Photo: Michelle.Hayes via Flickr
Why don’t men change their names when they get married?This provocative question was posed in a popular article by Jill Filipovoic at The Guardian. The focus of her article, however, is on how women should stop changing their names.
“Your name is your identity,” Filipovic writes, and “the cultural assumption that women will change their names upon marriage … cannot be without consequence.”
But we wanted to know if there are actually men out there who have taken their wife’s name. It turns out there are.
- Mike Salinger took his wife Donna’s last name. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would have caused as much of a stir as it did,” he told USA Today.
- Barry Chalfin Lenair made his “maiden” name his middle name, and took his wife’s surname. “I realised that it was an important thing to do for me…and for the people who used to call me Mr. Lenair anyway,” he told TODAY. “I don’t regret it for a second.”
- Lazaro Dinh was accused of fraud when he took his wife Hanh’s last name. “The suspension has been lifted,” Kristen Olsen-Doolan, spokeswoman for the Florida Department Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, told ABC news. “We’re doing training so everyone realises [the name change] works both ways.”
- Mark Tyler took his wife Carol’s name. “Shortly before the wedding I decided to make the change,” he told GalTime. “She (Carol) was stunned. Actually, she asked me to reconsider, that it was cool with her for me not to change. But I told her it was too late, and then she said great!”
- After a lot of discussion, writer Aryon Hopkins took his wife Olivia’s name. Blogging for The Frisky, Aryon said: “Hopkins, my wife’s last name, referenced a lineage of doctors from her father to her grandfather. The choice for me was simple: honour a family tradition with meaning in our lives.”
- Mark Kemp was married for years with two children before he changed his last name to his wife’s. He wrote on Role Reboot:
“I got in a minor traffic accident, and the two boys were in the back of the car. The police officer dealt with the accident situation in a few minutes and then asked me about the kids. I told him that they were mine, but he didn’t accept it — I was a man driving around in the middle of the day with two little boys who had different last names than me. It took about 30 minutes (which included calls to their school and preschool and multiple calls to my wife) before he followed me home and verified that the boys and I lived there. That night, when my wife got home, I said, ‘That’s it. Case closed. I’m taking your last name.’ She agreed.”
- Kris Myddelton took wife Jo’s last name simply because he liked it. “My surname was rubbish and hers wasn’t,” he told The Independent.
- Robert Everhart fought the state of Mississippi in order to take his wife’s name. “I know most people think I rolled over and took my wife’s name,” he told AP in a telephone interview. “But she’s the only surviving kid with her parents, and everybody said my name wrong. It was a dual reason. Now all I have to do is worry about people misspelling it.”
- Josiah Neufeld took his wife Mona’s last name much to the chagrin of his relatives. He wrote in The Globe and Mail: “So far the name change hasn’t cost me more than a few hours of paperwork, some explanations to public officials and a few strained conversations with brittle relatives who think I’ve joined a matrilineal cult. I still feel like myself. My identity remains intact.”
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