I personally can't get over the concept of it being symbolic of her being handed over to her husband and being absorbed by his identity. It's far too reminiscent of the time when a wife came with a dowry and was literally the husband's posession. A woman changing her last name is as if she is acquiescing her identity to his. There's an inherent sense of inferiority that goes along with it.
I think it's much more about personal identity and how you feel about yourself. I want to keep my name when I get married because I see it as the one very constant thing - my name reflects who I am no matter who is in my life for a long or short period of time. Maybe that is a feminist perspective, but I think changing my name would be trying to modify myself superficially - that is, saying that I'd come from another person's family or culture or way of being brought up. That doesn't necessarily need to mean that it's an inferior way, but it's not mine.
I was married last May, and the choice to keep my name came very shortly after I suggested that my lover change his name-- he looked a little shocked for a moment and got his bearings, but it was too late. If men in any kind of numbers ever though to change their names, it might be worth talking about, but since it's almost always a woman acquiescing to a man, I think it's an old hat that needs to be thrown away.There's no reason for it, other than the tired old arguments that it shows people who the family is. Is that the best you can do?
Post a Comment