Name Change??

Posted by barb on Oct 21, 2003 in Wedding |

Salon had an article on the whole name-change question:
Mrs. Femininst by Lynn Harris

Here’s my version of Harris’ first “doodles”

Barbara Jo Mattson-Kuchling
Barbara Jo Mattson Kuchling
Barbara Mattson Kuchling
Barbara Jo Kuchling

Mr. and Dr. Kuchling (looking ahead a few years 🙂
Mr. and Dr. Mattson-Kuchling
Barbara and Andrew Kuchling
Barbara and Andrew Mattsling
Barbara Mattson and Andrew Kuchling
Mr. Kuchling and Dr. Mattson

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t torn. I think one of the interviewees in the article expressed my reasons for wanting to take Andrew’s name farily well:

“I don’t care less about feminism than I did before [deciding to take her husband’s name], but I’m still a little defensive about my decision to change my name,” says Tydlaska, who was a women’s studies major in college. “I would have kept my own name [alone], but there’s a symbolism to me that says ‘family’ when you have the same last name — not for the sake of ‘the children,’ because we aren’t sure we want them, but for ourselves.”

It’s not that I want to belong to Andrew, but rather that I want to belong with Andrew, and vice versa.

The flip side is that I will already have two referred journal articles in scientific journals as Barbara Mattson. It’s not that I couldn’t make people understand that my name changed, but I would have to list myself as an author under two names.

I don’t like the idea of hyphenating, because neither of our names is exactly short (though not long, either), so the hyphenated name, Mattson-Kuchling, is kind of a monstrosity. I’ve considered taking Mattson as a second middle name, and using Kuchling as my “official” last name. That way I could still write scientific papers under Barbara Mattson, but have mail correctly addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Kuchling.

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