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Google should allow legit changes like this... have you tried importing your old gmails as a POP account?


Oh, and I forgot to add, setting up all your old filters again! What a total PITA!

Violet - I didn't try that yet...


Oh, and I forgot to add, setting up im chats with all my old friends from scratch, and resetting my android phone to the new id - i am very afraid of what that will look like, not tackling it until the weekend. Will I lose data from my contacts list? The contacts list in Gmail is the one thing that seems to have come over by itself.


Update - you can "Check all" in your google docs and share with your new self. But you do have to make all the folders and organization from scratch. And of course your docs are no longer owned by you.


I presume you have some reason to believe that gender entered into the reasoning behind the decision not to allow surname changes?

It ain't sexism otherwise, it's a just problem that happens to affect more women than men. There is a world of difference between the two, and claiming sexism without understanding this, IMHO, does more harm than good for the cause.


I've got to agree with Fnargle, I don't think they sat around a table and made this decision to anger women on purpose. I do agree that it should be easier to change though, but I feel there much to google that could be better...

James Devlin

I empathize with you- even the best software can be maddening at times. Even though Gmail is completely free, as are the other Google services you mentioned, for the most part, that doesn't necessarily mean it's OK to waste people's time.

That said, this is a usability issue and not an issue of sexism or bigotry, and to claim otherwise...is in my opinion a little unfair. Not only to Google team behind Gmail, who I'm sure would be confused and horrified to read your rant, but also to women suffering from real, actual, honest-to-goodness sexism, in the workplace or elsewhere.

Blogger Chief

Umm I think you are upset that Google does not let you change your name. It just so happens that the name change is due to marriage, and the woman usually changes their last name. However I doubt Google got evil and decided to screw over the woman who get married.

Nice attention getting headline though. Hey. I am from the class of '91 as well. Different school though. Peace out.


You can make a new gmail account and forward all mail to the old one. On the old account you can change the address that your sent email appears to be from to the new one.

Google doesn't expect you to only have one Google account.


So, I had to reset my android phone to get the new email address in there, and in doing do of course all the apps I downloaded were lost and all my settings, ringtones, etc. set back to default.

I still haven't linked my old YouTube account with the "new me", and did I mention what a pain it has been to get Google Docs assigned to me as owner? I'll be dealing with the repercussions on this for awhile.

I want to address some of the comments that have been posted up here. The definition of sexism is not that someone on purpose is trying to screw over women! If a bunch of guys are sitting around developing software and they assume there's never a legitimate reason to change one's name, because they never have to do it themselves, they just didn't think of it! That is sexism.

To James Devlin - it is exactly my goal to get those "horrified" engineers to fix this usability problem. Yes it's a lot of work for them, and they may view it just as a "convenience" but for a professional woman it's a necessity. Google's tools are free for us to use, but Google makes money from their users every time they click on ads, so it is in their best interests to offer the best possible software tools and certainly their products should not have a gender bias any more than they should have a religious or racial bias. When you say "real honest to goodness sexism" (funny modifier by the way) you probably mean sexual harassment or gender discrimination - both more severe forms of sexism for sure.

The fact that there are worse things out there for women doesn't make sexist product design choices any less sexist.

I hope this is an attention getting title and post, I did it on purpose, and I hope Google now makes the decision to spend the resources to fix the problem, not just for women but for anyone else who needs to change their name legitimately, which could include anyone, actually. I'm a huge fan of Google and this post is intended to make them even better.

Xenophrenia A

Not ever having to change your name, so not thinking about it is sexism? Really? Inconsiderate - maybe. But sexism? What your saying about this implies that they should think of everything. Again, really?

There are a lot of women out there who don't change their name when they marry because they believe THAT is sexist.

No - this is not truly sexism because it effects ANYONE who wants to change their email address - not just women who change their names. There are ways to set up a permanent email address - they take some skill and technical know how but it can be done. Expecting a company to be everything for everyone and think of everything for everyone in a culture that encourages people to think of no one but themselves - then blame them for whatever ism is convenient for the situation ... yeah.

So - did you think ahead and check to see how easy it would be if you eventually might have to change your email address? You're expecting them to think of something they may or may not ever have to deal with but did you think of it? You are expecting them to think of something with no relevance to them but fail to think of it when is very relevant to you ... something feels wrong with that to me.

Look, I understand the frustration, but to claim sexism when, as James said, it's a usability issue (because it effects ANYONE changing email addresses) is just wrong and sounds like you are looking for sexism. I grew up in a family where my existence depended upon my mother wanting to 'do something now that the kids are getting older' and my father telling her, 'like hell you will, you'll be pregnant by this time next year'. And here I am - the product of real sexism.

Like I said - there are ways to guarantee a permanent email address if it is that vital to you. I will again ask - why didn't you look into that if it is that important to you? Or 'didn't you think of it'? We live in a culture that no longer thinks that there is any personal responsibility, that everything should be done and when it's not it's the other sides fault, not ours. Heaven's no - not ours. The fact that you state they never thought of women having to change their names tells me that you were only thinking of your circumstance, not everyone uses their names for their email address - I never have and probably never will. If I did, and need to have control of it, I will set up the situation for that to happen and not expect the world to do it for me ....

Just to clarify - my problem with calling this sexism is that it waters down the problem. After awhile - the word means nothing because it is applied to every inconvenience that would be better served if the woman in question actually did learn to stand up for herself and do what needs to be done. In this case, finding out how to set up a permanent email address under her control. This is not sexism because it doesn't just effect women, not even mostly women, but, again, ANYONE that's changing email addresses, period.


Actually Xeno, what I am saying about this does not imply that they should "think of everything". I'm not a fan of the "slippery slope" argument.

It implies that they should be more careful about making software design decisions based on a young male perspective. To do this, somewhere along the line they need to involve more women and middle aged people - either in use cases, as engineers, or in product development, so the problem is fixed before it hits the customer. If, that is, they want to remain world-class.

When they fix it, it will help not only the 90% of women who change their name at marriage. I suspect the vast majority of name changes are due to marriage and apply to women, but someone may correct me if I am mistaken.

I'm thrilled that my sensationalist headline has gotten so much attention and confident that it will increase the chances this problem will be fixed. And as a side note to answer your questions, yes I thought of it beforehand, and yes I have a permanent email address that doesn't a last name, and yes I still think this is an important issue.


Just noticed another thing. Since I had to reset my android phone, and re-downlod my apps, I lost all my notes in AK notepad. Fortunately I had only started using it a couple weeks beforehand and didn't have many notes. But this was frustrating.

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