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Adopting Husband's Name

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I'm taking it you've never heard Ayn Rand speak on the subject, then...

No, I havent heard her speak on 'worshipping' someone. Can you cite or quote some passages instead of being vaguely condescending?

Admiring and respecting is alot different than 'worshipping' to me, worshipping is too much like 'unconditional admiration' to me to use it in this regard, though my adopted definition of the word might not be common. My admiration and respect for someone is highly conditional.

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I'm fortunate enough to have the cool last name "Edge," which Kelly prefers to "Koenig."

I'd accept it if my wife wanted to keep her name, but I prefer that she take my name. I never thought about it before Stella raised the issue, but I would have been really disappointed if Kelly didn't want to take my name. I think it is a sexuality issue, as Inspector indicated. Also, there's a lot of symbolism in sharing the same name, and there are other benefits, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

That said, it's not a moral issue. If a woman wants to keep her name, it's her right.

--Dan Edge

(emphasis mine)

I agree, and that's part of why I'm so conflicted about it. I need to decide which comes higher in my hierarchy of values -- keeping my name, which is perfectly suited to me and my line of work, or the visible symbol of my love and admiration for my man? (We are not engaged, for the record; I only thought of it because the subject came up in passing -- in fact, it was my 13-year-old niece who precociously asked us about it.) If my last name were anything other than what it is, this wouldn't even be a question for me (especially since I like his last name).

As others have mentioned, there are ways to have both, but they're not entirely satisfying to me. Hyphenation would produce a sixteen-letter, six-syllable mouthful, and I suspect most people when addressing me would shorten it by dropping his last name. Using my last name as a middle name probably means that people will drop my name when referring to me. My last name appeals to me only as it is, so merging it with his name to form a new name would be less satisfying than simply taking his.

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No, I havent heard her speak on 'worshipping' someone. Can you cite or quote some passages instead of being vaguely condescending?

Admiring and respecting is alot different than 'worshipping' to me, worshipping is too much like 'unconditional admiration' to me to use it in this regard, though my adopted definition of the word might not be common. My admiration and respect for someone is highly conditional.

This is the best passage I could find so far in regards to this, it sets the context and meaning quite well:

The issue is primarily psychological. It involves a woman's fundamental view of life, of herself and of her basic values. For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero worship—the desire to look up to man. "To look up" does not mean dependence, obedience, or anything implying inferiority. It means an intense kind of admiration; and admiration is an emotion that can be experienced only by a person of strong character and independent value judgments. A "clinging vine" type of woman is not an admirer, but an exploiter of men. Hero worship is a demanding virtue: a woman has to be worthy of it and of the hero she worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, she has to be his equal; then the object of her worship is specifically his masculinity, not any human virtue she might lack.

This does not mean that a feminine woman feels or projects hero worship for any and every individual man; as human beings, many of them may, in fact, be her inferiors. Her worship is an abstract emotion for the metaphysical concept of masculinity as such—which she experiences fully and concretely only for the man she loves, but which colors her attitude toward all men. This does not mean that there is a romantic or sexual intention in her attitude toward all men; quite the contrary: the higher her view of masculinity, the more severely demanding her standards. It means that she never loses the awareness of her own sexual identity and theirs. It means that a properly feminine woman does not treat men as if she were their pal, sister, mother—or leader.

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(Ayn Rand from "About a Woman President")

The issue is primarily psychological. It involves a woman's fundamental view of life, of herself and of her basic values. For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero worship—the desire to look up to man.

This is probably the most direct issue, along with homosexuality, that I take issue with Rand on. I do not think she had sufficiently elevated individuality, and the choices an individual makes about thier lives and values, to the degree it deserves. This hints too much of some 'proper' psychological attitude based on some form of natural or genetic tendancy. I don't see the essence of feminitity as hero worship, as that implies a) that women could not be heroes and B) that men must look down to women, pscyhologically.

Perhaps what I mean by having a woman admire and respect me is similiar to what is meant by you and others in this thread, but this emotioned portrayed by Rand here is not consistent with what I would desire in a relationship based on mutual admiration and respect.

"To look up" does not mean dependence, obedience, or anything implying inferiority. It means an intense kind of admiration; and admiration is an emotion that can be experienced only by a person of strong character and independent value judgments.

If "to look up" does not imply inferiority? and means merely a kind of intense admiration? can a man 'look up to' a woman, and why must a woman desire to look up to a man?

Hero worship is a demanding virtue: a woman has to be worthy of it and of the hero she worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, she has to be his equal; then the object of her worship is specifically his masculinity, not any human virtue she might lack.

This all seems like Rand is reaching here to justify hero worship as a proper pyschological mode for women in a romantic relationship. For a woman to worship a man, she has to be his equal? To desire to look up to him, she has to be his equal?

This does not mean that a feminine woman feels or projects hero worship for any and every individual man; as human beings, many of them may, in fact, be her inferiors. Her worship is an abstract emotion for the metaphysical concept of masculinity as such—which she experiences fully and concretely only for the man she loves, but which colors her attitude toward all men. This does not mean that there is a romantic or sexual intention in her attitude toward all men; quite the contrary: the higher her view of masculinity, the more severely demanding her standards. It means that she never loses the awareness of her own sexual identity and theirs.

If her worship is an abstract emotion for the metaphyscial concept of masculanity (her views and values on masculanity) than what is the nature of the mans abstract emotions for the metaphysical concept of femininity? That of 'worshipping' him really well? In this statement, 'worship' should be replaced with high admiration or similiar, because worship (to me) seems like it can only be one sided. Can a husband and wife really 'worship' each other, and still have the word worship make sense (especially considering that Rand says it should include a woman looking up to a man) if not than it is necessarily a one sided emotion which is rooted in one entity being submissive, passive, or inferior to the other.

It means that a properly feminine woman does not treat men as if she were their pal, sister, mother—or leader.

What is left then? fan? inferior?

I don't want to be worshipped, I wish to be admired, and admired only by a person whom I admire as well. I do not wish to be a leader to a woman, nor be led by her. I don't want a student or an apprentice but someone who stimulates me physically, emotionally, and intellectually as much as I do her. Someone who challenges me and who can be challenged by me.

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While I understand what Rand is getting at in Intellectualammo's above quote, I still do not like the term worship. I prefer the term admire, which she also uses. Perhaps it's because the women of my generation do not have many heroes (men) to worship?? I don't mean that as a dig on men, but if men wish to be worshiped as heroes, they could at least not let the door slam in my face at the store or run me over on the sidewalk with a skateboard or motorcycle. (Yes, I actually had to move out of the way, on a sidewalk in the front door of the grocery store, to make way for a jerk on a Harley. Since when are motorcycles allowed on sidewalks??)

Anyway, I still do not see why worshiping a hero is a reason to change my identity. And I wonder where this tradition began anyway? (I suspect Christianity.) The last several paragraphs of this web page seem to confirm that. (See Conclusion and Author's Thoughts.) Not sure how accurate it is, but I had some trouble finding info online and need to get back to work. I will be curious to see if anyone else has some insight on this tradition and its origins.

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Perhaps it's because the women of my generation do not have many heroes (men) to worship??

That is exactly right. We have had a discussion about this few months ago.

Feminine hero worship is just an abstract concept. It it is a general orientation toward romantic interest, a desirable (highly pleasurable) psychological state. I would describe it as a deep veneration, enthrall, which gives rise to sexual intension.

One can argue that the term does not describe it well but at the same time I can't think of anything better.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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It's definitely more universal than that. In some traditions, the wife takes on a new first name as well!!

I know name changing occurs in many cultures, but I'm wondering, specifically, where the American tradition of a woman taking her husband's surname due to marriage originated. (And I'm glad no one here is suggesting that we completely wipe out our identities by changing our first names too!) B)

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While I understand what Rand is getting at in Intellectualammo's above quote, I still do not like the term worship.

That's interesting. I have no problem worshipping women, the ones I adore for various reasons. I put them on a pedestal as objects of desire.

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That's interesting. I have no problem worshiping women, the ones I adore for various reasons. I put them on a pedestal as objects of desire.

First, it's difficult to find a definition of this word that does not have to do with religion, and second, I do not want to be worshiped. I want to be loved, admired, adored and respected, not treated like some sort of deity that expects to be bowed down to.

Edited for grammar

Edited by K-Mac

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I know name changing occurs in many cultures, but I'm wondering, specifically, where the American tradition of a woman taking her husband's surname due to marriage originated. (And I'm glad no one here is suggesting that we completely wipe out our identities by changing our first names too!) B)

Actually it wasn't all that long ago that it was customary for women to sign their name "Mrs. John Smith". I could understand "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" when they are together (but would prefer "Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith"), but that just blows my mind when I see old articles, etc., where that was done. I've even seen a woman list her name in similar fashion--as the winner of a national championship!

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First, it's difficult to find a definition of this word that does not have to do with religion

Rand wrote in the introduction to the 20th Anniversary Edition of TF:

Religion's monopoly in the field of ethics has made it extremely difficult to communicate the emotional meaning and connotations of a rational view of life. Just as religion has preempted the field of ethics, turning morality against man, so it has usurped the highest moral concepts of our language, placing them outside this earth and beyond man's reach. "Exaltation" is usually taken to mean an emotional state evoked by contemplating the supernatural. "Worship" means the emotional experience of loyalty and dedication to something higher than man. "Reverence" means the emotion of a sacred respect, to be experienced on one's knees. "Sacred" means superior to and not-to-be touched -by any concerns of man or of this earth. Etc.

But such concepts do name actual emotions, even though no supernatural dimension exists; and these emotions are experienced as uplifting and ennobling, without the self-abasement required by religious definitions. What then, is their source or referent in reality? It is the entire emotional realm of man's dedication to a moral ideal. Yet apart from the man-degrading aspects introduced by religion, that emotional realm is left unidentified, without concepts, words or recognition.

It is this highest level of man's emotions that has to be redeemed from the murk of mysticism and redirected at its proper object: man.

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Rand wrote in the introduction to the 20th Anniversary Edition of TF:

Be that as it may, if you are speaking to someone and they do not know the meaning of your words and they reference several sources to find their meanings, they will not find the ones Rand speaks of. When in Rome...

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When in Rome...
Thank goodness I try not to stay in Rome very often. :)The question is, if you're not "in Rome", how do you feel about the statement?
It's definitely more universal than that. In some traditions, the wife takes on a new first name as well!!
And in some tradition, like Latin America, name changing is matriarchal. That is the surname follows the mothers side of the family. Which make this whole thing all the more arbitrary since latin America couldn't be anymore macho.

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Can you cite or quote some passages instead of being vaguely condescending?

I can; although I'll note that my tone was in line with the tone I was responding to.

For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero worship—the desire to look up to man. "To look up" does not mean dependence, obedience, or anything implying inferiority. It means an intense kind of admiration; and admiration is an emotion that can be experienced only by a person of strong character and independent value judgments. A "clinging vine" type of woman is not an admirer, but an exploiter of men. Hero worship is a demanding virtue: a woman has to be worthy of it and of the hero she worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, she has to be his equal; then the object of her worship is specifically his masculinity, not any human virtue she might lack.

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I'm sort of stunned that folks have made it through both The Fountainhead and Atlas, and still have a revulsion to the use of the word worship as regards love. How did you make it through the book and enjoy it, for she characterized such things in concretes. Just a few...

Wynand: "What will you say if I give you the answer people usually give me—that love is forgiveness?"

Dominique: "I'll say it's an indecency of which you're not capable—even though you think you're an expert in such matters."

"Or that love is pity."

"Oh, keep still. It's bad enough to hear things like that. To hear them from you is revolting—even as a joke."

"What's your answer?"

"That love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. But they don't know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who've never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and <tf_445> they call it love. Once you've felt what it means to love as you and I know it—the total passion for the total height—you're incapable of anything less."

[Again Dominique and Wynand]She saw no apology, no regret, no resentment as he looked at her. It was a strange glance; she had noticed it before; a glance of simple worship. And it made her realize that there is a stage of worship which makes the worshiper himself an object of reverence.

Ahead of them, she saw a wooden pier projecting into the water of the lake. A young woman lay stretched on the sun-flooded planks, watching a battery of fishing rods. She glanced up at the sound of the car, then leaped to her feet in a single swift movement, a shade too swift, and ran to the road. She wore slacks, rolled above the knees of her bare legs, she had dark, disheveled hair and large eyes. Galt waved to her.

"Hello, John! When did you get in?" she called.

"This morning," he answered, smiling and driving on.

Dagny jerked her head to look back and saw the glance with which the young woman stood looking after Galt. And even though hopelessness, serenely accepted, was part of the worship in that glance, she experienced a feeling she had never known before: a stab of jealousy.

Then she was conscious of nothing but the sensations of her body, because her body acquired the sudden power to let her know her most complex values by direct perception. Just as her eyes had the power to translate wave lengths of energy into sight, just as her ears had the power to translate vibrations into sound, so her body now had the power to translate the energy that had moved all the choices of her life, into immediate sensory perception it was not the pressure of a hand that made her tremble; but the instantaneous sum of its meaning, the knowledge that it was his hand, that it moved as if her flesh were his possession, that its movement was his signature of acceptance under the whole of that achievement which was herself—it was only a sensation of physical pleasure, but it contained her worship of him, of everything that was his person and his life—from the night of the mass meeting in a factory in Wisconsin, to the Atlantis of a valley hidden in the Rocky Mountains, to the triumphant mockery of the green eyes of the superlative intelligence above a worker's figure at the foot of the tower—it contained her pride in herself and that it should be she whom he had chosen as his mirror, that it should be her body which was now giving him the sum of his existence, as his body was giving her the sum of hers. These were the things it contained—but what she knew was only the sensation of the movement of his hand on her breasts.

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First, it's difficult to find a definition of this word that does not have to do with religion, and second, I do not want to be worshiped. I want to be loved, admired, adored and respected, not treated like some sort of deity that expects to be bowed down to.

Edited for grammar

It's not meant that way. It's like when a man says a woman is a goddess to him, it usually means he values her at the highest of levels. And the value is both spiritual and physical, and real, not artificial and unreal like a deity. The value has to be both spiritual and physical in the case of romance.

When a man gets down on a knee and proposes to a woman, that's bowing down to. He does it because he wants her to know how much she means to him. I would never categorize it the way you put it. It's more like "you're the most amazing woman I've ever known, I desire you, you mean the world to me."

To be sure, this is only possible with the right woman for any particular man.

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This hints too much of some 'proper' psychological attitude based on some form of natural or genetic tendancy.

It does - the natural or genetic tendency is the natural difference between men and women.

I don't see the essence of feminitity as hero worship, as that implies a) that women could not be heroes and B ) that men must look down to women, pscyhologically.

Sexually speaking, it does imply that.

can a man 'look up to' a woman

Not and have the slightest hope of a romantic relationship with her. Not and have the least bit of masculinity in the context of doing so.

For a woman to worship a man, she has to be his equal? To desire to look up to him, she has to be his equal?

She has to be on his level - worthy of him - in terms of being a human being. I.e. in terms of her attributes other than qua masculine and feminine. Not exactly equal but roughly so - at least on the same level as him. Too low and she couldn't spark his interest - too high and she would kill his masculinity in terms of their relationship.

If her worship is an abstract emotion for the metaphyscial concept of masculanity (her views and values on masculanity) than what is the nature of the mans abstract emotions for the metaphysical concept of femininity?

According to Dr. Peikoff in his lecture Love, Sex, and Romance, Rand’s view was that strength is the essence of masculinity and worship of strength is the essence of femininity. The masculine is being a hero and the feminine is hero worship.

worship (to me) seems like it can only be one sided.

That is correct. The man does not worship the woman.

Can a husband and wife really 'worship' each other, and still have the word worship make sense (especially considering that Rand says it should include a woman looking up to a man)

No. It goes one way.

if not than it is necessarily a one sided emotion which is rooted in one entity being submissive, passive, or inferior to the other.

Sexually, yes. Qua masculinity and femininity, yes. Although not "inferior" in the way you're thinking it.

I don't want a student or an apprentice but someone who stimulates me physically, emotionally, and intellectually as much as I do her.

That is what is meant by being "equal" - i.e. on the same level - in terms of one's other attributes.

But you mentioned "physically." Do you want a woman physically strong enough to best you or draw you in arm wrestling? That question right there is key to understanding this issue.

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That's interesting. I have no problem worshipping women, the ones I adore for various reasons. I put them on a pedestal as objects of desire.

To those women, you won't be masculine. If you don't intend to date them, then that might not be so bad.

But being an Eddie to some Dagny is no way to go through life, son. Eddies don't get Dagnys. Get off your knees, boy, and be a man. ;)

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That's interesting. I have no problem worshipping women, the ones I adore for various reasons. I put them on a pedestal as objects of desire.

To those women, you won't be masculine. If you don't intend to date them, then that might not be so bad.

What you're doing is seeing her as your object of desire, as the sweetest thing on earth for which you'd do almost anything: climb the highest mountain, fight a war, build an empire. It’s all about being masculine, by fighting for your values, and such a woman would by your highest value, next to yourself.

A woman you don't have to fight for isn't going to be a woman you're going to be much interested in.

But being an Eddie to some Dagny is no way to go through life, son. Eddies don't get Dagnys. Get off your knees, boy, and be a man. ;)

You don’t get on your knees to her, save for when proposing marriage and perhaps in other rare situations. But what you do is go out of your way to show her that you value her immensely. A girl such as I speak of would be my absolute passion, and to be protected and cherished unlike anything else I have.

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The question is, if you're not "in Rome", how do you feel about the statement?

I understand where Rand was going with her statement and use of the word worship, it's just not a word I prefer to use due to its more familiar meaning.

When a man gets down on a knee and proposes to a woman, that's bowing down to.

And I get all of that. I really do. I hope I am treated that way one day. I just don't like the term "worship."

Edited by K-Mac

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That's interesting. I have no problem worshipping women, the ones I adore for various reasons. I put them on a pedestal as objects of desire.

I do not worship women. I do not worship men either, for that matter.

The women I love, I love. But I do not venerate them. To me the word worship is an emotion that is removed from understanding. Worship implies awe and reverence, and I am not awed by something that I truly understand. And since I can not truly love something that I do not understand, if I love a woman it is not possible for me to worship them.

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What you're doing is seeing her as your object of desire, as the sweetest thing on earth for which you'd do almost anything: climb the highest mountain, fight a war, build an empire. It’s all about being masculine, by fighting for your values, and such a woman would by your highest value, next to yourself.

A woman you don't have to fight for isn't going to be a woman you're going to be much interested in.

I agree! But in my case, I really wasn't seeing her as an "object of desire". But you don't even have to go so far as to climb mountains, build empires, fight wars...what if you are so inspired by that person...you learn how to write?

But what you do is go out of your way to show her that you value her immensely.

Oh, yes. I agree and have done so in my past. Though I'm pretty sure I actually liked the persons words more than I did them. I'm not saying I didn't like them as a person, it's just, my sole focus was always on their words, more than the writer of them. I then wasn't sure if what I was doing was for the writer or just to get more words out of them. ;) But all those days are seemingly behind me, I'm primarily concerned with my own words now. Dare I say, I might somehow do the same with my words to a reader someday. ...Prinzivalle made a name for himself to get noticed too...

Edited by intellectualammo

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I do not worship women. I do not worship men either, for that matter.

A definition of worship found on google: feeling of profound love and admiration .

Just plug in "define:worship" in google and you'll find it.

The women I love, I love. But I do not venerate them. To me the word worship is an emotion that is removed from understanding.

You can worship that which you understand quite easily. I can be in awe of a girl's beauty and softness, for instance. Girls do amaze me sometimes.

Worship implies awe and reverence, and I am not awed by something that I truly understand. And since I can not truly love something that I do not understand, if I love a woman it is not possible for me to worship them.

I understand how airplanes fly, yet at times I'm still in awe of seeing a multi-toned vehicle hovering above land. The sun works by fusion power, yet I am in awe of its sheer size, brightness and power.

I’m in awe of how m&ms melt in my mouth and not in my hand.

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