mr and mrs george jetson.

I remember watching this show when I was younger, and one thing that stuck with me was how George and Jane Jetson were introduced as “Mr and Mrs George Jetson”. Why is she Mrs George Jetson? Does she not have a name? 

I am trying to find how the  tradition of the woman changing her name after marriage started. I haven’t had much luck.

One website has given the reason as:

Why does a woman take his name rather than he hers? Customs are habitual; traditions bestow significance and are performed for a reason. Women change their name.  Men do not.  Is this a custom or a tradition? Like many customs and traditions in modern society, male before female is Biblically based.

In Genesis, God creates Adam first and from Adam’s rib, his companion Eve. Adam and Eve together become a new entity, the couple:. Even though last names did not exist until this past millennium, Verse 24 signifies the primary meaning of a woman taking a man’s name.

I am not religious, and I don’t consider myself a feminist. But I have always struggled with the idea of changing my surname when I am married, for a couple of reasons:

  • My surname is Polish, therefore it is quite unique
  • My first name and Groom’s surname reminded me of Julia Guglia from The Wedding Singer at first (this was an overreaction, there are just a couple ‘el’ sounds in it which flow together)
  • It is MY name, and I love it, why should I change it?

If I hyphenated our surnames it would be extremely long, so that option is out.

Lately though, I have been feeling that it would be nice to share a surname, as a family unit, as a sign of being one in a way. I’m so hopelessly romantic in some ways, that I’m surprised it took me this long to feel this way about being Mrs Newname. Perhaps I’ll use my ‘maiden name’ as an extra middle name (on official documents, not in daily use). Extra long, but at least it’s always a part of me.

This website has a good pro-name change reason:

Taking his name will make your life easier, especially if you have children. You won’t have to explain to that perfectly annoying stranger at the kids’ school that you two really are Beth and Sam’s parents – and you are married – even though your names are completely different.

Plus, it’s kind of nice sharing a name with the man you love. There’s something very “connecting” about it.

What did you do when you got married, or what are you planning to do? Do you know any women who have kept their surnames?

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11 Comments

Filed under Musings

11 responses to “mr and mrs george jetson.

  1. I don’t believe a woman and a man should be introduced as his FIRST name like Mr and Mrs Jetson… That’s just out-dated and old fashioned but I do believe SOMEONE (I don’t care if the man takes the woman’s name) change their name. It’s a symbol of unity (what marriage is about after all) and a family bonding tradition.

    I didn’t think twice about it when I was getting married. Just wasn’t something that affected me at all.

    Wikipedia has some interesting facts about the history behind the family name http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_name (ctrl+F ‘marriage’ to get to the interesting parts 😉 )

  2. Amy

    From day one I have always been going to take my fiancés surname. I’ve never even questioned my reasons for that choice. I think it’s, as Amanda said, a symbol of unity and to me it is something extra that will change us from life partners to a family.
    It does depend on individuals situations though. I have some friends that say they will not change their name when they are married because they already have papers published etc under their name.

  3. Interesting replies, Amanda & Amy! I think the unity is a solid point, and becoming a family.

    I have a colleague who is getting married in a couple of months and I will be changing her surname officially, but will be keeping her maiden name for her professional work due to her career history.

  4. I’m not among the traditional women but I did hyphenate my name when I got married, begrudgingly at first and our children will have the hyphenated last name. I love my last name and wasn’t willing to give it up. My husband was very open to me not changing my name and in the end I decided it would make things easier in the long run to add his name to mine.

    A new alternative that is becoming more popular is that creation of a new name completely that both people take when they are married. I think that’s pretty cool.

    • Hi Rachel Elizabeth! I would probably hyphenate mine, if only they worked together and weren’t so long… 🙂

      I’ve heard of that new option for creating a new name. Is that name blending or creating a new name altogether? Wikipedia says “Although less common than name joining, a growing trend is the blending of two surnames upon marriage. For example, if “Jane Marie Fordham” marries “John Smith”, she might become “Jane Marie Smithford”.”
      I do find that a little odd, as the new name has no family history.

  5. To give an entirely different perspective, I kept my surname when I married my husband in 2008 – and the plan is for him to take my surname if we have a baby. I agree that, once kids are in the picture, its nice to share a name as a family – but my surname is unique and different (its Irish) and I feel a strong connection to it, and my family. Whereas my husband is quite happy to take my name as his doesn’t have that meaning for him.
    Not quite the norm I know 😉

  6. Natalie

    I am changing my name. Like you, I have a very long and difficult surname (mine is Hungarian) and I am so very tired of the look of horror on people’s faces when I say it as they struggle knowing where to begin to spell it. Or the many variations as people mangle the pronunciation. (actually I may miss that, sometimes it’s amusing)

    Anyway, I am giving up my 2 Zs and several other random consonants for a name people can actually pronounce and spell – his is still unique though. Unfortunately it’s also quite long – 8 letters to my 9, so won’t really cut down my form-filling time!

    • Haha @ several other random consonants – so true! Do you also run out of space on? 😉

      I think I’m not going to rush to change my name straight away, but I will….

  7. Jane Knight

    I had been pondering as to what Jane Jetson’s maiden name had been…it has never been revealed by Hanna-Barbera, the creators of “The Jetsons”, nor Warner Brothers, the successor company…perhaps the revelation will be made in the upcoming motion picture.

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