay Hartman

    You are just begging to be hated, aren’t you? First stick shifts, now name changes… But to be honest, I can understand this one. When my husband and I were engaged, one of our friends asked, “So are you going to change your name completely?” I didn’t really know what to say because I hadn’t thought about it yet, so I asked my husband how important it was to him. His response: “Very Important. I don’t know why, but it is.” And honestly, that’s all it took to convince me. It was very important to him, and he is very important to me.

  • Katie

    I’m always torn on this issue because I love my last name (it will die out with this generation if all the girls change their name), but I’m also in love with all things traditional. Grrrr decisions.

    • Delaney

      I have the same problem! I wouldn’t mind taking my fiance’s name if my name weren’t so awesome and on the verge of dying out. No other girl in my family would keep her name, so it’s up to me…but I feel it’s important for a family unit to have the same name. My fiance won’t compromise with hyphenation, either, so I’m stuck.

  • hanna

    Did you yell at the coffee? Because if you didn’t scold it, I’m fairly sure that you mean “scalding” coffee. That glaring error is much more offensive than your position on marriage traditions.

    • Michael Woodsmall

      That was an egregious error. Thank you for noticing it.

  • Emily

    I am planning to take my husband’s name, but this “Honour of bestowing it on you” bit made me sick. It smacks of arrogance and superiority. Did it ever occur to you that your one-day wife might not feel the same devotion to her family and the name that represents it that you do?

    It was a difficult decision for me, and my fiance’s feelings were one of the major factors. It can be important to you, but treating it as a deal-breaker is immature. Hope that the woman you’ll marry will love you enough to want to take your name, but respect that it might take her a while to make that decision.

  • Patricia

    dude columnists suck! and this is simply sexist and outdated thinking… big thumbs down!!!

    • Reno

      Irony!!!

  • Anna

    Really?? Is this a parody? If not, why is he even on this blog? Does he have dirt on someone? Is he someone’s little brother? Is he a cousin that your mom made you give a blogging job to? Did the world run out of witty, intelligent, enlightened male writers already? I don’t get it.

  • Rachel

    If a man doesn’t take my name I will also be terribly offended.

    • Jen Dziura

      I wish there were a star rating system so I could give this 11 out of 10 stars.

  • Jen Dziura

    Mrs. Woodsmall is going to be soooo lucky! At least if her maiden name was Twathuge.

  • Naomi

    I am not convinced by Mr. Woodsmall’s argument, but I did take my husband’s name and, as I’m quite traditional, felt it was really important to do so. He had been married once before and his ex-wife didn’t take his last name. She was also the one who left him after three years of marriage. I am not convinced that her heart was in the marriage and the name thing was one thing, in retrospect, that showed that. I think she wanted to keep her name just in case. Where as I think that’s one thing that separates her and I. I’m committed to the marriage and changing my name is one way of showing it. As a result, my husband is quite touched that I’ve changed my name. He had said it was up to me.

  • Julie

    Why would I change my last name? There is absolutely no benefit to me – I gain nothing, and I lose the name recognition I have worked so hard for in my career. Think about that guys when your fragile ego is bruised. Would you do it?

    • Luke

      So, you are admitting to being a narcissistic bitch within the relationship. You don’t care about pleasing the man in any way. BUT, the man still has to please, by not fighting you on not taking his name, by not questioning your choices. But, I know damn well, most women will question the choices of a man and he will big enough not to make a fuss over it… or pussy-whipped.

    • lilbit

      I love your emotions that make it possible for you to look past logic and convice that yourself that a man doing one thing is honorable while a woman doing the same thing is narcissistic. Oh the sexism is just oozing…. I bet you think 2+2=5 as long as it benefits you…

  • Cary

    If you feel emasculated by your wife refusing to take yo last name then your clearly to insecure for marriage.

    Incidentally when she’s asking for ” our devotion in sickness and in health,” she’s offering the same thing in return. So really there’s no need to pay you back via giving up her name.

  • KiaJD

    The author says he is proud of his father and his grandfather and his family heritage so he wants to share that. Well what if the woman he loves is just as proud of her heritage? Does her family pride take a backseat to make him feel like a man? Aren’t there other ways to “feel like a man” that don’t come at a cost to the woman in your life?

    • Jennifer

      Is he not proud of his mother and his grandmother? I imagine they probably had/have the same last name..

    • Elle

      psh, who cares what the woman thinks! It’s all about how Michael feels.

  • Kate

    Let me just preface this by saying that I TOTALLY understand why this issue is a big deal for men. Actually, I know many women who are as strongly in favor of taking their husband’s name. I get it– it’s not just another tool to oppress women, but the beginning of how a couple defines themselves as a family, etc. However, that said, you TOTALLY LOST ME after this part:

    “If you’re going to nag us about wearing our band during pick-up games and not leaving it by the bathroom sink after we wash our hands, then please remember to take our surname with you on your girls’ night out.”
    If you’re going to give a “dude’s perspective” to a female audience, please don’t use the sexist cliches you gleaned from last night’s Everybody Loves Raymond rerun to get your point across. (i.e. Know Thy Audience)

    FYI, a lot of women have strong personal feelings about not taking a man’s name that have nothing to do with feminism or male oppression. Feminism is what has allowed those women to express those feelings.

    So, just as your feelings about taking surnames “isn’t about establishing a hierarchy in the relationship or taking possession,” of your girlfriend, her feelings might not be based on those things either. Shocking, I know. But then, you know how women are…

  • Jessica

    I can’t help but notice how this sentence doesn’t make sense:
    “If you’re going to nag us about wearing our band during pick-up games and not leaving it by the bathroom sink after we wash our hands, then please remember to take our surname with you on your girls’ night out.”
    Don’t women wear wedding bands/wedding rings as well? So what does taking your name have to do with a girls night out? I’d say that if we are wearing our wedding ring on a night out then we are good to go. This post also only addresses one small reason that a woman might choose to keep her maiden name. It’s not always about women’s lib stuff (and I hate that the minute a woman doesn’t want to do something that’s where people always seem to want to take it). Some women have become established using their maiden name. Perhaps they don’t want to have to establish themselves all over again or have to explain every time they talk to someone that they were formerly known by their maiden name.

  • Sarah

    Speaking as someone from the “I don’t wanna change my last name!” camp, I think your opinion is valid. If I feel strongly about my heritage, family, and last name, it’s only fair that you feel strongly about yours as well. I think your arguments aren’t logically sound for a few different reasons expressed in previous comments, but I don’t need to disprove them. I have a different question and point:

    One of the problems with a woman taking a man’s last name is that, in this day and age, it’s one of the few things in a traditional marriage that has no male equivalent.

    Even for a fairly traditional couple, Western marriages often have similar (if not identical) vows and equivalent gestures of celebration within the marriage. There are both bachelor parties and bridal showers, anniversaries are celebrated as a couple, et cetera. A lot of the traditional marriage procedure is remarkably egalitarian (the SYMBOLS aren’t, but that’s a different comment). In a traditional marriage, the change of the last name is one of the few things a bride does that a groom does not.

    So, this comment in mind, I’m curious–what’s your opinion on men and women taking a new last name together when they wed? Would that be an acceptable alternative for you? And if it’s not, why not?

  • Killian

    Woodsmall? I’d make the obvious joke here, but I’m sure it’s already been done…especially with a post such as this one.

    Are you seriously trying to assert that your family, your name is more important than your potential wife’s? Your heritage, your familial pride, your genetics prioritize over mine by what measure or superiority, exactly?

    Seriously, if a woman’s desire to maintain her own identity, to respect her own family lines, and hell, even to just not go through the hassle of changing every blessed piece of paperwork there is, threatens your precious manhood? Then you don’t need us to emasculate you — you’ve done it all by yourself. Congratulations.

    Please do women everywhere a favor and stay single. You’ll be better off, and so will they.

  • Kristina

    My husband and I have known each other since 1990. We have been married since 1998. I kept my last name. We are still married, quite happily, and I have every intention of staying married (my keeping my name had nothing to do with my devotion to him). He said he didn’t want to take my last name, either, so we agreed to keep our own names. Our kids have his last name – I was happy to do this for him. I just didn’t want to give up the name that I had finally come to accept as who I was and who I liked. I think that if you love and respect each other, a name change shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Because, really, there are a lot more important issues that will come up in a marriage! Sometimes you will compromise and sometimes your partner will compromise. That’s what makes a good marriage – not a name.

  • Summer

    I am married and taking my husbands name was an honor for me, a way to say, we are now one. I can appreciate a woman’s independence and right to keep her name. But I agree with the writer, that for him this would be a dealbreakr. Therefore, he should not be in the relationship. it is important to explore these topics before you get too invested. I am sure when you find Mrs. woodsmall, you two will be quite happy. Good luck!

  • Zia

    Really, dude? I appreciate your honesty and dare I say bravery in voicing this opinion to this audience… but extra unnecessary paperwork is really a hassle. Marriage is too much bureaucracy already. Would you change your email address just because traditionally it makes your wife feel more womanly? How about hours in line at the social security office? In case you’re wondering what that’s like, imagine the DOL but with less efficiency and charm. And yes, I am married… with a married name. But only because his name was amusing, and I have no desire to have ties to my family. I will keep this name forever though – it’s got nothing to do with him. Because if it did, he never would have been my choice.

  • MKP

    Seriously? You think your sense of testosterone-charged Manlitude trumps a woman’s right to the name she was given at birth? A man wanting to rename me after himself makes me feel like less of a human, and I’d feel that way even if I didn’t love my given name like whoa.

    I’m just really hoping there was some kind of tongue-in-cheek here so that this is just massively unfunny, and not straight-up offensive.

  • MK

    I’m offended by the fact that there’s not even any QUESTION of if a man will take a woman’s name or not. It doesn’t even enter into most conversations. The ‘socially acceptable’ options are to take the man’s name or the woman keeps hers and the kids get hyphens…

    Why isn’t this third option even on the books?

    I’ll be offended if my man doesn’t take my name.

    • Luke

      Really?

      Society still thinks that any man that doesn’t willfully sacrifice himself for his wife and children are cowards.

      Death versus your pride?? Really??

    • Joann

      LOL how many people do you actually know who have had to die for their family? Probably a total of NONE. And, if a woman didn’t die for her children, she’d be branded a coward as well.

  • snowball

    Dude… first let’s ban marriage. Problem solved.

  • Michelle

    Hey, I think it’s totally fine for a woman to take her husband’s last name. I also think it’s romantic for a guy to take his wife’s name. If it’s not about wanting possession or some sort of hierarchy in a relationship, though, why do so many men feel emasculated by the idea of a woman NOT taking their last name?

    The truth is, name equals identity. A woman grows up and lives her adult life with a certain name–and then she’s supposed to give away that identity, her name, so she can meld into her husband’s life, right? That’s fine by me, but it ought to be a matter of choice, and it ought not to be placed upon such a pedestal as to destroy a potentially happy relationship.

    Better yet, why don’t both parties forsake their last names and start a new one that they can share together in their new life? Then they can create a new identity together rather than ask one or the other to make such an enormous sacrifice.

    But don’t pretend it’s not a sacrifice. Because it is. And I’m not sure it’s one that should be demanded of anyone, or held against them as a person if they’re unwilling to make it. If you find a lady who has spent her whole life dreaming of taking her husband’s name, though, go for it!

    At any rate, you can surely see that wearing a wedding ring doesn’t equate to sacrificing a large portion of your identity, over and above what’s required of the other party. And please, I don’t think it’s a particular sacrifice for a man to wear his ring when he’s out and about (unless the ring is uncomfy or the wrong size). If he wasn’t willing to commit openly, he shouldn’t have saved himself the trouble of the divorce and not gotten married in the first place.

  • Crystal

    what if you were to marry a well established writer woman, who had a history of selling books with her name before you married? (example: agatha christie) would you require her to start over trying to gain reputation all over again? I noticed other women post comments along this line…

    If you were to ask me, and I had a well established career built up around my name, I would tell you to exactly where to take that idea…and you might not like the words I would use. cause I don’t know about you but it seems stupid to give up a whole career for someone.

  • Anna

    Sooo…. you “do understand that for centuries women have struggled in a patriarchal society” but…. really, you still want us to do what you want and not what we might want.

    hm.

    Also, by your logic, women should respect that men have chosen to life a life of sacrifice and nagging TOTALLY SELFLESSLY, we should be so grateful that we (do what you want)? Insert whatever you feel like telling us to do here ()?
    “For if you are asking for our devotion in sickness and in health,” aren’t we giving you the same thing? Why does this promise from you warrant a consolation prize? Why do you feel you need a consolation prize? And what is our consolation prize?

    “Call me old fashioned. Call me traditional. Call me chauvinistic. Call me whatever you will, but don’t emasculate me. Leave my manliness in tact.” I would argue that this has been one of the foundational arguments used against feminism, ohh.. forever. It is an open ended and infinitely applicable argument, as you can basically insert ANYTHING a woman does and it becomes “legit.”
    Get.Over.Yourself.

  • Jane

    WOW. This article is awful. You call yourself a man, Woodsmall? Real men don’t act like jacka$$es!

  • annie

    If you want to try to understand – just for a fleeting moment – how many women feel about changing their names after marriage, just imagine if SHE expected you to change YOUR surname to hers after the vows. Is your reaction something like, “Why would I want to do that?” along with imagining the total inconvenience and pointlessness of it, well, there you go. Consider your spouse as an equal next time, and you might get it.

  • Renee

    I’ll take Woodsmall over my own last name….. I will NEVER saddle a child with my last name, EVER.

  • Renee

    Oh yeah, another couple I know did this: They wanted the same last name, but were not particularly attached to either of their own last names. So, they picked up a Latin/English dictionary and picked a word that they liked and had a good meanining for them. I thought it was totally sweet to sart off their new family with a fresh name like that.

  • Alex

    Though the article was a genuine and clearly subjective commentary on the social ins and outs of that most pointless of sacraments, the delightfully furious female commenters are far more amusing.

    Honestly, whenever any faint vestige of a vanished patriarch is touched upon, the same group of women always act as if they were just chained to a dishwasher. We get it. Woman power, etc.

    • Ayenne

      I bet you’re one of Michael’s bros from college who he enlisted to come to his defense.

  • Kim

    I’m not particularly offended by this article. If you want to marry a woman who doesn’t have a problem taking your last name, go for it. I don’t think we should knock women who want to change their name either, it should be her choice. And why not ever consider changing your last name to hers? And how would such a notion work in a gay or lesbian marriage? It’s a decision that should be discussed between the two people planning to spend the rest of their lives together, and is, quite frankly, no one else’s buisness.

  • Meagan

    Thank you for writing this article. Sometimes it makes me sad that some women are so stuck on retaining their last name.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and their heritage and someday my children will know it. However, taking my husband’s name after we were married was a great honor to me. Having the same name shows that we are a part of the same family. I don’t believe that it makes me his property or has any other patriarchal meaning to either of us. It is indicative of our commitment to each other and our relationship.
    On that note, I do know men who have taken their wife’s last name (general because she had the type of job where she would need to retain her last name).

  • Eileen

    I hate my last name. It’s foreign and difficult for most Westerners to spell or pronounce. I definitely plan to use the first socially acceptable reason – that would be marriage – to change it, because although I hate my last name, I want it to reflect my membership in a family. I want to have the same last name as my husband and my children, and there’s no way in hell I’m inflicting my father’s name on them.

    More importantly, though, I’ll change my name when I marry because I’ll already be giving up so much of my independence that my name won’t seem like a big deal.

    That having been said, you really need to consider for a couple of minutes the headaches that can go along with trying to change your name, especially if you’ve graduated school, published, or owned property under your own name. It’s not easy, and it’s not fair to expect only women to go through it.

    • Killian

      Your post was so sad for me to read. Well, not all of it, just this part, really: “…I’ll already be giving up so much of my independence that my name won’t seem like a big deal.”

      I am so sorry that you see marriage like that, and that you feel like you have to give up your independence in exchange for it. Your views on love and how it should enhance your life, not hinder it, are disheartening. I truly wish you the joys and benefits of love, and I hope you find someone who convinces you that a piece of paper doesn’t have to equate servitude.

    • Luke

      But, that’s the problem. That’s how modern people seem to look at relationships. It’s a burden, because they have to compromise something about themselves for another person. No offense, but some women… and men… seem to care more about giving up more to their friends / drinking buddies than these people that they’re agreeing to spend their sleeping and waking hours lying next to. That seems so screwed up to me.

    • Eileen

      @Killian Don’t be sad for me! He’ll be giving up his independence, too – we both will. I don’t mean my ability to be myself; I mean my ability to make decisions about my own life – what job to take, what hours to work, what city to live in, whether or not to go to graduate school, how to make my budget – without having to worry about how they’ll affect my husband. When you’re single, you can make decisions like that by yourself, constrained only by what you want. When you’re married, your life is tied to someone else’s, and you need to make major life decisions together. I don’t think that being a wife means being a servant and am kind of upset that you would come to that conclusion. I do, however, think that getting married involves some sacrifice of a man or woman’s independence.

  • Audrey

    Wow. My husband and I are way too egalitarian to do name-changing crap. We got married at the court house with no rings. We still have no rings. I wore jeans. He wore sandals. Our son wore a shirt and a diaper. We did it because we wanted to enjoy the benefits of the contract. We’re not religious or, as you describe yourself “traditional”, though I do think you more “chauvinistic”. He had absolutely no expectation that I would ever do anything like a name change, and neither did I for him. My son and the other son I’m currently pregnant with will have my name. Hyphens are excessive and one of the names tends to get dropped THEN we’d have to think about whose name would go first and all that. So since I’m the one who did the heavy lifting to create these children, my current and future additional son will have my last name. My husband absolutely does. not. care. If he ever told me he felt “emasculated” by something as trivial as my or our children’s last names, I would say we have serious problems: He’s not the guy I fell for at all any more in that event. And likewise, if I wanted to change our children’s names, or most CERTAINLY if I wanted to change mine, he would think I’m not the woman he fell for. This is basically a personal issue, but I can’t help but react since you shared your issue publicly. We’re all snowflakes.

    • Luke

      So, what’s so great about your name that your children take it and not his??

      See, it works both ways. Why don’t you answer that question, before you make an ass of yourself and show how childish you can be by insulting me.

      Does your husband mean so little to you that his legacy should die when he sacrifices his life for you and his kids? Because society still requires men to kill themselves for women. If they don’t, they’re branded cowards.

      So, what exactly is a man’s motivation to stay in that relationship?? Because we really don’t need women. Women will always NEED men for something, sperm, strength, support, whatever.

    • Lilbit

      It’s not about her name but about HONORING what SHE did to create that child.. There.. question answered… rather easily and LOGICALLY I might add… How is this so hard to understand… When a person puts in the time, energy, effort and risk THAT person should be HONORED. You don’t see a bunch of women getting honored with purple hearts after their husbands were injured in war.. No, they are given to the man who put in the time, energy, effort and risk… AS IT SHOULD BE

  • Verna

    What does your wife taking your last name have anything to do with your masculinity?

    • Luke

      Why do you value your name over the life and support of your man?? We don’t need women, but we’re certainly branded cowards for fighting with women, leaving women and or not dying for women.

  • derp

    You could at least drop the hyperformal language when you’re dancing around an issue you have a half-formed opinion of.

  • PrincessKelly

    Wow, I guess it’s not the popular opinion here, but I’m on the author’s side here. I look forward to taking my husband’s name – it’s a small change that shows we are one family not the Smith and Jones’ (or equally the Smith-Jones’) but the Smith family. I completely agree that it’s a symbol ten times more important that wearing a wedding band – your wedding ring tells people that you’re not single, but your name tells people that you’re married. Just look at the prefix “Mrs.”, once you’re married you are the “Mr’s” wife, thus “Mrs. Smith”.

    • Judy

      I am far more than “the Mr.’s wife” – I am myself, with my name and my career. Sharing a name is not a requirement of being a family.

  • notthatkindofdoctor

    This is all fine if your wife to be doesn’t mind taking your name, the fact is that she has earned the ‘privilege’ of choosing. I am going to get my PhD before I get married, and I have journal articles published under my maiden name – sorry but after working for this degree for 8 years I am not going to change the name that I got it under. Its cool though, I don’t foresee you having this problem with any of the poor women you date in the future.

  • Joe

    As a dude, I’m gonna say you need a little more confidence than that, bromo sapien. The kind of chick you want is readily out there, and if she’s independent enough to want to keep her own last name (or has a profession where she’s banking more than a dude interning as a writer at a chicks’ blog) – I’m guessing you two weren’t meant to be.

    Dropping a cup of coffee as a shocked response in this context, however, is probably the fucking gayest thing I’ve heard in a while. Way to drop your street cred. Oh that that snowball commenter nailed it – marriage as proof of commitment is for morons and idiots, or those delicious specimens who are the combination of both.

    • Joe

      Oh and “Might I have overreacted with my latest girlfriend?” – seriously?! My sense of diction advanced past this level of crap before middle school.

  • Veronika

    As always with this author, I think this article has an interesting idea buried somewhere deep, deep beneath the author’s egotistical, defensive writing style. He knows he’s writing for a female website and seems to have compensated for this fact by going all “Here’s what I think, I’m a MAN!! (did you get that, I’m a man, with a penis) and I am going to say MANLY THINGS that all men secretly think, but won’t admit to you crazy-ass feminists. Oh, did I mention that I am A MAN, and therefore I have a really important opinion?!”

    If the author could get past this tendency I think this is actually an interesting topic and worth discussing. But claiming that a woman should take your name because you’ve graced her with your presence in marriage, blathering about your manly family heritage, and talking about women in terms of nagging and “girl’s night” isn’t the way to endear yourself to your readers in this discussion.

    It’s just a pity that this sentence – “This isn’t about establishing a hierarchy in the relationship or taking possession of you” – which hints at something intelligent – is followed with a reference to the “man’s bible”. If you can’t argue your point intelligently and coherently, go write for Maxim. I hear they love talking about The Male Bible (in which all men are the same) over there.

  • PJ

    You are worried about your future son (nice that you can predict that you’ll have one – and not a daughter – already) will suffer with your last name? Well then why not give your future children your wife’s last name? She did create them (granted with a little help from you) and carry them around inside her for nine months, after all. If anyone has dibs on giving their last name to their children, and thereby claiming the children as “property of ____” I’d say your wife gets dibs.

    • Lindsay Hartman

      Alright, this is taking it a little far. PJ, I hate to make assupmtions because they are often wrong, but I’m guessing you don’t have any kids. Because giving your children your last name doesn’t mean claiming them as your property. It means your a family. It means you all belong to each other. And as someone who has carried a baby around for 9 months, that experience doesn’t give me any more “claim” than the father of my daughter. A child is the product of 2 people, for better of worse. My daughter is a part of me and a part of her father. And no matter what I think about her father, my having given birth to her doesn’t make him any less of an important part of her life. And relegating men to just being the sperm, not an equal part in parenting, doesn’t very little to help issues of equality, which is what everyone seems to be so worried about. If women want to be equal with men in the workforce and in life, they need to welcome men into being an equal part in the raising of our children.

    • Anthony G.

      I agree with Lindsay Hartman that dads are just as important as moms. Did you know that a surprisingly large percentage of men who’s fathers served time in prison will end up in prison themselves? It is the most important factor in predicting whether a male will ever serve time or not. That says a lot about how hugely important and influential a father is. But I also agree with you, PJ, that the mom is very important and needs to have a say in what last name they will give to their children. If she’s not comfortable with the child taking just the dad’s last name than that is her right and she should (and legally does) have the final say.

    • Luke

      Great comments, Anthony, Lindsay, but do you notice how unpopular your comments were / are?? No feminist today cares about respecting men and their needs. They only want men to bow to the wants and needs of women, by guilting and shaming them into submission.

    • Kate

      If I wanted submission I would force him to change HIS name. No, I don’t want submission, I want equality.

    • Lilbit

      and what you are saying is that man CAN’T feel important unless his name is tagged on anything and everything?
      tell me how giving the child the mother’s last name makes the dad less important, unless, of course, he choses not to be a part of that child for the fact that they don’t share his name in which case he’s not that great of a parent…
      Women will take care of strangers babies while men like this writer won’t even take care of THEIR OWN children all because their names don’t match.
      The name of the child shouldn’t have ANY influence on how involved a father is with his child and if this is their influence then they wouldn’t be very good parents anyway… What else are they going to take out on their children when they don’t get credit or get their way?

    • Lilbit

      Agreed!! I wouldn’t force a man who spent the last year building a house with his bare hands put that house in MY NAME. THAT”S disrespectful. He should be honored for the time, energy effort and risk that was put into building that house. And women should be honored for the time, energy, effort, and risk that they put into creating a human being by having that human being named after her. This just makes sense.. Any man would agree when it comes to anything he created whether it be his house, or his buiness or some invention. I’m sure to any man it would feel like a slap in the face and outright disrespect to turn around and honor someone else with the fruit of THEIR labor.

  • Judy

    Does “I’m proud of my father and his father and so forth, as well as my heritage, and I hope to share that with my family, especially my wife.” mean that the wife is somehow less proud of her family and should give up her name? I once had a serious argument with a boyfriend about this…I don’t see how my heritage, my family, etc., is any less valuable and that I should therefore be the one to give up my name. Hyphenation is annoying and can get difficult with long names, so that’s not really an option for me; why can’t he take my name? And my ex-boyfriend’s solution was even worse when it came to the surnames of any potential children…let any female children take my name, but the boys would have to take his (because even though he’d already had male children by another woman, he wanted to “continue the family name”). What a crock. Yes, it should be a mutual decision, but one very carefully discussed because there’s a lot that goes into the names we choose to use.

    • I LOVE TRUE BLOOD

      I hope your ex-boyfriend never procreates. The ending of that relationship was a blessing in disguise for you!

    • Luke

      You poor victim of being hurt. BOO-HOO.

      Do you know how many times I’ve been hurt and rejected by women?? Too many.

      I’m tired of this hatred toward everything MALE. Men have never hated women in Western culture like you women seem to hate us.

      By taking your husband’s name, it’s called MOVING FORWARD into a better future, creating your own family. And your husband is still required by society to throw himself on the grenade and die for his family. So, your pride versus his death? Hmm… which is more valuable?? If you choose pride in that scenario… by sighting the BS excuse, self-sacrifice of a man for a woman is patriarchal… you’re an idiot.

    • Lilbit

      They never have any solid or valid reason behind why.. They are all based in their emotions, not logic, and in sexist traditions that have taught them that yes in fact they ARE more important…

  • Eric

    Wow, this is absolutely incredible. Im also a young male who isnt exactly hearing wedding bells, but this article is incredibly ignorant. Youre proud of your father and heritage, yet you expect your partner to completly abandon her heritage? You my sir, are a first-class clown, i bid you good day.

    • Jenny P.

      This is exactly what I thought! What about HER pride in her heritage and background? His arguments make no sense.

  • Your insecurity is showing

    This is just sad. “Call me whatever you will, but don’t emasculate me. Leave my manliness in tact.”

    If you really associate your maniless with your ability to “lovingly” bestow your name on your mate, you are a sad, sad product of patriarchy. Must you idelibly mark another in order to maintain respect for yourself? I recognize that you are simply a product of a culture that defines manhood by its ability to dominate another, but please do try to have a little introspection. Your attitude perpetuates a disrespect for women that harms both women AND men. Do you really want to be in a relationship that cannot work unless your fragile manhood is upheld by your partner submitting to you?

  • Brian @ UCLA

    Dude, you have SELF-ESTEEM issues. Many girls nowadays don’t take the guy’s last name. It’s actually quite common. Who the hell cares?

  • David

    My, my. What exactly is your oh-so-diligently protected masculinity made of? If it can be so irreparably damaged by a woman wanting her own name, it must be a fragile thing indeed. Consider gaining a little self-confidence so that your precious manhood need not be proped up by oppressive symbols of your dominance. I’m sorry your last name sucks, bro, but try to respect the ladies every once in awhile.

    • Lilbit

      Masculinity is a performance and men’s greatest fear is that others will stop playing along…

  • Jillian

    One of the sexiest things a man can do is to respect a woman’s independence rather than feel threatened by it. The guy who wrote this post sounds like his own self-esteem depends on some vague feeling of dominance. It’s odd that he tries to deny it. I’m sorry to break this to you, dude, but the tradition of women changing their names for marriage was originally created as a way to demonstrate possession. Women were considered “chattels” (that’s legalese for “personal possessions”) until the late 1800′s.

    • Luke

      Independence or wanting no part in actually being accountable within the family??

    • Lilbit

      It seems like women here are being very accountable for their choice to keep their last name. They actually have a lot more justification in doing so that you have. I don’t see this guy justifying his actions…. unless you consider “BUT I WANT” a valid justification.

  • Marcus

    Good for you!
    Don’t let the Northerners get you down, dude.

    • Seriously?

      Yeah, man, let’s totally go be racist together after we’re done oppressing women! Masculinity rocks! Here, hold, this gun – if you love it, and squeeze it, it’ll make mean people go away. No one’s going to emasculate ME!

  • Lando

    No. Your sense of entitlement and ignorance is painful.

  • Tess

    I am keeping my last name because it is a part of who I am. I have been this person my entire life and to change my name is to change part of who I am. Naming is considered sacred throughout time and across cultures. I am my name. My name is me. I love my fiance, but I don’t want to be Mrs. Someone else just because we are choosing to get married. I told him that my name is very important to me and that if he is insisting that we have a last name in common, then he is welcome to adopt mine. He said he will seriously consider it.

    To all the men who freak out about women not changing their last name, I say that it is time to realize that this tradition is only upheld by tradition alone. There is no legal, monetary, ethical, or moral benefit to this tradition and so the women who like the tradition (or hate their last name) will change names and the women who are not traditional won’t bother with all of the hassle. And neither side is wrong. What is wrong is someone telling a person he claims to love that she has to change who she is to be his wife. There are far more important things to argue about in a relationship than to argue about this. Because you cannot force your wife to legally change her name so it will all boil down to her doing exactly what she wishes. As it should be. Just as you men who don’t want to wear your wedding rings to play basketball cannot be forced to. As it should be.

    • Johanna_D

      Your name is you and you are your name? PLEASE. Is that ego/pride or what? Which is the exact reason why you are criticizing this man… You don’t want to take your husband’s name and instead you offer him YOUR name? It doesn’t have to be done his way; just yours, apparently.

      And nobosy is forcing anybody to use the other person’s name; this is just the blogger’s opinions and thoughs on the matter and I respect his position and understand his reasons. I may not agree with all of them, but that’s a different story.

      There are benefits for using the same last name your husband uses (also dependant upon the country you are from or reside), but there sure aren’t disadvantages to it! I wish women just stopped being so defensive on this issue. If you like your name and want to keep it, that’s fine, but keeping it because you don’t want to be a possession and want to break with tradition because of your selfish, petty wants, please…

  • cori

    I don’t see anything wrong with this at all. Just because this is how he feels doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. He’s not being an asshole, he’s saying this is what he wants in his future relationships & that for him and some other men, it’s really important. I don’t understand why everyone is having a meltdown. To some people this might be silly or the writings of an insecure man, but we all have our bottom lines & he just wrote about his. Calm down.

    • K

      It’s offensive because the piece implies that this is how things SHOULD be. If he were to clearly state that he isn’t making a statement about how society should be, but rather about how he prefers his own relationships, then it wouldn’t be as offensive. As it stands, he is implying that all our culture should accept this viewpoint, which explains the outrage.

    • cori

      When was that implied? I think that’s just a matter of interpretation because I did not get that out of the article at all. He didn’t hold back on how he felt so I’m pretty sure that if he thought that’s how things SHOULD be, he would have said so.

    • K

      The implication is in the language. “Ladies, I beg of you, allow us this.” He’s not addressing one woman, he’s addressing women as a whole. And he’s not just talking about himself, he’s talking about “us” or men as a whole. The implication is that all women should allow this thing to all men. Also, he assumes that the act of a woman expressing a certain opinion about this topic is a faux pas. Thus, he is implying that it is socially improper for a woman to express a desire to keep her last name. It’s subtle, but I think that’s a big part of why this article is outrageous. He is speaking to all women as a self-appointed representative of all men. As shown by the comments, a lot of men were upset by this post as well.

    • Luke

      Typical oversensitive response of a feminist. Do you read patriarchal messages when you look at the titles on cereal boxes too??

    • Ha

      The problem is not her sensitivity, it’s your blatant and overt sexism.

  • memercier

    I understand your point. You think we are taking away some of your manliness by not wanting to take your family name. But, did you even think of changing your name for the one of your gf ? I bet you think it sounds like a silly idea ? So, don’t ask us that. Just get away from that social convention. Here, in Québec, we can’t even have our husband’s name, legally I mean.! Men got over it. Its got nothing to do with your manliness, I swear. Its just a social construction. Our men are pretty manly up here! You never should have been offended by her saying that. And, I, personally, think its a bit self centered to consider this as a thing that would impede a serious relationship.

    • Luke

      Oh, I see. Show the other side of the quarter. Your typical backlash… as men and women are totally the same… What a joke.

      Do modern women even give a damn what their men want?? NO. You all are to self-absorbed and narcissistic to actually be loving, caring, considerate wives. I mean, look at this psycho reaction to doing something as petty as breaking an age old tradition… that obviously means a lot to this author. But, he’s wrong and petty, because he’s a man, right?

      Who built modern society? Who has created most of the inventions that most of you ladies take for granted every day??

      And don’t give me the horseshit that women weren’t given the chance. Whenever we put responsibility in the hands of women, they squander it. They are either too scared of screwing up or they literally just can’t come up with better ideas.

      Look at the inventions women have come up with compared to men.

      The motor car: Invented by a man

      The windshield wiper: Invented by a woman

      The fact that you ladies need a leg up says everything about your capabilities. If you could’ve gotten mankind here… you would’ve. But, it was men and their masculine aggression that invented fire, the wheel, the carriage, the horseless carriage, the train, the plane, the rocket into space, the space shuttle, etc.

    • Lilbit

      “Who built modern society?”
      um… Slaves… Pretty sure it was slaves…. they built the buildings and roads.. and women.. they built the PEOPLE that create this thing called “society”

    • Noel

      Really? Educating women has only become common in the last 20th century. Obviously her name means a lot to her, and she shouldn’t have to be upset to make her man happy. Why should he care so much, it is her name.

  • JJ

    Look, I’m sorry that you have a small, um…name, but consider gaining a little self-esteem instead of trying to get it by having a controlling attitude toward your future wife. A self-confident person is able to respect the desires of others without feeling threatened by them.

  • gretchen

    I thought I wouldn’t take my husband’s name before I was married and said so to him. He convinced me, in a sweet and romantic way by using the very arguments you make in your blog. When I saw how important it was to him I decided, “what the hell, I MARRIED him – isn’t this exactly the kind of compromise you make for the people you love?” I now have four really cool names and my license gets a lot of great comments when I whip it out.

  • o0

    I understand that this is your perspective, and that due to some kind of innate masculine pride/societal convention you find it a “faux pas” for a woman to not take your name when you marry her. But I don’t think that whether you bestow your name on your wife has anything to do with how much of a man you are. Would you change your name for your wife? No? Well then why would you expect her to change hers for you?

    I am a woman and I am proud of my name. Every paycheck I’ve ever earned with my own sweat, every award I’ve received, everything that I’ve written and published, all of that is under the name I was given. It’s a record of my life. My future-husband and his family has nothing to do with any of that. It’s a matter of pride for you? It’s a matter of pride for us too. Giving up a part of your name feels too much like signing yourself over.

    • L

      I completely agree. Because the tradition started during a time when women were, quite frankly, not people, it’s really lost its symbolic significance. While it is nice to have the same family last name when married, if a couple decides they want that nicety, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should assume that this means the woman should take the man’s name.

      I am personally very proud of the accomplishments I’ve achieved under my name, and when I married, I told my husband I wasn’t willing to give up that recognition. He argued the symbol of the family unit, but was reasonable enough to recognize that he didn’t have any sort of inherent right to me changing my name or that his masculinity was somehow harmed if I didn’t change my name. He considered changing his name to mine, but ultimately decided against it so that his family name could continue. I think our culture is in a state of change right now, and it’ll be fascinating to see how things normalize.

  • K

    I think this article demonstrates how the idea of masculinity is in a state of flux right now in our culture. Because women have gained the right to be recognized as people and to achieve all of the same things that were once exclusively male-only, some of the original ideals of masculinity no longer make sense. Women no longer need to look to men to provide or to take care of them. This shift in the dynamic can feel very threatening for men. Particularly because it means that men no longer have “special” privileges that originate solely in their identity as male. As a result, a lot of men cling to symbols of power and influence as a way to hold onto their fading roles as superior. This is natural. And I think the attitude of the author of this article clearly demonstrates it. He recognizes that the old ideas are no longer primary and tries to give lip service to equality by implying that this isn’t about domination, but about his desire to share and emphasizing that it’s a privilege to take a man’s name. The romanticizing is a way to allay the inherent inequality of what he is asking and make women feel good about it instead. Of course, as is demonstrated by many of the comments here, that fairy tale has very limited power. The times, they are a changing. There will always be men (and women) who cling to the old ideas, sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of anger, sometimes out of pure ignorance. But, there will also be men who have the maturity and foresight to recognize that the old ideas are far past their prime.

    • Luke

      Women are still not going to sacrifice themselves for their husbands. It’s patriarchal. BUT, since the dawn of time, men have always had to throw themselves on the grenade for their women, so to speak. Is it better to lose all of your rights and privileges when you die or lose a few that you don’t even know you’ll miss?? Because, up until the industrial age, most women survived A LONG time in the patriarchal system. And, I guarantee you that most of them were comfortable and maybe even happy.

      Men have always been the ones to get down on one knee, buy wives everything they ever wanted, shower them with gifts and whatever else. However, that’s not enough… for being the sex that is obligated by society to die for the entire household??

    • Lilbit

      If men weren’t in society… what would women POSSIBLEY need men to protect them from??

  • m jones

    Dude, get over it. If your pride might ruin a perfectly good relationship because she won’t take your name, then that’s your bad. Would you give up your name for a woman that demanded you take hers after marriage?

  • Rou

    Modern marriage is still a proliferation of the idea that woman are chattel. If it were really about two consenting adults loving and respecting one another, the gays would be allowed to marry.

    The fact that this right is still not nationally recognized stands as proof that, to people today, marriage is still about women being subservient to men and filling outdated misogynistic gender rolls.

    • Johanna_D

      You really went off topic with that.

  • Mai

    So girl asked me about this the other day. I calmly said I most likely wouldn’t take a guy’s last name because I’m use to mine. Or I would like if we made up a new last name together. She then said “well doesn’t the joining of man and wife mean anything to you” like that. Well yea… Then she started to go on and on saying “well when you get married, you are his, and if you don’t take his name you don’t have faith in your relationship and it will not be good” and so and so. She was even pissed about using the hypen, saying that shows “you don’t trust him”. WTF?!

    First of all, I won’t be his, and he won’t be mine. We are not bacon people! Love doesn’t mean ownership! We’ll be partners. If he wants me to take his last name, I’ll think about it. But, honestly, most women don’t feel the need to do that. It’s not about us feeling the need to spite guys, but it’s the sheer fact, it’s OUR names. If you feels so strongly about it, well find a girl who will take your name. Don’t go on and on how we girls NEED to take your last name. How come men can’t take our last name? Some do, and I think it’s super sweet! What if the woman is a doctor? Sorry, but if I become a doctor, my husband didn’t help me be one. I had to work my little bum off, so I’m going to use MY last name. Why would I go through all that, just to use someone else’s last name? I know people do it, but sorry, I would feel bummed out. It’s like creating an art piece then using a pen name. And the tradition bit, well, if we kept up traditions, I would be in the kitchen baking cookies wouldn’t I? Dude, chill.

  • Control

    Woodsmall? Really? Hahahaha…

  • TinDrum

    @Veronika. “If the author could get past this tendency I think this is actually an interesting topic and worth discussing.”
    Agreed.
    BUT….. he has achieved something. He has highlighted that this *is* an interesting topic and it is indeed worth discussing. There are 75 comments on his article already and who knows how many countless discussions have sprouted.

  • Jen Dziura

    Hi, can I be real-life friends with more of you commenters, so that when we go out to bars and some guy says “You look hot, but nobody’s ever going to marry you if you dress like a slut,” we can look knowingly at each other and say, “What a woodsmall!”

    • Veronika

      Hahaha. I’d drink to that!

  • Meg

    I do not see the need to change my last name if and when I get married. I understand your point about the honor of it and the pride of having someone take your last name. However, couldn’t the reverse be said about a woman who gives up her name? That she has no pride and loyalty to her family and generations?

    I choose not to take my husband’s name (in the future) because to me, my last name is part of my identity. My nickname, was and still is, my last name, just like guys do (same goes for my younger brother and my sister was the “little [last name]). It is also the three of us to carry on the family name. If I had kids, I would like them to carry on the name as well. By giving up my last name, I feel like I would be giving up a part of my identity as to who I am. It has nothing to do with my faith in a relationship or anything bad about my (possible) husband’s last name. By the time I get married, I plan on having a well established career and will hopefully be well know by my name. Why change that?

    My ex-boyfriend had some serious issues with it and I think it is part of the reason our relationship fell apart, among others of course. A lot of women do it for the sake of the kids. My sister just got married last month and is seriously struggling with changing her name or not. She is in school for her master’s and won’t change it until after that so her last name is on the diploma. A lot of women that I have talked to have had serious serious problems and complications changing their names as well. In the post 9-11 world, it takes forever to change your name due to security restrictions and they have problems with passports, credit cards, and the government for about a year.

    However, I ask you this: why don’t more guys change their name? It is honestly more about male pride than anything else, as well as what is socially acceptable. Do not blame a woman of she would like to keep a part of her identity and bring it into the marriage. I think it would only make the marriage stronger.

    • Eileen

      Even assuming more men wanted to change their names, it’s significantly more difficult for them to do so. A woman can generally just provide a copy of her marriage license, and anything that needs to be changed gets changed – it’s not expensive, although it is still a pain in the neck. In this case, though, it’s the law that’s sexist, because men who try to change their names to their wives’ have to pay more money and sometimes get denied (I remember a case in I think California a few years ago…)

  • SarahNerd

    I understand your reasons for being proud of your family name and back round. Why can’t you understand a woman having these same feelings for her family name?

  • Duke

    for someone so worried about his manhood you really come off sounding like a whimpering puss-bag. the next time you start feeling this way, instead of blogging about it, go slug some rye whiskey, take your shirt off, and punch a tree until your hand starts bleeding and you pass out. you’ll wake feeling a lot less petulant. you fuckin knob.

  • Amy S.

    Cry me a river, Woodsmall!

  • hurhurhur

    ur dick izsmall

  • jane d.

    Oh, Woodsmall… you ignorant douche! Your name fits you all too well. You’ll never have masculinity in the bag until you can accept a woman’s right to keep her last name. God help any woman who falls in love with you… I hope you mention this wonky outlook on first dates.

    • Luke

      So, a man who wants to pass on his family name by giving it to his children… that means he has no masculinity?? Do you even know what masculinity is?? Having pride in your legacy is masculine.

    • Chuck Bass

      No, having pride in your legacy is human.

  • qwerty

    Grow up. It doesn’t matter if she carries your name or not, but rather how much of a caring wife she will be, faithful, loving and always being on your side. A rose by any other name will be as sweet.

    I’ve been married for three years and maintained my maiden name. No hyphens nothing of the sort and my husband is more than ok with it.

    • Luke

      Your husband has no pride in his legacy.

      Feminists like you stripped all men of their pride… simply because you’re insecure, overgrown children, who are terrified of breaking a nail, so to speak.

    • Lilbit

      Women are simply taking back what is rightfully theirs. Men decided that their pride depended on the domination and control of women. That is NOT women’s fault for stripping you of your pride. i love how you think mens only sense of pride can be from the submission of women.. Says a lot more about your human weakness than it does about women’s insecurities. Accept the fact that if they were IN FACT insecure you wouldn’t be having a problem at all with getting her to change her name. If they were overgrown children, they would accept what you say at face value. What you just described is actually what women USED TO BE before they took back their voice their right, and now their name. It’s actually pretty mature and adult of them.. It seems you are the one having a fit over ti.

  • MarieL

    I decided to take my future husbands last name (next week!) even though I always thought I’d never change my name. I’m doing it because I know that he’d do it if we decided that was the way to go for us. We’re going with his last name simply for convenience reasons. I’m doing it because he didn’t tack on all the manly-manly-ness to it and told me he would accept my decision whatever it might be.

    As a bit of a feminist, I like to think that a strong woman is one that sticks to her guns and doesn’t let society tell her what she should think. I made the decision to change my name not because it was a “blessing” or whatever shite this guy came up with but because I could.

    If you were going for reaction and attention – well done. I hope you enjoy the single life, pal! I’m looking forward to reading your middle-age crisis posts when you realize you’re old and lonely.

    • FrillArtist

      Actually, he’ll be old and happy because there are more women than not who understand the meaning of bearing the husband’s name.

  • linden

    This guy is just too easy to make fun of. If he was trying to get a lot of comments, he succeeded. If he was trying to get sympathy or respect, he failed pretty miserably.

  • Rose D.

    I agree with him! I took my husband’s last name, and gladly. I am proud of our relationship, and my association with his family. It doesn’t demean my maiden name at all having changed it. Also, his brother’s wife didn’t change it, and we think it’s strange. She keeps getting mistaken as his girlfriend. I like being a wife! (And I do work, I don’t believe I should do all the chores, AND I make more than him, and we’re both OK with that.)

    • Luke

      Well, that proves that you’re a rare lady, Rose. More power to you and your relationship. ;-)

      I can’t believe some of the more angry, childish, man-hating comments here. They’ve all been indoctrinated way too much by feminism.

  • Heather

    Do what you want, fine, but I would never marry a man for whom this is a deal-breaker. If your masculinity is that easily shattered, frankly you’re not man enough for me. Your masculinity is about who you are and how you behave as a human being (the same thing that my femininity is about). It’s not about what your wife’s last name is. Hopefully you meet someone great and this won’t matter to you anymore. I really hope you don’t lose someone amazing who wants to keep her name.

  • Heidi

    I didn’t take my husband’s last name. Luckily, he’s not a giant pussy like you.

    • Amelia

      right on!
      hahahahaha

  • Sigh

    She’s wearing a ring, you’re wearing a ring. It’s an equal concession.

    • Lilbit

      Where’s the authority and Maliness in that!? the very idea of equality is emasculating to a lot of men.

  • lina f

    all the feminist macho girls stand aside and listen; marriage is about UNITY. ohh booo hoo i got my career wah wah wah. the act of marriage is supposed to be two becoming one… or did you? even ever learn it? its not the (mans) oppression over women. as for a reality check…. blacks and whites are equal now. the time of stupidity is.slowly erroding away. yes women are entitled to equal rights and are slowly getting them as they already should have gotten. but…. huh… talk about identity and customs and traditions? they are also getting washed away. My mother married my father for 54 years. they divorced and she kept his name; because she was one with him and its her identity. she is referred by as her maiden name by her brothers and theyre families and she is referred to her now current name by my dads side. they are both her identity but she remains as ms.f what pride or shame does she have? most likely alot of shame but she has pride. she married the man for what he was not what be became. my mother had a career and was well known and she still is even though she has my fathers last name.

    • Dee

      Blacks and whites are equal now? Yeah, I’m sure oppression ended with the Civil Rights Movement. You are delusional.

    • udolipixie

      Taking his name isn’t about unity and becoming one rather ownership and becoming his as he doesn’t have to give up his name and identity. If unity and becoming one ala sharing names is so important they can create a new name as taking her name likely would be balked at as it’s ‘emasculating’.

    • http://twitter.com/nicola_fergie Nicole Ferguson

      If men are so worried about “unity,” why do they refuse to give up their own last names? Why does it always have to be the woman?

    • Luke

      Why do men still have to be the sacrificial lambs in the relationship / marriage? More often than not, most men are required by society to throw themselves on the grenade to protect their wives and children. If not, they’re deemed cowards. If a man questions a woman’s authority – which his right if we really want equality here – he’s deemed a pathetic loser, like the author here. Do you not see a pattern here?

      Men in Western cultures have always played the giving, caring, responsible, self-sacrificing whipping boys for women. All we ask for is for our women and children to pass on our legacy. Why is that so awful??

      It really comes down to pride versus life. What’s more important, your pride or the life you could have with this man??

    • Wow

      Lol more often than not. Yes I’m sure over 50 percent of all male deaths are due to jumping on a grenade. And the idea that if a girl keeps her name a grenade is going to fall on the family is ridiculous. You are the overgrown child. A woman should have authority over her own name. It’s HER god damn name.

    • AutisticCetologist

      Unity =/= ownership
      Read the dictionary and stop giving in to patriarchal values. Also, LOL. “Black and whites are equals now.” You, madam, are incredibly blinded by your white privilege and white supremacy. Black people are hardly equal to whites, not with the help of Eurocentric ideals that make the pale, fair haired and blue eyed the ideal type in both sexes, racial profiling still being a thing and lack of proper representation for people of colour in the media and the anti-blackness/brownness sentiment among PoCs including far more various problems that contribute to this societal, social and hierarchic system of oppression. You really need to do research and educate yourself on your privilege because I honestly pity any PoC that has crossed or will cross paths with you.

    • Luke

      Where are you learning this nonsense??

      If one white person shoots one black person, it’s automatically a hate crime, right?? LMAO.

  • Alice

    The way I see it, I already have a last name. I *have* a strong identity, and my nationality and family (to whom I’m very close) are quite a large part of that. To change my name would seem, to me, like cutting them out of my life, or relegating them to the past symbolically. And I’m bisexual–so if I end up with a woman for the rest of my life, what then?

    I understand that for most men, the idea of their future wife changing her name is a given, and when an alternative is proposed it can be downright shocking. I get why you’re flustered. I really do. But I see relationships more as a union between two people–PEOPLE, first and foremost, not two separate species intermingling. The changing of surnames, of course, is a tradition with archaic roots and reasons, and it was about ownership, and transfer of property. Even if you modern guys don’t think of it that way (and I’m sure you don’t), the facts are the same.

  • Lindsay “Lucy Stone” Stamhuis

    Holy smoke! There are SOOOO many things that offend me about what you’ve written. What is it about a woman keeping her last name that emasculates you? To what “plight” are you referring? Your “pride” will be hurt that badly because your future wife won’t take your last name? Really? Seriously, I want to know. Because it seems that you’ve already been emasculated to the point of no return, and you haven’t even met the woman yet!

    When it came time for my husband and I to exchange vows, he insisted that I keep my last name. Insisted upon it! He said “You are who you are, and I’m marrying you because of it.” Changing my name would mean changing who I am. He didn’t expect that I adhere to the ridiculous and outdated tradition of signifying that ownership of my person has transferred from my father to my husband upon marriage. My husband respected the fact that my family name is rare, that its history is worthy of respect and recognition as an equal part of who we are as a family, and that is central to my identity as a human being. It was his idea to give our sons his surname, and our daughters mine. That speaks more to me of his security and confidence in himself than your insistence on your future wife becoming Mrs. Michael Woodsmall.

    If insisting that she adopts your name is the only way for you to have “honor” and “pride” then I really do pity the poor woman you select for a mate.

    • Luke

      OMG. Talk about childish notions of marriage. You have responsibilities, same as him, when you get married. Your generation probably doesn’t understand a damn thing about taking responsibility within a marriage. You’re all too liberated.

      We have to consider women’s feelings during their periods, no matter what, am I wrong?? Or else, there’s hell to pay, right?

      That’s a responsibility men have to take on when they agree to get into a relationship with women.

      It’s you women that are overgrown children, constantly whining about your pride. But, when a man does, once or twice, here or there, because they want A LITTLE authority, you ladies blow a gasket. That shows a lot of petty insecurity.

    • Lilbit

      Ah there it is… Authority.. a man who doesn’t hide behind politics.. women want authorty over themselves.. Men are mad about this. Men want just A LITTLE authority, not over themselves, they’ve always been granted that, but authority of ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. This is why it is emasculating (though the writer could articulate this without being sexist) because to be a man means to have authority to be in control of another human being. To be a man is to dominate and if he can’t symbolically dominate her then he doesn’t see himself as truly a man. This is the Bullshit that is beign fed to men today.

  • Kat

    Women’s humanity should not suffer because you’re not secure in your masculinity. Get over it.

    • Luke

      By demanding to keep your last name, you feminist psychopaths seem pretty damn insecure to me.

      Personally, I think every man should stay away from narcissistic women… like feminists… because all they care about is their own happiness. They hate everything male… even though, masculinity got women to this point in history, where they can bitch and moan, and fight for their rights. So, stop being a bitch.

    • Natalie

      Right, because a woman that doesn’t want to take a mans name is narccistic, but a man that doesn’t want to take a woman’s name is a big tough macho man. Why the hell do you care so much about your SO’s name? How would you feel if she asked you to change YOUR name?

  • Sara

    I’d be offended if my husband thought his name was more valuable than mine.

    • Guest

      This author describes it awkwardly, but I can somewhat relate. To me, it does not have to do anything with manliness, I simply think (despite its antiquated roots) it is a romantic tradition. There are many things a woman does for a man that are not reciprocated and vice versa. If she did not want to take my last name, I would get over it but I would be quite sad about it.

  • George

    All you women complaining about Mr. Woodsmall’s article are a bunch of little bitches. My God, how pathetic.

    • Randi

      What is pathetic is how underevolved you are and how willing you are to let your mysogyny show. Woodsmall is, of course, entitled to his opinion, archaiac as it may be. Some of the reasons he gives are much the same as the 80% of women who DO choose to change their names give–family unity, etc. Other reasons are inherently sexist, even if not intended to be. For example, it is small minded believe that giving a woman your last name is this awesome gift that, if rejected, warrants a breakup. Why should a woman change her last name if she has an established profession, for example? Or if she simply does not like her future husband’s last name? If these are dealbreakers for someone like Woodsmall, he should avoid going on dates with women with professional or graduate degrees. These women are the least likely to change their names happily, unless they have a name more mocked than “Woodsmall.”

    • Luke

      Misogyny that’s earned after 40 years of misandry… perpetuated by angry, bitter, ex-housewives / butch lesbians that don’t actually want to have a family with a man. They just want to live petty lives where they’re totally in control. They refuse to work WITH men. But, when men refuse to work with women… god help them.

      Any privileges men had during this “evil” patriarchy was EARNED by deeds and sacrifice. Yet, we’re still labeled ‘the bad guy’ by society… because – as Arthur Schopenhauer once described women – you’re all petty, overgrown children that get spooked when a man unexpectedly raises his voice.

      Society still deems men cowards if we don’t willfully sacrifice ourselves for our wives and children… or we speak our minds like this author. But, when a woman speaks up against something she deems as an injustice, everyone rallies behind her.

      All of this is due to BS lies and propaganda of those petty ex-housewife dykes, who started the 2nd wave feminist movement.

    • Better than you

      Explain one example of misandry in modern society. And cut the bs no one is branded a coward. Except for you. You are a huge coward because your refusing to admit that you are not better than half of the population because you posess a penis. I feel sorry for all of the women in your life, but who am I kidding, they’ve probably run far away from a misogynistic creep like you.

  • Nikki

    You did this girl a favour. Anyone with the sensibility to keep her last name shouldn’t be pegged down by an idiot like yourself.

  • Angie

    You are over reacting over nothing. No one really cares if you keep yuor maiden or married name. It’s only “Tradicional”. It honestly looks more independent and smart to keep the maiden name. I love my future husband very much, but I’m keeping my name because I don’t want to be Mrs. “Her husband’s” name.

    Your kids will be probably picked in school because of your pride (senseless pride).. seriously you are a cry baby, you did your ex girlfriend a favor Woodsmall.

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  • kantakte

    I really wouldn’t recommend changing a name for anyone. It was such a problem in my situation . I
    changed my name for my husbands sake however I am a double citizen. I was born in Latvia but raised here. I have property and family in my native
    country. They make it near impossible and
    costly to change a name on my Latvian passport. I was not able to change the
    name on my Latvian passport in time before having to go back and deal with
    property issues. I called the embassy
    they said that it would be alright as long as I carried my marriage certificate
    with me. So I went and I was not let back into the USA
    for five months because the Latvians thought I was attempting identity fraud. I told this to my husband before, knowing
    that this may become an issue but Americans don’t know what it is like to deal
    with document changes in the former USSR. I almost was jailed for identity fraud. He
    regrets pushing me to change the passport now because if I left it as is we wouldn’t
    have spent months worrying weather or not I will ever be let out of Latvia
    again even though I am an American Citizen.
    I really do not think changing my name was worth all that.

  • Eliza

    I agree with what Woodsmall said. I love my future husband to be with all my heart and when I marry him, I will adopt his surname. I want us to be one, united, so changing my surname after his seems only natural. Women should learn to be “feminists” in other ways. What is so wrong with being Mrs. (Your favorite person in the world)?? You can still be a strong, independent career woman after that.

    • Nic

      What’s wrong with being the person you’ve been for ____# of years before you met your favorite person in the world? I don’t believe not taking the last name is feminist or that having the last name of husband make you any more united.

    • Luke

      More indoctrination?? You’re helping to dismantle the importance of family. You take away the significance of loyalty, consideration, love, caring, etc within a relationship, everything will turn to chaos… because everyone is just doing anything that they feel like, without any consideration for others.

      Modern women can’t seem to understand the responsibilities of being married. And they’re surprised that their sons are growing up just as stupid about their responsibilities??

  • Guest

    So, basically, you want to imprint your name on the woman so that she cannot easily escape the idea of being married by simply taking her ring off, but you can? Seems sort of hypocritical to me.

  • aihley

    Your manliness has nothing to do with other people’s choices. Please figure that out before you put yourself on any kind of “market.” If you feel emasculated by others’ decisions, you need to go ahead and make an appointment with your counselor to sort that one out.

  • 50/50

    IS she doesnt want to take your last name then don’t give her an Engagement ring. Both are traditions, one is something the woman does for the man, the other is something the man does for the woman. If she is happy with that then its cool. Everything needs to be 50/50 for a relationship to work.

  • Yeah..

    So instead of feeling like we are losing our identity, we women ought to feel privileged that you saw fit to grace us with your name?

  • Gwen Keeping My Last Name

    This post is disgusting. You are clearly very self-centered. Did it occur to you that perhaps a woman has a reason to want to keep her own name and that it has nothing to do with you? As much as your last name represents your identity and family, hers represents her. Why should she have to shed or compromise her identity in order to stroke your ego? You’re joining her family too–why don’t you take her name? As a person with two advanced degrees and a professional career, I am keeping my own last name. My fiance is supportive. He is in academia where this is extremely common. Why would a woman who worked for 8-12 years on a doctoral degree ditch her name for some antiquated notion of family unity? She’s a person, not a cow. Marriage means making a commitment and that happens regardless of your name. The fact that you refused to even entertain the notion of putting your girlfriend’s needs and desires before your own shows your immaturity, and that girl you dumped clearly dodged a big bullet. Good luck with that misogyny.

  • Gwen Keeping My Last Name

    This post is disgusting. You are clearly very self-centered. Did it occur to you that perhaps a woman has a reason to want to keep her own name and that it has nothing to do with you? As much as your last name represents your identity and family, hers represents her. Why should she have to shed or compromise her identity in order to stroke your ego? You’re joining her family too–why don’t you take her name? As a person with two advanced degrees and a professional career, I am keeping my own last name. My fiance is supportive. He is in academia where this is extremely common. Why would a woman who worked for 8-12 years on a doctoral degree ditch her name for some antiquated notion of family unity? She’s a person, not a cow. Marriage means making a commitment and that happens regardless of your name. The fact that you refused to even entertain the notion of putting your girlfriend’s needs and desires before your own shows your immaturity, and that girl you dumped clearly dodged a big bullet. Good luck with that misogyny.

  • A Real Man

    Fact is. you women who are roasting this guy are being just as selfish. Any man who allows his wife to keep her name looks like a little bitch to his peers. You just further contribute to the demise of the family unit, and keep yourself separated. I suppose all the kids should take her last name too? I guess that would equate to even more leverage in family court, as if it wasn’t already heavily slanted in women’s favor. Men, just stop putting up with it. the man hating feminazi bitches have too much power. If she won’t take your name let her go. When her saggy 40 year old ass is still single she will change her tune.

    • AutisticCetologist

      Which is even more wrong. It just shows how patriarchal values harm men socially and that needs to be changed, not reinforced, like you are currently doing. You’re so used to inequality against women being normalized that you’re easily offended by women trying to take the rights and social respect that should have been accorded to them long ago. It’s disgusting. Also, comparing a group of activists who strive for gender equality to a group of white supremacists that committed dehumanizing crimes against humanity? clap clap 4 u. ur such a great human being for doing so hurr hurr.

    • Luke

      Really?? The day I hear on the news a wife willfully throws herself in front of a bullet to protect her husband… or boyfriend… and he’s not scolded for being a coward in any way, I’ll believe that this society is fair to men too. When I see women actually talk sensibly about the desires of a man, whether he’s using extremes like this author or not… I’ll believe that society is fair to men. The day that divorces end with 50% of all fathers and mothers getting custody of their children, I’ll believe that society is fair to men.

  • AutisticCetologist

    A woman’s surname can also be just as important to her as yours apparently means to you. Even if giving your family’s name to your future wife might be an honour for you, acknowledge that she might see more meaning and pride in her own, and although you’d like it differently, respect her choice to keep it, should she choose to. That’s something you should automatically do for the person you love. Also, nice casual cissexism. A+ for you there.

    • Luke

      A man’s life means one helluva lot more to him than a woman’s pride… which is flimsy and unpredictable as it is. BUT, a man’s life obviously doesn’t mean a goddamn thing to a feminist wife, compared to her pathetic pride. I say this, BECAUSE still brands men cowards for standing up for themselves against women (equal my ass), and or not throwing themselves on the grenade to protect a woman.

  • FrillArtist

    The very essence of Woman bears Man’s last name. Wo-MAN. Fe-MALE. Go figure.

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  • ugrh

    woodsmall pahhhhhaahahahahaha yes I would defiantly leave my strong last name to take your so manly one hmph noooooo. People like you are the reason that my unborn child will be receiving my last name. have a fun lonely life woodsmall

  • Sweet16

    Lol wouldn’t a greater token of undying devotion be taking her surname? Yep mate, I will call you a old fashioned chauvinist. Also, an arsehole.

    • Luke

      So, if a wife doesn’t take his name, she doesn’t love him?? That makes a lot of sense.

      I mean, he is the one person in the relationship that society will consider a chauvinist pig for ever questioning a woman’s decision… if she questions him, it’s simply a woman standing up for her rights. This society also considers men cowards if they don’t willfully throw themselves on the grenade to protect their families.

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