Earlier this evening a friend on Facebook linked to an article on the Huffington Post about women who don’t take their husband’s names and the reactions that they get. I had to respond that should I ever get married I would insist that she would keep her last name. It just seems silly to me that she would have mine. I would only ever get married for the more traditional reason of it being a means to control inheritance. The name would not matter to me at all. Chances are she’d be the primary breadwinner anyway as I don’t make a lot of money as it is. Why throw in an archaic means of control?
I take the view that by taking the man’s name the woman would be viewed as his wife more so than he would be her husband. It makes her appear to be his property. Then again, the same argument could be made for using one’s family name. I remember reading a magazine article (which was years ago so I can’t remember from what magazine I should refer to) the author took her husband’s name and then got divorced but she felt the same way about going back to her family name as she did if she was to keep his. So she invented a new last name for herself. I included this idea in my response to my friend except I wanted to take it a step further. Instead of my wife keeping her last name I could propose that we came up with a new one altogether. To add to everybody’s confusion I would suggest that we make it something really weird and perhaps unpronounceable.
I have no intent on getting married. I’m not ruling it out but it isn’t a goal of mine. There are other ways to control inheritance. Then again, maybe my friends can divide my stuff amongst themselves. I don’t have a lot of valuables but I do have a lot of things people might have fun with. Maybe somebody could have a large yard sale with all of it. To be honest, I don’t care what happens to it if I die. I’ll be dead, so what good would it do for me?
Let me try to get back on track for at least one blog post. The only advantage I see to the woman taking the man’s name (or the other way around) would be for the sake of genealogy. However, now that we’re in the information age and record keeping is much easier these days even that advantage is going by the wayside. But what if the couple has children? What name do they take? In the case of making up a name that wouldn’t be a problem. But if neither the husband nor the wife take each other’s name then they have a heavy decision to make with the kids.
Here’s a thought: let’s get rid of last names. Why not? Like I said, record-keeping is much easier these days. We can all keep track of each other. Nobody who knows me personally uses my last name. Anybody that I pay bills to knows how to get in touch with me. The only time I really bother with my last name is when I’m taking credit for my own writing. As I’m relatively unknown “Mick” isn’t much of an identifier. I should try coming up with a really awesome pen name. This would go back to solving the problem of the children. Give them one name, but make it memorable. Personally, I’m thinking that if I had a kid (which is even less likely than getting married) my first-born would be named “Fang the Hard and Magnificent.”