Women, it is an option to keep your last name…
“Have a good summer, Ms. Marshall!” my students hollered as they poured out of the class and into the sweaty summer hallway. One boy, Aiden, stopped short at the door. “Wait,” he gasped happily, “next year you’ll be Mrs. Whatever-Your-Husband’s-Name-Is, not Ms. Marshall, right?”
“NOOO!!” I shrieked, face flushed with emotion.
Poor Aiden nearly dropped his bright red backpack. “But you’re getting married, aren’t you?” he asked, befuddled.
“Yes,” I bellowed, “but I am NOT changing my name!” My sweet seventh grade student looked shocked.
“That’s possible?” he gulped.
YES, humans of the world, a woman does NOT have to change her name when she gets married.
In my case, there are several strong reasons why, even though I adore my fiance, I am keeping my name.
1. I don’t feel like changing my name.
Feminism is about choice, and I choose to spend my time doing things like, you know, making a speech with the Mayor of Boston, or writing 800 more articles, or uniting Education Bloggers to transform teaching, rather than doing weeks of paperwork to erase my former identity.
2. Altering my name would be terrible for my business.
Currently, if you Google my name you will get pages and pages of articles by and about me and my Teaching-Traveling-Writing-Speaking career. I am proud of each and every one of those articles, and have worked hours every day to build up this online empire. Should a businesswoman with an extensive online reach really throw that all away? I refuse to.
3. My partner loves and respects me, no matter what my name is.
I praise the Earth and sky for sending such a phenomenal man to be my partner: a man who not only created a rose petal scavenger hunt for our engagement, but who has also never once made me feel guilty or wrong for my choice to keep my name. THANK YOU, open-minded men of the world!
4. Changing my name would make me feel sad.
No matter how you slice it, the person who has to change their name gets the short end of the stick. If I were forced to do it, I would feel insulted, disrespected, and depressed. Instead, my partner and I will create a loving, wonderful family based on equality, communication, and mutual respect. And that makes me happy!
So what are YOUR thoughts after reading this article? If you changed your name or plan to change it, what are your reasons? If you kept your own name or did a creative name merge, tell us why, and how it went!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!