Names are intimate and personal reflections of how we present ourselves to the world, and the decisions of these couples make clear, in the words of Amy Vachon, how “there is no perfect choice.”This is one of the things that conservatives appear to have won on, but I can never quite figure out why. I never understood why one day you would just decide to change your name. It's as if you end your existence as Single Person and become Married Person. The connotations behind this are a little ridiculous and buy into the "happily ever after" narrative too much for my taste.
Changing your name feels unequal, she says. Not changing it means not being seen by the world as an automatic unit. Hyphenating works, at least for a generation, but can be long and cumbersome. Using one name for work and another at home means never remembering who you are.
Furthermore, I never really understood, if it's such an important issue for families to all have the same names (because how would you know you belong to one another otherwise?) why it has to be the woman that changes her name. Why can't the man? I've yet to hear a good response to that one. Changing names to become a "unit" is silly. What if you were asked to change your name each time you changed jobs or professions? People would say that's silly, but for me it's no more silly than changing your name each time you change partners.
I plan to not change my name if I get married for the same reasons Lisa cites. I've already begun shaping my public persona with this name. There's no reason to change it. I agree that the naming of the children can be problematic, but frankly I'm not worried about having children just yet.