Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Who else forgot to get married?

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  • Deborah,

    but she’s also concerned about either of us having issues being accepted as the parent of a child without having the same name

    I've never had a problem with this at all. All my girls have their father's family name rather than my family name.

    It never occurred to me to change my name when we got married, and we really really got married - full scale full on Catholic nuptial mass, with all the bells and whistles.

    Every now and then someone rings up and asks for Mr Russell, or Mrs Wright. Whatever. I get a bit uptight if people persist in using calling me Mrs Wright: I *hate* being addressed with "Mrs".

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Looks like the original story is part of an international trend. Of media coverage, that is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to Deborah,

    There are three people in this household -- my husband, our daughter, and myself. We all have different surnames. Nobody's batted an eyelid.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Miche Campbell,

    Yeah. And I didn't even have problems travelling internationally with the girls, but without their father. Really, no one gave a damn about the different names we use, including immigration clerks.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    We're not married and haven't changed our surnames. Our children have our surnames double barreled. Our local school is middle class, decile 10 and so forth, and there are hardly any kids with double-barrel names. I'd love to know where all those other families are!

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    Cheerfully unmarried, no kids here. Perhaps because I am (ahem) mature and also on speaking terms with all waves of feminism to date there is no way I'd consider changing my name. Also, none of the male cousins have passed on the family name so it's dying unless I can persuade my equally unfortunately surnamed partner that any sprogs must carry it on. I feel sorry for my maternal line too - no descendants with the (also unfortunate yet gloriously decorated) name. Three barreled names possibly? 8 syllables I think not

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Tamara,

    Our local school is middle class, decile 10 and so forth, and there are hardly any kids with double-barrel names. I’d love to know where all those other families are!

    Our kids have my partner's surname, and my surname as a middle name. Pretty sure that's not uncommon.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Nat, in reply to izogi,

    but she’s also concerned about either of us having issues being accepted as the parent of a child without having the same name. I wouldn’t know if this is actually a significant issue these days or not.

    This is so not an issue. You have a passport, the kid has a passport, that's all that matters. In fact, the only administrative issues I've heard about recently are stories where someone (usually a woman) has changed their name, and the marriage certificate and passport are out of sync, and that has caused problems.

    We're not married, and we gave one of our kids my surname and the other one his. I like the symmetry of this, and the fact that both names stay in the family tree for a bit. Can't ever imagine changing mine. As everyone is relating in this thread, there are many and varied reasons for all of these choices; it would be nice to see it balance out a bit gender-wise though.

    Seattle • Since Jun 2011 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to B Jones,

    the word 'wedlock' on the telly news seemed archaic

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Nat,

    We’re not married, and we gave one of our kids my surname and the other one his.

    Awesome. Because I have male friends called Nat, I had assumed you, also, were male. Hello!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How heteronormative of you. :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    the word ‘wedlock’ on the telly news seemed archaic

    Sounds like a chastity belt, or some such.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    Or a hitched warlock

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Our kids have my partner's surname, and my surname as a middle name. Pretty sure that's not uncommon.

    From my personal observations it'd be very uncommon. But I couldn't give a you know what. People can call themselves what they like, just don't call me late for dinner. Thanks mum.

    Somebody earlier mentioned something about names and geneology. It got me thinking that it'd make tracing family ancestry quite tricky for the poor souls that do it. It's pain staking enough as it is. Thanks to my dad he's managed to work his way right back to the Beechams (Beuchamps) who arrived in England in 1067. Typically, we show up a year late.

    Crazy to think that my daughter has a bit of French, English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Scandinavian in her to go with dozens of generations of Korean.

    If I could go back far enough (Root's style) I'd be Bamidele ( http://rumandmonkey.com/widgets/toys/namegen/5642/ ).

    That's where I get my swag from.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Of course, it’s merely trading one man’s last name (their father’s) for another.

    I’d really like to see this meme go away. My birth name is mine exactly as much as my father’s is his, and for exactly the same reasons.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Deborah,

    Every now and then someone rings up and asks for Mr Russell, or Mrs Wright. Whatever. I get a bit uptight if people persist in using calling me Mrs Wright: I *hate* being addressed with “Mrs”.

    Yikes…. Hell, I’ll admit it’s pretty deep in my etiquette basecode not to be impertinently familiar by addressing strangers by their first names until invited to do so. (Even then, I really don’t like the “call me Kenneth” routine with employers, because it implies social equality that doesn’t really exist.)

    All that said, it’s also a non-trivial mark of respect to use the honorific style people express a preference for. (A good example is the custom in Parliament when it comes to people with doctorates. Some use the title, others don’t. The rule of thumb is to follow the preference of the person concerned, and it’s a good one.) It also reflects the social reality that women no longer exist in a binary state of married/not married.

    If in doubt, it never hurts to ask because as they say in the US Marine Corps when you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME both.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Nat, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Awesome. Because I have male friends called Nat, I had assumed you, also, were male. Hello!

    Hello! I'm not sure too much of what I write on here depends on whether I'm male or female. Hope not anyway.

    Nat(alie)

    p.s. Deborah, I really hate being addressed as "Mrs" too. Not exactly sure why. It seems so 1950s or something...

    Seattle • Since Jun 2011 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Nat, in reply to Sacha,

    Or a hitched warlock

    wearing a chastity belt

    Seattle • Since Jun 2011 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    I'd say it is past time to repeal the bit of the regulation (3A(c)vi) which requires that registration of a birth includes

    information about the type of relationship (if any) between the parents at the time of the child's birth

    If the info is not collected it cannot be reported.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Amy Gale,

    Amy:

    I’d really like to see this meme go away.

    Amen. I've only ever heard it from conservative blokes; it strikes me as an attempt to convince a strawfeminist.

    Phil:

    If the info is not collected it cannot be reported.

    No. Nonononono. The problem is that the data is too coarse-grained, not that there's data at all. I think the community has a legitimate interest in making sure children's family relationships are positive and enduring, but that doesn't mean "marriage" is a proxy for that. And the problem with the news article is that reporters chose to frame a story in a way set by a whole other country's politics and data collection - the UK statistics highlight births out of wedlock, and members of their conservative government are using it to justify marriage incentive tax breaks. Changing the way we measure data here doesn't protect us from that; it just allows a blank space in which urban legends can propagate, like the one about there being no full-blooded Maori left.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to B Jones,

    In my case, like so many others, referring to my name as my father's name also manages to completely erase the fact that it's ALSO MY MOTHER'S NAME. Whoops shouty.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Phil Lyth,

    I’d say it is past time to repeal the bit of the regulation (3A(c)vi) which requires that registration of a birth includes

    That one caused a bit of fun in our house. We’re just yesterday at the point of three years of cohabitation, which is one of the milestones to having “a relationship of the nature of marriage” as defined in the Property (Relationships) Act. Another one is to have “a child of the relationship”, which ticked over nine weeks yesterday (he has my surname). So trying to decide if we were in “a relationship of the nature of marriage” or some other form of relationship that wasn’t married required a bit of intellectual contortionism. (ETA: not helped by my pretentions to some degree of legal understanding, and a spot of education on the PRA. I suspect most people would just have gone with the commonly-accepted definitions.)

    In the end we decided it was of the nature of marriage and were done with it, but it is definitely something of an archaic question. I can, however, understand its statistical utility – there’s no other point in time where the question is asked, and for demographers it’s a useful insight into society at a point in time.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    We thought hard before hyphenating our kids names but it really was the only thing that made sense at the time. At that stage neither partner, nor I, wished to change our own surnames but it was important that the kids names connected them to both parents without privileging one name over the other.

    We live in a community where about half the couples we know have different last names and there are usually a few other double-barrelled kids. The only issues we've had is one aunt worrying about them learning to spell their names and the some airlines not having enough space on their tickets for my younger son whose first name is also quite long (this has never taken more than a moment to sort out).

    Over time the double-barrelled surname has come to be our family identity and we're looking forward to adopting it officially.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Nat,

    the family tree

    And this is the bit I don’t get. Your family tree is a genetic legacy not a tree of names. It doesn’t matter what you are called you are still genetically related to your ancestors and decendants regardless of what they call each other. Theoretically my family name ends with my brother’s daughters but it certainly doesn’t end the genetic line.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    see this is why I was advocating the passing of doubled barreled surnames to create both a matrilineal line and a patrilineal one - it both solves the problem of hyphenated surnames getting longer at every generation and the inherent sexism of just passing down the male surname.

    To recap: each kid gets one name from each parent, girls get both parents' mother's matrilineal names, boys both parents' father's patrilineal names - so if I'm Paul Af-Bm and have kids with Lisa Cm-Df, my daughters will get a last name of Af-Df (and pass Df down through all her daughters' daughters) while my sons will get Cm-Bm (and pass down Bm through their patrilineal line) .

    (OK maybe too geeky ... but it does hit all the bases)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

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