Friday, April 28, 2006

selections from my inbox

From a friend:
will you blog about the number of female sociology 
graduate students i have met recently who have taken
or will be taking their husband's last name upon getting
married? i met yet another one today.
this makes me crazy!!!!
I have no opinion on this. My stance is that women can do whatever they want with their last name after they get married, unless they are marrying me, in which case they can do whatever they want except change their last name to "Freese." Do know, all you surname-switching-sociology-sisters out there, that you are driving a friend of mine crazy. Know also that, if there is any common thread running through friends of mine, it is that they do not have to be driven very far to be across the border and into locoland, if you know what I mean.

From a stranger:
Prof. Freese,
You seem like a really cool guy, and I was wondering
if you could answer a quesion for me. What is the
first thing you look at when examining results
corresponding to regression analysis? Unstandardized,
standardized, t tests?
The first thing I look at is the variable names. Then I look at the unstandardized coefficients. Then I look at the p-values, although only that if I know/have looked at the number of observations. Then, usually, I look at my e-mail for awhile and maybe some blogs.


Anonymous said...

If a woman keeps 'her' name, she's still using a man's: her father's. Not exactly subverting the patriarchy. Having said that, if I were a woman, and were getting married, I'd keep my surname for continuity with what appears on my degrees, etc.

Anonymous said...

The irony is that I'm supposed to be looking at some regression results right now, but here I am on your blog.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

I was thinking today that if I got married, I would like my children to have my last name, too, which seems more crazy liberal.

When my parents moved to southeast Missouri, many people were incapable of understanding that my parents were in fact still married but just had different last names, even after having it explained multiple times.

Omar said...

Your future wife could be Mrs. Freeze. Problem solved.

A+ said...

My friends wanted to do that thing where they both took a blend of their last names, but they kept ending up with, like, Poopkiss and stuff. They ended up keeping their own names.

carly said...

Funny thing, even after explaining several times to my grandparents that I kept my name, I keep getting mail addressed to Carly Holden from them. It doesn't really bother me per se. Nothing wrong with that name. I just thought, in particular, that my Dad's parents wouldn't have such a hard time with it, given that one of their daughters-in-law kept her last name.

As to any (not-so-near-)future kids, I think I'd like to call them "Scholden" hehe. Or not.

Tonya said...

Many of my female friends changed their name too, even those with advanced degrees and who married years after they had established themselves in their careers. Years after I married, some of them would still send me holiday cards and the like using my (former) spouse's surname. I'd say: "Hey, you remember that I didn't change my name, right?" They'd say "Oh yeah, right." But it was as if they just didn't take my keeping-my-own-name thing seriously.

Kim said...

Of the 16 kids in my son's day care, only one has parents with the same last name. Curiously (or perhaps not), Bailey is also the only child in the class whose parents are nonacademic staff rather than faculty or academic staff. (My son's day care is run by my university, and gives first priority to children of faculty and staff.)

jeremy said...

Regarding Bailey, I wonder if parents are more likely to give a child a first name that's a common surname is the child is going to have the same last name as both parents.

Anonymous said...

I often look at the sign of the unstandardized coefficients, but don't actually register the value of the coefficients, until after I've looked at the p-value.
I feel a bit guilty about this.

Belle Reve said...

I always those who asked, my animals had a hyphenated last name "so they could inherit."

Kim said...

Jeremy: Maybe. Then again, we named our son Quinn. (Jeff and I don't share a last name. It would, in fact, be rather unusual if we did, given that we're not married.)

Teddy Love said...

HEY, I'm a "surname-switching(and switching and switching)-sociology-sister" and I say to all the "their-surname-changes-are-making-me-crazy-cause-they're-not-subverting-the-patriarchy-enough-or-whatever-sisters" back off!!! OK, I know, I know, if I wanted to get rid of my father's surname so badly, I should have just legally changed it to Teddy Love when I had the chance (since a certain someone was ready to foot the bill ... $140 in Wisconsin, no small potatoes). But trust me, I actually had a plan, which never caught on, by the way ... keep getting married and divorced and changing my surname until I drive everyone crazy enough that they give up keeping up with my surname and I become ((drum roll)) "just Teddy" ((jazz hands)).

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that there could be so many among us that are so unenlightened!

That was my snarky comment but, truly, if one is really being driven crazy by women taking their husband's names, maybe one needs to turn some attention to themselves. Living in a race and class integrated neighborhood? Always buying local, free-range and organic? What are you driving and are you driving it as infrequently as possible?

Married women have enough crapola to deal with! As a new mother who kept her name but is now in the unenviable position of trying to succesfully execute the "super mom" role and finish my dissertation, etc, I can tell you the last thing a married female sociologist needs from her peers is a guilt trip.

dick said...

Maybe I missed something along the way but I thought the whole idea of women's liberation was that women should be free to make their own decisions. Apparently your friend/co-worker missed the lesson that the individual should make up her own mind, not make up her own mind so long as it agreed with what your friend/co-worker thought. Strange that you are free to do what you like so long as you decide to do what I think you should like. Just precisely how is that different from letting your partner make the decisions other than the person involved is not involved with you. It just seems so totally bizarre to me that anyone should bother their little selves about whether someone else chose to take the surname of the partner. It is their business exactly how????

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with individually judging women who change their names upon marriage. We live in a sexist society, and how people structure their own lives within that is going to vary. I don't think you can just ape the choices we would expect people to make in a non-sexist society, partly because we don't fully know what they are.

That said, I don't think people should react so harshly to the person who wrote the original email. One can wonder - and indeed, I do - about how many women do choose to change their names, and to be dismayed by the pattern, without moralizing about individual people making this choice.

If this were just a matter of "women being free to do what they want" -- with no larger social forces at play -- we'd expect an approximately equal number of men and women to change their names, right? Or we'd expect other arrangements that didn't always come down to women changing their names, children getting their father's name, etc.

Clearly (and I hope no one would disagree with this) there's something more going on than women just choosing what they want to do. But then I think it's perfectly appropriate to wonder about *and be very frustrated by* the larger pressures at work.