marriage and name-changing

taguebw at taguebw at
Tue Sep 9 09:29:11 EST 1997

In article <v02140b01002801f25c47@[]>, vaillan at POP.UKY.EDU
(lisa vaillancourt) wrote:

> I find it interesting that women feel free to decide for themselves whether
> they will take their husbands name, keep their own, or even have their
> husband take their name, but few question the tradition of giving children
> (especially male children) the name of the husband.  What is this
> overwhelming need of men to leave offspring to carry on their name?  Women
> have rarely had this opportunity or, apparently, this great need (except
> rather recently in the case of single mothers, who frequently give the
> child their own name).  Legally, I believe the children can have any last
> name.  Why don't we question this?

I don't think there is an "overwhelming need" for men to have children
carry their name. I *do* think there is a long standing societal standard
in the West in which children carry the paternal name. Not to say this is
the right way or the only way; only to say this is the custom.

As to "why don't we question this?", I think we do -- that's in fact what
this whole thread has been about.

My 2 electrons


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