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Fri, 04 Nov 2005
In recent years, I’ve noticed that many young women are choosing to adopt their husband’s family name on marriage. This was common, of course, in my parents’ time; but it fell severely out of favour during the years when I and my peers were marrying—for the first few times, at least.
When the 1960s feminists campaigned for the right of women to be treated as complete and proper people on their own, rather than as the appendages or property of their fathers and husbands, they made a bit of a point about not adopting husbands’ names. I certainly thought they had a strong argument; I still do. So I’m now puzzled about this apparent move to revert to the days of Mr and Mrs Bloggs.
None of the above is intended as criticism of people’s decisions to change their names—I’ve changed my name several times over the years (and copped quite a bit of flack over that), so I know what it feels like to make such a change and how it impacts people trying to connect with you when you disappear from sight. And I admit that I grew out of changing my name about 20 years ago and have found it helpful to have just one name to answer to, at least when I’m not attending reunions with people who knew me in one of my other incarnations.