The decision to change your name after marriage can be a difficult decision. It’s a big part of your identity and can symbolise who you are as a person and who you are in your career. However, it is still is very popular to do so. Did you change your name?
There are a variety of reasons why women decide to keep their name. Increasingly this is because of practical, not political reasons. In other words, women aren’t keeping their names for feminism; they’re keeping them for convenience.
In 1855, American equal rights activist Lucy Stone made a profound statement by maintaining her maiden name after she married. Even in the 1970s, in places like Australia and the US, it was a slap in the face of society to keep one’s family name. And it caused practical complications. In some states in the US, women were still required to use their husband’s name to vote, do banking or obtain a passport.
Today, the world can cope better with the messy realities of life, which is probably why we’re seeing a slight upturn in the trend for women to keep their maiden names. Just as it’s incredibly easy to change your name after marriage, it’s just as easy not to. Or to change it back if your marriage ends. At worst, it makes you difficult to track on social media!
Have you stuck with tradition or kept your maiden name during marriage and/or divorce? What about your daughters? What did they choose?