Marital Name Change

October 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

I recently stumbled across an article that caught my attention. It was called Should Women Change Their Name After Marriage? Consider the Greek Way. For many years I have met and heard of many women who have decided to change their last name and also those who have decided to keep their maiden name.  The article brings to light that many people take different sides to this argument.

Many women find that keeping their last name is better than changing it. After reading the article mentioned above, I looked for an article about women changing their last names. This past July the Huffington Post released an article that had eight women discussing why they decided to keep their last name. I find each of the women’s responses and reasons very interesting. One woman decided that as she looked at herself in the mirror and said the new name. She also practiced saying it like she was introducing herself at work. In the end she decided that she didn’t know that person. It was interesting to read that many of the women kept their maiden name because of identity. They didn’t want their identities to be lost. One woman stated that changing your last name was an “identity eraser.” If friends from high school tried to look you up after the name change they wouldn’t be able to find you.

These women made excellent points. I believe that my identity would change. When I get married I plan to change my last name to my husband’s. But for me, I believe that after marriage I would be a different person. I wouldn’t just be Erika. I would be connected to someone else. I would be making a new life and I think that it would affect both my personal and professional life. That’s why for me I would change my last name.

Speaking of professional, a few of the women didn’t change their last name because of professional reasons. Many of them had decided to keep their name because they had built up their name and didn’t want to start over with a new name. This makes complete sense. If I get to the point where my career is partially dependent on my name I would probably reconsider changing my name. For me at this point in time, I would change my last name but circumstances could change where I reconsider.

In the article Should Women Change Their Name After Marriage? Consider the Greek Way the author discusses how women in our country and other countries have the dilemma of choosing to keep their last name or to change it.  She tells of how maybe we should look at how the Greeks do it. It explains how in 1983 Greece enacted a law that all women had to keep their maiden name. To this I say that we shouldn’t consider the Greek way. I believe that whether you change your name or not is your choice. To have the government say whether or not you can choose your last name is not the way to go. Whether a woman decides to change her last name, in my opinion, is based on her individualistic views of the situation. She may or may not decide to discuss with her future partner if she should make the change but in the end it is up to them.

As I began writing this blog, I asked one of my friends if she was going to change her name when she got married. She said that she is going to hyphenate her name because she likes her last name and she believes that her future partner’s last name is a gift. She told me that she believe that it is like he is saying I am giving you everything, right down to my name. I really liked how she put it. However what I like the most is that we have the option. If we want to keep our maiden name, hyphenate it, or change it altogether, it is our right to do so. I just don’t think the Greek is the way to go. I like having the choice.

Erika

Links to the above mentioned blogs:

Should Women Change Their Name After Marriage? Consider the Greek Way

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/06/women-change-name-after-marriage-greece

Last Name Change: 8 Women Reveal Why They Kept Their Surnames After Marriage

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/last-name-change_n_3563519.html

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