Look around just anywhere across the globe, you will see two kinds of people who get married. One, who take their husband’s surname and those who would keep theirs unchanged. I just got married to the love of my life and I was really fascinated about how the ‘surnames’ were going to work in our case. Will I be just picking his, or will it be an additional suffix to mine?
Surnames, a Patriarchal Paradox in India
Growing up in an Indian household, we have had to see several stereotypes, superstitions and a shit load of hypocrites. From generations the women in our house took surnames of the men they got married to, because one, they never has an objection and of course, it was unconventional, and anything that’s unconventional is seen with an apprehension. This might be more rooted in this country, but the others are no better.
According to a general survey conducted, 59% women prefer taking their husband’s surname irrespective of their age. It’s their preference first (may be because of the impact of popular “marriage” culture). Because of the curiosity I had, I’d ask the women in my family why did you let go of your maiden name and the generic answer was its a norm.
Another thought, is it just the man’s legacy that needs to be continued? What about a woman, or a woman of a family where siblings are girls?
No, I am not a “feminist” who wants to be empowered to bring men down. I am just raising questions which are bizarre because of its nonacceptance.
So, yes we are married. But do I need to change my surname to state the obvious?
Women like me who combine surnames might have some thinking behind it, like I want to make sure that my kids have both our surnames, right? But in a stiff society, that’s a challenge too.
Why can’t men take our surnames? Have you ever met one such man who would say this to you? As unusual as this might sound, but there are men who think there’s nothing wrong to keep their wives surnames or if not that, their kids to have it.
There’s a lot that’s felt and a lot more that can be said. I have never been asked, so, here’s my way of asking once again. Will this ever change? Since I am changing my whole world, how about there’s an initiative from the other side too?
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