Which side of the debate are you on? Are you the hyphenated kind, the name-change type or belong to the ‘retaining my maiden name’ sect?
What’s a modern woman’s take on the ever hot battle of ‘taking up your husband’s name after marriage’? If you’re planning to spend the rest of your life taking up his family responsibilities, why not take up his surname as well? Does flaunting his name make you ‘not modern’? Or attaching his name makes you a feminist?
For me, taking up my would-be’s name is not a matter of being a feminist or modern. It’s more to do with letting the world know about my love. Yeah, see, I am an Iyer. When I do get married to the man of my dreams, say XYZ, I would proudly turn into Vaishnavi Iyer-XYZ. Because I want the world to know about this sacred union. They have to find out about my crackling affair. But again, why am I hell bent on retaining my maiden name, along with my new surname? Ah, good question. Most women shy away from going through the process of changing names because of its tedious nature. By the time a girl gets married in today’s age, she already has a bank account, PAN card, Passport, Driving License and Aadhar card, among others. It’s such a grand nuisance to change all those documents. Valid reason, isn’t it?
When some women (like me) hyphenate two surnames, does it make them less affectionate towards their husbands? And when a woman doesn’t take up her new name at all, what does it make her? To me, a joint surname is a mark of declaring my love for my hubby. It has got nothing to do with psychological yarn that the society is trying to spin. When you’re not opposed to your kid taking his father’s name (and not yours), the whole debate sounds rather meh to me. When even Bollywood actresses who made a name for themselves (literally!) are going the ‘hyphen’ way…Kareena Kapoor-Khan being the latest entrant. While the Bachchan bahu has two surnames, her mom-in-law is known only as Jaya Bachchan, with her maiden name (Bhaduri) having disappeared completely. Does it mean the bahu is less loyal to her hubby than the Sr Mrs B?
The Raging argument that feminists all over the world have is that the guy a woman marries changes nothing about himself. Right from his home to habits to family name, everything remains as it is. But the woman has to go through a spectacular amount of changes in order to profess her undying devotion to her new family. Hmmm. How fair is that? According to survey conducted by Facebook in collaboration with The Daily Beast, 65 percent women in their 20s and 30s in the USA changed their names post marriage. A trend that’s not encouraged by the anti name-change and hyphenated gangs.
For soon-to-be-married Shrishti Arya, a journalist, the reasons for not changing are rather simple and practical. She says, ‘I am a journalist. I have been known by my name for years. If I suddenly change my surname, my column will lose out on its traffic.’ The features writer will be walking down the aisle with her college sweetheart Anand Mishra in December this year. Quiz her about her husband-to-be’s reaction and she says, ‘He is a modern man. He has never forced me to do anything. He gives me my space.”
Which side of the debate are you on? The hyphenated kind, the name-change type or retaining my maiden name sect? Shout out to us!