Whenever a woman gets married, she is forced to respond to the age-old question: Will you change your last name? Whether you keep your maiden name or not, it is a deeply personal choice. I’ve always considered keeping your surname to be a feminist declaration of individuality. However, after further consideration, I’ve decided to legally take my husband’s last name so that I may bring great shame upon it.
The institution of marriage originated by dehumanizing women as paternally owned property. When women gained some more autonomy, attending college, and making a name for themselves that they wanted reputations and credentials to remain associated with, it became a feminist act to reject the tradition of adopting the husband’s last name. While I am onboard with renouncing patriarchal norms, I’m choosing to sully the once-good name my husband and I will both carry.
Know that this isn’t a lazy, passive decision to go with the flow, but rather a radically feminist act of challenging marital traditions and simultaneously putting my husband and the in-laws fucking through it.
When I shared the news with my friends, everyone reacted to my decision as if I betrayed women everywhere. They claimed I was either selling out, accepting that I am property of my husband, or shamefully running away from the life I’ve built thus far. I appreciate their concern, but it’s feminist to do whatever you want that makes you feel good. For me, that’s committing heinous acts and exhibiting embarrassingly deranged behavior all under the title of my husband and his ancestry.
Besides, it’s all a trap anyway. Women receive pushback no matter what. I’m less interested in judging individual women for this choice and more concerned with responding to heteronormativity’s inherent power imbalance and the government’s unwillingness to support mothers by dragging my husband’s name through the mud.
I simply cannot wait to get married and be infamously batshit crazy!
Thinking ahead, I also want to take my husband’s last name because I want our baby to take it as well. To grow up hearing, “Oh, you must be her son. You poor thing!” is an experience I want my child to enjoy. That way, we’ll operate as one cohesive family within a difficult, humiliating public narrative I continue to craft for us all.
One of the perks of marriage, besides the lifelong companionship and tax benefits, is the consistent opportunity for new beginnings. If things go south and we split up, I can always return to my maiden name to distance myself from the criminal history now associated with my husband. Then I can easily find a new idiot whose name I can besmirch for gender equality!