Friday, August 20, 2010

Sporting my new last name

I became legitimate a couple weeks ago when I got my new social security card.(They have dates on them now. Did you know?)

I took my husband's last name. It was a big decision. Taking my husband's name wasn't the big decision. I knew I was going to do that. I didn't know what to do with my last name.

When I was in college (round 1), I took several gender/ feminist courses. At one point I even thought about making that a focal point of my studies. However, I was honest with myself. I was a little too wishy-washy. While I loved the idea of women's empowerment and all that comes with it, I was secretly coveting a traditional happily-ever-after.

All of the feminist theories I'd studied came flooding back at the exact moment the woman on the opposite side of my desk asked if I wanted to keep my last name and make it my middle name. At the time, my last name was my mother's maiden name. Keeping it would maintain the matriarchal thread. Sounds awesome, right? On the other hand, getting rid of my middle name would mean shedding a name that my mother actually chose for me. If you look at it like that, your last name is pretty much thrown upon you. So, is it really all that important?

I decided to keep my middle name and shed the last name that I'd sported for over a quarter of my life. What was the deciding factor? I love my middle name. That's pretty much it.Isn't the right to choose a pivotal component of women's rights? I chose.

How do I feel? I wasn't sure how I was going to feel at first. I feel like a new person. I feel like I can reinvent myself since I have a new name. It's exciting. All at once I feel independent and brand new while closer to my husband.

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