Last name options once you are married include: keep your maiden name, adopt your partner’s name, hyphenate or create a new name all together. The last option is one I have never considered, but if both parties are willing, why not? Not that I need to make a decision about last name’s any time soon nor do I have a child on the way (not in a rush, at all!) but this is a conversation I have had several times with some of my closest girl friends, and I’d like to share my thoughts on what I see is an issue.
A Huffington Post article discussed how The Daily Beast and Facebook teamed up last year and looked at the names of 14 million women who are married and active Facebook users (Huff Post, 2013). 65% of women in their 20s and 30s stated they changed their last name when they got married and the percentages rose the older the women were. This can be due to a variety of reasons; I’m just not fully convinced as to why I should give up my name completely.
When deciding whether to keep one’s maiden name or not, there is so much to consider. The debate over the partial loss of one’s identity; familial reactions and opinions; and overall whether we as women are succumbing to societal pressures/norms by just giving it up.
At the end of the day, I don’t want my family name to disappear. My parents were blessed with two girls, so the Neguse name would end with us if I would follow cultural traditions and be complacent with the idea of taking my future husband’s last name. Don’t get me wrong, I am not completely against the idea, but I envision an egalitarian partnership and it would not be one-hundred percent fair in my eyes if my last name was not about of the union.
Not only do I have the desire to keep my last name, but I would love for my future children to carry on my family name as well (this could also be hyphenated with my future husband’s last name). It’s only fair, right? They will be growing in my uterus for nine months and pushed out of my vagina, so trust me when I say, Neguse will be a proud part of their last name.
*Statistics were found in, “Changing Your Last Name: Research Reveals How Many Women Give Up Their Names” (Huffington Post, 2013)*