Why I Didn't Take My Husband's Last Name
Society norms are weird. This wacky traditional of marital name changes came from the property shift that occurred at the time of marriage. Basically, women went from being owned by her family to becoming her new husband's property. Back when women had no independent legal identity apart from their spouse. (EW)
Taking your husband's last name is such a regular thing in today's society that we don't even stop to think about the whys behind it. With sexism as a hot topic in our daily conversations, why is this never questioned?
In middle school I was, of course, guilty of doodling my first name along with my crushes last name between notebook pages. Once I became an adult, the thought of changing my last time for marriage always rubbed me the wrong way. Since I could hold a pencil, I've been writing my name. It has always been my name. It is in a sense my identity. I'm not saying if I took my husband's last name I would all of the sudden lose myself but I wouldn't be me. To me taking his last name wouldn't have been being authentic to who I am.
Just because I married him doesn't mean I have to give up my name for his. We are two people coming a new family, yes but we aren't becoming one person. We are still two very independent people, who came from two different families.
People are always dumbfounded when I say we are married yet give two different names. I always find this so amusing.
Sometimes they ask why and other times they just give me a look like okay *air quotes* "you're married." Others ask me but What About Your Kids? What about them? They can either have his last name or mine or both. When our daughter was born, she ended up with his last name, and I'm okay with that. It's not as big of a deal as everyone seems to make it. Last names aside I'm still her mom, and she's still my kid. My personal favorite is when other men say they would never get married if their wife didn't take his last name.
My husband (then fiancé) wasn't a thrilled when I declared that I would be keeping my last name. It was like he expected me to change it, I honestly didn't think he would make a big deal out of it but he sort of did *at first.* He couldn't comprehend why I wouldn't want to change my name. I explained my reasoning and even told him if he wanted the same name he could take mine (which he wasn't a fan of doing). At the end of the day he could do nothing but respect my choices as a person to want to keep my name and he did just that. It hasn't ever been an issue for us.
If you don't want to take your husband's last name when you get hitched don't feel like you have to because 'it's tradition.' EFF tradition and make your own. And if you want to go take his last name go for it. It just wasn't right for me.
Wedding photos were done by the amazing Sarah Hille of Free Range Photography