To change, or not to change? That is the question…
Is it ‘un-feminist’ to change your surname when you get married? Well, is it un-feminist to wear high heels? Correct answer: not if you are freely choosing it and you are doing it to please yourself! Amal Alamuddin (a.k.a the badass human rights lawyer whom Georger Clooney was lucky enough to marry) is making the change, and seems to be copping a bit of criticsm.
The only un-feminist thing about this is that a woman being criticised for making a choice. It comes down to personal preference, not a question of whether you are obeying the ‘laws’ of feminism. The worst outcome is making a decision that is solely to prove a point or to please someone else; I’m sure that is breaking something from the pocket guide to feminism. What I’m trying to convey is that people who criticise women for changing their name are putting equal pressure on them as those they oppose.
It’s a tricky issue that causes much internal conflict; on the one hand it’s no big deal and on the other hand it’s THE BIGGEST deal… if a woman chooses to change or keep her surname when she marries, it is her choice and none of your business. On the other hand, it’s a huge deal because you’re considering whether to change your identity. Guys can and some indeed do take their partner’s surname, some couples hyphenate names or create a completely new one. And what should lesbians do?! If one wife took the other’s surname, would that be un-feminist? It’s all so much less confusing if we quit judging and over-analysing other people’s choices.
So what’s the conclusion here? The conclusion is that there is only one right choice; the choice each individual makes that is right for them.
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