Despite being an undergrad, the more time I spend on facebook, the more and more I see my peers (from high school and college) getting engaged, getting married, and starting families of their own. Many girls my age are starting to think of planning weddings (let’s be real, most of us have wedding pintrest boards) and trying to settle down with a significant other.
I came across an interesting article saying that if a woman keeps her last name she is going to be more successful. This study found more women who are getting married at a younger age (in their 20’s) are less likely to take their husband’s last name than women getting married at an older age (in their 60’s). The study also cites that women in higher prestige jobs (such as medicine, entertainment, or arts) are more likely to keep their last name, which is one reason they’re more successful. Most women also get married at an older age when they choose not to take their husband’s last name, so they already have a career and an identity fully formed.
The study cites that women who don’t take their husband’s name are perceived as not being committed to a marriage and end up being paid less than if they took their husbands last name. I think this is problematic. I think that women should not be forced to take the name of the man she chooses to marry– I think that it should be her decision or a decision she makes jointly with her hubby-to-be. I think choosing not to take a husband’s last name just indicates that that person already has a developed identity and doesn’t feel the need to change it. I also think on the flip side, women who choose to take their husband’s last name shouldn’t be perceived as weak, or dependent on a man– I think both of these decisions are a personal choice that a woman decides how she wants her identity to be (if she wants it to change or not) post-wedding.
What do you think?