31.1.14

Mr and Mrs, what's in a name?

Image credit: isaxar / 123RF Stock Photo
I listened to radio 4 on the way to work. This is always a bad idea and always annoys me, but like a car crash I seem draw to it..moth to a flame etc

This morning' topic was that in France they plan to stop using a married woman's husband's surname by default on official correspondence, using instead her 'maiden name' as this is more in keeping with equality.

The rationale behind this is that she does not become her husband's property, she is still a woman in her own right, marriage doesn't change that. All sounds perfectly logical ...

Except .. your 'maiden name' is so called due to your remaining a 'maid' (ie virgin) until marriage. A concept rarely kept nowadays. Your 'maiden name' is your father's name. It is not 'your' name any more than your husband's is. As a woman you do not have a name of your own!

So while initially this all sounds very proper and politically correct it serves no purpose at all. In fact, as one guest said, it detracts for the new unit you have formed with your husband and maybe your children, a new team where you all share a name.

Apparently the French have no title of Ms. and I have no idea if they plan to use Madame or Mademoiselle with the 'maiden name' .. either would surely confuse.

When I got married I was proud to become #teamCanelloni (not my real name though it is Italian!) But if I hadn't wanted to take my husband's name I guess I could have ask him to take mine, or we could have chosen a new one entirely, I certainly wouldn't want us all to have different names.


What do you think? Storm in a tea cup? Much ado about nothing? Or an important rung on the feminist ladder?

Father's name, Husband's name...does it make a difference? Should we all consider a new name for a new (married) life or is marriage itself outdated? Do you like people to know your marital status or is it secret? (I made a public declaration when I got married so I'm happy to keep it very public that I am married!)

Love to read your thoughts.