A recent Facebook study showed that a third of married women in their twenties decided against adopting the surnames of their husbands, compared to the majority of those in their sixties, according to a new study. It also found 62 per cent of married women in their twenties took on their spouse’s surname, while 74 per cent did in their thirties and 88 per cent did in their sixties. More younger women are embracing feminism today than ever before.
When I got married, my husband and I talked about changing my last name, but I resisted at first. I felt that professionally it would be akin to death. In addition, when someone from across the room called me with my new name, I wouldn’t answer. It didn’t feel like me. I wasn’t who I was, who I’d been for the 31 years prior to getting married. It felt alienating.
But I could tell it meant a lot to him, so it didn’t settle well, and I wanted to find a happy medium.
When we’d travel, I ‘d have to take my marriage license. Quite often, my husband would unintentionally book me using his name but all my documents remained in my maiden name. It was hugely confusing, and I think that one flight to the UK actually caused problems for me and I was nearly not allowed to board the plane. Today there is no way they’d let me board the plane with any name confusion.
I kept my driver’s license and passport under my maiden name, as well as my email address. Why should I have to be the one to change everything? It just didn’t sit right with me.
So I waited until we had kids to deal with it. Then I thought to myself, this might get complicated if I had one name and everyone in my immediate family all had another, so I gave in and changed my name, purposely leaving my maiden name in the middle to ease the name flow. I wanted to keep my maiden name in the mix. Professionally, it would be easier for colleagues to keep up with me, as well. Personally, it was the only identity I’d known.
But sometimes having two surnames gets confusing….particularly because I left my email in my maiden name. Whenever I book tickets or RSVP using my email, I get booked under in my maiden name and I never know what name to give.
I’d like to think that in 2013 women have come a LONG way. So much has changed since Betty Frieidan started speaking out for women 40 years ago. Marriage is more about equality than ever before and relationships are 50/50. A woman should be able to keep her name, or take her new one as she pleases. It all goes back to personal choice, along with everything else in life. Women have a choice about everything today, and what we want to call falls right in line with all our decision making.
I embraced feminism in my own way.
So, if you are wondering what to call me, it’s Holly Rosen Fink. Holly Rosen works, too. So does Holly Fink.
What did you do? Did you take your spouse’s name or keep your maiden name?