The Name Game
Question: I recently got engaged and a popular point of discussion is whether or not I’ll take my fiance’s last name. I plan to, but feel like I have to justify it to my more feminist friends. What should I say?
Answer: Keeping your maiden name is no more feminist than taking your future husband’s, as it’s still another man’s name: your father’s. (Or, if you were a progressive baby, your parents' hyphenated last names).
Some women are against the idea of giving up what they are used to, and that’s understandable, but in this enlightened age it just comes down to personal preference. Do you feel an emotional connection to your maiden name? Would taking his turn your full name into something laughable? Is his last name Rockefeller, Kennedy or some other instant upgrade? Do you plan to have boatloads of kids and want to share the same name?
If it feels like a complicated decision, then the simple choice is to go with whichever name has the better ring to it.
You don’t need to justify your decision to anyone, but if pressed, tell your friends that you’re sparing your future children the hassles and annoyances of a hyphenated last name. And for God's sake, please don't consider merging your names into one. That will just confuse everyone. Especially grandma.