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We are in the twenty first century and yet, we still live in a largely male-dominated society. For some reason many many many years ago, our forefathers decided that women should change their name after they got married. So world over, women are expected to adopt their husband’s family name after marriage. In fact, many Indian families make their daughters-in-law change the whole of their name after marriage. The first name is changed to make the girl’s stars more suitable for the guy!!! Changing of name can also lead to a loss of self-esteem and an identity loss.

But as more and more Indian women are becoming financially independent, all this name changing business appears rather unacceptable to them. Financial independence gives them the right and the guts to question “Why”. In fact, it’s not just about independence and guts. When a person (male or female) embarks on a career path, it becomes rather difficult to suddenly change your name one day. For some, it comes across as unprofessional and for others, it’s just so inconvenient. So if you are getting married, and are unsure about what you would be called after marriage, here are your options…

Adopt Your Husband’s Name Most young women go for this name change. This option is not very difficult to pursue if you have just started your career or are yet to do that. And if you are happily oblivious to the women’s lib, this one will work for you anyway. So if Ms. Anju Mehra marries Mr. Anuj Saxena, her new name after marriage becomes Ms. Anju Saxena.

Refuse For women who have established careers and a name in their industry, changing name cannot be easy. Ask yourself, would a guy change his name under any circumstances? Even if you are not career oriented, you could have that streak of rebellion or feminism in you. In such situations, you can clearly tell your husband-to-be that you wish to retain your old name. This means Ms. Anju Mehra remains Ms. Anju Mehra even after her marriage to Mr. Anuj Saxena. Dual Names Sometimes you want to make your in-laws happy and you also do not wish to change the equations at work. Women in such situations, adopt the new name unofficially. So while the old name sticks at work and in official documentation, the new name is adopted in personal life. So Ms. Anju Mehra becomes Ms. Anju Saxena at home and remains Ms. Anju Mehra professionally. But this ploy does make some women feel like they have a split personality disorder. “A different person working in the office and a different person getting home in the evening” sort of thing.

Append For women like me, who wish to strike a balance, this is the perfect choice. You retain your maiden name and you add your husband’s family name to it. While this solution will not make your in-laws very happy, it should satisfy the urge to remain the person that you were. You can be the person you were for the first 25-30 years of your life, forever. And you also latch on to your new family and their name by adding it to yours. So Ms. Anju Mehra after marriage to Mr. Anuj Saxena becomes Ms. Anju Mehra Saxena. This does seem like a good balancing act, right? What do you think?


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