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Do you think frum women hyphenating their names is a problem?

Thank you ChanieF who sent this article from Crown Heights Info on over to me- it pertains to women hyphenating their names and retaining their maiden names after marriage and how its a problem. Fine, maybe it is maybe its not- I really don’t care nor do I have an opinion. BUT when the article said the following it irked me some.

“It is no secret that in other circles, the reason for deteriorating marriages, climbing divorce rates and the current shidduch crisis, is greatly due to the fact that the girls today are much more educated, knowledgeable and capable than the boys are. More than often times the bread-winner in the young family is the wife. Today with modern society and the plague of liberalism all around us, woman are no longer being taught to be mothers of children and good wives, instead liberalism is teaching them to become executives of large corporations and to try and become the man they were never meant to be! Retention of the last name is indicative of this recent “style” of women’s independence and when you enter into your marriage with a fear of losing your independence, then you are entering into this marriage shakily and with insufficient resolve! This unhealthy balance has brought much crisis and serious issues to the orthodox circles.”

I love it the plague of liberalism!!!

This one is even better:
“While I do sympathize with a girl’s desire to preserve a link to her familial heritage and her need to maintain her own reputation and her feelings for identity preservation, still, there is no doubt that this trend is founded on a feminist message which strays from the Torah tradition of marriage and makes a statement that women are not the husband’s property.”

Where do I sign up for property management classes to manage peoples wives?

I don’t know maybe its not that big of a deal- but that last part was the kicker.

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • matthue August 7, 2008, 11:52 AM

    It’s bad to psychoanalyze the authors of articles like this, but when he says things like, “either you marry your husband completely, including his name, or go back to your father’s house and use his name until you learn what marriage is and ought [to] be,” you have to worry a little bit–that’s exactly the kind of thinking I heard a woman use when she was talking about why she stuck with her husband for years, even though he was beating her.

    Ain’t nothing wrong with trusting in your partner in both directions. But ain od milvado….

  • Chavi August 7, 2008, 11:54 AM

    Yowza. I don’t know what to say about that last line.

    What I do know, from doing genealogical work on my own family, is that weird name hyphenations and changes make it next to impossible to track people. Simplicity is really best … 🙂 Then again, I’m just eager to get rid of my plain Jane last name.

  • Phil August 7, 2008, 11:56 AM

    Interesting post. Here in Quebec, married women are not allowed to take on their husbands name even with a hyphen since 1976. This is a throwback to old French laws that existed hundreds of years ago, no wonder they call us “frenchies” backwards.

    Our kids can be called by one of the following last names on the birth certificate:

    Can’t wait to see what the double names that marry other double name do with their kids.

  • Raizy August 7, 2008, 12:02 PM

    Are you purposely trying to raise my blood pressure by posting those Neanderthal quotes?
    Anyway, I think that I’m probably the only woman ever who kept her maiden name throughout her marriage, and then took her husband’s name when she got divorced. (You can’t imagine how badly that ticked my ex-husband off! It was totally worth it.)

  • Frum Satire August 7, 2008, 12:20 PM

    Raizy your probably right- thats insane- a great way to mess with husbands who wont give gets.

  • hmm August 7, 2008, 12:42 PM

    Nisuin IS called a kinui but that’s not the implication. The idea is they become one new soul with different responsiblities, etc. etc.

  • Frum Funky Fab (slightly eidel) August 7, 2008, 1:03 PM

    So…there’s a problem with hyphenated last names, huh?

    Ok, as much as my hyphenated inner feminist is ticked off by such statements as:

    “which strays from the Torah tradition of marriage and makes a statement that women are not the husband’s property.”

    technically, from a halachik POV, wives ARE considered their husband’s property. (For example, its halachikally problematic to ‘exchange’ rings under the chuppah, because then the husband has not ACQUIRED his wife with the ring. Btw, I think it would be so much cooler to get married with a fork. But anyway…)
    But then, to be fair, she’s buying into it. Hes giving her the ring (or fork, or whatever, any old prutah will do) and if she refused to accept it, she’d be her own woman, shall we say.

    Its not as obnoxious as it seems. (Can it, hyphen. Sorry, she’s getting a little out of hand there.) Hubby has acquired himself a wife, and now he’s responsible for her. Don’t get in a hissy fit and tell me she’s not his kid, OBVIOUSLY she’s not his kid. Hubby also has a soul, and he’s responsible for it. He has to take responsibility for his soul. And his wife is just the other half of said soul. Same as HE is the other half of hers.

    So why does he get the ownership? Why doesn’t she get to own his soul? (I actually have a few that I picked up over the years…I got them cheap…hehehe…) Does anyone REALLY own anything? We all belong to our families, to our communities, and ultimately, to G-d. Yup, He gets to call all the shots.

    Hyphen is screaming “HOW DO YOU KNOW G-D’s A MAN AND NOT A WOMAN?” Shut up, hyph. G-d is neither. We mostly stick with ‘He’ as a pronoun because it fits how we relate to Him. But its just a term we throw around. It’s a name. We need SOME kind of label so that we can relate to G-d and know Who is RESPONSIBLE for everything.

    Same deal. We need SOME kind of label for the entity that is marriage. Someone needs to be responsible for the whole shebang. Women generally will internalize and take responsibility for the relationship whether they (we) are told to or not. For better or for worse, we internalize our relationships, and they deeply become parts of us. (I can offer spooky examples but this isn’t the time or place, plus any women who are being honest will admit that this is so. And the guys will just have to trust us on this one.) Men aren’t that connected, and so they need a document telling them that they have to take responsibility for their wives and their marriages. That’s why halacha says, “listen, buddy, you OWN THIS.”

    Hyphens maybe help guys to forget, they think they don’t have to take full responsibility? But this is just a made up guess and I have nothing to back it up.

    My hyphen is an ardent feminist. She sometimes tries to do things that get her into trouble. It’s a good thing she’s mine, so I can put her in her rightful place. Smack in the middle of my last name.

  • Frum Funky Fab (slightly eidel) August 7, 2008, 1:18 PM

    Yo Heshy, that dog in your picture up top…is he neutered? You know that’s assur, right?

    When will you link me again?

  • Meira August 7, 2008, 1:19 PM

    “…the girls today are much more educated, knowledgeable and capable than the boys are. More than often times the bread-winner in the young family is the wife… ”

    Don’t they kind of HAVE to be, if the men are going to sit and learn all day!?

    If educated, knowledgeable women are causing the deterioration of marriages, then the men had better get the education and jobs necessary to support their families. They can’t have to both ways!

    My college degree is contributing to poor marraiges, divorce & the shidduch crisis?!

    Oh. This makes me angry.

  • heimish in bp August 7, 2008, 2:02 PM

    It has been a while since you wrote a “geshamke” topic.

  • Olie August 7, 2008, 2:31 PM

    It’s just potentially impractical, what if they already have a double barreled name from their mother, then it’s like a tripple barrel, and this could expand exponentially to names with more hyphens that you can count on one hand!

  • Left Brooklyn and never looked back August 7, 2008, 2:41 PM

    Just shows why I left Brooklyn.

    When I accepted a ring (should have thought of a fork, damn!) it was to accept a kinyan. It was a business deal, but no one was acquired in the transaction.

    BTW, neither of us changed or hyphenated our names. And for that matter our last names were not on the ketubah.

  • Frum Funky Fab (slightly eidel) August 7, 2008, 4:07 PM

    You don’t feel acquired, huh?

    I’d love to start a fork marriage movement!

    Don’t talk to me about triple last names. All I heard in Jr. High was:

    Plony a-b marries Ploniette c-d, and you(meaning me, Plonyette e-f, for example) marry Plony g-h, and your kids get married, will their last names be a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h???
    What idiots. Like no one’s ever thought of it before.

    At that stage I had the idea that my husband and I would SWAP last names. At this point, I have no problems with being acquired. Just as long as he know’s what hes buying. (I’ll throw the hyphen in for free.)

  • Frum Funky Fab (slightly eidel) August 7, 2008, 4:08 PM

    Or maybe we can use HIS last name, and just write it on 2 lines. Like, if it were Farkash (My grandfather’s last name before he changed it) we could write it Far-

    then I could still feel involved. Keeping the hyphen for the next generation. That’s all I really wanted, anyway.

  • Anonymous August 7, 2008, 4:37 PM

    To hyphen or not to hyphen, that is the question.

    Seriously, if whatever name(s) are decided upon by the couple are OK by them, what do the rest of us care? Is this really so important?

    I think it is a pretty big (and scary) stretch to say that use of maiden or hyphenated names is destructive to the family. It is one thing to say that the practice should be discouraged, but this article goes way beyond that with the claim that divorce and the shudduch crisis are related to women keeping their maiden names.

  • Shira Salamone August 7, 2008, 4:55 PM

    ” . . . liberalism is teaching them to become executives . . .” *Liberalism* is teaching Crown Heights women this??! How about ” . . . the fact that the girls today are much more educated, knowledgeable and capable than the boys are. More than often times the bread-winner in the young family is the wife. ” So nu, maybe if the guys were “much more educated, knowledgeable and capable . . .” and at least contributing to the the bread-winning, “deteriorating marriages, climbing divorce rates and the current shidduch crisis” might be less likely?

  • Frum Satire August 7, 2008, 5:09 PM

    So did the decree come about that men cannot marry more then one women because there was no time for property management classes?

  • KissMeI'mShomer August 7, 2008, 5:35 PM

    I’d really love to think of this article as a piece of satire. That would make my blood pressure feel so much better

    Kinyan does NOT mean the husband is acquiring his wife. He is “acquiring” her CONSENT to the MARITAL CONTRACT (which can also sound kind of chauvinist when you think about it, but it’s still not slavery).

    As non-romantic as this sounds, the “kinyan” that takes place at a wedding is like the kinyan that goes on among baseball players. While we talk of people “buying” baseball teams and players no one actually thinks that Derek Jeter is the personal property of George Steinbrenner.

  • Frum Funky Fab (slightly eidel) August 7, 2008, 6:04 PM

    It’s interesting to note that this article comes out of Crown Heights, I’m assuming it’s Chabad. Aren’t Lubavitchers really anti kollel and pro education and employment?

    KMIS, are you implying that women are akin to indentured servants to their husbands? Personally I think the explanation I provided is less offensive to Hyphie.

  • s(b.) August 7, 2008, 6:35 PM

    Maybe it should be changed from take your daughter to work day to take your husband to work day. lol

    Seriously. How are women supposed to make a proper home when they’re busy supporting their husbands while they sit and learn all day? There has to be a balance. I hope those who need one can find it for themselves.

    Me, I’d like an easy to spell last name, but what really matters is lots of other far more important things. I really don’t care what other people do with their last names when they get married. Should my time come, I’m sure I’ll figure it out; ideally, I’ll be nothing short of thrilled to adopt a family name of someone with whom I’m going to spend the rest of my life.

  • chanief August 7, 2008, 6:50 PM

    I figured you’d like that article (though like is probably the wrong word.)

    I’m hyphenated, so I guess you probably know my opinion. I didn’t hyphenate for women’s lib reasons or my independence (not that I am not all for that stuff) but mostly because I come from a large, close family and just didn’t feel like myself without the last name I had.

    As much as I am my husband’s wife, I am still myself and if the author thinks I should “go back to your father’s house and use his name until you learn what marriage is and ought [to] be,” then ok, I’m game. Do I have to take my kids with me? (After all, they have my husband’s last name…)

  • KissMeI'mShomer August 7, 2008, 7:17 PM

    No, I didn’t mean to imply that, nor do I mean to imply that DJ is GS’s indentured servant.

    Now that I re-read it, though, I can see that it sounds like I imply as such. I misspoke and I take it back and apologize.

    What I really meant is that kinyan implies that marriage is a contract, but more like the contract between equal business partners. My example made it sound like a husband hires his wife, which is not what I meant – I got confused.

  • KissMeI'mShomer August 7, 2008, 7:19 PM

    Oh, and also – I’m not saying that I like or agree with the thought of marriage being thought of as a “business deal.” I just think that the term kinyan implies that as much, in a way.

  • KissMeI'mShomer August 7, 2008, 7:29 PM

    Sorry to bombard with commments, but here’s something else I “love” about this article…

    “A ship has a captain and a first mate, a ship with two captains is in big trouble. The role of the Jewish woman, aka the “Aishes Chayil,” is to do the will of the husband when the husband is proper. If he is not, then she has the ability and the power to reform his will and make him proper (Yalkut Shimoni). And ladies… you KNOW you have this ability!”

    I am so flattered that the author thinks I am capable of changing an “improper” person.
    I guess I can just marry the first guy that comes along, no matter what he’s like. If he’s not a mentch, no problem – he will be. And if he doesn’t become one, I was clearly not an eishes chayil and deserve my lot in life.

  • Frum Satire August 7, 2008, 7:32 PM

    That last comment Kissme sounds like that scene from Wedding Crashers when the girl is reading her vows and they were so corny about ships mates and such.

  • Yochanan August 8, 2008, 2:28 AM

    If you’re using the traveling metaphor, wouldn’t a more harmonious marriage consist of a driver and a navigator?

  • ProfK August 8, 2008, 7:36 AM

    “If you’re using the traveling metaphor, wouldn’t a more harmonious marriage consist of a driver and a navigator?”

    If you are using the traveling metaphor it would be more accurate to say that neither the husband nor the wife are the “driver”–theRibboneh shel Olam is. Husband and wife are co-navigators, separate but equal.

  • TRS August 8, 2008, 11:17 AM

    I just want everyone to know that this article does not represent the views of Lubavitch. Just because one moron thinks that women should live in barns doesn’t mean that the rest of us are also living in the dark ages.

  • s(b.) August 8, 2008, 11:53 AM

    I’ve never seen a Lubavitcher farm. I’d like to, though. That would be neat, to see chassidim raising chickens and cows and horses and stuff.

  • TRS August 8, 2008, 11:55 AM

    There are at least two Lubavitcher farms that I know of; Mitzvah Farm in Iowa, which makes some really good cheese, and the Shlucha brreding Center here in CH (I’m just kidding [sort of]). In Israel there are several Lubavitch agricultural productions going on.

  • Yochanan August 9, 2008, 11:10 PM

    “If you are using the traveling metaphor it would be more accurate to say that neither the husband nor the wife are the “driver”–theRibboneh shel Olam is. Husband and wife are co-navigators, separate but equal.”


  • s(b.) August 10, 2008, 8:57 AM

    that’s funny, TRS. 🙂 ((mitzvah cheese))

  • Anonymous August 10, 2008, 2:34 PM

    Not the Lubavitch I grew up in… why is the writer concerning himself with such nonsense?

  • jennthejewess August 10, 2008, 4:54 PM

    I plan to hyphenate or keep my maiden name legally and professionally. Its super annoying to have to change everything esp if you have an established career. Id go by my married name socially and for things to do with my kids…but let me find the guy first then ill decide

  • Chana August 12, 2008, 4:22 AM

    Actually hyphenating a last name is called a “bar sinister” and comes from an unmarried couple having a child.
    In the old days the illegitmate child then bore the combined names of the mother and father.
    That became their legal name.

  • chevramaidel August 12, 2008, 9:45 PM

    It was not always a Jewish custom for a wife to take the husband’s last name. Historically it is fairly recent to have last names at all. There was a tradition in some places- probably because living people are referred to as ben- or bas – their mother’s name, to identify men with the name of their mother. Think of Isaac Bashevis Singer. I heard that in certain Polish communities, if the wife’s family had more yichus, her husband would take her name to keep the prestigious family line going.

  • Davida September 18, 2008, 10:49 AM

    No, I think this Lubav is right…except, he forgot the Rebbe said we were living in the age of Moshiach, where feminine energy is dominant. So, open your eyes, cutie pies! It’s time for the men to take on the women’s names, if we’re really going to bring Moshiach now!

  • TRS September 18, 2008, 3:03 PM

    Thank you.

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