Posts Written by April

Is changing your name when you get married ever a feminist move?

Melissa McEwan lists some reasons why heterosexual women who identify as feminists or womanists may choose to take on their husband’s last name upon marriage. Some of the reasons:

1. Because she was not a womanist/feminist when she got married.

2. Because it was a huge point of contention with her in-laws, or maybe even her own parents, and she was picking her battles.

6. Because her maiden name was her father’s name and keeping it did not feel like any more a rejection of the patriarchy than taking her husband’s name did, and she liked her husband’s name better.

7. Because her maiden name was her father’s name, and she likes her husband a lot more than her father.

8. Because her family was abusive and her husband’s family is wonderful to her, and she wants actively to become a part of it and feels taking their name is a symbol of that joyful joining.

9. Because she and her husband want the same last name, but the law makes it infinitely easier for her to change her name to his than for him to change his name to hers, or for both of them to choose a new name they share altogether.

And one of my favorites:

10. Because despite knowing it comes from a weird, fucked-up patriarchal tradition, there’s still some weird, fucked-up place inside her that likes the idea of taking her husband’s name—and no feminist/womanist lives a life free of compliance, consciously or not, with ...

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