January 6, 2005|By Samantha Sordyl, the Washington Post
Chivalry has taken on a new name.
Ask guys such as Michael Rosensaft, who angry the alliance archetype on its arch aback he took his wife’s name instead of her demography his.
Rosensaft, 29, a New York lawyer, went by the aftermost name Savere until August 2002, aback he affiliated Joana Rosensaft.
He “actually had to argue her” that he should booty her name, he says. “She didn’t apprehend it — it’s still a appealing attenuate thing.”
Though the macho name change is still boilerplate a as accepted as women demography their husbands’ names, some men do booty the plunge. And some, such as John Whittier-Ferguson of Ann Arbor, Mich., accept been accommodating to go through absolutely a bit to do so. Whittier-Ferguson, ne Ferguson, had to angle over about a grand, column at atomic three announcements in the bi-weekly and allowance it all with a cloister decision.
The fees were “a rip-off, there’s no agnosticism about it,” says Whittier-Ferguson, 48, who affiliated in 1988 in North Carolina. But it was account it, he says: He and his wife accepting a hyphenated aftermost name fabricated it accessible for “all the bodies in our families to accept the aforementioned names.”
“I acquainted an alive absorption in registering that article was altered — not aloof by my wife changing” her name, says the University of Michigan English professor. He additionally attributes his accommodation to accepting “come of age in the aboriginal beachcomber of feminism in the ’70s and backward ’60s.”
Symism was additionally important to Doug Goldenberg-Hart, of burghal Washington, aback he got affiliated in Texas in 1992. It additionally fabricated his helpmate happy.
“I bethink cogent him that I was conflicted” about possibly accepting a altered name than her accouchement would have, says Diane Goldenberg-Hart. “And he said, `Well, let’s hyphenate, of course.’ “
Doug Goldenberg-Hart, 41, artlessly abounding in the new name on a alliance authorization and Social Security form. No added fees.
What he did get, though, was added debate. Goldenberg-Hart says he followed his wife in band at the drivers authorization adverse in Austin and said, “I’m alteration my name the aforementioned way.”
“I got a bare stare,” he recalls. The agent asked, “Do you accept a cloister document?” Accepting already afflicted his name with the Social Security Administration wasn’t abundant for her, he says.
Goldenberg-Hart, an acquisitions editor at the Congressional Quarterly Press in Washington, says he smelled a lawsuit. “You didn’t ask my wife for one,” he told the clerk.
Finally the administrator came aback from cafeteria and accustomed the new license, Goldenberg-Hart recalls. “It charge be article advancing bottomward from up North,” the agent muttered.
Mark Lassiter, a agent for the Social Security Administration, says men charge chase the aforementioned action as women: They charge appearance identification, such as a Social Security card, “that proves they are the being the Social Security Administration considers them, and proof,” like a alliance certificate, “that they’ll be alteration their name to the added affiliated person’s.”
So why does anybody accept to pay big fees? Whittier-Ferguson said his ancestors advocate appropriate he change his name accurately aloof to be safe. He and his wife were again active in New Jersey, area they planned to alive afterwards their North Carolina wedding.
Lassiter says it’s still far added accepted for a woman to booty a man’s name. In fact, according to a Harvard University study, “increasing numbers of college-educated women are demography their husbands’ surnames.”
But alteration his aftermost name was a breeze to Los Angeles doctor Matthew Lombard, 41.
Kids acclimated to accomplish fun of Matthew Pease. Lombard says he capital a aftermost name for his sons that would be beneath of a ambition for teasing.
But what will kids with hyphenated names do if they, too, appetite to accumulate their names aback they marry?
“Well, they’ll amount it out. Spanish-speaking countries do this,” says Whittier-Ferguson. “Gotta leave some problems for the aing generation.”
The aing bearing is at the affection of why Rosensaft afflicted his name. His wife’s grandparents were “instrumental in active displaced bodies camps afterwards World War II,” Rosensaft says, so continuing the name was additionally a way to pay accolade to them. His wife is an alone child.
“My wife’s ancestors was about all dead during the Holocaust,” he says. “I anticipation it was important to bottle her legacy.”
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