What's In A Name?


A few years ago, a student from China asked me "why do American women change their names. In my country, we don't do that." ⠀
Great question.⠀
It prompted me to dig into the subject. ⠀

After researching the history of why women in the U.S. change their names, I realized, contrary to religious teaching, it has nothing to do with the Bible and it is not the norm in most countries of the world. ⠀
It originated in England in the 9th century when wives, slaves, and animals were considered property. ⠀



Women were not allowed to own property, including their bodies.⠀
In order for the government to know who "owned" them, women were required to change their last names to that of their husbands. ⠀
The practice continued when settlers took over America.⠀

According to a 2015 @nytimes article, roughly 20% of married women retain their birth names. Another 10% choose other options like hyphenating their birth name with their husband's name or legally changing their name while using their birth name professionally.⠀

The practice of women choosing to keep their birth name is often looked upon by traditionalists as 'selfish' or as a 'lack of commitment' to the union. ⠀
In reality, it's a choice.⠀
Supporters view taking their husband's name as an honor of "being chosen." Others enjoy romantically following tradition. ⠀

Though there's definitely nothing wrong with a woman adopting her partner's name, assuming she will do so or attaching judgment to the decision could result in challenges. Since people usually have very strong feelings about the topic, it's a good idea to have a discussion with a potential partner BEFORE committing to nuptials.⠀

So what do you think about a woman adopting her partner's name?⠀
Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS BELOW.

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