Before my wife and I were married, she floated around the idea of taking my last name. And although I was flattered by the gesture, I didn't really think it was the best move.
One, because I like how her last name sounds with her first name. I think it flows way better. Two, because the origin behind women taking men's last names is pretty darn sexist. The laws surrounding women taking men's surnames pretty much signal that the woman is now property of her husband, that's the TL;DR version of it, anyway. And I wasn't really about that.
My wife ultimately decided to keep her last name, but if she wanted to take mine then that would've been fine too. I do admit that it irks me that some people do it simply because it's the "traditional" thing to do and it irks me even more when someone judges another person for not taking their SO's surname.
Which is what a lot of users on Twitter thought this woman implied when she sent out this tweet asking married women for an explanation as to why they didn't take the last names of their husbands.
I'd really like to hear the reasoning behind women who won't take their husband's last name— Maami (@_MercyFul) August 20, 2017
And you can imagine that there were plenty of women who had responses as to why they didn't feel the need to legally change their identity after getting married.
Absolutely nothing. But what's wrong with his that you don't want to take it when you get married, yano?— Maami (@_MercyFul) August 20, 2017
Some of the replies were more blunt than others, pointing out that the practice was one engendered by men in the first place.
it would feel like losing a part of myself. Also why should I take his and he not take mine .Who created this tradition ?Men did🚮— Gücci (@BlackCoffee_74) August 20, 2017
While others pointed out that in most of the world, women taking their husband's last name is not at all a common practice.
Well, if you're Greek it's illegal. Women keep their surnames by law. In Italy, no women change their name, it's part of the culture.— Emmeline May AKA Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess (@RStarDinoPirate) August 23, 2017
In Germany, the couple can chose to do it either way. In Austria, you'd have to change by deed poll, it doesn't happen automatically— Emmeline May AKA Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess (@RStarDinoPirate) August 23, 2017
In Spain, China and Korea it's usual practice to keep your own name.— Emmeline May AKA Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess (@RStarDinoPirate) August 23, 2017
Your question doesn't make sense worldwide or cross-culturally . Women in other countries might ask "why WOULD you give up your own name?"— Emmeline May AKA Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess (@RStarDinoPirate) August 23, 2017
history of marriage in UK is transfer of ownership of a woman from 1 man (father) to another & I am not property. So that's *my* reasoning.— Emmeline May AKA Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess (@RStarDinoPirate) August 23, 2017
Other users chimed in with their own country's marriage-naming practices.
Would like to add, in Indonesia we don't even have to take our father's last name. No family name needed to prove our family unity.— What Zit Tooya (@elmiragft) August 25, 2017
While others made very obvious points.
I mean if my last name was "Best" I wouldn't go around changing it either. Can you imagine baseball player David Justice's daughter, Raquel, changing her last name to "Smith" or something? What a downgrade, no offense, Smiths. But Justice is so cool, you could become a superhero or judge and no one would question you for your name alone.
Other people used it as the perfect opportunity for sassy responses.
Chrissy Teigen joined the fray, and, as always, served up a great response.
In case you were wondering, Legend isn't his real name.
There were also a number of women who talked about the huge inconvenience associated with legally changing one's last name and all of the implications that go with it.
After 9 years of marriage I changed my name. It took several hours in the DMV, with an appointment. I sat next to other women who were there— Nosy Nurse🌊 (@nosy_nurse10) August 24, 2017
Struggling with small children, trying to just get through the DMV process as well. It blew my mind to think how this is never an issue— Nosy Nurse🌊 (@nosy_nurse10) August 24, 2017
Men. They don't have to do this. DMV, social security dept, bank, credit cards, plus all the other shit we do. I did it to make things— Nosy Nurse🌊 (@nosy_nurse10) August 24, 2017
Easier when it comes time to get the babies registered for school and my husband did offer to change his name but I said no— Nosy Nurse🌊 (@nosy_nurse10) August 24, 2017
Some women have built professional (esp academic) careers on their names. Maybe they don't like his. Also it's a pain to change. 🤷🏾♀️— Duchess of Cornball (@faux_naturale) August 20, 2017
What do you think? A tired tradition? Or a testament of love and devotion?