Holiday engagement season is upon us and although the pandemic may have postponed or altered some couples’ plans to marry, others are still making plans to tie the knot soon. Previously I wrote a guide to egalitarian engagements and weddings, but I left out one big question many egalitarian couples face: how to navigate deciding whether to change last names.
The tradition of wives taking their husbands’ last names began in twelfth century England when women were considered property. Assuming their husbands’ last names signified ownership, as women had no legal identity apart from their husbands. While our society no longer considers women to be property, some are still critical of the symbolism and history of this tradition. With our commitment to mutual submission and shared leadership in marriage, does it still make sense for an egalitarian wife to lose her maiden name and adopt her husband’s name?
You can read my full article, “To Change or Not to Change: How Egalitarian Couples Navigate Last Names” at CBE.
If you’re engaged or newly married, you’ll also want to check out my article published by CBE in 2019, “Egalitarian From the Start: How to Have an Egalitarian Engagement & Wedding.”
Main photo of author and her husband by Lisa Price Photography.