Today 30 May , a recent interview on 891 ABC Adelaide caught my eye. It reported that more than 80 per cent of Australian women take their husband’s name after marriage. The Amal Clooney effect aside, that is far far higher than I thought it would be especially while there is debate over whether the tradition, dating back to a time when women were seen as property, is sexist.
I am not so keen on the husband property angle, but at the end of the end of the day it’s all about individual choice and respect for that choice. For the sake of transparency, I did take my husband’s name. Not initially, it just happened when the children went to kindergarten. Since they have their father’s name, everyone started calling me by that name too. I was a completely non committal person on this issue. But looking back I kind of wonder why I did not make a proactive stand either way. Both my sisters have retained their original names. I was going to say maiden name but now that term sounds really not so appropriate.
Did you know there is an academic who studies name changes? Adelaide’s Flinders University Head of Women’s Studies, Associate Professor Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes is the go to authority. She says in addition to most Australian women taking their husband’s name after marriage, up to 96 per cent of children were given their father’s name.
Professor Corcoran-Nantessaid said while most married women in Australia were happy to take their husband’s name, most men were completely against adopting their wives’ names (I say most men, because I know a man who took his wife’s name recently and truly no one thought twice about it).
Her interview also contains many examples of countries and cultures where changing a name on marriage is not the go. It’s worth a read.
And the more I read, the more I found there is quite a bit to this name changing business. People getting married, people getting divorced, people changing names for cultural reasons, people changing names because in their current context their name is quite difficult to pronounce, double barrelled names which are big in Latin cultures, people who are new to Australia and currently only have a first name needing a first and surname as this is required in many industries such as the health and aged care.
And here’s the tough part….changing your name is an administrative nightmare!
Which is where the Change Your Name App comes in. They say there’s an app for everything and even for those those things which aren’t a thing really. This app is one of the elite category of extremely practical apps. Knowing how to change your name and the order in which you do it needed to be shared ( get the order wrong and you can’t prove who you are to keep the process going WOMP WOMP). It provides extremely useful information and saves you massive amounts of time and frustration.
So good on you app developer Meaghan Price for your app which is an easy 10 Step Guide to changing your name. It is the only app that features all the forms, documents and information required for recording your change of name in Australia. When I read a great overview of what motivated Meaghan to create her app, I was a more than a little bit inspired by her foresight and determination.
As you know, I do like personalisation in wrapping and using names for wrapping paper. It is close to as good as it gets in the personalised world. So my wrap today features ( no surprises for guessing) names but the name changes in look from the main wrap to the belli band to the tag. I wanted to go for name change using the diminutive form of my given name, because I learned along the way that shortened versions of names of things that are not nicknames are called a diminutive. For personal names only, they are most properly called ahypocoristic. But I chose to name change the font and font size instead and print it out on shimmery oyster coloured paper. The options for wrapping using names are endless. Wonder if there is an app for that.