When I got engaged, the topic of changing my name came up. My then fiance informed me that I would be changing my last name to his. But I had no intention of doing so. I’m not against changing my last name. I’m just not going to automatically change it to anything. For me to change my last name, the man’s last name has to be better than mine. And let’s face it, not many are.
My main point of contention with changing your name is that it’s so much work. You have to change your driver’s license, passport, employee ID, credit cards, and everything else that has your name on it. It can take months and a fair amount of money to get it all done. Who wants to go through that hassle? I hate paperwork on a good day. So clearly, I wouldn’t take a name change lightly.
Next, why would I change my perfectly good last name to something else if it wasn’t worth the change? I wouldn’t go through all of that to end up with a worse last name. That’s just not something that I’m going to do. Star LaBranche is a pretty bad ass name and I like it. You have to give me a much better alternative in order for me to change it.
There’s a feminist issue here that I will, naturally, address. Part of the name change can be taken as a woman taking on a new identity as a married woman while the man remains the same. There’s also the fact that in the past, the woman would take on her husband’s name as a show that she is now his property. The children would also have his name because they belong to him. While I can see this point, I don’t personally feel that it has much effect on me. No one is going to think that my husband owns me because I took his last name.
By now it’s just tradition and a way to make things easier for people. You’ve met Mr. Smith and don’t know his wife’s name? Call her Mrs. Smith. How simple is that? Although it meant something different in the past, I would in no way feel that I was declaring myself property if I took a guy’s particularly awesome last name.
It really just boils down to personal choice. Do you want your husband’s last name? Then go for it and have a ball. Are you really lazy like me and don’t want to go through all of that hassle and paperwork? Then carry on your own last name with pride.
And now, for funsies, here are a list of last names that I, right now, am willing to change my name to.
Ex-boyfriend’s last name: Chastant.
Guy I’ve been seeing’s last name: Jester
Dude whose credit card I once swiped at work: Story
That’s the list right now. It might change in the future, but as of this moment, that’s pretty much it.