Further to my IWD post, I ran across this article at Salon last night (“What’s in a woman’s last name?“). Based on the article/abstract, the study seems kind of flawed (I’m with the commenter who asked “How [in a job interview] can people tell [what name you are using]?“), but some of the comments were really great:
Men see the name they’re born with as their own, something they’ll have for life. Women are encouraged to see the name acquire in exactly the same circumstances as belonging to someone else and “not important”.
I’m still waiting for an argument for taking your husband’s name that actually makes one damned bit of sense.
I have been married over 25 years (so far) to my first/only husband & I kept my name. The principal at our high school is on her 3rd last name in the 5 years I have had a child in attendance. So I don’t see much empirical evidence that a willingness to change a name equals commitment.
Then men would be willing to take their wife’s last name. Were it nothing, it’d be easy – sometimes the wife would change, sometimes the husband would change, and sometimes they’d hyphen or keep their own. But nope – the wife almost always changes, the husband pretty well never does.
And this nice reminder that there are other naming conventions out there and somehow the world hasn’t come to an end yet:
My family of origin is Icelandic. So despite a happy marriage with no divorces, my father grew up with a different last name than his sisters who had different last names from their mother who had a different last name from their father who had a different last name than their grand father.