finding inspiration

Friday, November 16, 2012





Today I'm finding inspiration in all of your interesting and insightful comments on changing your name. And in this nighttime stroll we took last night. But first, so many interesting points of view on marriage, family and the names that bind us.

I was a bit surprised to find that most of you did take your husband's last name, while just a handful took both or found a new name. The point of family solidarity came up often, as did the legal mess that double-barrelled names can cause. I totally get this, which is one of the reasons our dual citizen children should probably only have one name because their bi-continental lives will be complicated enough as it is!

Something else that came up quite a bit was using your middle name as a way of compromising. Interestingly, this is exactly what my parents did. I go by my father's last name and have my mother's last name as my middle name. I think it's likely that this is what will happen with our offspring as well.

Imogen Eve made the point that since most of us have last names passed down from our dads, isn't there something un-feminist in that? Yes, I think there is. Some Latin American readers explained that every child gets two surnames where they're from - one from their mom and one from their dad. But even in this seemingly egalitarian model, those names come from the paternal side. What's a feminist to do?

I could go on forever, but I'll cut myself off here. Me and my husband of the different last names went down to the sea last night to catch the sun going down through the clouds and take some photos. I am finding so much inspiration lately through the lens, and in this vintage dress that belongs to my mom.  Happy weekend friends!


14 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! What lens do you use?

    My mum and dad are not married and I have both their last names.

    Za x

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  2. thanks for sharing. great thought :)
    http://elleestivana.blogspot.com/

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  3. This is a wonderful post. The pictures are just gorgeous and the topic very full of truth. It's an interesting one for me because I never thought of myself as any sort of feminist prior to getting married. I'm half saudi and half american. My mother never really took my father's last name, but she would put it (unofficially) after her own here and there. In saudi, women don't change their last name. It isn't something that happens, it's not a reality there. You are who you are sort of thing. Once I got married, unlike my friends who scurried about days before their weddings to get the paperwork and licenses changed to their soon to be new name, I didn't do anything. Absolutely nothing. I was not opposed to changing my name, but was not changing it either. It's hard to explain. Once I got married, I felt more close and secure with my maiden name. It was almost as if being married, and gaining a life partner made me need to hold onto that old me. Never mind I am also a dual citizen and I felt it would be so complicated to change my name. As far as children go, I now have a seven month old son and he goes by his father's last name. I am not opposed to that in any way. His middle name is not my own, but occasionally, I think, why do people toss off their names. Why don't children gain both names? But then that would be such a fun complicated mess. So much to think about. I should stop typing. Thanks for the insightful post.

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  4. That's so true--even by keeping our own last name, it's already passed down from our father....so is there really any way to escape that dimension? I'm not sure. i think i'll probably take my husband's last name just out of love, but it is a strange concept...

    xo,
    kristyn

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  5. This all is really interesting.. I'm not married yet but when I joined the actor's union, I had to change my name since someone had mine already (there can only be one of each name in professional actor land). After many choices, I settled on changing my last name and four years later I still feel like a total faker when I say it before each audition. Actually, I'm thinking now of changing to my middle name as last. Anyway, the point is that all of a sudden going by another name does feel weird.. but if it's for something - or someone(s) - that you love, well, it's worth a bit of change, I suppose. Wishing you an easy decision! (& beautiful pics!) x

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  6. I kept my last name but now that we have two children I might add my husband's last name on since they will take his last name - he's not insisting on that, I just have my father's last name and feel that tradition should win in this aspect.

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  7. I took my husband's name but requested that my maiden name be a second middle name- two middle names. I love my daddy, and he didn't get sons, so I didn't want to shed the name altogether. The person that did my paperwork entered it wrong, though, and I wound up hyphenated after all. It took getting my annual tax filing rejected three times in a row to figure out that the problem was the way my name was entered on the paperwork! Don't make me tell you about the time I went to get a new ID after I got married and the person at the counter initially refused to include my maiden name on the ID. It got ugly, let me tell you. I won, BTW.

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  8. cute dress! btw yesterday I was wearing one of my grandmother's dress so this made me think, we may not keep our mother's name but we can always keep their pretty dresses ha!

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  9. Hi from ATP, I was also featured by Megan today. Sponsors unite! :)
    I mentioned keeping my name once (to my BF of 18 years) and he was quite offended! (Which surprised me, I didn't think he would really care.)
    We're not really planning on getting married, but I have though about giving a baby girl my last name (it works and is a common first name in some countries). I love my name, too. And I've had it a long time. I wouldn't want to lose it! There is also the professional aspect of it, for me, I've used this name at my company for the last 15+ years. Might not be a big factor fro some, but is is for me.

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  10. I decided to take hubby's last name for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as you mentioned - my maiden name was my Dad's name. I haven't seen my Dad since I was tiny, so I feel no connection to keeping it and actually feel much more connection to my husband's name as we've been together so long.

    I also grew up double barrelled - took my Step-Dads name when my mum and he got married. I ended up dropping his (he was ok with it :P) because goodness me it was a hassle. I don't want to give my kids the same nuisance!!

    Middle name sounds like a lovely compromise :)

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  11. I decided to take hubby's last name for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as you mentioned - my maiden name was my Dad's name. I haven't seen my Dad since I was tiny, so I feel no connection to keeping it and actually feel much more connection to my husband's name as we've been together so long.

    I also grew up double barrelled - took my Step-Dads name when my mum and he got married. I ended up dropping his (he was ok with it :P) because goodness me it was a hassle. I don't want to give my kids the same nuisance!!

    Middle name sounds like a lovely compromise :)

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  12. It absolutely burns me right up that when most people talk about not changing their names but wanting to have the same last name as thier kids, it seemingly never occurs to them that you can give a kid his/her mom's last name. (except for one of the commenters above - hooray!)

    I'm not trying to be negative and I'm into all forms of name-giving, whatever works for everyone, but to me it seems so one-step-forward-two-steps-back to keep one's name as a feminist statement but not really create space for the possibility that a mother and her kid might have the same last name, which is different from the dad's last name.

    That said, family is about way more than names, and bonds of love are so much more meaningful and long-lasting than what it says on a piece of paper, as I'm sure we have all discovered.

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  13. gorgeous photos gaby! have i told you how excited i am for you?! you are going to be such an amazing mom!

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  14. How interesting. I never really thought of all the different ways you can become unified when married. And that you don't always have to take the husbands last name. This post and these photos are absolutely beautiful!
    xo TJ

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