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Becoming Mrs Someone Else: What’s in a name?

(‘name n. A word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others….’)

In recent years, as I have watched more and more of my peers shuffle off into marriage, one thing that never fails to fascinate me is that age old question relating to what happens to the bride’s surname after the big ‘I do’. There have been many times when I have been scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed only to become slightly baffled upon stumbling across a post by someone I don’t know. This is then always followed up with a slight twang of disappointment when I realise that, actually, I do know them. They just got married. Why does this fascinate me so much? I guess because I thought that, as women, we had come far enough to reclaim our own names. As a perpetual fan of the question mark, I think it’s time we started to really question why it is that we choose (and it is a <choice) to hold on to a tradition that dates back to a time when women were – figuratively and literally – the property of men. So, is it really a harmless tradition, or an outdated nod to the patriarchy?

My surname follows the Hispanic naming tradition whereby the child takes both the father’s and the mother’s surname. Everyone has two surnames that last from birth until death, women do ...