To Hyphenate or Not To Hyphenate?

So call me a non-traditionalist feminist, but before I was married, I toyed with the idea of hyphenating my name once married. Why, you ask? Well let’s see…

  •  I think my full name just sounds better together for one thing! It has been with me for 27 years so I don’t see why we can’t go 80 more or so together!
  • I’m considering going after a PhD and I want to be Dr. Maiden Name, NOT Dr. Married Name. (I will have earned that sucker, NOT the hubby…no offense, lol.)
  • Women who hyphenate earn more in the workplace. They are viewed as more capable and more independent, which = more likely to do a better job. Check this article!
  •  Example: Jane Livingston – Jane Livingston – Whitmore (I prefer the latter)

So, this leads me to one question! Why doesn’t the MAN take the WOMAN’S last name? It is not unheard of! Some couples even select/establish a new last name when they cannot come to terms.  Changing my last name will not make me anymore loyal than I already am. I have nothing to prove either and I am not doing it out of spite. But, I have yet to hear a good argument as to why I should ditch my maiden name and take his!

My husband has his mother’s maiden name, not his father’s surname, so I would think that he would understand or at least have an idea of where I am coming from with this. I recognize I might be in the minority with this, but I assure you, it is not the first or last time this will occur in my life. According to a 2010 Real Weddings Survey by The Knot, only 6 percent of newlywed women opted to hyphenate their names, which is not a high number. But, I figure because the average bride is now 27, many women don’t want the hassle of converting their personal and professional selves, e-mail addresses, Google searchability, etc.,—to a whole new name. Look at the Jada Pinkett-Smiths of the world!

Aside from all that, why do I have to be the one to lop off that identity and start completely anew? What do men have to give up in order to marry a woman? Less time out w/the boys and a cleaner house with food on the table every night? Tough stuff! NOT! If I was born a man, this wouldn’t be a discussion and I would be carrying on my family name. BUT, because I have an innie, not an outie, I’m supposed to be uber excited to cut off the part of ME that has made me ME my ENTIRE LIFE?!?!

At the very least, men should support their woman’s right to choose if they want to keep the old while forging ahead with the new, and not give them grief for wanting to do it. The hyphens represent both our pasts and our futures…and they have a nice ring to them as well…What do you think?

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