United but Individual

Who: Rosasco, L. (2016, January 11). Why I Kept My Maiden Name. Retrieved January 12, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lindsay-rosasco/why-i-kept-my-maiden-name_b_8957070.html

What: This post discusses marriage and a woman’s choice of changing her maiden name to her husband’s last name. It goes on to explain how women, as little girls, would romanticize the name change by doodling their name with that of a crush’s. It further explains how not changing names questions tradition and marks you as a feminist. And finally the background behind the name change relates to men viewing women as property and the transfer of property through marriage.

Why: I chose this article because I felt it was a paradox between rebellion and conformity. A woman getting married is in itself an act of conformity. Society expects women to have a partner in life since they believe women can not support themselves or function properly without a man in their live, a man being more than a father, a brother, or some other relative. By a woman connecting herself to a man in marriage she is following society’s expectation even if the partnership is not functional or what society considers as the traditional roles of each gender are reversed. Women getting married and not changing their names though is viewed as an act of rebellion. They are hit with the negative connotation of feminist, not supporting their husband, and not representing a family unit. In all of this society forgets that a woman is still an individual and maybe by not changing their name it “ensure[s] [their] own identity separate from [their]husband” (Rosasco) and they are not a submissive in their marriage.

How: While reading this article I felt everything the author had to say was valid and sensible. One piece of the article that really struck me though was “If we change names to honor our spouse, then who is honoring the woman? If changing your name isn’t a big deal and promotes your new identity, why don’t men change their names?” (Rosasco). I feel this raises a very valid question. A name is a form of identity, something you have been going by your whole life, changing it may not be as easy as others might think and if someone feels this is a lack of commitment on the woman’s part that is not necessarily true. Commitment is built on an emotional and mental state and a physical alteration to a last name will not change that. Women have a choice on whether or not they take their husband’s name and it should not be forced on them and in the author’s parting, “Women: you have a CHOICE. You have a BRAIN. You have an IDENTITY” (Rosasco), I believe she sums it up perfectly.

4 thoughts on “United but Individual

  1. SamU says:

    This is such a difficult topic discuss, I imagine even more so for those couples out there trying to decide on who’s name to take. Personally I agree with you that the women shouldn’t have to give up their last name if they don’t want to, but in the interest of equality I don’t think that the male should either. I don’t think that this issue should be up for society to decide but it should come down to the couples on whatever they may decide. It makes sense with the theme of rebellion, how women should try to stray away from what is known to be a “social norm.”

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  2. sarahsjs96 says:

    I found this topic so interesting, with the rise of feminism(a lot of them being radical in ways) it has become a controversial topic. I dont think either husband or wife should be forced to change their name, after all (most) marriages are a choice so shouldnt name changing be the same? I believe this is a personal issue that should be discussed by husband and wife, not decided by society as a whole. Every single couple on this planet is different and so will be their choices.

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  3. rosalyng2015 says:

    OOOHHHH, I love this post. Not only do you bring up a relevant, current social issue that somehow often slips under the radar, you also are very convincing! Mostly though you open up a can of worms (as my husband would say) on the issue of gender equality. We spent a lot of time in our last discourse talking about the importance of a label and you have just upped the stakes by asking about the importance or significance of a name! If we accept with open minds, no “negative connotation” of the label feminist, or social equality the idea of a woman keeping her maiden name upon marriage then what are we willing to consider changing about the “social norm” or traditional marriage? I mean, if we are being honest, there was a time when the ‘normal’ family structure was much more uniform, less diverse, and definitely more stable – the name change used to be intended to be for a lifetime. For a couple of generations now though that simply has not been the case. Family structures are drastically changing, divorce rates are higher and climbing, even second and third marriages are not ‘lasting’. If tradition stays the same this could mean a woman would be expected to change her name several times and have children with several different last names. What I really liked about your post was that not only did you express an opinion but you raised several other very significant questions (like whose last name would the children take?) that I think we could discuss all night long and probably still not be done answering questions.

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  4. jms141 says:

    Personally I really like this article because I am always saying that if I get married that my husband will take my name; I take a lot of pride in my last name. I like the quotes that u included from the article and I do agree woman are their own people we have our own identity as the article says. And it is societies expectation for a woman to get married and take the man’s name and do everything for that man and if not wanting to follow what society wants then I am a rebel.

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