If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know that I’m married.
(Sorry, guys. Ha!)
In fact, I’ve been happily married (yes, that’s a thing) for over two years now.
What you might not know is that I didn’t take my husband’s last name.
Yes. That’s right.
We had a ceremony, said our I do’s, but at the end of the day our mail still comes home under two different names.
But despite the fact that it’s the 21st century, people still get baffled by the news.
Usually, they’ll tilt their head a little and say something along the lines of:
“What do you mean you didn’t take his name?”
“He was okay with that?”
Oh, and let’s not forget my personal favorite
“I would never let my woman do that!”
OK, I get it.
It’s not that common.
I’m going against thousands of people that follow this tradition. And while I respect everyone’s decision, I feel the need to clarify my point of view.
So, for those that can’t fathom the idea, and in an effort to clear up all the confusion, here are the main reasons I refused to change my name.
1. It’s who I am.
As cliche as it may sound, my name forms part of who I am. It’s how I’ve always been identified. And I don’t think there’s any reason marriage should change this.
More importantly, my husband fell in love with me. And what could be more me than my last name, which reflects my origin and culture?
2. I owe it to myself.
While I haven’t exactly accomplished everything on my list, I’ve worked hard to be where I am today. There’s no denying that I owe a lot of this to my husband, but he is only one piece of the rather large puzzle.
At the end of the day, I owe myself that recognition—shall we say, in the form of a diploma, hanging on a wall in my office?
3. I was no damsel in distress.
Despite the negative connotation of the word, I wasn’t a maiden looking to be rescued. My husband and I, are no different from each other. So why should anyone assume my identity is disposable?
4. Screw tradition!
In case you didn’t know, the law initially required married women to use their husband’s surname for a variety of things. This was primarily because the law viewed wedded couples as a whole. As a result, men were the only ones that could vote, own property, etc.
Unfortunately, this held true until the 1970s, when several intelligent people finally realized how nonsensical this was.
5. It’s the only thing I have left of my father.
This is a tough one, but I’ll try to keep it short. My father was never around, and while I should perhaps want nothing more than to remove any trace of him, it’s the only thing I have left, and I can’t seem to let it go.
6. We’re united by a lot more than the syllables in our names.
My husband and I share a life together. We share hopes, dreams, fears, and so much more. Taking his name would have no tangible effect on our relationship.
So there you have it.
In the end, there is no right or wrong.
But, to me it’s relatively simple:
I kept my name because it’s mine.
My husband respects my decision because he loves me and he knows I that I do too.
Women aren’t objects. They come with a mind and an identity of their own.
What do you think about women keeping their maiden name?
Go ahead, let me have it.