Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Does A Wife Have To Change Her Last Name?

Girls always talk about marrying the man of their dreams. They just picture a nice ceremony of doves, flowers, food, and a party to celebrate the ocassion, but when it comes to their last name, they go "mmm??"
           Typically the tradition has been when a man takes on a wife, they are united and therefore she takes on his last name. Since then women have been fighting to be equal with men as well as having their own identity. According to the Huffington Post, 8% of American women take their husband's last name. That's a big difference from way back in the day. A lot of it also has to do with the fact that Mrs. stood for the idea that a woman is property to her man and you know women ain't having that. With that idea women took it upon themselves to just keep their last name and just be known as a married women.
           This is one of those situations that is an expectation to society especially when talking about having the All-American dream of it being a wife, husband, 2.5 kids, big house with a white picket fence. Within that home the man is the head of the household and the wife takes care of the family from there serving her husband. Since women are considered oppressed or even submissive she has to take on the last name. Of course this tends to be unrealistic in a sense that things and behaviors have changed. Some people don't realized that the changing of the last name is just a personal choice that should be decided amongst the couple themselves.
          When making that decision, if the wife were to keep her last name some men get a little offended by it especially if they are the traditional type. Other men are ok with it. Some women at least hyphenate their last name so she can have a part of her husband within her name to still considered to be married. Other women will make their maiden name their middle name as a way of keeping both names as a compromise. It's all about compromising if you want to equal so at least it's fair. I think a lot of it also has to do with the modern-day women. Back then there were a lot of stay-at-home moms that were all day housewives so the wife had no choice but to take on the man's last name. Since there are a lot more women working and having successful careers, they want to be considered working wives that just share a last name.
           Even though there are 8% of American women taking their man's last name, a poll found that 60% of people feel that that the number should be a lot higher in taking the last name. They feel that the tradition needs to be kept because the man runs the family. About 25% feel that a woman can choose to keep her last name. I didn't know that a man can take his wife's last name if he wanted to. I figure it was possible it's just that you never heard anybody do such a thing. I think it's ok for a guy to do that as long as the couple both agrees it's fine. Of course society would not be happy about that.

Should a woman maintain the tradition and take her husband's last name? Can a guy take his wife's? Is it selfish for a woman to keep her last name?

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