Amal Alamuddin to change her last name … so what?

 

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.

R x

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4 thoughts on “Amal Alamuddin to change her last name … so what?

  1. When I got married, I kept my maiden name for work. It was just easier to keep it as people in the industry knew me by that name. I actually quite enjoyed having a professional self and a private self. Now that I’ve left that job, I have my husband’s name, which I now use for everything. But it is a woman’s choice, and shouldn’t matter either way.

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    1. This is so true! I think some people take it to far. I know for a fact I would change my name if I got married because I would want to share the same last name with the person I have chosen to spend my life with.

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  2. completely agree that the choice is up to the individual – i often wonder why this issue is so hotly debated. i know plenty of women who have actually gotten divorced but still kept their married name because they wanted to have the same last name as their children. I understand that it is a symbol of oppression in our patriarchal society, but I think it’s pretty far down on the list of what needs to be done in the fight for gender equality.

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