Last Names

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Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:40 pm

When a couple get married should the woman take the man's last name? Why or why not?
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:20 pm

Why shouldn't she? Isn't it the "norm" that she does?
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Re: Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:21 pm

Does it being the norm make it the only choice?
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:54 pm

No, of course not. In fact, most "norm" should be avoided. 

It's just rather confusing when a family cannot all have the same last name. Also I think when they don't have the same last name, it says that they are independent of one another and not to the fact that husband and wife are "one."

Although why does the wife always have to change her name? Why doesn't the husband change his? Or they both change theirs to a different one?
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Re: Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:55 pm

Good question, coming up with a new family name would be cool or yeah take the wife's name.
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:57 pm

Although taking the wife's name would seem like the wife is already starting to rule her husband.
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Re: Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:02 pm

Or like the husband is willing to sacrifice for his wife.
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Re: Last Names

Post by Blitz on Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:22 am

Bleh who cares? You could go by your middle name for your last name. Anyway, in most countries its illegal in the sense that you can't do it.
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Re: Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:39 am

Huh? What is illegal in most countries?
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:50 am

I think he means it's illegal for a man to take a woman's last name. 

Also, who is to carry on the family name if everyone takes the woman's name? Does the man become part of the woman's family or the woman apart of the mans? Which way is it supposed to be?
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Re: Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:16 am

I would need to see some evidence for that. 

Good question, which way is it suppose to be? I mean if the woman has to take the mans name then who carries on the woman's family name?
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Re: Last Names

Post by Blitz on Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:27 am

I said in the sense that you can't do it. Only a few countries provide the ability to change it.
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Re: Last Names

Post by kait on Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:43 pm

It's a choice only each couple can make. I know many women who much prefer to keep their own name for any number of reasons. I also have friends who *both* hyphenated their names to combine their last names. I don't think I know any men who have taken their wife's name but that's also a possible route.

The whole "norm" of women being the ones to take their husband's name is rooted originally in the idea of women being property of first her father and then her husband. How else are people supposed to know who she belongs to if she doesn't have her husband's name!? Wink also the man's name was the important one that needed to be passed on through male heirs. Titles, property, money, etc, all went with the man's name.

obviously women aren't legally property anymore like they used to be but the name change is still one of those norms that people kind of freak out if you don't follow. Which is weird to me.
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:01 pm

@War Doctor wrote:
Good question, which way is it suppose to be? I mean if the woman has to take the mans name then who carries on the woman's family name?
This seems like a trick question. If I say the man, I'll be accused of being offensive to women. If I say the woman, that should be offensive to men... 

The person who carries on the woman's family name: the woman's brother.
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Re: Last Names

Post by War Doctor on Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:50 pm

Not every women has a brother, if she doesn't then who carries on that families name?

What if the husband had a brother and the wife had none, should the husband take the wife's name so both families name carry on?
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:46 pm

That has happened before I think. So I guess yes, if the family name is that important. 

But if everyone keeps trying to downsize on having children, expect some family names to go extinct.
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Re: Last Names

Post by kait on Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:24 pm

Why is a family name important?
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:30 pm

I am not sure that it has to be Tongue out Only to some it obviously is.
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Re: Last Names

Post by Blitz on Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:44 pm

Because family identifies you with your family which is funny because I identify with my mom's family more than my dad's side. (My dad thinks we are weird doing homeschool).
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Re: Last Names

Post by Mr. S on Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:26 pm

@kait wrote:The whole "norm" of women being the ones to take their husband's name is rooted originally in the idea of women being property of first her father and then her husband. 

There are several questions that we should answer first before we arrive at the question of last names. 
1. What is the essence of a family?
2. What is the essence of marriage?
3. What has essentially changed from the traditional to the contemporary conception of marriage and marriage identity?

The essence of family is not merely an indistinguishable whole (that is the Eastern error where individuals can completely lose their identity). Neither is the family a mere unimportance (Countess I must disagree with you there) where familial bonds break away so that individuals can self-actualize and pursue who they really are (this is the Western error). Families are neither the "Borg" who assimilate the parts reducing them to the whole, nor a cocoon serving as a temporary shelter for the caterpillar to turn into a butterfly. Rather, family is a type of identity which makes up a part of who we are. No matter where I go, I carry part of my family with me--part of who I have become is found and originated in my parents and their parents. Peter Kreeft (a philosophy professor at Boston University) made the point that part of who we are is our family. If you found out that you were directly related to Hitler by blood, it would sicken you (though you did not personally commit his crimes). If a family member had done some heroic act, you feel pride in that accomplishment (though you did not do the action yourself). This is not a confusion, but a glimpse into something deeper concerning our families. The great mystery of this universe is that there can be great unity and diversity. Distinction does not mean complete autonomy. So our family names do matter, they are not mere place holders for forms and job applications. They mean something, they are part of who we are. It is not all we are, but we cannot be fully explained without our family.

The essence of marriage is trickier. Family is identity (not our total identity, but it has been a greater part of our identity in ages past). Marriage is the center of that identity. From a husband and wife come the other members of that cell, that organism which is a family. Both husband and wife come together to build the family around them. This is a new chapter in life, it is transformative it recreates or alters that identity in an important way. A side note from the Christian perspective. There is a sense in which marriage is much more than a natural means to procreate. It is a mystery and timeless truth for Christians about the nature of God. How marriage exists, then, cannot be fully explained outside of this mystery. 

This leads to the last point about what has changed. I must strongly disagree with Kait concerning what I call the "property theory" of marriage. Changing a last name was not merely a signing over one's daughter to another man (like you would sign over a house or car). Women did suffer much under the patriarchal system, but the patriarchal system was more complicated than this 2-D description gives credit. Underneath the abuses there is a core of truth that I think really existed. I don't believe that all men saw the issues of name and lineage in a merely economic context. Compartmentalized thinking where we have a box for everything and separate ideas and aspects into separate quadrants came much later with Kant and Bacon. Instead of the property theory, I propose the male-leadership theory. In all these cultures (East and West) men were considered the head or spokesperson for their group identity (their family). Before you accuse me of chauvinism and woman-hating, I would like to argue that in addition to leadership position and privilege came also leadership responsibility. The leader's actions were judged with greater severity than those of his household. What was done by his children or wife came back to reflect him. In the Christian and Jewish tradition (at least) harsher judgment was reserved for the leaders and heads of communities. While the man may have had authority within the family, he also faced (and I would argue continues to face) the harsher judgment. It comes back to an extreme where we forget that our theory of rugged individualism contains gaps. We are not islands (a kingdom all to our own).  That is a general reason of why I do not disagree with taking the husband's last name--yes it shows that the group identity has a stronger bond with the husband, but it is also a reminder that the husband must answer for more than himself. It is greater power, but it is greater responsibility. Much will be expected of the one to whom much is given.
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Re: Last Names

Post by latch on Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:43 pm

@Mr. S wrote:

This leads to the last point about what has changed. I must strongly disagree with Kait concerning what I call the "property theory" of marriage. Changing a last name was not merely a signing over one's daughter to another man (like you would sign over a house or car). Women did suffer much under the patriarchal system, but the patriarchal system was more complicated than this 2-D description gives credit. Underneath the abuses there is a core of truth that I think really existed. I don't believe that all men saw the issues of name and lineage in a merely economic context. Compartmentalized thinking where we have a box for everything and separate ideas and aspects into separate quadrants came much later with Kant and Bacon. Instead of the property theory, I propose the male-leadership theory. In all these cultures (East and West) men were considered the head or spokesperson for their group identity (their family). Before you accuse me of chauvinism and woman-hating, I would like to argue that in addition to leadership position and privilege came also leadership responsibility. The leader's actions were judged with greater severity than those of his household. What was done by his children or wife came back to reflect him. In the Christian and Jewish tradition (at least) harsher judgment was reserved for the leaders and heads of communities. While the man may have had authority within the family, he also faced (and I would argue continues to face) the harsher judgment. It comes back to an extreme where we forget that our theory of rugged individualism contains gaps. We are not islands (a kingdom all to our own).  That is a general reason of why I do not disagree with taking the husband's last name--yes it shows that the group identity has a stronger bond with the husband, but it is also a reminder that the husband must answer for more than himself. It is greater power, but it is greater responsibility. Much will be expected of the one to whom much is given.

Is there any particular reason that burden/responsibility/reward cannot be shared equally between two partners? A relationship with equal partners working toward a common goal, as opposed to one leader and one follower? Why is there a need for a dominant figure, whether male or female? What makes a male better suited for this position?

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Re: Last Names

Post by Mr. S on Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:02 pm

Probably for the same reason that we have 9 justices rather than 8 or 10; how do you break a tie?  Wink

In all seriousness, that is an option: where both are equals and they come into the relationship contractually. However, when the contract fails the parties will separate. Many marriages (or I should say relationships because fewer people really seek out that marriage arrangement, far more common to see cohabitation) do have that kind of an impasse--divorce. That is not to say that all divorces are a result of disputes where both parties simply can't agree (sometimes abuse and violence, or infidelity are at the root). Yet, that is the new paradigm: contract, and a dissolving of the contract when the parties are unable to agree. But we are talking about spouses and not roommates. I change my roommate if we have too severe a disagreement, I cannot (or more accurately: should not) change spouses as easily. 

Perhaps you may mean: why cannot authority be divided up, with one partner taking responsibility X and the other partner responsibility Y. That is workable and does happen, but even among equals there can be leaders and facilitators. I have been part of teams, study groups, and relationships where the two are equals, peers even, and yet someone sets the agenda. Setting the agenda does not discount my value or influence, but it realizes that the roles will not be indistinguishable like pudding (where all is one and there are no parts). Life, especially marriage and relationship does not allow such vagueness. In business, education, marriage, leadership among equals happens. More importantly, I think it is often necessary.
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Re: Last Names

Post by Countess on Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:00 am

@Mr. S wrote:Neither is the family a mere unimportance (Countess I must disagree with you there)
I think you may have misunderstood something I said, as I don't believe that. I believe the family to be a great importance. 

@Mr. S wrote:Perhaps you may mean: why cannot authority be divided up, with one partner taking responsibility X and the other partner responsibility Y. That is workable and does happen, but even among equals there can be leaders and facilitators. I have been part of teams, study groups, and relationships where the two are equals, peers even, and yet someone sets the agenda. Setting the agenda does not discount my value or influence, but it realizes that the roles will not be indistinguishable like pudding (where all is one and there are no parts). Life, especially marriage and relationship does not allow such vagueness. In business, education, marriage, leadership among equals happens. More importantly, I think it is often necessary.
Never heard it explained like that, and it makes sense.
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Re: Last Names

Post by kait on Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:56 pm

@Mr. S wrote:Probably for the same reason that we have 9 justices rather than 8 or 10; how do you break a tie?  Wink
A marriage isn't a courtroom, it's a relationship. A marriage doesn't depend on votes, it depends on partnership and compromise. Hearing all of this talk of marriage from you, I'm curious: Are you married? Because you seem to have some strange ideas about how it works.

@Mr. S wrote: That is not to say that all divorces are a result of disputes where both parties simply can't agree (sometimes abuse and violence, or infidelity are at the root). Yet, that is the new paradigm: contract, and a dissolving of the contract when the parties are unable to agree.
Polls and surveys have fairly consistently shown that the reason couples divorce is almost never because they are simply "unable to agree" and thus go their separate ways. One of the more recent nationally representative surveys I was able to find asked more than 4,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 60 their reasons for divorce. Usually they cited multiple reasons. Here were the top:

survey wrote:INFIDELITY BY EITHER PARTY: 37 PERCENT
SPOUSE UNRESPONSIVE TO NEEDS: 32 PERCENT
GREW TIRED OF MAKING A POOR MATCH WORK: 30 PERCENT
SPOUSE’S IMMATURITY: 30 PERCENT
EMOTIONAL ABUSE: 29 PERCENT
DIFFERENT FINANCIAL PRIORITIES/SPENDING PATTERNS: 24 PERCENT
ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUG ABUSE: 23 PERCENT

So frankly I think your whole premise that equality in a relationship will lead to divorce unless you have someone to "trump" the other person is fallacious at best, dangerous and abusive at worst.
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Re: Last Names

Post by Mr. S on Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:16 pm

Yes, I know that a courtroom is not marriage (or vice versa) it was more a throw-away quip rather than a definitive illustration. The purpose of an analogy is to find a similarity that is common to both. What is truly common (even beyond marriage into all relationships) is that there will have to be compromises and tie-breakers. If you really couldn't get past a tie-breaking decision in your life, and it really mattered, that can easily end the relationship. 

As for the inability to agree leading to divorce, I miscommunicated that. I find that the unresponsive (32%), poor match (30%), immaturity (30%) and finances (24%) all fall under that incompatibility and disagreement paradigm. It's not that someone lost an argument and they couldn't move on from that. Rather, it's insurmountable problems which either have to be decisively decided (and accepted), or else the two parties part ways. You are right that you don't need someone to "trump" the relationship, but failing to have one of the partners take a more decisive leadership role reduces those relationships to a contractual arrangement rather than a life-long covenant. So you do have options, but that option tends towards divorce. Even if we reduced it to insurmountable disagreements (such as spending patterns) that is almost a quarter of divorces which suffer directly from this change in paradigm. I maintain that it actually covers a much bigger percentage. In either case, many of the causes of divorce are due to conflict which cannot be resolved and so both people walk away. Yes, those differences can be insurmountable regardless of leadership roles, but I don't think your data says one way or another. Still, I could be very wrong. Would you be willing to post the link to the survey? I'm curious to see their research.

Also, I created a thread for this topic of marriage and partnership and all that is entailed in that.
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