Today women are political leaders, business tycoons, and more. While women have taken on these powerful positions many individuals are still hung-up on the age old tradition of the wife taking their husbands' last name. In fact a study found that half of Americans believe women should be legally bound to take their husbands' last names once they get married. This age old tradition that dates back to the 19th century is now being defied.
Charlie becoming Charlie Shaw (Photo by: Millie Robson, BBC News)
"It wasn't a huge feminist statement but it was a gesture of allegiance - I took the opportunity to acknowledge that there is an unseen patriarchal bias and sexism in our society and that we can do things differently," Charlie Shaw told BBC News. Shaw is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation instructor, who took his wife's last name over a year ago. Shaw isn't the only one who has taken his wife's last name. Shaw isn't the only one who feels this way.
When Caio Pereira married his wife Jill Langlois he didn't think twice about taking her last name. "My masculinity is not in my name. Masculinity is based on your character, the respect you give to others and knowing who you are as a person," Caio Langlois told BBC News. "Sometimes people laugh when they know I changed my name, they tend to be quite shocked and ask why - but we are in the 21st Century, it's a new generation and we can do things differently."
It's apparent that husbands are getting behind this, but what about other men? What do the bachelors think about this tradition being defied? I talked to two, and here's what they had to say:
What do you think about a husband taking their wife's last name instead of the wife taking their name?
"I think it is definitely progressive, and obviously growing in popularity. I think it's a noble thing to do. I don't think it is a decision that only one spouse should make. It should be a collective group decision. Even now when the status quo says that the woman should take the man's name, that's a big part of their life that's changing. A person's name is what they identify with on the most basic of levels. If a husband is willing to go against the grain of society and take his wife's last name, that really speaks to their relationship."
- Kevin Hartigan, 21
"I don't see any problem with that. It doesn't concern me at all. I feel that those who have an issue with that really shouldn't because it doesn't necessarily effect them in any way. If you don't want your wife's last name, don't take it. If you don't want your husbands last name, don't take it. If you want to do so, you should be able to do so... I feel that the great thing about taking your spouses last name is the beauty in showing your devotion and love [for them]."
- Cameron Collins, 22
Would you be open to taking your future wife's last name?
"Now, I am a pretty proud person. I like my last name! I've grown up watching my mother proudly brandishing my father's name in place of her maiden name. I guess I've always wanted the same thing from my future wife. Her taking my name would be a manifesto on how proud she was to be with me. But I've got to consider that my wife may be just as proud of her last name. Her name may also be a creed of morals and values that she doesn't want to drop so easily. It would be an honor to be valued enough that she wants me to share her families name. So I guess I would be open to it if I was asked to take my wife's last name."
- Kevin Hartigan, 21
"I don't necessarily foresee myself taking my wife's last name because I don't expect my wife to do that for me either. I am very proud of my last name, and a lot of people are. If my future wife is proud of her last name too, I won't ask her to do that unless she chooses. However, the only problem I see is when you have kids. The kids would have two last names unless they chose which one they wanted."
- Cameron Collins, 22
If you are thinking about keeping your last name, or your future husband is thinking about taking your last name be sure to sit down and talk about it. At the end of the day it is about deciding what makes you both happy and what is best for the marriage you two want!
What do you think of the husband taking the wife's last name? Share your thoughts with us! @sixpencewedding.
Still wondering why men are choosing to take their wife's last name? Check out:
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