Skip over navigation

To Take or Not Take Your Future Husband's Last Name? That Is the Question!

To Take or Not Take Your Future Husband's Last Name? That Is the Question!

By Sissy

In honor of Women's History Month, let's talk about this thought-provoking argument for why women shouldn’t change their names when they marry.

Journalist Jill Filipovic has some valid points—we don’t think women should be property, either, unless of course we're talking about female lamps—but we don't think this subject is so cut and dried. There are reasons for and against keeping your maiden name. After you read our list, we want to know where you stand, so shout it out!

Reasons to Keep Your Name

You get to maintain your own identity, independent from your husband—after all, you will be sharing everything else with him for the rest of your life, like a bed and, when in desperation, toothbrushes. Your name is one thing you can have all to yourself.

You just like the sound of how your first and last names roll off the tongue. Face it, your last name (Spencer) will always be better than Strombone.

You spent an entire period in math one day perfecting your perfect signature for all future credit card bills and checks (complete with a little star) and there's no turning back now.

You love your mom, dad, and siblings, and always want that official connection to them. Plus, your BF’s parents are always emailing you stupid chain letters and that gets really annoying. Hello, is this 1993?

Bureaucracy makes it a big pain in the butt—you have to get a new license and passport, and throw out all of your old monogrammed underwear.

Your peeps from high school will find it easier to track you down on Facebook when they want to re-connect. And if you ever get divorced, don't you want to make it easier for your old flame to find you faster?

His family might think you’re a weird hippie progressive who doesn’t wear shoes or obey stop signs. The former part of that statement is so true—you love being the free spirit that you are, so who cares!

By the time you get married, you'll have a stellar career underway. Do you really want to name swap and risk losing your new credibility? Plus you'd have to order new business cards.

You have your last name tattooed on your lower back, so it just makes the most logistical sense. Consistency is key.

Reasons to Ditch Your Name for Your Man

You’d like to have the same last name of your husband, so that your kids aren’t all like, “Who the hell are you?”

You take pride in traditions and really think there’s something to be said for them. After all, there is a reason they’ve been in place for hundreds of years, so you feel no shame in taking his name.

You love his parents and want to ditch your own—you still haven’t forgotten that they wouldn’t let you get your license when you were 16 and grounded you for an entire summer during high school for dating the very guy you ended up marrying.

Teachers may give you a hard time when you go to pick up your kid from school if the names don’t match. Therefore, everything will take twice as long and ain’t nobody got time for that. Especially since you’re going to be high-powered successful whatever lady, doing whatever you do.

You want to ward off all other women. You want all the women in the world to back the BLEEP off your guy—by taking your man’s name you make it clear to the world that he belongs to YOU (not the other way around—isn’t that an empowering way to put it?).

You'd be proud to be a member of his family—because his brother is SUPER hot.

You know that Spice Girl's song, "When 2 Become 1"? Yeah, you can't explain it, but that's how you feel. It has something to do with that.

What's your stance on this? Will you keep up this tradition, or keep your own name?

Topics: Life, The Internets
Tags: dating, names, feminism, marriage, pros and cons

Write your own comment!

OR

About the Author
Sissy

Sissy is a woman/girl who lives, works and eats too much popcorn on the north side of Chicago. Bet you couldn't guess that her real name is actually not Sissy, but it's what her family likes to call her by. Also, She's loud and is very glad you can't hear her.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.