Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Who else forgot to get married?

177 Responses

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  • B Jones,

    I used to have a workmate who felt that Ms was for divorcees. It seemed a bit of a conservative approach to me, much like wedding invitation rules where a divorced couple is indicated by the ex-wife using her first name, eg Mr John Smith and Mrs Joan Smith, rather than Mr and Mrs John Smith wish to invite etc.

    As someone who's written lots to people I don't know, I'm very much in favour of a general purpose title that doesn't require you to know much about the recipient. Dear firstname lastname sounds too impersonal, Dear firstname too informal. Dear title surname is usually much better sounding, where you have that information.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    If I have to use a title, I use "Ms", except at work where I use my academic title. Or if some f^%*&! patronises me.

    It seems to have orginated as a way of referring to a woman without indicating her marital status: NYT: On language - "Ms". But it's not really equivalent to "Madame" as an indicator of grown-up-ness, which is a shame. I'd really like to be able to use a title that indicated, "adult woman" rather than "married woman" or "unmarried woman" or "woman about whose marital status I am unsure" or "woman who prefers not to be known by her marital status".

    I think Megan's point is excellent: why the hell shouldn't an older woman proudly use the title, "Miss"?

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Emma Hart wrote :

    Our kids have my partner’s surname, and my surname as a middle name. Pretty sure that’s not uncommon.

    That's what we did. However they got an extra middle name as well, making their official full names rather hard to fit on certain countries' immigration cards. But we did choose the names to make good initials, CAM and JEM, should they ever tire of their first names, and/or want a nickname.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 430 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I think the vast majority of humanity did not stay in Africa. Vastly more humans left Africa and colonised the rest of the planet than stayed.

    Short version - only a small number (?hundreds) of H.s.s. modern humans left Africa, these representing one small part of the much greater numbers and diversity of modern humans scattered over the vastness of (sub-Saharan) Africa, and founded the rest of humanity, picking up a small admixture of H.s. neanderthalensis (Europe-MiddleEast-centred) early on in that process. Except in the northern fringe of Africa much later, no return flow.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to B Jones,

    I think the community has a legitimate interest in making sure children's family relationships are positive and enduring, but that doesn't mean "marriage" is a proxy for that.

    Exactly the problem with the local response from Family Fist, Colin Craig et al.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to B Jones,

    s someone who’s written lots to people I don’t know, I’m very much in favour of a general purpose title that doesn’t require you to know much about the recipien

    As someone who receives lots of mail-physical & e- may I say I hate titular addresses?

    You call me/write to me as Keri Hulme I'll happily respond...otherwise...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to ChrisW,

    V. succinct summation!
    Wasnt there remains of a kid discovered a couple of years ago that suggested there had been interbreeding bwtn. H.sap.N & H.sap. sap?

    Fascinating slideside-alley/cave: it is possible that there were FOUR different species of h.sap around at the same time...

    Anybody else read "The Ugly Little Boy"?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    we did choose the names to make good initials

    onya

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to SteveH,

    I don’t think you could do that if the name in one of your passports did not match the name on your ticket.

    I actually have done this several times - I'm not sure why I've never been stopped. (The disadvantage of doing it is that you can get a letter some weeks later saying "you have left the country permanently, start paying interest on your student loan" because you leave on one passport and return on the other. "But I'm right here!")

    But to them and me it should be none of anyone’s business why or if you changed your name, just as it should not be anyones business why or if you didn’t change your name.

    On an individual level, yes. But on a societal level, you do have to note that these choices are made within a particular context, and are part of a larger pattern. I'm all about choosing your choice, but I also think it's wilfully obtuse to ignore how those choices seem to go overwhelmingly one way. Particularly when one survey (I tweeted about this a while back, as I recall) in the USA found that about 50% of its respondents thought that women should be legally REQUIRED to change their names upon marriage. Crazypants!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Danielle,

    But on a societal level, you do have to note that these choices are made within a particular context, and are part of a larger pattern. I’m all about choosing your choice, but I also think it’s wilfully obtuse to ignore how those choices seem to go overwhelmingly one way.

    Yes! Exactly so.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,

    in the USA ... Crazypants!

    goes without saying :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Sacha,

    Exactly the problem with the local response from Family Fist, Colin Craig et al.

    But it wasn't really a response - the whole story was generated by them and their mates. The link above doesn't give a byline, but the original Waikato Times story does, and it's this former Maxim communications officer who wrote the original (well, inspired by UK stories) piece.

    It's all very nice sharing our stories about names and kids etc, but I can't get past the fact that this friendly discussion has been prompted by people trying to whip up condemnation and discrimination against our families. Isn't a little outrage in order?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Nat, in reply to Danielle,

    On an individual level, yes. But on a societal level, you do have to note that these choices are made within a particular context, and are part of a larger pattern. I’m all about choosing your choice, but I also think it’s wilfully obtuse to ignore how those choices seem to go overwhelmingly one way.

    Exactement!

    And, to redress that overwhelming imbalance, some of us have to choose to (if we are priviledged enough to be able to) go the other way.

    Sydney • Since Jun 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to B Jones,

    Isn’t a little outrage in order?

    Honestly? I think it's too dumb for outrage. Mocking, sure, but outrage? Our society completely accepts children born "out of wedlock". They're not going to make any headway on that. Debate is not, in fact, raging. When I had my son, out of wedlock, in 1995, at 23, to a guy that, so far as my family knew, I'd pretty much just hooked up with, even my 80 year old aunt wasn't shocked. My extraordinarily conservative West Coast National-voting Catholic cousin wasn't shocked.

    I've been condemned for a whole bunch of stuff in my time. No-one has ever mentioned my bastard children. I've had more shit about parenting while not-straight.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4378 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Even if it doesn’t work, it still annoys me that someone’s trying. We’re not about to descend into ethnic separatist civil war, but it still angers me when someone tries to give us a push in that direction. Even if life will mostly continue on peacefully as it has before, there are any number of little ways life could be made more unpleasant for people who aren’t as insulated from social conservatism as I am. At the social welfare office, say. At the adoption office or fertility clinic or family Christmas dinner. It’s not a good thing and has its cost, even if it’s a hopeless cause.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Islander,

    You call me/write to me as Keri Hulme I’ll happily respond…otherwise…

    What about "The Right Awesome Keri Hulme", or similar? I mean, if people can be "Right Honorable" and/or "Very Reverend", I don't see why we can't invent other complimentary honorifics.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to B Jones,

    But it wasn't really a response - the whole story was generated by them and their mates. The link above doesn't give a byline, but the original Waikato Times story does, and it's this former Maxim communications officer who wrote the original (well, inspired by UK stories) piece.

    The sole comment in that article points out:

    "Lets not confuse children being born out of wedlock, with children being born to mothers where the father buggers off before the child is born....the issue is bigger than marital status.

    My partner and I are unmarried and have been boyfriend and girlfriend since we were in college (18 years ago). We have a 2 year old daughter, own our own home and provide a stable loving family environment, does it matter we arent married ?"

    And how. Deadbeat parents - especially, but not limited to, dads - are the real issue, rather than actual family structures. From the limited info I can find via Google, going after deadbeat dads is somehow framed as misandry. It rings hollow, when the anti-welfarist Newt Gingrich is perhaps the most infamous and hypocritical deadbeat of the lot. And anyone notice that Paula Bennett seems to have a disproportionate focus on 'promiscuous women' compared with deadbeat dads?

    As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a kid.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    What about “The Right Awesome Keri Hulme”, or similar? I mean, if people can be “Right Honorable” and/or “Very Reverend”, I don’t see why we can’t invent other complimentary honorifics.

    "Your Awesomeness": what a greeting!

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2634 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Hebe,

    “Your Awesomeness”: what a greeting!

    I think this would be Jeff Spicoli's preferred honorific.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Anthony Behrens Esq,

    .I used to love watching people's reaction when I described my partner as a builder...no matter how liberal they thought they were, there would always be a slight pause as they assessed my sexuality.

    Our biggest problem is that we named our children with double barrelled names, but each one was in a different order...we can never remember who has what name...not good when you're trying to negotiate the health system...doh!

    Manawatu • Since Nov 2012 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    no(wo)menclature?

    ...kids with just the one surname sometimes seem to lack adornment.

    wanting some kind of 'Mum-bling' perhaps?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to ChrisW,

    only a small number

    hmmm ok more humans stayed in Africa than left Africa at that time. But vastly more humans existing now derive from those that left. So the majority of humans, not just Europeans, have some trace of neanderthalensis.

    As for return flow - that's very very difficult to assess - because of the very diversity that remains in Africa. The problem is that we don't have the results in yet from all the recent sequencing of African populations. Personally it wouldn't surprise me to find a lot of neanderthalensis traces in African populations as well. But it could be true that they never stooped that low :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • David Chittenden, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    Mate, dunno how your sister could get it so wrong.

    obviously she’d be Karen Double Brown.

    OK, I’ll get me coat etc and so on…

    Haha! Excellent

    Since May 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I think it's too dumb for outrage. Mocking, sure

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    It's interesting to read Bob McCoskries neo-conservatism and these comments through the lens of where I live now (South Korea). My fiance-but-not-really of six years and I are leaving here soon, and marriage is inevitably brought up when we tell anyone that we're leaving. That is, of course, if it hasn't been brought up already after finding out we've been together for six years (gasp - not married) and live together (bigger gasp - not married!).

    Every Korean person I talk to assumes we will get married - it's not so much desirable as a pre-requisite for being a socially legitimate couple. For my partner, it is a vital part of being a legitimate woman. For my part, apparently I should lock my partner down with a ring ASAP before she finds someone else who she'd rather marry. It's interesting to see how they view it compared to our: "healthy relationship first, marriage superfluous luxury" perspective.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 39 posts Report Reply

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