Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's in a name?

As the wedding approaches, I am being asked the same question on an increasingly steadily basis. Will you be taking his name or keeping your own?

The trend on my dad’s side of the family seems to be hyphenating your name. Parent-Legge, Parent-Wallace, Parent-Tasik… if looking at that side of the family it would seem obvious that I would hyphenate my name as well… but, I really don’t want to have to write all that out all the time. (Yes, I am willing to make such a big decision based on something as selfish as laziness).

Then there are those that tell me that, as a feminist, I should at the very least be keeping my own name, if not demanding that he take my name. In my mind, the taking of your partner’s name is symbolic of the relationship you have committed to each other.

You have sworn to spend the rest of your lives together, for better or for worse. In a perfect world, we might be able to take the last names of each partner, and combine them to create a new last name – perhaps in my case Parent and Brodeur would make Brodent. But of course, that is not realistic as you would not be able to trace lineage or connect families to one another in any shape or form.

This then begs the question of why the man wouldn’t take the woman’s last name. I have no problem with this… for other people. But I have never even considered asking Gilles if he would like to take my last name. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I am also a traditionalist?

There has really never been a question about the fact that I will be taking Gilles’ last name when we get married. In fact, I already have my new business cards. But, I don’t expect everyone to agree with my decision either.

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