Post # 1
So I’m getting married soon and looking into the process of changing my name (on my id’s, at work, bank accounts, etc) and I’m really taken aback by the amount of negativity people have around changing my name. Granted, I’m a bit older (27) and live in a very liberal state (NYC) but people seem either genuinely shocked that I’m going to change my name or seem to think I’ve failed in my feminist obligations to keep my maiden name. What’s the big deal? Isn’t being a feminist all about respecting other women’s choices? I made the decision that’s right for me, what does it matter to you?
Post # 3
Agreed! I don’t think that ‘feminism’ means not taking your husband’s name, I think it means doing what you think is right and honoring other choices as well! As for changing your name, go to the social security office first, then the DMV. Once you get your new license and SS card, you can change your name at banks and with your employer on the W-2.
Post # 4
I got very short lived grief from my sisters (both of whom kept their names). But, as they are my sisters I essentially just told them to deal with it. Other than that no one has really expressed anything more than mild surprise (not judgemental at all), or comiseration with me at the pain in the a** process we have to go through to get the change done.
Post # 5
ugh, people really need to keep their opinions to themselves. Changing your name is traditional, if thats your choice, then thats your choice. Nobody elses. I despise these opinions that I have “feminist obligations.” So yes, I totally agree with you, lol, respect my choice and Ill respect yours.
Post # 6
It’s the same debate that goes on with choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s not anti-feminist to choose to be a homemaker. It’s anti-feminist to criticize everyone else’s choices!!!
Post # 7
It’s true. Feminism is what gives you the choice to change your name or not. Maybe your co-workers are taken aback because it’s not something they thought you would do?
Post # 8
I think its just so out of the norm in NYC for women to change their names (to begin with) and even less common as a working professional. I really get the sense that people here think its “backwards” or something you only do if you get married really young, or somewhere down south. Just annoying to get the snarky comments, especially since my FI’s name is harder to spell/pronounce than my own!
Post # 9
I frankly think the whole “feminism” thing is completely out of control.
I agree with the “respect me and I will respect you” philosphy.
I’ll be changing mine; it doesn’t make me 1920’s.
I would personally tell them to “s*ck it!”. But that’s just me. =)
Post # 10
I haven’t gotten any grief about changing my name…more like grief from wanting to keep my last name. lol My Fiance and my mom are both like, “YOU WILL change your name.” I know in the end I’ll want to, but right now I’m just kind of feeling super attached to my current last name….probably pre-wedding jitters considering it’s only 18 days away!!!!!
Post # 11
I was surprised to read your post and it gave me some interesting perspective – thanks!
We’ve been met by the opposite negativity – we’re debating whether I will take my FI’s name or if he will take mine. I am shocked and angered by all the negative comments we get in response to the idea of him taking my name.
If I had it my way, society would be set up so that either name is equally likely. (We’re actually thinking about flipping a coin!) I see no problem with either way, but a BIG problem with people voicing their rude opinions!
Post # 12
No one is really giving me grief. I decided to keep my last name and add FI’s as a second last name (non-hyphenated). My parents did ask me pretty soon after we were engaged what I was going to do and when I told them they told me they were glad and that they would have been sad if I gave up my name entirely. I don’t think they would’ve given me too much problem if I had though.
Post # 13
To each his own. We got a lot of people who asked us why we wanted to get married. We always answered “why not?” and left it at that. Also, people our age would ask if I was pregnant (cuz around here you get knocked up a couple times and then think about possibly getting married). I didn’t really get anyone who said anything about changing my name. All the women in my family did it.
Go to SS first and then wait til the next day to go to the MVA (ughh DMV for everybody other than MD) cuz it takes overnight for it to update in their system.
Post # 14
Someone isn’t going to be happy regardless of the choice you make. Guess what? Too bad for them, it’s not their name! Go for it and ignore their rantings.
Post # 15
I will keep my last name as middle name since I don’t have a middle name, I want to keep it because I’m the only girl on my dad’s side of the family and he was the only male so no one will carry the last name anymore. My dad past away when I was 3 so I will keep it in his memory =)
Post # 16
I didn’t change my name and my husband didn’t change his name. I don’t care who changes his or her name, really. I probably would be one of those people would have been surprised to hear that you’re changing your name simply because I don’t know anybody who has. It’s pretty much on par with people being surprised at someone not changing her name because they’ve never known a woman who hasn’t. I wouldn’t judge you though! And I certainly wouldn’t say anything about it!
The feminist perspective on all of this (and there is no one feminist perspective, so take this as it is) is that it is unequal treatment to expect women and only women to change their names when marrying. That is why a man in California sued the state when they wanted to put him through the formal name-changing process when marrying whereas his wife could have changed her name for free with the marriage license. He won. Men and women should have the choice to change their names when marrying if they wish to share a last name. I personally resent (on behalf of other women) when men assume that their female partners “must” or “should” take their names. Why wouldn’t they take their wife’s name if it is so important to share a name? The only reason is patriarchal lineage and assuming the female into the patriarchal family line.