Opinion

Should a woman take husband's surname after marriage?

OPINION: She said

MY PARENTS are fond of telling the story of me at the tender age of five, loudly proclaiming that any future husband of mine would take my last name.

Two decades later, I'm not so set on a husband taking my name, but absolutely plan on making five-year-old me proud and keeping mine for myself.

It seems my decision is in the minority, with a survey from national bridal magazine Bride to Be showing a whopping 82% of brides took their groom's last name.

That number is even higher on the Fraser Coast, and for reasons I don't understand.

Hervey Bay celebrant Cheryl Kidd performs an average 150 weddings every year, and says she has yet to meet a woman who's kept her own name.

"They want to be the wife," she said.

"The anticipation of changing their name is half the excitement."

It has always baffled me there are so many women willing to sign away a part of themselves that has carried them through life for decades.

For me, taking someone else's name would be like someone asking me to give away one of my fingers.

Those five letters are as much a part of me as any physical body part ever will be.

It's a strong part of my identity that has carried me through every milestone of my life, and should carry me through the milestones I have left.

The errant C in Busch has started many conversations and many spelling errors over the years, but there is no word in the world I am more attached to than that one.

Let's hope there are more women out there who want to hold on to their own name.

The practice of taking a man's name is a relic, and one that serves increasingly little purpose in a country where fewer people are choosing marriage in the first place and a large portion of marriages end in divorce.

 

He said

I CAN feel the feminists scratching for my eyeballs, but I can't understand why.

So what if I'm a sucker for tradition?

Thankfully my wife is too; she took my surname at marriage.

I wouldn't have particularly minded if she hadn't, but I would have found it strange.

I would have questioned her motive - was she planning to take my non-existent money and leave?

As far as I'm concerned, women have always taken the man's surname and I see no reason for change.

I know: my head's buried so far in the sand I can see what's happening in China.

But men have given up a lot in this shift to equal rights and we deserve the reward of some things staying the same.

In fact, we need some things to stay the same.

In this modern world, I miss the simplicity of the good old days.

Times when the man made the money and their wife had a dinner of meat and three veg on the table when they got home. I believe women secretly miss those days too - that's why retro is fashionable, and women are again learning how to bake and wear aprons.

In fact, I think they're beginning to realise they had it good.

At the end of a 55-hour working week, nothing soothes the soul like the thought of holidays spent on the couch and the knowledge you might never have to get up again.

And I'm just floating this idea: but I'd happily agree to give up my surname in return for the benefits women used to enjoy.

I'd even be prepared to put the dishes in the dishwasher and serve up a couple of microwave dinners.

I'd let the dryer finish off the washing and a Wiggles DVD entertain the kids.

Topics:  hannah busch journalists marriage name opinion



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