Shedding Tradition – Women opting to keep their Maiden Names

Recently, the rise in forming new identities for ourselves has become more acceptable as many people have the freedom to do so. Moving to different locations around the world proposes the decision to preserve, revise, or surrender our culture. We have the opportunity to legally change our names and adopt new languages unlike our own. Changing our fashion style, dictating who we are friends with, adjusting the activities we participate in collectively depict the liberty we have with our identity if desired. Lets take that into account today as we discuss this topic.

Our identity can fundamentally shape our life experience. Surnames/Last Names are a vital asset of one’s identification. The New York Times recently published the article “Maiden Names, on the Rise Again” The practice of keeping one’s maiden name after marriage — which appears to have declined sometime in the 1980s or 1990s — has begun rising again, according to an Upshot analysis of data from multiple sources.

Roughly 20 percent of women married in recent years have kept their names, according to a Google Consumer Survey conducted by The Upshot.

Laurie Scheuble, who teaches sociology at Penn State and studies marital naming says ” the resurgence in keeping names could be because women now go to college at higher rates than men, celebrities often keep their names and couples commonly live together before marriage.”

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Although many women are conflicted with the decision as it can be interpreted as objectifying religion and tradition, the decision has moved away from political to becoming more professional. In this sense, many women who have earned reputable status with established careers and high incomes hence see the opportunity to embrace their identity by keeping their names in the work field. According to data from the Google survey, the Times announcements and previous studies, “women are also more likely to keep their names if they are older, not religious, and or have children from a previous marriage.”

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While this matter is subjective, it often comes down to weighing the inconvenience of changing versus keeping. Some say it would be too complicated to change their professional or social media identity. Others say it is too difficult to have a name that’s different from the one for the rest of their family, or fear the prospect of divorce. Ms. Goldin of Harvard said. “It’s possible that changing your name, having the linens with one set of initials, is really part of the crazy glue of life that binds you together.”

American women continue to find alternatives throughout the generations. For instance, some use their maiden name as a middle name, and others use their birth name professionally and their husband’s name in their private lives. Only 1.3 percent of women have hyphenated their names or use both surnames, the census study found.

As we continue to move toward gender equality, the married name tradition is still strong, but as more women embrace their maiden names, it is changing, too.

What are your thoughts on this social trend?

Sources: Maiden Names, on the Rise Again (By Clair Cain Miller and Derek Willis)

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