Internet Slams Husband Demanding Son Take His Surname

A father-to-be has come under fire for saying his son should not have the surnames of both his parents, after his wife was "allowed" to keep her maiden name after marriage.

The man posted his dilemma to Reddit's popular Am I the A**hole? forum on Wednesday, using the handle Vice-1991, where he has attracted a wave of criticism.

The 32-year-old explained that he has been with his 30-year-old wife for three years, and she comes from a country where "women get to keep their maiden name after marriage."

This caused tension with his family, who thought his wife was "disrespectful" for keeping her birth name, but the man confirmed that they "thankfully they got over it."

The issue of names reared up again when the couple discovered they were expecting a baby boy.

The father-to-be, who described himself as "someone who comes from the south," revealed that he laid down the law over surnames, writing: "I sat with my wife down and told her that my son is going to get my last name and explained so that there's no confusion but she disagreed and said no and came up with a compromise which was that our son gets both our last names but I declined explaining how awkward and confusing and just complicated that would be."

He felt a double-barrelled surname, along with a first and middle name, would be too long, despite his wife supporting that option.

He continued: "I said no and told her we'll just have to go with what most families here do and is going by the father's last name."

At this point, he claims his wife "threw a fit calling me selfish and accused me of treating her as if she as a mother gets less or no say, but I reminded her that she got to keep her maiden name and so we're even."

He went on to say his wife accused him of holding her keeping her name against her, and it was her right to choose their son's surname, as it was her choice to keep her own last name.

"I said I was sorry but I cannot accept this compromise especially with how my family will react and told her she should just go with the flow and agree on my son having my last name.

"She got upset and refused to talk to me after that calling me selfish and a dictator and a 'minion' for my family even though I'm just looking out for our son's best interest and keeping them in mind."

He suggested that his wife was merely being "stubborn" but, as his post attracted more than 9,500 upvotes and 5,000 comments, he was almost unanimously named as the party in the wrong by other Redditors.

He later added a few updates, stressing that he "did not have an issue" with his wife keeping her surname and that his concern was merely that a double-barrelled name would be "too long."

Despite this, his language and comments set alarm bells ringing for many Redditors, who declared him the "a**hole" in the situation.

CinderDroplet wrote: "He is really pushing it with this. If he wants to die on this hill, he may just end up with child support payments instead.

"This is something that needs to be figured out soon, because I hope that he wouldn't try to pull this crap after she has given birth and is recovering."

Flygirl083 pointed out: "I like how he kept saying that she 'got to keep' her last name. As if she needed permission and he graciously allowed it."

Keeley_jones wrote: "But, but, but... OP allowed his wife to keep her maiden name. So they're even now!"

J4netSn4kehole joked: "She 'got to' keep her maiden name, which is her culture, what a prince."

Dashcamkitty asked: "I know, who is he to dictate what surname the child gets? If anything, she should be the one deciding since she's carried that child for nine months. Double barrelled or her name."

"'My' son, not even 'our.' OPs wife seems to be an incubator and nothing else. I didn't see the slightest amount of affection in this whole horrible misogynist pamphlet. Massive AH," commented False-Mail-940.

PotentialityKnocks mocked: "But he oh so generously 'allowed' his wife to keep her name she's had for her entire life!"

InappropriateGranny added: "Look, Henry VIII, she didn't 'get' to keep anything. She is a grown woman who chose to keep her name instead of bow down to your ego. Get over yourself.

"She is your equal, your partner and wife, not your subject. Your son is not an extension of that ego. He is a separate human. Your family has no say in any of this. They, and you, need to grow up."

Although women in many Western nations take their husband's surname after marriage, customs vary from country to country.

In Spain, people are given two surnames, their mother's and their father's, and women do not change their name after getting married.

Women in Italy also keep their birth surnames.

The website Guide to Iceland points out: "Icelandic citizens who marry a person with a family name are not allowed to take their spouse's last name."

In Quebec, Canada, a law passed in 1981 obliges women to keep the surname they were given at birth.

Two years later, Greece passed a decree that women must keep their maiden name after marriage.

France has similar laws, with women retaining their birth name on official documents including passports and driving licenses.

Newsweek has reached out to Vice-1991 for comment.

File photo of baby's birth certificate.
File photo of baby's birth certificate. A man has come under fire for demanding "his" son take "his last name only. Getty Images/Comstock