Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine. ~ Robert C Gallagher
There are a lot of quotes floating around the internet about how Mr right will only want to change my surname. After much consideration I asked myself, wouldn’t Mr right be ok with having me as his love/wife/partner regardless of whether I change my last name or not? This is a subject I am not completely decided on because I don’t need to decide just yet. I do, however, find it fascinating.
I think there are lots of reasons why a woman might opt not to change her surname. The simplest reason may be that she just doesn’t want to. There may not be any feminist or other agenda attached to the decision. It may be just as simple as not wanting to.
But then again she may be a staunch feminist who believes the change of surname is just an inconvenience for a woman created to reinforce male dominance over women.
Perhaps she has a totally cool name and the husband’s name just isn’t lol.
The thought of going through the admin of getting a new passport may just be too much for her. Anyone who has dealt with my country’s government departments can understand that.
In addition, a lot of women are getting married later in life for a lot of reasons. During the time that they are single, a lot of career women put a lot of time and effort into building a brand around their name. A change of surname will definitely have an effect on their personal brand. For some, it is the equivalent of starting over. For others, it is just a setback. Either way this may be a significant consideration for some.
Of course there are a lot of reasons why people may think a woman
must should change her surname. They might argue that not changing a woman’s surname will confuse the children, their teachers, their friends etc but is it really that complicated? Chinese, Belgian and Greek women, to name a few, don’t change their names after marriage and their children and their teachers are doing great.
Although I can’t come up with any reason why the surname change is essential, I am sure there are many reasons out there. I am also certain that there are many men (and women) out there (especially traditional or conservative (wo)men) for whom the change of surname is a fundamental part of marriage.
A lot of people feel that our generation of women is too headstrong and that we should accept what has always been. While yawning my way through making my first cup of tea this morning, I said to the very chatty tea lady “I hope I get a husband who makes breakfast because I am so not a morning person.” Her chat went from 100 to 0 in a split second. There was a shocked silence while I quietly continued stirring. Then she turned to her friend, an elderly lady who was also in the kitchen, and in one of the vernacular languages that she mistakenly assumes I don’t understand she said “these kids of today have been damaged by boarding school. What sort of man would wake up to cook” which led to a very heated discussion between them. I smiled to myself and made my way to my office.
In the end it is a very subjective issue and no objective argument can ever satisfy everyone. Do you think that a surname change is essential?