“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – W. Shakespeare
I am a feminist and I took my husband’s last name. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Me changing my last name doesn’t make me less of a feminist. It doesn’t compromise who I am and as who I identify. It’s just a name. Granted, my last name now is more difficult to spell and harder to pronounce than my maiden name, but then again, my maiden name wasn’t all that easy to pronounce (or spell for that matter) either, so what’s the difference?
That is the question, what is the difference? It wasn’t an easy decision, after all my maiden name was part of me for the majority of my live and going through the bureaucratic ways of changing my name wasn’t an easy piece of cake either, so why do it? Why change something that has been part of you for so long for something else that is not part of you?
There is nothing romantic about it. It’s not like a new beginning, a new identity or anything of that sort. It’s just a name. Why did I do it then? Because I wanted to be part of my husband, I wanted to feel closer to him and somehow, sharing the same last name gave me that exact feeling. Don’t for a second think, that he was insisting on my name change, he was very much in favor of changing his last name for mine or me keeping my name or us hyphenating both of our names plus another hundred and seven other possibilities. But in the end I decided to take his last name, because I wanted to. And now, pay attention, it was MY decision.
I took me less than an hour to change my signature and less than a day to get used to the new last name and about 9 months to get the paperwork done, but I am still the same woman. I am neither more nor less of a feminist.
“You’re in your house, that doesn’t mean you are your house. House falls down, you get out and walk away.” – What dreams may come (1998)
So, what is in a name? It doesn’t give you meaning, importance or anything else than something others can call you by. But wouldn’t you still be the same person if they called you by your hair color, your favorite animal or the prettiest flower in the yard?
My point is, you decide who you are and what you want to do with your life. You decide where you go and what path you take to get there. You can do it by walking or crawling or taking a bike, but ultimately you are calling the shots. Don’t get distracted by little things like what to name things and what others think of you and your name. Don’t get sidetracked, go out there, conquer the world and go reach for the stars.