3 Reasons I Kept My Maiden Name

By April 21, 2015Sylvia's Blog

cartoon married couple

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat. I am a feminist. But let me quickly follow that up with I love men. I hate man bashing, want nothing to do with the  man haters and have the utmost love and respect for all the men in my life. I just believe in equality. It’s that simple.

 

 

wedding ringsSo when I got married and made the “controversial” decision to continue to use my maiden name, I put a lot of thought into it. I also have gotten a lot of grief over the years from people who felt it was an insult to my husband. They are wrong. We are a great team.

But here’s why I did it. First of all, I wanted to carry on my family name, secondly as a Hispanic woman, my maiden name really identifies who I am. Finally, your name is such a huge part of your identity. Why after having it for a lifetime would you choose to give it up? I’ll admit my husband was not too happy about the decision initially so I decided I would keep my name and add his on. I admit, it can be a pain to have a hyphenated last name. It took some getting used to. He gets called Mr. Perez all the time. Fortunately he is confident enough in who he is that he’s learned to let it roll off his back.

I realized how important keeping my last name was when I had my children. After my experience, we decided having a hyphenated last name would be too much of a hassle for my girls. So instead, my maiden name is  part of their middle name. I know it’s confusing but it works. And let me add my daughters, both teenagers now, love having my last name. It connects them to their roots.

So why does society have such a problem with this? Is it wrong to want to keep the name you were born with? How would a man feel if the tables were turned and he had to give up his name? I don’t judge anyone for taking on their husbands’ name. But I am curious to get your feelings about this. Both men and women. What’s your response?

When a woman decides to keep her name, it doesn’t mean a lack of respect, it’s not about taking a stubborn stand, it’s not really even about being a feminist. For me, it’s about keeping your identity and proudly carrying on the family name.

Someday when my daughters get married will they take their husband’s names? Will they drop my maiden name? It’s up to them. Though, deep down inside I secretly hope they will find a way to keep my last name with them forever.

Sylvia Perez

About Sylvia Perez

Sylvia Perez is an Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, news and health reporter, and major market anchor. Her expertise in revealing the personal side of headline stories and drawing their impact into “news you can use” viewership is now the foundation of Sylvia Perez Productions, a multi-faceted company specializing in video production and event planning for non-profits.

10 Comments

  • Cathryn says:

    I think each person should be respected for whichever choice they make. Personally I took my last name as my middle name. Good for you, making your own choice, and also for allowing your daughters to make their own choices.

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      I agree Cathryn, we have to respect everyone’s individual decisions. No wrong or right!

  • Sara Byron says:

    I completely agree with you. I feel that fewer women are keeping thier names. I am proud of my family and what I accomplished the first 30 years of my life. As a feminist, I object to the tradition of changing the “title” on the ownership of a female – from her father to her husband. I worked with women who had changed thier names four times through their string of failed marriages! My husbands first wife changed her name – and it did not guarantee a successful marriage. Despite my moth-in-laws tears over my decision, and her refusal to visit her grandchildren in the hospital when they were born to “an unwed mother”. (We were married, i just had my original name.) Original name. I even object to the term maiden name. Truth be told, my husband and I lived together for two years before marrying. I was no longer a maiden.
    My children are completely comfortable with my last name as their midddle name. They understand that we are a family unit, that they are half Byron and half Jeffers. They have never questioned it. THe deal made with my husband is that I agreed to never get angry if someone called me Mrs. Jeffers. Nor if someone calls him Mr. Byron.

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      I love your response Sara. The “unwed” mother line cracked me up. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      WE are in the same position. Glad to hear I”m not alone. Haha! Thanks for commenting.

  • Ava Odom Martin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly Sylvia. I have kept my maiden name personally. I use the three name moniker because my career was started way before I got married. I use my married name when dealing with my children and their schools, etc. I applaud you and find it is empowering. Three names ROCK! If someone has an issue with it, it is their issue not mine. I know who I am!

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      So true Ava.But it can be a hassle at times. Appreciate your comments. Best, Sylvia

  • Dino Savaiano says:

    My wife kept her maiden name, although I was not thrilled with the choice. It was more of a business decision. We own a restaurant started by her family & have been in business for 60 years. My wife has been in it since she was a little girl. So I do understand that to keep the family name going she made the right decision. I bought into the business 13 yrs ago (we’ve been together 20, married 18). Stimac’s Restaurant, Bar & Banquets in Hillside, so she will always be Kim Stimac, & I often get called “Mr. Stimac” which is like nails on a chalkboard to me, but I handle it with grace & charm.
    My daughter has my last name, Savaiano, & only 11 yrs old, does understand the name game.

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      Thanks for commenting Dino.My husband understands your pain. I appreciate a man who is man enough to take the mistakes that people make by calling them by their wife’s last name. Sometimes it’s just not worth stopping to explain. Haha!

  • Susan Noble says:

    I agree with you Sylvia my oldest Niece has her Mothers maiden name as her middle name and my youngest niece has her Fathers Mother’s maiden name as her middle name. Love that tradition.

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