Marriage and Last Names

As a child, I’ve always said that when I grow up I would not be changing my last name. Before dating, this fact was made known: why waste time if this was going to be a deal breaker for someone?

Years come and go and BobaBoy and I met, fell in love, and got married, and had a beautiful baby boy–now making us BobaDad and BobaMom.

So back to the last name: BobaDad didn’t mind that I kept my last name, but when it came to children that was a definite no. (That’ll probably be another post). The fact that my name did not sound good with his last name also helped 😉

So anyway, a few days ago I was helping a friend update his Ok Cupid profile and the question came up about changing last names after marriage. His response: if she won’t change it, that’s a deal breaker. Naturally, being me, I was surprised. “Really?!” I asked, thinking he would say he was just kidding, but no, he was dead serious.

And then today on Facebook, some random link led me to reccomendations for other random links in which one of them was what men really think about women keeping their last names. (notice how all the negatives are anonymous?)

Well, out of everyone I know, I am the only one to keep my last name, as well as my sister (although her reasons are different). It’s a little disappointing that even my friends who said they do not plan to change their names ended up doing so or hypenating.

Some think I’m weird for not changing my name, I think it would be weird if I did.

Reasons why I kept my last name:

  1. It’s the name I spent my life growing up with and is very much a part of my identity.
  2. It never occurred to me as something I would even consider: I love my name.
  3. Even if I did consider it, the new last name just didn’t sound good with mine.
  4. In the vietnamese culture, women kept their last names.
  5. Why bother with the hassle of having to redo all legal documents and paperwork. Seems so much simpler not to ever have to explain to someone who you are.

Some argue it’s a feminist thing, and that it’s ironic and some even go as far to say stupid that women keep their last names when it belonged to a man. Well, let me just insert my thoughts here: you’re absolutely right in that it did belong to a man, but that was at one point in time, and it doesn’t change the fact that it was given to me and has become my name. So being that it is my name now, I am exercising my right not to have to change it to another man’s name. So, starting with me, it is now a woman’s name.

Men (not all) are so full of themselves when they demand that a woman change her name when the thought of him ever changing his own is ludicrous. “Because it’s tradition,” they say. Or, “because that’s the way it is and has always been.” Well, just because something has always been a certain way doesn’t make it right.

And I will keep my name for the pure reason that I simply want to. Do I love my husband any less? No. Does he love me any less? No.

And men, please don’t ever argue: “if you love me you’d take my name,” because if you loved her, you wouldn’t make her. And on a similar note, if you love her, why don’t you be an even bigger man and take hers?

But really, it’s not about whether a person keeps their last name or changes their last name, it’s about them having the choice and the decision from that choice being respected regardless of what it is.

Whatever you choose, good for you!

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