Should women change their surnames after marriage?

I feel sad whenever a girl changes her surname after marriage. Why? Because it doesn’t symbolize gender equality. It also has a foul smell of patriarchy associated with it.

By the way, why is it not the other way round? Why is it that the woman always changes her surname? Why don’t men do that? Strange, right?

Right through her teenage years, through school, through college, she has been known by that name. It is her identity. If not her whole identity, then at least a very important part of it. So why change it after marriage. Yes, you can attempt to justify it in a number of ways, but I find this tradition to be ridiculous.

If you are a man, just think about it for a moment. We are going to change your surname to something else. Are you willing? Now, the odds are you won’t agree. But there will be many of you who might say that you love her and you can do anything for her. So, you are willing to change your surname. But do you really need to change your name to show your love to her? No, absolutely not. In the same way, she doesn’t have to change her name to prove anything to you.

If you ponder some more over this tradition, you will see that it is one of those many inequalities that woman are subjected to. Inequalities like? There are a lot of them. I am sure you might already have thought of a few. I would have listed them but that would have taken a lot of time. Unfortunately, there are so many of them.

And what surprises me the most is the fact that some women seem so eager to change their surnames after marriage. Maybe, I am not correct. Maybe, that eagerness is only on the surface. But, trust me! That’s not needed. I also know that this is a personal choice and I am no one to question it. But if we have to change our society and achieve gender equality, then traditions like these need to go away. They need to go away for the good.

Personally, I am not in favor of this tradition. I wouldn’t want my future wife to change her surname. Why would I? Why should I? I have a name. She has a name. Why change it? Let’s change other things that need to be changed.

What about you? Men, what do you think about this tradition? Women, do you really want to change your surnames after marriage? Do let me know.


  1. Kunal May 9, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    In few cases I have seen the change in her 1st name too . Overall, I would call it as an “Identity crises”.

    1. John Thomas - Site Author May 9, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      Yes, Kunal. Some may be doing it willingly. But for all the others, it might be very difficult!

  2. Namrata Kappe May 14, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Very well written John! I totally agree with you. Trust me that many girls are not even aware that they can keep their old surnames. (Even I wasn’t knowing it until few years back!) People raise eyebrows when they see a girl who hasn’t changed her surname post marriage & praise the ones who change their Facebook names (identity) on the day of marriage itself! The sad part is that this is one of the reasons why prospective parents wish for a boy & not a girl. They want their family names to be retained by future generations!

    As you rightly mentioned, some women are very eager to change their surnames post marriage. They find it very cute. In some cases, both the surnames are used which seems like a new fashion statement nowadays. Does it really imply gender equality? It will if men also start using 2 surnames. (This is legally allowed by the way). But imagine that both start using 2 surnames. What will happen to their children? Few generations down the line, people will have very long full names. Hence, somebody will have to give up his/her family name. I feel that this may create serious issues if the one who sacrifices isn’t fixed.

    What’s the solution to this then? Adding/deleting/changing surnames seems very cumbersome to me. Instead of that, should we not have a simple first name only? Can we show our love to parents by other means than adding their names in our identity?

    1. John Thomas - Site Author May 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you, Namrata 🙂
      I really like and appreciate your point of view. I wish everyone begins to exercise their thinking muscle like you are doing. Kudos!


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