Friday, 13 February 2009

Bowled over for a maiden

As homepaddock reminds us summer is the season for weddings. Over the last few months a steady stream of my female friends and acquaintances on facebook have been busy posting pictures of their nuptials and excitedly changing their names to reflect their new status as married women. Most have gone the fully traditional route and changed their surname to their husband’s name but some have chosen to add their husband’s surname to their existing one. Although wedding season still has a few months to run, not one of my recently wedded female friends has kept her name and interestingly not one husband has chosen to hyphenate let alone change his name to hers.

The common reasons I’ve heard as to why women choose to change their names is that they felt it was a way for them to show that they are truly committed to their spouse, that their husband’s name sounds better than their own, they don’t really have any attachment to their father and that they want to create feeling of oneness within the family by sharing the same name as their spouse and that they want to share the same family name as any current or future children. A few had partners who insisted on the change as a condition of marriage while a few thought it would be rather tidy for any future genealogists if they shared the same name as their spouse.

The movement to keep maiden names began in the 1850s in the United States, when a suffragette named Lucy Stone decided to keep her name when she married an abolitionist named Henry Blackwell. Along with her staunch views against slavery Lucy Stone also believed that women who change their names get absorbed into their husband's family histories and lose their independent identities. While slavery is now almost universally considered a very bad idea the maiden name still lingers on, at least in the Anglophone world. The ‘Lucy Stone’ movement was almost quashed altogether in the 1950s when almost all women, including highly educated career women, changed their names to their husband's when they married. Of course, the majority of these women were married in their early twenties. Now that women marry later, and live more of their adult life with their maiden names, it can feel unnatural to assume another name. Moreover once you have "made a name for yourself" in the world it becomes more complicated, and even professionally damaging, to change it.

But if my summer’s facebook updates are anything to go, entering into a marriage means a name change for most women. I always feel so conflicted when I see all these women I went to school and university dropping their former names. On one hand, I know that their name is their own damn decision and not really any of my business even if they are making decisions that I don't agree with it. But on the other, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. I suppose because along with changing the name comes with so many other expectations attached to it. That a husband's career will become the most important and the wife will do all the wifey (god I hate that term) duties like looking after the kids and cleaning the toilet. I know that isn’t always the case, Caroline Robinson is still reading the news over on TV3 even though she is now Caroline Ryan with kids attached. But I still can’t help feeling that ditching the freedom to keep your name at marriage ignores all the struggles that previous generations of women went through so that women can have this and so many other choices, though same can and has been said about other choices we make like for instance me spending way too much on clothes and make up. I suppose what irks me about the maiden name debate is that the women alone experience the pressure to show that they are part of a ‘real couple’ by changing her name to his as him changing his name to hers is so clearly offbeat as to be well ridiculous. To give you an idea of how all pervasive that pressure is, even The Child insists that my family name is the same as The Suit’s because in her five year old brain we must share a name because Daddy is a man and I live with Daddy.

In the end it doesn’t actually matter which wedding traditions a couple keeps or for that matter decides to ditch because at heart all weddings by their very nature are traditional. A couple is seeking a formal acceptance both from their community and the state that their union is officially going to go the distance, something humans have been doing for a very, very, long time. So for me this name changing business is largely academic as I’m not so much a fan of the matrimonial institution itself. However in the unlikely event of marriage, I would not change my name because I consider keeping my name more important than the reasons I should change it. However any male considering marrying me is most welcome to change his to mine if us having the same name is a really big a deal to him post-ceremony.

45 comments:

Deborah said...

Well said. Some people look put out when my husband and I give different names. I just say that my husband didn't want to change his name, and of course, I was happy for him to keep it. That usually makes them look more put out than ever.

Very few of my friends changed their names when they got married, but this was mostly in the early 1990s.

anna c said...

I agree (not that it's likely to be an issue for me either; I don't plan to marry and if I do it certainly won't be to a man) but...

What, then, is the point in having a surname? Aside from distinguishing people with the same given name, which could be accomplised by two given names, surely the only reason for a surname is to show identification with a particular familial group*, whether it is that of your spouse or your parents.

A husband taking his wife's surname does remove a lot of the cultural baggage, but it seems to me an imperfect solution. And whilst I don't have a bad relationship with my father (whose surname I have) the fact is that, as an adult, my partner is much more important in my life than my parents.

Not having a surname is a bureucratic nightmare, which is why I haven't dispensed with it (I have researched doing so), but I prefer not to use anything where possible, and for some purposes I use my given name and a truncated form of my middle name, albeit effectively as a surname.

I do have some purely personal reasons for wanting to dispense with a surname, but mostly it speaks to a set of traditions and ideas which just don't mean very much to me, and neither it nor anything I can substitute seem to really refer to me.

*I'm talking from a particular cultural perspective here, that I've grown up in - I understand other cultures may have other reasons.

Anonymous said...

At least in Oz women get a free name change when they marry, men don't. Cultural assumptions and all that. I like the solution of taking a completely unrelated last name for the whole family. Or something related like combining the two in a pleasing and unique manner, so Smith and Jones become Misones.

I'm tempted to change my name without getting married... because I don't want to get married. Maybe when we buy a house we will have to discuss making the relationship legally less complex (do not get me started in Oz's de facto laws).

FWIW, I used to take some pleasure in addressing mail to Mr {her name} in the olden days when I still posted deadwood about the place.

Moz
(or as some computer systems insist: first name=Moz, middle name=Moz, last name=Moz, so that's Mr Moz Moz Moz to you)

Alison said...

I find myself slightly disappointed too, as each friend changes her surname on marriage, mostly because while they and their husbands felt a wish to "share a name" I am yet to hear an example in New Zealand of a man who seriously considered changing his name to effect that (except my husband, who took my surname as a second middle name, and I took his in the same way).

I can't help noticing that there's much more emphasis on changing the name as a rite of passage in the media in the past decade. Certainly, there are very few NZers who seem to understand that a name change for either party is completely voluntary, and that when I request they use my "maiden" name, they should damn well do so, regardless of the formality of the setting.

Actually, I think a large part of the reason I'm disappointed when other women change their names on marriage is that I'm sick of being looked at sideways for not doing so. I would LOVE to have a bit more company - it never seemed that unusual to me before we got married, but it's a constant battle to get people to call me by the same name I always went by.

homepaddock said...

My niece married a bloke who took her name. She has sisters but no brothers and all her cousins are females so there was no male in her generation to carry on the name - although no reason why it can't be carried on by the women and their children.

I know several women who added their husband's name to theirs but none where the man also did the double-barrelled thing.

But whatever happens at marriage children still tend to take their father's name. While taking both is an option it gets a bit long if a double barrelled name marries a double barrelled name and adds that to theirs.

In Argentina (and possibly other Hispanic countries?) children take both parents names and when a woman marries she retains her father's name then adds de plus her husband's.

The de means of so eg Maria Blanco Negro becomes Maria Blanco de Roja (Maria White Black becomes Maria White of Red).

I like the way children get both parents names but hate that of.

hungrymama said...

Even if I were to do something as absurdly retro as get wed I can't see myself changing my name - choosing to share my life with someone does not take away my identity.

I get a lot of odd looks for having given my kids hyphenated surnames (what *will* they do when they get married and have kids of their own?). I, personally, find it hard to comprehend when a woman keeps her own surname as a matter of principle but then gives her kids their father's surname without a second thought. I have some friends who give their boys Dad's surname and their girls Mum's one which is a tidy solution although I think I'd find it impossible to resist the urge to keep having babies until I got a girl to give my name to.

Tui said...

I have some friends who give their boys Dad's surname and their girls Mum's one which is a tidy solution although I think I'd find it impossible to resist the urge to keep having babies until I got a girl to give my name to.

My parents did that and had a handy two of each, but I believe it's reasonably common to alternate - give the first child the mother's name, second father's name, etc. (I and my sister have my father's name as a middle name, and my brothers have my mother's name as a middle name, which has always felt like an ideal solution to me.)

I'd never give up my name, which is my mother's, and I'd never have children without making sure that some of them - if not all of them - had my name. However, I do get why people want to have the same last name as their kids - it does make some stuff, mostly related to schooling and identification, more convenient. That's just not sufficient to convince me to change my name.

Probably the only time it doesn't bug me when one partner, but not both, changes their name is in same-sex couples, because I understand a vested interest in demonstrating familiality (it still wouldn't be enough for me, but I "get" it.) I don't think het couples need that, frankly; there's already plenty of assumption of familiality.

Alison said...

Indeed, Tui. In fact, the most offensive argument I've come up against from people asking why I kept my name is "but don't you care if you don't share a name with your children?"

What's the answer to that?
Or at least, what is an answer to that which won't be perceived as a) callous b) selfish or c) cumbersome.

As it happens, I do care, because I don't want my kids to have only their father's surname, but I don't particularly feel the need to share a name with them. And the option we'll probably end up with, which is double-barrelled, is perceived as grossly inferior by most people. {sigh}

Hugh said...

A couple is seeking a formal acceptance both from their community and the state that their union is officially going to go the distance, something humans have been doing for a very, very, long time

Have they really been doing it for that long? Marriage is not as antiquated an institution as its defenders (and apparently its detractors) assume. Particularly not in the sense of 'seeking a formal acceptance... from the state'.

Hugh said...

My parents did that and had a handy two of each, but I believe it's reasonably common to alternate - give the first child the mother's name, second father's name, etc.

That's exactly what my parents did, only they had an accident which resulted in a third child. They flipped a coin, and the result is my brothers both have a different surname to me. Many people at our schools presumed we were half-brothers (admittedly, we don't look alike). Amusingly because I have a double-barrelled surname, a lot of people assume its a combination of my parent's names, which isn't the case.

Anonymous said...

"I suppose because along with changing the name comes with so many other expectations attached to it. That a husband's career will become the most important and the wife will do all the wifey (god I hate that term) duties like looking after the kids and cleaning the toilet.

Maybe and maybe not. Sometimes changing a name is just changing a name.

katy

Maia said...

I think I've only been to one wedding where a woman changed her name, and it was quite shock and talking point among some of the guests (even more so because he has some famous, evil, relatives, and I wouldn't want to go round life with that name, even if born to it).

I've also been to one wedding where the man changed his name (although itnerestingly at the wedding itself they were announced as 'Mr and Mrs Hisname' as kind of a compromise).

The naming girls after the mother's name and boys after the father's name rubs me the wrong way and I can't really articulate why. I think it just seems so randomly gender essentialist. I'm all for the kids having the motehr's name because when they're named she's the one who has done most of the work.

Azlemed said...

i got married at 20, so i hyphenated because my name is still part of me... we have toyed with the idea of hyphenating the kids names but have just given them their dads name. I do know of one couple that have joined their names together and the children have the same name too...

my sister hyphenated too, and when she separated she just dropped the last bit back to her name.

in nz you can just use either name when you are married, its not compulsory for either of you to change or not change names.

Hendo said...

You voiced my feeling exactly, ex-expat. In the end, I just don't fucking well understand how anyone can change their name. Even when my closest friends tell me that they want to have the same name as their kids, or they don't like their own name as much as his.

It all just sounds like a big excuse and it makes me sad. I just can't imagine being anyone else. My name is mine and I can't believe any man expects or wants any woman to give hers up. Or that women want to. Yet they do.

Unfortunately this means I get rather stroppy about people's new names and I refuse to try to remember them, which gets me into trouble...

Deborah said...

Unfortunately this means I get rather stroppy about people's new names and I refuse to try to remember them, which gets me into trouble...

Hmmmm.... yes... except that I also think that it's polite to call people by the name by which they want to be known. Which is why I get uptight when people call me Debbie. And I get annoyed when people call me Mrs [husband's last name].

And then there's the whole title thing. I don't use "Mrs" and I use "Ms" if I absolutely have to use a title, and very occasionally, "Dr" in a professional context, but really, I prefer to do without titles altogether.

Azlemed said...

i dont use mrs... i just cant... mrs (husbands last name) is not a nice person therefore the name has not nice connotations for me. I always use ms. i prefer to not be labeled by my marital status.

stargazer said...

name changing is something that was never done by muslim women, but this is changing due to the influence of western culture. of all the western traditions to adopt, why on earth would you pick this one?

but i remember back in the 70's and 80's even, women migrating to this country were forced to legally change their names to adopt their husband's surname. apparently they had to change the name on their passports before they could get into the country. grrr.

Anonymous said...

I find it really interesting that there is this idea that your surname somehow defines you as an individual. The purpose of surnames, also called "family names", is to locate you within the context of your family, they do not represent the inner essence of you. I can better understand the logic of refusing to use a surname or inventing a new one altogether than insisting on keeping the name you were born with and was bestowed on you due to a parental relationship. For one thing, you choose your partner whereas the name you end up with when you are born is one that you have much less control over. As Deleuze says, to be free it is necessary to be orphan.

katy

Hugh said...

What I find interesting is that when you marry somebody, you can't actually stop them from taking your surname on, even if you don't want them to.

ms poinsettia said...

I too have been amazed to see how many of my married friends have changed their name. I was obviously hiding under a rock because I was surprised and appalled when my sister-in-law adopted our last name. I thought nobody did that anymore unless they were of a more conservative/traditional mindset. And yet, in the last few years of weddings not one of the brides has kept their last name.

RE: anonymous's comment. It's not that your surname defines you, it's that over time it's become part of your identity. You develop with that name and everybody knows you by that name, both professionally and socially. For me, changing it feels like choosing anonymity. At best, for a while until your social and work circles adjust to your new name, and at worst, disconnecting you from your familial heritage (obviously this system of names already disconnects us from our maternal heritage... yet to figure out how to resolve this:)).

This issue is quite instinctive for me. What I mean is that when my bro insisted that I should take my partner's name, my immediate feeling was that it was like I was being 'kicked out' of my family merely because I'm the girl.

Alison said...

Katy, bear in mind that those of us who choose to keep the name we've always had are coming to that decision within a culture that insists on surnames (unless you're very famous), and mostly insists on patrilineal surnames. Many of us would take far more drastic actions if there weren't others around to take offense at our actions (with or without reason). I would also have been more inclined to take a new name with my husband, if I knew that everyone who met us wouldn't assume the shared name was his name.

I fully recognise that my choosing to keep my name, and deal with the attendant problems of naming children, is not a perfect solution, but I'm happy to take one step along the route to a point where names don't denote women as a possession of their husbands.

For me, it's little to do with my sense of personal identity - I simply do not want to continue the tradition of taking my husband's name. If, in decades' time, my own children choose to take entirely new surnames when they form families, I will be delighted. I hope by then they won't have to get married to a heterosexual partner to do be able to do so.

anna c said...

Well yes, Hugh, people can change their name to whatever they like (with a few exceptions). I'd be really concerned if being in a marriage with someone gave you control over whether they could change their name.

hungrymama said...

Katy - I think part of my identity is my role within my family and I've been part of that family for much longer than I've been a part of my partner's family. And, for many people, their partner may be the only member of his/her family they have any strong, positive relationship with.

Hugh said...

Anna c, such a situation it would indeed be problematic. But it would also be more consistent with the 'wife as husband's property' ethos that inspires the current names-in-marriage regime, so it makes me wonder why it isn't the case.

Hugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Katy - I think part of my identity is my role within my family and I've been part of that family for much longer than I've been a part of my partner's family.

I guess I see it quite differently. For one thing, even though my legal name has changed it doesn't mean that my "maiden" name has disappeared; people still use in on a very regular basis and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, I expect. Furthermore, as someone else mentioned, my previous surname was by no means adequate because it only represents one strand of my ancestry; I have always had a different name from my mother who has a different name from her mother. I feel ownership of all of their names, even though they aren't and have never been my legal name.

Anyway, sharing a name with my partner is not about being part of his family, it's about the new life and family that he and I create. I think the fact that it was an international marriage also made it seem more important that I take this step and I have noticed that there is a higher take up of name-chaning among my friends who married internationally. anyway, it's a decision that was made after some consideration and I don't think it was something I was oppressed into and I hope people don't pity me for not having my own mind.

katy

hungrymama said...

Anyway, sharing a name with my partner is not about being part of his family, it's about the new life and family that he and I create

So why not create a new name entirely? If it's about making a whole new family together why should only one of you have to renounce their old name?

muerk said...

I was happy to change my name to my husband's. I enjoy being Mr & Mrs...

I don't feel it takes anything away from me or my identity by changing my surname. Now after 11 years our family name is well and truly my own, it's my maiden name that sounds weird to me now. Given I was married at 24 I'll have my husband's name far longer than my father's (assuming I live until my 80's).

Anonymous said...

Get over it. It's a name, not all this gender inbalance, paternalist shit you talk about.

You have a choice you know. If he doesn't like it you don't have to marry him. Sheeeesh.

Lucy said...

I'm getting married in November. My first choice would be a civil union, but I want to go to the US for postgrad study, and I'm pretty sure that wouldn't fly for immigration purposes...oh well, we can always change it later.

I never once considered changing my name, though. My mother did, largely because she disliked her surname intensely, but it's just never been an option for me. I like my name, it's who I am; Lucy HusbandsName would be someone else. Plus, my husband-to-be got his surname at age ten when his mother married his stepfather, so it's not as if it means a lot to him, either. As for kids, we'll work it out when we get there.

Oh, and I did suggest that husband-to-be take my name, seeing as he's changed his once already, but he pointed out that this would subsume his identity quite as much as changing mine would do so for me, and so was equally unfair. Which is fair enough, really.

Julie said...

Great post the ex-expat, I share your frustrations, although, like you, I don't tell my name-changing friends as I respect their individual choices (even though I'd love to have a good rant).

I'd like to think if changing my name had been a deal breaker for my husband I'd have kicked him to the curb. Certainly an earlier boyfriend who had ideas of me fulfilling wifely duties (in a blue gingham dress I always imagined) did not last the distance, and we never even got to the name-change discussion.

Sadly deciding to keep your name does not mean others continue to call you what you've long been in my experience.

And Anon at 8.28am, bit early on a Sunday morning to be so grumpy surely? Thanks for coming along to deny the experiences of so many other people, it's just peachy to have your thoughtful contribution. /sarcasm

Anonymous said...

Julie, having read the old post I think that Wriggly Wood-Fairey would be a really cool name for a kid. But maybe that's the Nelson hippy kid side of me coming out.

Moz

Lucy said...

Sadly deciding to keep your name does not mean others continue to call you what you've long been in my experience.

Along those lines, but more amusingly, I know of a South African woman with a doctorate. She and her husband get a lot of letters addressed to "Dr and Mrs LastName" - because Dr LastName must be a man, right?

Anonymous said...

"So why not create a new name entirely? If it's about making a whole new family together why should only one of you have to renounce their old name?

Yes, I tend to think that this is the ideal solution and is an option I am still pondering for the future. When I changed my name I did so because I decided that was the best thing at that time but at no point did I consider it to be a terminal move. Names can be quite dynamic and I have seen this in older friends - one was married 10 years ago and has recently started using her husband's name more frequently in a hyphenated version, another friend who changed her name has recently been using her maiden name more. I have different preferences about my first name depending on the situation and in some contexts use my full name, in others the dimunitive. In some situations I continue to refer to myself by my maiden surname.

It's not as simple as "renouncing" one name for another and I think your comment above "have to renounce their old name" misses the point. The default legal option in NZ is to keep your name and it is a wee bit insulting to insist that people who change their names don't make a choice to do so but are pressured into it. Despite what people on here write about not giving friends a hard time about name changing I got harassed by a few people about the decision I made and I felt like I was putting myself out there by making the choice; in the circles I move in the easy option would certainly have been to keep my previous name.

katy

millsy said...

If and when I choose to get married, I dont expect my lady to take my last name, if she wants to, thats fine, if she doesnt, that is also fine, its up to her, its a whole personal choice thing. There is more to a marriage than names you know...

Hugh said...

I agree Katy, it seems that creating a whole new name would solve all the problems; those who don't want to subordinate themselves to their husbands could avoid that, and those who want to share a name with all of their children could avoid it. (Maia's solution of naming all the children after the mother also solves this problem, admittedly)

Unfortunately this is, while doable, legally the most difficult option. Both parents would have to get a name change by statutory declaration, which would cost them. Changing your name to your spouse's when you get married is, of course, free (once you've paid for the marriage, anyway)

Anonymous said...

Hugh, that is reminiscent of the Scandinavian practice (which is still used in Iceland) where your family name is patronymic, ie, you are [father's name]son or [father's name]dottir. It means that even in formal situations people are generally referred to by their first name and the family name is less relevant than in other western cultures.

katy

Julie said...

I find it frustrating that people do place so much weight on names when it comes to marrying and/or having children, yet no one ever suggests that my sister and I are no longer related just because we now have different last names (she changed hers when she married, after changing it as a young girl when my father adopted her, and initially having her biological father's surname). If anything we have more in common now that we are both adults than we did in the years we shared a family name.

hendo said...

@Katy: Actually, my surname *does* define me as an individual, because it is unusual, clearly marks me ethnically, and because I have an extremely common first name (Kate). I'm quite attached to it and unless your last name is Wanker I find it hard to believe all these people who say 'oh, I like his surname better, I'm just not that attached to mine'.

I just wish I also had my mother's maiden name as part of my name, too.

@Deborah: Yes, it's polite to call people by the name they prefer. Of course. It's just it makes it that much freaking harder for those of us who actually realise our choices affect others.

Plus, it's kind of like, payback for all those people who assume married women are Mrs Hislastname and refuse to call women by their real name. hehe.

hendo said...

Also the experiences of older women in my family scare me a little. A few of them have said to me 'I wish I'd never changed my last name' - my mum goes as far to insist that we have to put her maiden name on her tombstone. They don't understand why so many young women are still doing this.

And this is not from divorced women... This is from women who've all been married 25+ years.

Danielle said...

How did I miss this post on the first go-round?

Anyway. I never considered changing my name for one single moment. Ever. (I also got married in Las Vegas, of course, so classy traditionalism isn't exactly my strong suit to begin with.)

I'm really conflicted about the issue. I personally find the concept weird and retrograde, but I don't want to be judgey mcjudgingpants about other people's choices. Ehh. Difficult.

Jo said...

My husband & I both hypenated, so we have the same pair of last names. We're in the U.S.. We went together to the Social Security and driver's license offices to make the changes, and we didn't get any flack about it. I do sometimes run into counter-help people at the bank, pharmacy, etc. who want to give me only half my name, but I'm very matter of fact about saying 'actually, that's Averill-Snell" or 'no, it should be under A." My husband similarly insists on his name, even going so far as to write and correct a critic who called him by his bachelor name while reviewing a play he was in.
My friends have mostly either kept their own names intact or stuck the husband's surname onto the end. It was my husband who suggested our solution, and I love it.

Placebogirl said...

I did consider changing my last name, because I have to spell both my names over the phone or whenever I deal with any situation where they need the correct written spelling. His name would have meant I only had do spell one. Still, I have published under my maiden name, and it would have cost me a bomb to change it (by the time you get new credit cards, licenses, etc issued, you're looking at a few hundred dollars, I reckon) and so I stuck with mine.

If we have kids, they will probably get his name, but this is a considered decision: My stepdad was once pulled up travelling alone with my stepsis by border control, and they demanded proof he could travel with her with her mother's permission--unfortunately, her mother was dead. I really don't want my partner to get harassed for travelling with his own kids. Yes, yet another way the patriarchy hurts men, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of surprised that nobody knows any men who have taken their partner's last name. I suppose I thought it wouldn't be that rare - but then I've never really thought about it.

My partner just came out with 'I'll take your last name'. I am a feminist but we'd never really talked about it and I'd never given much thought to changing/not changing my name.

We didn't need to discuss it that much. I'm a journalist so I wouldn't change my name. And he just thought it would be nice for our future kids to have the same last name, and he's very close to my father. So he wanted to change his name to mine.

It was a relatively easy decision. I never would have taken his last name because my last name is incredibly important to me. It's nice that he wants to take mine. I didn't think it was that big of a thing though. I suppose it is quite rare.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that all my married female friends and cousins have taken their husbands surnames.

The other day I realised that a family is friends with my family have two teenage daughters, and both the daughters have taken their mothers surname. When my brother heard that he laughed and said, "we know who won that fight!" Which made me angry because he would never say that about any person who had been given their fathers surname (which is almost everybody that he knows). These two girls are the only people that I know of that have been given their mothers surnames only, yet my brother singles them out as examples of a woman (the mother) having more power over that decision than the husband.

My brother doesn't consider the countless other examples everywhere of a husband (apparantly) having more power than his wife over the decision of whose name their children should have.

When I marry I will name my daughters my surname. My sons can have my husbands surname. If we happen to have only daughters I guess my brother will see me also as a "woman who has all the power" over the naming decision. Blah Blah. I like my surname. I want to keep it on marriage. I want to pass it onto my kids. My brother accepts that as normal if it is what "men" want to do, but as inappropriate and (as promoting their interests over their husbands interests) when women want to do that.

AMELIA