Friday, September 10, 2010

Him taking her last name?

I have had several blog posts dealing with gender and names; one of the things I have talked about is how today's younger folks are in general more comfortable with a "softer" or "unisex" name for a boy than their parents were. There is another name-related sign that the male youth these days are becoming more comfortable with venturing outside of traditional gender norms (but this time it deals with last names): The number of husbands electing to take their wife's last name (rather than the tradition of the other way around) appears to be on the rise. Although still very much a minority group, that further shows signs of progress. Many states still require a groom who wants to go down this route to go through court as with a non-marriage-related name change, but a few allow husbands to take their wive's last names just as easily as she can take his. I couldn't find any official data on how many grooms are taking their bride's last name, but if you want to learn more you can search the Internet on this subject (here's the Google results for "take the wife's last name"). Here's an article from January 2007 about a California man who sued arguing that the law there at the time about changing last names upon marriage was sexist; here's a May 2008 follow-up from another source on the outcome.

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