Saturday, January 14, 2012

How I Feel About: Taking Your Husband's Last Name

I've decided that I often leave comments on various other sites on topics I don't really address on my blog, and that's the opposite of cute, so I'm going to start reposting my comments here! They'll be identifiable with the "How I Feel About" tag.

So I used to be entirely, firmly, totally, and completely against it. I thought it was an archaic patriarchal ritual (much like weddings themselves) and that I would slap my husband if he dared feel some kinda way about me keeping my own damn last name.
And as a righteous Princeton student, I accordingly flipped a shit when Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell adopted Harris-Perry after her marriage. But when this somehow came up in a class, another professor of mine said that Melissa’s counterargument was simple: it’s not like she chose her original last name. It was just the name of another man, her father, and so anyone who tried to argue that taking her husband’s last name implied some form of ownership must have believed she first “belonged” to her father.
I wasn’t about to support that, and thus was thoroughly and completely shut up.
I think my plan for if and when I get married is to keep my name professionally, because it will hopefully be a brand by then, and to take my husband’s name personally IF AND ONLY IF I like the way it sounds after my first name.

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