Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

samedi 23 juin 2007

Should we or shouldn't we?

I know I've been AWOL for a long time and I apologize to any of my readers who have been wondering where I went. Nowhere. I'm still here.

I've been mulling something over for the past week - should deaf women keep their maiden names or not in order to show family affiliation? I met two women this week, one of which kept her maiden name. Soon after we met, I was able to ask if she was any relation to this guy I knew at Gallaudet, and yes, he is her brother. If she'd changed her last name when she got married, I would never have made that connection. On the other hand, the other woman I met changed her name when she got married. Because of that, I was able to connect her with a Gally classmate of mine. Without her married name, I wouldn't have known to connect the two.

That made me think. I've pretty much probably decided to keep my name if I get married. (don't you love how decisive I am? *grin*) My name is a huge part of my identity. When people first meet me, they sometimes say yes, they recognize my name because of some type of prior connection or they have heard of me from some of my activities. If I change my name, all of that is gone. On the other hand, if I changed it, I would make new connections and people would still make connections in a different way. Which way would make me lose more connections or gain me more connections? Natch, it'll depend on my Mr. Omigawd and what connections he'd bring to the union.

I'm probably keeping my name for a whole host of reasons, including the whole subjugation to men thing and a desire to maintain my identity, but for us deaf women, it's not just the usual issues - connections and community relationships also come into play in this decision.

I'd love to know your thoughts, what decisions you've made, and how they've influenced your connections and relationships!


  • At 18:27, Blogger Bill said…

    I am not a woman, and not deaf, but...

    I have always liked the idea of a woman using her "maiden" name as a middle name. I think it works a little smoother than a hyphenated last name, but still retains the family identity. I do prefer married people have the same last name,which is probably cultural, but it is probably a decision that is best made by a couple as to what they can agree on.

    My wife went the standard route of taking my name as hers.

  • At 19:44, Anonymous Beth Ticehurst said…

    Keep your last name! I don't plan to change my last name again if I re-marry. I think keeping your own identity is important. Good point about deaf women from deaf families. But then again, if you kept your last name, then people would not know you have a connection to your husband or in-laws.

  • At 00:57, Anonymous Dianrez said…

    I'm the same way. My maiden name is my middle name, and my husband's name became my last name.

    Everything I used, signed, or had printed with my name always used both last names, no hyphens, no abbreviations.

    My kids were named using their father's name. Now that I am divorced, it came up again for question: use maiden or married names? I chose to keep both names to keep the family identity.

  • At 07:44, Blogger Karen said…

    Welcome back!

    I kept my maiden name and continued to use it professionally after I got married. After all, Putz wasn't exactly a wonderful name to take on.
    Once we had kids, I started identifying more with my husband's name and now it's so much a part of me that I don't use my maiden name anymore.

    Plus, no one forgets a Putz.


  • At 12:19, Blogger moi said…

    Thanks, all, for weighing in. The array of options available is fascinating! This topic could probably be a good doctorate in sociology or something. Karen, thanks for the welcome back. :) Much appreciated!


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