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A New Wedding Trend? The Men Taking Their Wives' Names. BBC MAGAZINE - Events - Nairaland

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A New Wedding Trend? The Men Taking Their Wives' Names. BBC MAGAZINE by MosakuAW(m): 12:20pm On Jun 11, 2015
American actress Zoe Saldana has
responded to criticism following her
husband's decision to adopt her surname
after marriage. It's usually women who
take their partner's name - but are things
changing?

"Why is it so surprising, shocking- eventful that
a man would take his wife's surname?," asks
Zoe Saldana on her Facebook page.

"Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your
partner's surname. On the contrary you will be
remembered as a man who stood by change,"
she writes.

More women are keeping their surnames, or
hyphenating them with their partners', but the
patriarchal tradition of a man holding onto his
prevails.

But times, and names, are slowly changing.
Ben Martin (nee Coghill) is one of a new breed
of men, who are taking their wife's surname.
Ben Coghill changed his surname after
marriage

The 32-year-old music promoter from Glasgow,
Scotland, says he didn't think anything of it.
"I really liked the sound of my wife's name -
Rowan Martin - and didn't want to spoil that
with her changing it."

At the beginning, Ben's sister had some
concerns it would be the end of the line for the
family name, but she was soon won over. "I
explained to her, 'what's in a name', it doesn't
really matter. It wouldn't make a difference,"
he said.

"It shows I don't buy into this idea of
patriarchy, and that I'm comfortable enough
with who I am that I don't see it as anything at
all."

It's difficult to know how many other men are
following Ben Martin or Marco Saldana's lead
because all of the research into married names
focuses on a woman's decision.

A 2013 survey of 13,000 brides for the
wedding website topknot.com found that the
vast majority (80%) of females still choose to
take their spouse's last name, although the
numbers are falling as more retain their maiden
name.

Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economist who co-
authored a 2004 study into the subject, says
her research showed a rise in college-educated
women keeping their surnames from the mid
1970s onwards, corresponding to the rise of
feminism, and as women began to make a
professional name for themselves. In the 1990s
the pace of change slowed down, as more
women stuck with tradition.
Andy Brown became a 'Brownstone'

"The reason for the decrease in surname-
keeping in the 1990s is not clear," says her
report, "We can only speculate about the social
factors that have caused surname-keeping to
decrease... Perhaps surname-keeping seems
less salient as a way of publicly supporting
equality for women than it did in the late
1970s and 1980s,"

For the women who hang onto their surnames,
the decision is often practical. Silicon Valley
based psychologist Kathryn Welds says as more
women work, their desire to retain a "personal
brand" has grown.

But where does that leave the men who are
changing? Welds says she only knows of two
who've taken their spouse's name. "In both
instances these men had distant relationships
with their fathers and didn't feel positively
towards them," she says.

And like most things in marriage, there's also
the compromise option. Welds is also seeing
more couples merging their surnames together
to create a hybrid.

When BBC producer Andy Brown married
Helen Stone, they became the Brownstones.
"Helen is one of two girls. Her sister was
already married and had taken her husband's
name," he says. "She didn't want the Stone to
disappear and the name Brownstone just
seemed to work.

"Helen and I also liked the idea of creating a
new tribe."
Re: A New Wedding Trend? The Men Taking Their Wives' Names. BBC MAGAZINE by ChildofChukwu(m): 12:26pm On Jun 11, 2015
Chee chomting! shocked shocked shocked

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