What’s In a Name?
I don’t want to talk about Shakespeare although Romeo and Juliet may be semi-relevant to what I actually want to talk about. I came across this short BuzzFeed article about Zoe Saldana’s husband deciding to take her last name and I just felt so compelled to write about it!
Like most girls I used to love to write Mrs. Fictional Husband’s Name all over my notebooks and stuff in every different color of gel pen I could get my hands on. But as I have gotten older, I have kind of turned against the idea of giving up my name to be Mrs. Future Husband’s Name. I’ve had this name for twenty-some-odd years and I’m doing all this work to eventually become a doctor and gosh-darnit I want to be Dr. Kiera with my last name in tact! On top of that, my dad and his brother both had all girls so that lineage will literally die with us if we decide to take our husbands’ names. I’m kind of sentimental about my last name so I came to the decision that hyphenation would be best. Mrs. My Name – Future Husband’s Name. It’ll probably be long but it will work for me!
But when I express this to other people, they look at me like I’m insane. Like it is a mortal sin not to share a last name with your husband. A guy I know said that he would be really uncomfortable with his wife not having his last name because you’re supposed to be a unit and everyone is going to question you when your kids have a different last name as you. My response was how does my name affect my marriage and everyone can mind their own business about my kids and their names. But then I realized that it completely obliterates my point about carrying on my family name if my kids don’t carry it too.
So I have had this secret desire for my husband to take my name and I’m so glad that it’s out there in pop culture now for me to comment briefly! (Thanks Zoe & Marco). There is pride for women to carry on their family names as much as there’s pride in it for men especially if you’re in a situation like my family. And I may half-joke about it with my dad but it has become something that’s important to me. Then there’s the fact that I am working so hard to get myself, with my current name, all these degrees and accolades and when I finally reach the end of the road and become Dr. Kiera, it should be with my current name. It was the family bearing my current name that sacrificed and struggled to get me to my final education destination, it was me with this name who spent all those long hours killing myself over school work. That accomplishment means something to me. But that is not to diminish my future husband’s role in my success. However, I feel like unless he’s kicking in to pay these tuition bills, I don’t think it warrants changing my name. (Yes I know this is really one-sided lol).
Now Zoe wasn’t like me. She thought it would be emasculating for her husband to take her name but he pushed the issue and said he didn’t care. That’s awesome! Maybe my future husband will be as progressive and awesome as Marco. Right Tyrese?! You’ll change your name for me won’t you?!
Here’s such a great fictional bae isn’t he! LOL I’m sure this whole concept will really take shape for me once I get engaged and then married and have to have this conversation for real but it’s nice to feel empowered as a woman and feel like I have the option to keep my name if I so please. I mean Juliet would have been forced to be a Montague if she and Romeo actually lived to get married. I hope times have progressed beyond that (although sometimes I’m not so sure!) What about you guys? Taking your future husbands name, yay or nay? And why or why not? Let’s talk about it!