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.
So 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.