2 January 2016

...a little note on our names

Hello peoples! I hope you are having a lovely 2016 already!
Today I thought I'd write a little post about names, well, my family in particular ; )

It seems to sometimes cause a small matter of confusion or questioning from some people in real life and internet life, so thought I'd just talk about it a bit. I don't need to, I just find some things in life funny and a bit ironic.

When me and my mister got married a few years ago, my mister didn't change his surname to mine, and I didn't change my surname to his. So, we both still have the same names that we were born with. (I try to skip the whole Miss/Ms/Mrs wherever possible, as I don't think how I'm 'attached' to a man is of concern or relavance to anyone unless I want to tell them I'm married or not, just as it is for men) I'm just Artemis Russell, nothing changed.

Our daughter has both our surnames, because she is made of half of me and half of my mister. Simples.
If she marries or has children in the future, she'll have both our names to choose from (or not choose either) but both our surnames will be available and familiar to her.
It may be the custom in this country for the woman to take the man's name at marriage, but to our daughter, at least this will not be the custom within her own family, so it won't seem so abnormal a concept to her.

My name is different to my husband's because we are and always will be different people, my husband is not British and I am not Japanese for instance.

We are a family regardless of our surnames, our daughter's name displays a union between two different people (and as it happens, two different nationalities as well). We are none the less of a family because of different surnames, just as if I had changed my name to Mrs. Utsumi wouldn't make me feel less of a daughter to my mother because we suddenly had different surnames.
I like the fact that, to my daughter, my surname is not a sort of 'secret' name, which she might get asked for to back up a password for instance, her mother's name is publicly displayed alongside her father's, there is no secret about it!

I should add that, yes my surname came from my father, but before that, it was his father's before him and so forth. It is MY surname, because it was the surname I was given at birth. If I'd of just had my mother's surname instead, I would have kept that. I would have liked to have had both. (I have no contact with my father or his family, so I don't keep my name for his sake) It's still my name since I was born.

However, because of customs and traditions, it seems more complicated and strange to some people, to change nothing, than it is to change your name that you've had for 30 odd years, I find it odd. I also find the notion odd to give birth to a person and then not to have my name also attached to them. I'd want to write my surname on my cat's ID chip, so I'd want to write it on my daughter's school bag too!
We decided that, for our family, an equal balance is fair to everyone, there is no priority given to either the mother or father's name.

It seems to me that, from the very beginning of my life, and generally, all round me in day to day life, there are people who would prefer to make more of a difference between boys and girls, women and men than is really necessary. We are in some ways physically different and psychologically different, but in general we are more the same than we are different. Also, you can be different, but be equal at the same time, as both men and women need each other to survive as a species and therefore are naturally better at filling some different roles which depend on each other, together. This I can see through my toddler's eyes, how she responds differently to me or her dad depending on what the need is.

When I'm pregnant (twice now), from the word go, the TOP question is "do you know if it's a boy or a girl?', even before 'how are you feeling?' I will get this same question over and over until the day it is born. I can understand the suspense, but to me, it doesn't really matter. It will be a person, with it's own character, and if it's a boy, does not mean that it will naturally like football and train sets. I already have a daughter that loves Spiderman and mud, (she likes dancing and tutu's too, a dancing Spiderman and a muddy tutu!). Sadly, at the age of three, I have already had to explain that doctors can also be women, after she blankly told me that doctors are men, and nurses are women : (

That was a bit of a deep tangent!

Anyways, all I really wanted to say is, I wish for this year, and all years to come in the future, that we could drop all this male or female nonsense, and focus on us all being people first and foremost, life would be SO much more simple if there were no expectations based on gender, and that we could all be different, yet the same and equal.

Basically, a name is just a name and we can all choose whatever we fancy.
Peace and happiness to all xxx


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