Aussie dad proudly takes wife’s surname – and encourages other men to get on board
An Australian husband has bucked tradition by taking his wife’s surname after their marriage – and is now calling on other men to do the same.
After tying the knot with the love of his life in June 2014, 50-year-old Cam Middleton-Else decided to go against tradition, a move that often attracts ‘weird stares’ from others, who Cam said seem ‘baffled’ by his decision.
Cam, from Wodonga, Victoria, said that although wife Ros Else, 50, was a little hesitant when first presented with the idea, she was more than happy to keep her own surname while her husband took on hers.
Primary school teacher Cam insists that it ‘shouldn’t be a big deal’ and believes it should happen more in in the fight against toxic masculinity and ingrained sexism, which in his view is prevalent in Australian society.
He said: “When it came to the wedding, we didn’t do anything super traditional. We had our honeymoon first and then got married in the school where we first met.
“I guess I’m not your typical blokey-bloke. I’ve got a very open mind and have always been open to anything.
“I’ve always been one to challenge the toxic masculinity and ingrained sexism whenever I’ve come across it.
“I never understood why my wife should have to take on my surname. To me, it just never made sense.
“Instead of her having to change her name, I was more than happy to take on her surname. It felt natural to me.
“For whatever reason, it is hard for some people to get their heads around. It has certainly got us a few weird looks and curious questions.
“After we got married, we had to go get a few documents changed over like my car registration and things like that.
“During that process, I remember that were some workers who felt the need to ask me three or four times if that was really my surname before they believed me.
“They would also my why I’d take on my wife’s surname.”
Cam said he made the decision to hyphenate his surname to join with his wife Ros, as his children from a previous relationship shared his surname and he wanted to keep that connection.
But the dad said that if he did not have children, he would have no qualms about forgoing his surname altogether.
Cam added that the move for husbands to take on their wives’ surnames could aid in breaking down the stigma of it – which he believes stems from an ingrained toxic masculinity that exists in today’s society.
He said: “I find that there is a huge blokey mentality that a lot of men feel they need to conform to.
“I know that men taking their wife’s surnames is not that common, but I think it shouldn’t be a big deal at all.
“I’m happy I’ve done it and will never regret this decision.
“It’s not illegal, and I’m not doing anything wrong. There is nowhere written in law about a woman having to take their husband’s name.
“If that’s what I want to do, and if I feel comfortable with it, that’s how it’s going to be.
“At the end of the day it’s my life and my decision.”