Lewis Hamilton was right to change his name – why should dads automatically get priority?
I often wonder why I changed my last name when I got married. I never wanted to; It wasn’t my burning desire to join my (then) husband’s family – I felt part of them, regardless. I certainly don’t regret my marriage – but I will always regret giving up the name that bore me since birth.
So while I’m still married, I changed my name back to a poll deed. It feels like I’m rediscovering my identity; putting something right has always felt wrong. I feel like “me” again. Furthermore, now I’m doing exactly the same for my kids: signing up with a probing deed to add my maiden name (a name that tells the world who their mother is) to theirs. .
So, Lewis Hamilton – the seven-time world champion announced that he would change his name to take after his mother’s last name: Larbalestier. He said he made the decision in part “because I don’t really get the whole idea why when people get married, the woman loses her name”.
Hooray, Lewis! If only we could all make such progress. Of course, while there are those who keep their names, and those who come up with a welcome new deal – the couple on Twitter, for example, “swapped” them; the pairs I know are named after each other so both are hyphenated; pairs that combine the two (see: Chris O’Dowd and Dawn O’Porter) – it’s certainly not “the norm” here, and it should be.
Instead, keeping your maiden name when you get married, or naming your children after both parents is still considered somewhat counterintuitive or radical. But it’s time for the world to wake up – there are so many options out there and we need to stop impressing our children with geeky, old-fashioned ideals.
We need to tell them they can marry whoever they like, and tell them they don’t have to. They need to know that if they get married and then decide that they’re unhappy, it doesn’t have to be “we don’t break up until we die”. They also don’t need to change their names, because their name is their identity – and who they are will always be more important than how they “belong”. They should know that they belong to no one but themselves.
It’s also worth reminding ourselves, and our kids, of the reasons to get married in the first place, because it was never meant to be about love and romance. The original meaning of marriage was possession. Marriage is designed to give women economic security; to transfer responsibility to the woman from the father to the husband. In marriage, women gain a home and (in some cases) relative wealth, but lose the right to identity. Their husbands have become their legal guardians, “until death we will do a part”.
Critics might argue that it’s ironic how much fuss about the masculinity system leads to women taking on their husbands’ names (like chattel) – when it effectively swaps out the men’s “property rights” (like the chattel). husband’s) to someone else (father’s. ), and they have a point. In this country, many of us will have our father’s last name – unlike the Netherlands; where you’re asked what name you’d like to use, or Sweden, where women traditionally keep their given surname.
The name I’ve worn since birth resonates much more with me than the name I “fall into” when I get married, and I want my name to have equal representation in the lives of my children. , as I would expect in every other field. I was a co-parent; they are like part of my family as they are of their father. There were two streams of blood running through them; two loving caring wells and silly, sweet family stories. Having only one ancestral name, one legacy, feeling sad and disgusted – almost wiped out.
We need to get rid of “tradition” and make it a habit for both parents to name their children; or make a couple’s choice much more universal, instead of automatically relying on the father. No one should be forced to name the children of an absent or abusive parent, or where relationships are at issue – making it more common for mothers to name their children will also help reduce those pressures.
Normalizing maternal surname naming would also help logistically in situations like these: currently, parents like me who don’t share the same last name as their child can face problems. if we want to take them on vacation. In fact, I had to get a signed letter from their father telling the airport authorities that I had his permission to bring them with me – I might even be asked to provide identification. their birth to “prove” we are related.
Yes, it will add a bit of difficulty to all the forms my kids will have to fill out as they grow up, but it will be worth it for them to know exactly who they are – and where they come from.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/lewis-hamilton-is-right-to-change-his-name-why-should-fathers-automatically-get-priority-41448578.html Lewis Hamilton was right to change his name – why should dads automatically get priority?