03 August, 2010

my feminist tendencies

i'm having a lot of trouble with this whole last name change thing.

i don't want to stay jasmine hunter because i'll be married, so i think something should change.

but i'm very resistant to becoming jasmine myers for a couple reasons.

i really don't like what it represents. i don't like the naming system. i was given my father's name at birth because i was his possession. then my father gives me to my husband, and i'm given his name because i now belong to him.

i don't like that.

by the way, i'm not doing that whole giving the bride away thing. i'm giving myself away. i don't need someone to walk me down the aisle. i want to walk myself down. standing alone and freely giving myself to levi because it's my decision.

annnnyway, the other reason is that i simply don't like the name myers. it's just not very pretty. it ends in an 's' so people are going to grammatically screw it up - putting apostrophes where they don't belong, pluralizing it incorrectly, etc. that's gonna drive me nuts. people are going to misspell it - forgetting the 's' at the end, adding an extra 'e.' it just sounds kinda harsh and muddled when i say it. and i don't like writing the letter 'm' in cursive.

i've tried a few different things to remedy my problem. i asked levi if he would take my last name instead. nope. (honestly, i don't think i could let him do this even if he agreed to it.) i suggested that we simply come up with a new last name. i thought this was a really good solution! we're starting a new family, our own family. why not get a new name? nope. finally, i suggested that we change it to "de Myers" to make a bit more interesting and give it a french flair. nope.


am i a myers? does it suit me?

why is my name so important to me? why am i resisting this so much?

will i ever get used to a new name? how long will it take? will a day come when i like how myers sounds coming out of my mouth? will i ever feel like a myers?

oh lord.


  1. This one was really hard for me too! In the end, I ended up simply adding my husband's last name to mine (his is MUCH easier to spell), so now I have four names. And that's kinda fun, lol.

    As far as the giving away, I was totally against it too. I wanted both of my parents to walk with me down the aisle, but my mom said no. So I compromised, and my dad "presented" me. It made me feel like a queen. :-)

    Good luck!!!

  2. i will begin this by saying i am not engaged (or in any rush to be- im just trying to enjoy where i am, thanks).

    but being female, i've thought about marriage- i've thought about changing my last name. i find the idea rather upsetting. i LOVE my last name. it's rare- i've never met anyone with the same last night that i'm not related to. more people have addressed me by my last name than my first... it's more fun.

    i can't imagine getting rid of it.
    and *his* last name? (if i end up with him). it's very jewish. i am not. it won't fit.

    im doing what i can to not worry about this now- why should i? but i will probably use you as a reference if *he* and i ever take that leap.

    so- good luck. if anything, the butchering and spelling errors can be a source of amusement? maybe?

  3. I hear ya.

    There's little chance that Ryan and I will be married, but his last name comes from a father he doesn't know and someone not a part of our lives. My daughter's last name is mine.

    We even joked that maybe Ryan would take my last name.. but I think there's no way I'd let go of my surname -- which has actually been passed down matriarchally since my grandmother!

    (My Oma married, got our last name and no one has changed it since!)

  4. perhaps hyphenating both of your last names into one? hunter-myers?

  5. totally understandable concerns...
    i didn't take my husband's last name because i like mine better and why is it that i have to take his and not the other way around? so i will probably keep my last name forever and when we have kids, well we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
    ... i hope this helps :)

  6. I did what Jen did. I kept both my middle name and my last name, so now I have to middle names. I introduce myself as Esther "maiden name" "married name". It took me six months of being married to change my name because Esther Turner sounds like I should be living with Laura Ingalls in a grass hut on the prairie. And girl, that ain't my thing. Anyhow, I've slowly started to get used to the sound and after two years have begun to enjoy it. I had a very similar feeling about the 'possession' but when I looked at it as I'm giving myself to him (like you said, giving yourself away) it was like putting on a new set of lenses to see through. It became a joy to do and not a feeling of possession.

  7. Jasmine, I think you've worked so hard especially over this last year - and done so well - to become who you are and who you will be.

    For me I was excited but a little sad about changing my name when I got married. It represented a new start though, a fresh new chapter. My dad gave me away, as a gift to Stuart. I love that.

    My maiden name is rare and true to my culture, heritage, roots etc. I love my maiden name. It represents a lot because it's really who I am. The funny thing about my married name is that it comes from the same region in Scotland as my maiden name and falls under the same Scottish clan so I still feel like I have that other part of me I love so dearly.

    Sometimes I do feel like I've given up a part of my identity because of the name change but I never regret it because I'm in control of who I am - and because now I'm at the start of the alphabet rather than at the end. Booyah! ;)

    I think Hunter-Myers sounds really nice.

  8. i'm in a pretty committed relationship where marriage is something that is in the future (maybe not very near future, but still out there) and this is definitely something i'm concerned about. i personally love my last name. i think its unique and it has some much culture packed into it. i would hate to change it.

    i have this post bookmarked so i can follow the comments and get some ideas :)


  9. I changed to Davis. same "s" thing. It didn't take me long to get used to it at all. I thought it would, but really, as soon as we were married, I just knew it was my name. I think there's something wonderful about taking your husband's name. To me it represents the forming of a new family. Leaving your parents and clinging to your husband. Call me old fashioned, but I found it an honor. It took me about 3 years to really "feel" like a Davis deep down. I accepted it before that, but now I really feel it.
    Don't over think it.

  10. Hi Jasmine,
    Not sure if I have commented before...so maybe 1st comment?!!

    I am married and could not wait to take my husband's last name, but I did wait almost 3 years to change it (was still in college at the time)! While I liked my maiden name and my married name is misspelled often...I love sharing this with my husband and maybe one day a child or 2. Also, I love my in-laws, and love to be a part of this family.

    Maybe we (my husband and I) are a bit old-fashioned, but it was important for both of us to share the same last name, his name.

    Lastly, I think Myers is a cute last name. Maybe don't officially change or hyphen it right away; try it both (all 3) ways when introducing yourself, signing cards, etc. Have fun and go with what feels right.

    xo, Jenn

  11. I know exactly what you mean. My boyfriend and I discuss it often. I love my last name. It's weird and unique. If we get married he won't change his last name to mine..and it's not like I'm going to make him. It's such a weird feeling. It's like giving up part of yourself...even if it's just a name.

  12. I thought about keeping my last name because I am the last "Jacob" in the family. However, taking on your fiancee's last name is romantic. It means that you respect him and love him so much that you would be honored to be marked with his name. As a hopeless romantic, that is how I see it. I don't see it as being "owned" but as an honor to who he is.

  13. I totally understand where you are coming from, and it's something that I think about quite often. If my man is **the one** (which I'm quite certain that he is) I'd be sharing the same first and last name with his SIL. Weird.
    You could become a hyphen family, both taking eachother's names, but what happens when you have kids? Are they going to be a hyphen? That's a lot of letters to write out for a kindergartener. :)
    I have a college friend who legally dropped her middle name for her maiden name. Formally she goes by all three names, and informally just goes by first name married name. I think it works well for her, but I'm partial to my middle.
    I can't wait to see what you come up with. I love reading your blog!

  14. I just celebrated my fifth, and I still haven't changed my last name officially, though I do use my husband's family name in many contexts. It is a little confusing to some at times. Loving your husband-to-be and in-laws may make a change in name easier, but it is still your identity. Even though you will likely forge a new identity as a married couple, you are still a complete part to that whole. Choose what feels right for you.

    When I got engaged to my now-husband, Clark, we visited my dad to tell him the news in person. When Dad implied that there should have been asking instead of telling involved, Clark said, "I asked her. I figured her opinion mattered the most."

    Good job giving yourselves to each other.

  15. where i'm from women keep their maiden names when married. if you want your husband's, you have to pay for a legal name change (the same as if you want to change your whole name for something else)
    so i kept my name, which i love, and since my husband and i are from different ethnic backgrounds, it was important for me to keep my own culture, my name. our kids will have his last name though, i don't like the hyphen ones... too long and too complicated for THEIR children!

    even though i kept my name, people sometimes refer to me as Ms. hislastname. i just think it's cute. makes me giggle.
    i really am so glad i'm "his"

  16. and for the giving away thing,
    my parents have been divorced since i was 4, having both of them walking with me down the aisle made them feel so proud and implicated in the whole thing.
    i planned the whole ordeal myself, in a rather untraditionnal way, so this was nice for them, they appreciated it and i liked having them with me on this important day!

    it makes them feel like they are a part of your life. that even though your marriage was your decision, that you still want them to live it with you.

  17. I can understand the reasons you want to hold onto your last name, but I really think it's an honor to take your husband's name and be identified with him for the rest of your life. I couldn't wait to see "Mrs. Newby" on an envelope or to be addressed as "the Newbys" because I was able to be identified with him. It's also a fresh start, and a sign that we're in this thing together. :) I do think it'll settle in and you'll feel like a Myers once you tie the knot. I think it's something worth celebrating and being excited about!!

  18. not sure if i've ever commented on your blog before, but i read it a lot. i absolutely love reading your blog and getting your perspective on life!

    i totally get where you're coming from. for me, it's always sort of been the thought in my mind that why does everyone assume that the woman will always just change her name? it's seems like it's always sort of a shock and a surprise to people when the woman doesn't change her last name or the couple hyphenates or whatever. for me, the tradition of a woman changing her last name when she gets married is steeped in a lot of historical oppression of women. maybe that's me being too serious, but i really think it carries a heavy burden. there is most definitely identity in a name. some people it's not so serious too, others it's extremely serious.

    ultimately it's a personal choice when it comes down to it, and i would never lecture or berate anyone for making the choice to take their husbands name. i guess it's just the cultural assumption that really gets to me.

  19. I definitely pondered over this one for a few weeks before I finally decided to take his last name. I considered hyphenating, having two middle names, changing my middle name to my maiden name, but in the end decided to just become Mrs. Hislastname. Why? Well, my maiden name is a little long, so hyphenating just seemed silly and to make our kids do that? So unfair. (Thankfully, you have short names, though, so it could work great if you did that). As for what made me finally decide to take his name... I guess because it just felt right - I'm somewhat old-fashioned. I had my dad walk me down the aisle as well, but he didn't "give me away" - he just offered me along with his support and the support of my entire family. It felt nice to go from my father's arm to the hand of my husband.

    I admit I get a little bit of a thrill when I get called Mrs. Hislastname. That could be because I've been married for less than a month, though. :p It definitely takes getting used to! And don't even get me started on how hard it is to spell his name - it so doesn't flow!

    Best of luck!

  20. When I got married, I kept my last name - because it's the name I've had since I was born. It's MY name, and I didn't want to take anyone else's.

    A lot changes when you get married, so if you don't want to take Levi's last name, there will still be plenty of other changes to signify that you are married.

    Be true to who you are - it's why Levi loves you to begin with :)

  21. My mind is blown when I start thinking about marriage, name changing and what it all means anyways. But that said, I took my husband's name. If marriage is just a piece of paper then a name is just a name - and on paper it makes us a little cohesive family.

    Also, Kathleen Shannon makes me sound like a proper Irish girl.

  22. I'm excited to change my name! Not because i'll be my husbands posession but because my name is so freaking common! Jennifer Brown? I have to give my social security number to be found in the computer at the dentists office! I am so ready to be Jennifer Schaub...uncommon and original. :)

    You could do the hyphenation thing.... Jasmine Hunter-Myers?
    Whatever you do I suggest you and Levi do share a last name...don't do different last names or it will be confusing when you have kids :)

  23. but shannon is such a cool last name, kathleen! maybe levi would let us change it to that!! yeah right.

    i think most of this is just about me wanting a prettier last name, one that i like better...maybe if i just pronounce myers with a french accent? 'cause that wouldn't be weird...at all...

  24. also, i will most likely do the double middle name thing...that's what i've been thinking for years. i will probably be jasmine lael hunter myers. one first name, two middle names, one last name.

  25. p.s. sooooo much incredible insight going on in the comment section in this post. i LOVE that i'm not alone on this one and that so many other women have dealt with the same kinds of feelings. i really appreciate hearing about your experiences.

  26. I took my husband's last name because I think it flows better with my first name. I don't know what my parents were thinking, but my first and maiden names didn't really gel.

  27. why'd you take your dad's name if you're such a feminist? why not take your moms? just wondering..

  28. I know it's far ahead, but what about your future children? Will they have a hyphenated last name?

    I was given both my parents last names. It's hyphenated and it has become a minor annoyance my entire life. It doesn't fit on scantron sheets, people forget the hyphen, people think the first part is a middle name, people will often list your name by either one they feel like creating a "okay, check this name...or maybe this name". etc, etc. When I was little I used to go by C-K, just using the first letters of each. Now I just go by the first last name, my mothers name. I know it bothers my dad a little, but it's just easiest for me.

    As a result, I cannot wait to marry someone, anyone, with the shortest last name possible. However, if I had a shorter name, I'd probably just keep it.

    Sorry for the ramble.

  29. radiobird83, i never said i was "such a feminist." i said i had feminist tendencies. and i didn't take my dad's last name...it was kind of given to me at birth...you know when i was an infant and couldn't make my own choices...

    hi tayler! i'm actually not going to hyphenate. if i keep hunter in my name (which i probably will), it will only be a middle name, and i'll go by myers. if i include hunter in my children's names, it will be as a second middle name for them as well, so that they won't have to go through all that hyphenated confusion that you went through! :)

  30. 1. That feeling you have about last names that end in 's' is very real and I've had all kinds of issues since I've gotten married and my new last name is very common.

    2. You could do what I did with your maiden name if you do choose to change it, name one of your children (should you want/have them) Hunter. I told my husband that if I have to take his last name one of our children would have mine as a first name, and our daughter (born in January) was given my maiden name as her first name along with my middle name.

  31. I'm not even dating anyone right now and I still think about this issue! :)

    I have two pretty uncommon names (a Google search of my name brings up only me, which is nice to think I'm the only one in the world [though Google doesn't know everything. Does it??]) so I don't know if I'd like to change it to someething else.

    Just recently, in the last two weeks, my dad found out that our surname used to be something else and a few generations back, the order of the letters were accidentally changed around on some official court documents, which meant our unique surname used to be something else entirely.

    This made me feel weird for a few days, kind of unsettled. I felt like a good chunk of my identity was linked to our name, which turns out three of four generations ago, wasn't even a name!

    Anyway. I don't think I would change my mind. I like it. It's MY name. I don't see it as whoever's surname I have would have 'ownership' of me or anything like that, but if I've had my name for thirty years, it would feel weird to suddenly be something else.

    But you have to do what's right for you. If staying Hunter is right, or changing to Myers is right, or a hybrid of the two, whatever. Whatever is right for you. I'll be interested to read what you decide to do!

    PS. If Levi isn't prepared to change his name, no-one should expect you too either! :)

  32. I am also indecisive about this. It's a good thing I worry about it NOW instead of when I actually meet someone I would like to marry. :)

    I really love the de Myers idea.

  33. I feel the exact same way about having your father give you away. Um, no. I'm a grown woman going into this on my own accord, thank you.

    As for the last name situation, I think you should just have a last name that you're comfortable with, whether that mean hyphenating, keeping hunter or coming up with a new one entirely. This is your chance to change it if you want to, or not if you don't. I know plenty of women in very happy marriages who kept their own name.

    I also think it's amazing that you and Levi are at the point where you can communicate openly and maturely. It truly shows that you're ready for marriage.

  34. I am a feminist but really, what's in a name? I took my husband's last name without really thinking about it. Miller was my last name and I never had to spell it. I got to say, "Yeah, like in the beer." Now I have to spell Daley every time and I get to say, "No relation to the Chicago Daleys." I talk to people every day who retained their own last names so if you keep yours, you won't be alone. The tricky part will be what to do if you decide to have kids... but get married first and enjoy it. Mazol Tov!

  35. you are so very respectful, real, and refreshing, I love reading your blog for those reasons.

    you do exactly as how you feel. when it comes down to it, I think how you are talking about it sounds beautiful. Whatever you do will be beautiful cause it is you. Just don't stress to much about it, because marriage is truly a wonderful thing, no matter your name.

  36. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. I did not change my name either. I lovelovelove my name and decided not to for many of the reason's you listed above....Jon (the hubs) fell in love with me and my name so why change it anyways?

  37. hello there!
    i don't believe i've ever commented before, but in my life, last names have held a lot of meaning for me, so i thought i'd share.
    i never knew my bio-dad, but i had his last name. i hated it because it wasn't the same name as my family. i even used to write my mom's last name on my papers sometimes and got in trouble for it. then, when i was 12, the man i know as my dad adopted me and i took my mother's maiden name as my middle name, and took his last name. and it felt great. it was about being part of a family and sharing that with people i love. then i got married and took his last name. and i was excited about it for the same reason-- until things got ugly and he treated me very badly. when i left him, i changed my name back as soon as possible because i didn't want to have that connection or attachment to him anymore. it was less about possession and more about that- connection, love, and attachment. about family.

    despite the original meanings behind things- all symbolic acts only have to have the meaning we assign them. don't let your decision be affected by what other people may take it to mean. you can stay the same, you can change it, you can hyphenate, or blend them. and you can do it as soon as you want, or wait as long as you want to do it. that's the beauty of it. think about how your name options would make you two feel, and go from there. no one else's opinions matter.

    and either way, you two love eachother. so whatever happens, name-wise, you'll just be happy to be together :]

  38. I walked myself down the aisle. I am not an object or possession to be handed off from one male to another.

    And I struggled with the name change too. I took my mother's maiden name (the family name I identify most with), and added my husband's name to it. Now my last name is Moreno de Thompson. It's long, people mispronounce or leave out parts of it completely, and at the doctor or vet's office sometimes I'm under either M or T, but it's who I am now. And worth it in the end.

    Good luck to you both!

  39. hey lady, it's been a while! i love your posts though and totally agree with the commenter who said you are refreshing and real and thoughtful. it is fun to see how you are dealing with this whole marriage and wedding thing and i look forward to witnessing your personal, non-traditional and unique approach!

    as for my husband and i, we have never technically changed our names and i still go by my maiden name. he has a beautiful portuguese last name but does not have a good relationship with his father. so when we got married we decided to take my mother's maiden name (because we both like it and it has not been passed on so to speak) as our official name together and that will be our family name when we have children. meanwhile i'm sticking with my own name and i believe people should be fully in control of themselves and their names and decide from the heart what to do with our own wild and precious lives. GOOD FOR YOU! you are an inspiration and please be strong...if you don't like myers why not go by "jasmine lael myers hunter"? if/when you have kids they could choose...haha...as infants....ummmmyeah.


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