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.