The answer to that is yes, I did. I didn’t replace mine with my husband’s. I simply added his to mine.
Now this has and always will be a mess of a debate among us women. Getting married changes a lot of things, and adjusting our last names, is one of them.
In wedding and marriage forums and generally all around, there is a constant battle about which way is the better or more progressive way. Many countries leave no room for changing a last name due to marriage. In others it’s the norm and somewhat expected.
But as we move further into the 21st century, fewer women are changing their last names. Some are even creating their own!
Reasons for and against changing our last names spread wildly. Some of us believe that sharing a last name with out husband makes us more of a family unit, it is tradition, it bonds us together and we all have a unanimous name to carry on with generations. Some of us think that that’s all bullshit, it’s based on sexism, patriarchy, gender inequality and oppression. The rest of us just say look, I already have so much established in my name; I have my business, my publications, my reputation, my career etc and I just don’t care to upset that by changing my name. Of course there are other reasons but if we dig into them all, we’d be here forever.
This discussion always turns nasty because many times we just can’t respect each others’ decisions.
I personally don’t like the patriarchal tradition in which changing your last name as a newly married woman is set. I am not property, you certainly did not birth me and quite frankly, I like my name just fine thank you! In addition to that, it’s just too much hassle to change a name. So as someone purporting to be a feminist, why did I adjust mine?
Well first things first, because I can. It’s my name and I can do whatever I want with it (within reason of course). I have that choice. And that’s the good thing about feminism. That is it’s core purpose. To give us women the choice to make decisions that can and indefinitely will change our lives. I am fortunate to live in a time where I have that option, and whether I do or not, no one really cares. It doesn’t affect anything or anyone, but me.
Secondly, should we have a family some day, I want our children to have both our names and be reminiscent of both our lineages. Yeah I didn’t need to change my name for that to happen, but guess what? I want to share a name with my new family. And there is nothing wrong with that. My husband could not care less about what I did with my last name though, and so he had no dog in this fight.
And last but not least, I love my new last name. I love both our families immensely and exactly how I wore my family name with pride, I am now wearing his too. I mean what can be wrong with that?
This is a non-issue for me. I don’t ever give this a second thought when I meet a married person, nor do I place judgement. Whatever the choice, be it for convenience or holding on to identity and heritage, it’s very personal and depends on each of us as individuals.
What are your thoughts though? Did you/will you change your last name? I’d love to hear!
Thanks for stopping by!
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