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Should married women adopt their husband’s last name?: Family : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum (135 views)

Should married women adopt their husband’s last name?

By dayan (M)May 16, 2018, 07:21:49 AM
This question is very much open and depends on the culture of a people. The cultural specificity of this, and others like it, is part of why it makes little sense for marriage to be universalized, or for every nation to adopt a one size fits all marriage rules and styles. People should always be free to adopt whichever system that best speaks to their individual or group realities and situations.

In Eritrea for example, women retain their fathers name (and even paternal ancestral name) regardless of marital status. In parts of Igboland of old (prior to the European colonization of that part of Africa), children took the last names of their mothers if the fathers had more than one wife. Till today, descendants of certain clans in Igboland are maternally chronicled. And this is in an ethnic group that is generally paternal.

To the Igbo, it made little sense to subsume every child born to a polygamous man to just his own name. Each wife in the marriage was recognized in genealogy if she had children. Genealogy is critical to the Igbo because they believe that certain traits (physical or behavioural) are transferred genetically from generation to generation.

So when they enquire after a person’s family, they want to narrow it down to the woman that bore the child proper.

The only women whose names were lost in genealogy were the monogamously married ones whose children automatically adopted the husband’s last names. 

Western marriage system is monogamous and hence carries with it the automatic adoption of paternal last names. That automatic adoption of last name is being increasingly challenged these days though, but  it doesn’t seem to have much propping except on the argument that men and women are equal.
The retention of maternal names in individual identification has been retained in America though where an individual’s mother’s maiden names are used to identify the individual. 


In the end, it should be desirable for a child to bear a last name that can genetically identify him or her: to connect him or her to blood (or genetic) relations. Last names should not be exotic or issue of style because the ramifications of possible misuse or abuse, are serious.

Appropriate last names should play a reliable role in genetic identification process,  at least to help society to forestall possible incidence of inadvertent inbreeding.


-Nigerialog


Re: Should married women adopt their husband’s last name?

By Adenosine (M)May 17, 2018, 10:03:55 AM
To me bold YES 8) 8) 8)
I don't see any reason why a married woman shouldn't adopt her husband's name. When it comes polygamous stuff, child can adopt the name of their mother that's from your own culture but from my own side which is Yoruba there is nothing like that. The child adopt the name of their father when mono or poly it doesn't matter and to me it sounds reasonable maybe is because I was born into the culture. The husband has done the necessary things, am talking about the major thing which is the marriage rite the family to the wife's family.So what sense does it make again for their child to bear the last name of their mother because is polygamous family. There is one old adage in Yoruba " Eni to leru lo leru" meaning "The person that own a slave owns the load of the slave as well" . So the husband owns everything. I want to raise another question here, what do you thing about a married woman that attached her last name along with her husband name?


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