Recently, I’ve come across a lot of debate around whether women should change their surnames post marriage (or not). In India at least, this seems to be among one of the favorite debatable topics. Generally, it is implied socially that once married, a lady adopts her husband’s last name – dropping her maiden one. Now, for somebody like me, who’s grown up knowing I would be changing my surname, after marriage albeit being a little sad about losing my maiden surname, I was otherwise okay with it. It never felt like a big deal.
Imagine a scenario where there’s a couple to be married. Isn’t it their call (especially the girl) whether she wants to keep her maiden name or her husbands last name? But no. Here come the rest of the world around her who think it’s their business to give their unsolicited views on what she should do. Some of the arguments you hear against ranges from why only girls have to do “everything” to how it is “misogynistic” and “degrading” to go ahead and do it. To this, you also add the other half talking about how it’s a must to change your name and how it is “socially unacceptable” for the couple to be going around with different last names. The iceberg is then tipped by the female celebrities who add their husband’s name along with their own name making it longer. So this ends up being too much to digest for the confused lot and god save the poor souls who end up those few; for they’re going to have a hard time getting around it!
Personally, I think this is too much hue and cry over a small thing. I say, you either change it if you want to, or you don’t. It’s just your last name after all. Nobody’s asking you to change your first name right. Now that would be a different level altogether. Changing your surname does not alter your identity; who you are; After all are we known by our family name or by what we are called? What we do? Isn’t changing your last name just a matter of convenience? The times we live in, it makes things a lot easier, especially when you travel as a couple, if both the husband and wife have the same last name. This is only my opinion. I’m sure there will be a lot of people who disagree with me. But then, to me, it’s just a name. As far as I’m concerned, there are more important things to deal with than worrying about how your last name sounds!