Taking your husband’s name feels like you are transferring ‘ownership’ from your father to your partner, according to Irish journalist Áine Kenny.
In her latest column for RSVP, Ms Kenny says she has no plans to change her name when she gets married – asking the question, ‘If a man doesn’t traditionally change his name, why should I?’
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, she said she always knew she would follow in her mother’s footsteps and keep her own name after marriage.
She said she fully understands why many women are still happy to take their partner's name – but the concept felt “very strange” to her.
“For me, I just think, personally speaking, it just seems like ownership almost,” she said.
“When we think about it, most women have their father’s last name and the father literally walks the bride down the aisle, giving her away to her new owner – i.e her husband.
“That’s just the way I picture it. That is not what everyone thinks and that’s totally fair, but for me, I know I want to keep my own last name.
“It’s my name and, until the same amount of men are changing their names to their wife’s last name, why should I even consider it?”
A 2015 analysis by the New York Times found that 70% of women in the Us still adopt their husband’s family name when they get married.
Meanwhile, a 2016 survey in the UK found that almost 90% of women still do so – with the figure dropping to 85% for women between 18 and 30-years-old.
This is despite the fact that 68% of US women and 60% of UK women describe themselves as feminists.
Ms Kenny said she was surprised to see the figures.
“I couldn’t believe that so many women are still choosing to take their husband’s name,” she said. “I thought it might be 50/50 at this stage but obviously not.”
She said her stance on changing her name came as no surprise to her partner when they got engaged.
“I’ve always said I’m definitely not going to change my name if I get married,” she said.
“It just seemed like a very strange concept to me to change my name because my mam never changed her name.”
She said very, very few men ever take their wife’s family name but there is a “new trend” of couples taking on double-barrel names she thinks will become more popular over the next half-century.