I took my husband’s last name at the age of 25.
We’d already been together for more than a decade, and I’d imagined over and over again what this would feel like.
My maiden name was a glorious one—a much better pen name actually—but it didn’t mesh well with his. At all. (My maiden name is Friend.)
No one told me that it would be hard to say goodbye to my old last name. No one shared with me that a mini death was taking place as I changed everything over legally.
But, despite having a hard time letting go, I would again take his last name in a heartbeat.
I personally think hyphenated names are ideal, although, for me, this didn’t seem a plausible option, given the, frankly, less-than-exciting combination of our two “word” surnames.
Instead, I chose to bury “Friend” and embrace being a “White.”
Yet, in this contemporary moment of feminism—where, thankfully, women who claim to not be one are called out for their absurdity—I’ve never felt more judged for sharing my husband’s last name.
I’m not judged on a daily basis or even by most people, but, specifically as a writer and a feminist, it’s almost like I’m supposed to apologise for my choice. I do not apologise.
I also don’t apologise for staying home with my kids, and I know full well that I work full-time too—just inside my home. I don’t apologise, either, for sharing my last name with my husband and our daughters. Ironically, I couldn’t care less if a woman does or doesn’t keep her original last name upon marriage, or if she works outside or inside her home. Instead, I support her ability to choose.