herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Sorry Mrs Clooney, but changing your name only leads to confusion

Trump, Hewson, Obama, Clinton or Windsor. I guess if you tried to book a table last minute under one of those names, you'd get the best seat in the house.

It's possibly why all those wives decided to take their husband's name.

Amal Almuddin recently faced this dilemma and chose to throw her lot in with the name Clooney.

She's back at work and in the middle of changing her email and contact details.

She's not alone. A Facebook survey looked at the names of 14 million married women in the US and found that of that group, 65pc of women in their 20s and 30s changed their names.

A longitudinal study published in 2009 found a decline in women keeping their maiden names, starting in the 1990s.

I don't think it's anti-women or anti-feminist to change your name to your husband's one, but I'm not convinced by the reasons that women sometimes give for doing so.

IDENTITY

If it doesn't really matter that you change your name, well it shouldn't really matter that you don't, surely. If a name is the most basic mark of your identity, then why give up yours and take his?

The argument that it's 'easier' if you take his, is nonsense. It's not. I haven't had to change a single piece of documentation and have never had anything addressed to me with my husband's second name.

Never, ever has there been any confusion. It's those who do change their name that have to go to the bother of changing emails, fill out paperwork and have clients and colleagues getting confused.

It might indicate that you're not as committed to the marriage as you could be, is another reason people cite to change.

Seriously? Just because I'm Colette Fitzpatrick and not Colette McDermott doesn't mean that my family is any less unified. It doesn't mean I'm less of a wife.

And if it's so important for a mother and father to have the same name, well then let's make it mine.

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