We are modern women! “We don’t need to take our husbands surnames!”, shout self-proclaimed feminists and look down on you if you decide to make any other decision. Some women with more traditional views take their husband’s surname and other choices seem just odd to them. The ones who choose the middle path of the double-barreled name are hated equally by everyone as they end up with longish surnames and often use either their maiden name or their married one depending what’s easier in the context. So what to do with your surname after you get married?
First of all, deal with the fact that the world is sexist. Oh, you liberated woman, you, not taking your husband’s surname? Well, guess what, you’re most probably carrying another’s man surname anyway 😉. Especially if you’re not on great terms with your dad, you may feel like you want to liberate yourself from from being “his”, even symbolically. I did that but then again I didn’t want to lose my identity completely and I opted for a double barrelled surname. Changing your surname to your mother’s maiden name (and isn’t that another man’s name anyway?) is also an option but only if you feel like you didn’t have enough bureaucracy in your life as it’s a long administrative process. Then you can just keep it after the marriage but even this solution doesn’t make your surname truly yours, though. Maybe the best option for individualism is to become and artist and get a pseudonym. That’s probably the only way to become Stacey Stroker as you always wanted 😉.
Jokes aside, I understand that the surname one carries is important but at the same time I feel like it’s one of the faults of the current system that should be dealt with rather by the means of personal protest (insisting on getting the name you want) than shouting and raging about it. When I see rants about, for instance, Home Affairs changing names of women to their husband’s name in official documents, even though they indicated otherwise when they were getting married, I do feel for them. At the same time, such public lack of composure doesn’t necessarily serve women who are traditionally considered too emotional to be taken seriously. It reminds me of a feminist protest in which women protested topless against violation of women’s rights in Russia. When president Putin, at whom the protest was aimed, was asked what did he think about it, he said it was too loud to hear anything but he enjoyed the view. Every time I feel like raging about similar issues publicly, I remind myself of this anecdote.
The answer to what to do about your surname after marriage is whatever you want and for whatever reason. Anyone trying to impose their views on you is being as bad as the system which limits you. You also don’t have to justify yourself to others and if asked, say that this was what you wanted. Just make sure that the choice you made was based on your preferences and not on what’s expected of you by the people surrounding you (and I don’t necessarily mean taking his name, lefties also have their fights to fight).
What do you think, Rinsers? Should we have even more liberty with what to do with our surnames? What do women around you do? What did you do?