Tuesday, 30 August 2011

To take you husband's name, or not?

I feel that as women are now able to be financially and socially independent, it's not relevant to do this anymore. However, it's a personal choice and I can understand that some women want to honour the tradition, or that they feel that accepting their husband's name is symbolic of the transition from being a daughter to a wife- or from being single into creating a partnership or family with their partner. Or other reasons. yet...

Why are women so spineless when it comes to this issue? No reason is good enough to justify surrendering your identity. Anyone who takes her husband's name is showing no awareness of the long history of married women having no rights over their bodies or property, and no respect for the women who struggled to achieve equality for future women. She is tacitly accepting inferior status to her husband. No man worth marrying should want that.

The only conceivable notion for a name change is if your new husband has an especially amusing surname, such as 'Cockburn' or 'Urapeepatanapong' (I've seen one, I kid you not!!) then go for it, as it will provide very very bored data entry temps with something to lighten their day. Otherwise, it's probably not worth the hassle.

All this comes from the recent wedding season which seems to have engulfed me. One was a very unconventional second marriage where there are complications as both parties have children and hence name taking is just awkward and unnecessary. The other is a very straight-laced-conventional-virgin-bride style affair where there seems no reasons NOT to take his name.

So what do you think? 

Why not merge the two names together? Perhaps pick a surname you've always liked: I'm rather fond of Guttenberg.


  1. I was just talking to my husband about this the other day! Literally, like 2 days ago! He said something smug about a woman on TV who didn't want to take her husband's name and I immediately got angry and said that he was actually damn lucky I took his name when we married. When it was time for me to make that decision (almost 4 years ago) I thought long and hard about it. If I had already established myself as Arielle Lee Becker I would never have taken his name. For example, if back then I was already as well-known in the blog world/YouTube world/professional world, I wouldn't have changed my name because it would be how people knew me and it was my identity. But at age 23, I was just starting out and didn't have any attachments to my maiden name. Still, I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to become Arielle Bair. I decided 1) it wasn't very different from the name I already had and 2) if I had children I preferred for us all to have the same family name. I have now established myself as Arielle Lee Bair so I doubt I will ever change it again, even if God forbid my husband dies and I remarry. :) I'm a feminist and I wholeheartedly respect a woman's right to keep her name!

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