Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Emotion vs Intelligence (non-writing related post)

I stumbled across this ARTICLE that proposes women shouldn't change their name when they get married.

The article is intriguing, but what really caught my attention was this statement:

"When Helga shared her partner’s last name, both male and female [survey] participants perceived her as more caring, more dependent, less intelligent, more emotional and less competent – that is, the researchers say, more aligned with female stereotypes."

It almost seems as if there's a line of thinking that says a caring nature and deep emotions equals a lesser intellect. Seriously? Do people really think that?

What do you think about taking your spouse's name? Other than professional reasons (such as a name being a brand) is there a reason you would want to keep your own last name in marriage? Also, do you think intellect can be measured by emotional values? Does anyone else wonder who was surveyed for this article?

17 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Wow, I'm surprised at that, too.

I do know some women who kept their own name for sentimental reasons (being only children) or just hypenated it for professional reasons.

patti said...

A rather immature 21-year-old, when faced with taking the name Lacy and shedding the name Qualls
(called Squalls, Queer, Quarles, Quarrel, just to name a few variations) leapt for joy and didn't think too philosophically.

LOL.

GREAT POST, Jessica! Will so miss you over the next few weeks.

P

Patti said...

It never occurred to me to keep my maiden name. I can see if you're a professional with an established reputation, but I was 21 when I got married so didn't have to worry about that.

T. Anne said...

I have my husbands name I I love it! I can't imagine not wanting to take my husbands name. My last name wasn't all that too begin with ;)

Irritable Mother said...

I'd rather be caring and deep, than smart. *grin*

Never considered not taking my hubby's name. But I thought getting rid of my maiden name would save me some time. Turns out people need just as much help with pronouncing 'Hossink' as they did with spelling 'Sheaffer'. *sigh*
LOL!

Talli Roland said...

Interesting! I've kept my own name because I use it for writing. Plus, he's Egyptian and his surname just feels strange to me. And I like my name!

Jessica Nelson said...

Talli, Egyptian? That's cool! Thanks for sharing.

Everyone else, I liked my last name but like you guys I didn't even think about whether I should keep it.
Now that I'm a writer I probably should've because my man's last name is super common. LOL

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

It never occurred to me not take my husband's name. We were a team, a partnership, and in covenant with each other.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Lynn said...

I'll respect a woman's decision to keep her own name when married. In some cultures, I believe, that is the norm. What bothers me is the survey you refer to. I'd like to find out who was surveyed and how the results were calculated. The results show negative labeling and stereotyping from a woman's choice. Now that disturbes me!

Jessica Nelson said...

Lynn, I know. That's what disturbed me too. I'm pretty sure that in some hispanic cultures the man takes the woman's name! Not positive though...Anyway, yes, it was the results of the survey that had me scratching my head. lol Thanks for stopping by!

Susan, we're in covenant with our husbands, for sure. :-) It's a beautiful thing.

Terri Tiffany said...

I afree with Lynn--I don't believe in surveys much cause they can be so biased. Love my husband's last name way more than my original:))

Kathryn Magendie said...

I took my husband's name because I liked it better *laughing* and I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist in some things.

HOwever, if I were to be re-married at some time again in my life (which I've said no more -2 x is enough!) I'd keep the Magendie - my books are under Magendie, and, well, I like the name, and I just don't want to change again...!

But, what you said about those stereotypes is true...do people really feel that way? huhn.

Elana Johnson said...

I so don't agree. I think it shows unity. And I'd rather have a J-name than my W one. I'm closer to the front in alphabetical order, and people can spell Johnson. :)

Deb Shucka said...

I took my husband's name to represent that new phase of my life, not because my intellect was impaired (although that case could be made for anyone in love - for a short time at least).

Weird conclusions for sure.

Warren Baldwin said...

Wow, what an article. I understand why some women keep their last name - for professional reasons. Doctors, professors, writers, etc. have had reason to do that.

I've known some to do it b/c they were not going to "lose" themselves in their marriage. They did not want to so integrate their lives with their husbands that they would lose who they were/are.

Marriage is about integrating. It is about losing ourselves (both husband and wife) in each other that two become one. There is a Hebrew word in the Old Testament about husbands and wives "getting lost" in each other, the same word that is used to describe sheep that wander away from the shepherd and other sheep. But in the marriage context, it is used in a positive way about losing self in the context of the marital relationship. It is about integration, intimacy, becoming one.

My wife took my last name as part of the integrating process, and we encourage our two daughters to do the same when they marry.

Stimulating post, Jessica.

Dara said...

That's ridiculous. It sounds like feminism gone overboard (which I believe feminism now has gone way too far...the original feminists would probably be very disheartened at where it is now).

I took my husband's last name. I left my parents' house and cleaved to him, like the Bible says. As another has stated, it's a new phase in my life. I am not bothered in the slightest that I was the one that had to change it.

Even though my last name now is twice as long and harder to pronounce than it was before... :P

Faith said...

I know I'm late to this post, but I just wanted to throw my own 2 cents in...

I got married 2 years ago and we agreed that I'd use my "maiden name" (that term always makes me laugh) for writing/career, and I'd use his name socially. I intended to go through the legal change process but so far it's just been easier not to.

My maiden name is highly recognized in the community, so keeping it comes with benefits in many cases. I don't think it has anything to do with 'integrating' my husband and myself... I'm cleaved and all that, but I don't think a name change is required if the woman doesn't want to.

I don't agree with the study above, though! Not in the least. Taking the man's last name is just a cultural tradition for most of us, so it shouldn't have any bearing on a woman's perceived intelligence.