November 3, 2010

to change the name or to not change the name?

It was always just "assumed" and taught that when a girl gets married to the man of her dreams, she changes her name. And as a little girl you dream of what your future last name will be. You would write your name next to the last name of your crush and oo and ahhh... Julia Oats. Awwww I really liked Joseph Oats in elementary school.

Now fast forward several years, and here I am, married to the man of my dreams (almost 3 months now) and I was soo excited to become Mrs. Lewis. and still am. I never really liked Morrow. I always was teased as a child. Called "moron" or "toooo - morrow, tomorrow, I love ya..." you get the idea. And then when my name is called in class - for some reason Morrow is super hard for people to pronounce, even though they say it 100x a day. "see ya tomorrow!" blach... anyway...so I never liked my last name and was so excited to change it.

Julia Lewis just sounds so great. It's easy. People know what it says and how to spell it. And if I do have to spell it, it just rolls off the tongue. Unlike Morrow, with the double R...and one always gets lost. and I have to say "You know, like tomorrow". I was blessed with a good married name.

And then I take a woman's studies class. And learn that all of my personal views are called "being a feminist". No, I'm not a raging, bra burning, crazy lady. I'm simply a feminist who believes in equal rights, female rights, gay rights...etc.

And the week after I legally change my name, we talk about if a woman should be "forced" to change her name when she gets married. How it is not socially acceptable if a woman doesn't change her name to her husband's name. Does that her identity get dissolved into her husband's? Back in the day - women were property and the ownership went from the father to the husband. Just like the name does. So sitting there in class I was feeling bugged. Is it acceptable to be a feminist and change my name? Well the deed has been done. But I had to come to terms with it.

This is my conclusion on the matter. I didn't like my previous last name. I like my new last name. Alone, that is enough to change it. However I don't feel that I have now dissolved into my husband's identity. I defiantly have my own identity. I like to do somethings the traditional way, and other things the totally NON-traditional way. This is one of those "traditional" things. I like being Mrs. Lewis.

2 blurbs:

Jessica GaleForce said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly!! I wasn't too attached to my last name of Carlson. I don't think that when I took Jared's name that I was "becoming his property" I enjoyed the chance to start a new chapter in my life with a new name. Almost like my slate being wiped clean and starting anew. That while Jessica Carlson was a girl who was very broken inside, and very confused by the messages the world, her family and her friends wanted and expected her to be. Act II of the play of my life started and with it a full costume change. A whole new me. Who I wanted to be, what I wanted to accomplish, and who I wanted to involve. I wanted to attach myself in anyway possible to the man I chose to involve myself with in this the second act of my life.

I, myself, find it sometimes odd when women don't change their names. I know there isn't any reason that they should or shouldn't. Its a personal choice and I don't think it should matter what I think about it, or any other person for that matter.

So if you like your last name as Lewis then by all means change it too Lewis. There isn't any law that says you can't be feminist and have your name the same as your husbands. Its only a matter of opinion. And opinions don't decide or declare you who you are.

Lol and thats my "opinion" ;)

Julia and Ben said...

Thanks love! I love the analogy of "acts" because it's so true. We are starting a whole new chapter or act in our life. I feel privileged to take his name - although it takes some adjusting. ;)