Today’s names are more public than they ever were. We develop a kind of name recognition when we create URL’s, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog, and LinkedIn accounts. Today, everyone has a virtual byline. So, the decision women have when they get married is a hot-button issue.
In 2011, TheKnot.com surveyed 19,000 newlywed women and found that only 8 percent of them kept their last names–that’s down from a record high of about 23 percent in the nineties. Of the 86 percent who did take their husbands’ names, six percent modified or hyphenated it.
The decision to assume the last name of your betrothed is a personal one–but as women build brands for themselves and their business, emotions get complicated. What may work for a partnership, may not be what’s best for a business.
The practice of women keeping their last names, was first introduced in the U.S. by suffragette Lucy Stone in the 1850s, adopted by members of the Lucy Stone League in the 1920’s and popularized during the Women’s Rights Movement of the early 1970’s, and peaked in the 1990’s at 23 percent. By the 2000’s, only 18 percent of women were keeping their names, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Social Behavior and Personality.
There’s always a case to be made for changing your name to make for less strife with your man, but what about in the case of divorce? Should you give him back his name? Or is it by all rights yours?
Studies show that women who’ve married for a long time, have children (and again), have built businesses and reputations with their married names, prefer to keep them–particularly if their ex’s are fairly well-known.
Whether you choose to keep your maiden name, take his, hyphenate or not, is yours and yours alone. The only important consideration is what you feel most comfortable.
Let us know her FTK what you decided to do….