My last name isn't Grant. My editor and I picked the name out of the Baby Name Dictionary because I didn't want to write under my own last name (in an attempt to keep my HR consulting life separate from my writing life). Also I wanted a name near the beginning of the alphabet so that my books would be at eye-level on shelves in stores. I'm sneaky like that. I say all of that but if (when) I get married, I do intend to take my husband's last name personally though I'll probably always write under Grant.
Several weeks ago, I sat in on one of Dr. Jayme's pre-marital group sessions as research for a short story I'm playing around with. The topic of the class was "What stays in your single life when you get married?" It was fascinating. Instead of giving couples the answers, Jayme lets each person write out a list and then everybody compares notes. One issue that was debated heatedly was whether a woman should take her husband's last name after marriage.
One young lady not only was eager to take her man's last name, she wanted the first name too. Instead of being Mary Smith, she was going to be Mrs. John Doe. Another lady was going to do a mash-up, moving her last name to her middle name so she would be Mary S. Doe. One woman felt that her family name was just as important as his so she wanted to hyphenate. Her fiance didn't care one way or the other. Another woman said she wouldn't change her name because she had worked hard to make a name for herself in her profession. Her future husband felt that she was clinging to her singlehood by clinging to her maiden name.
Jayme talked about creating unity in a marriage. If one partner feels strongly about the issue, it can be a sticking point for years to come. She also shared a study that showed that women who take their husband's name are seen as warmer but less competent. They're also less likely to be hired for a job and will make about $500,000 less over the course of their lifetime:
Marital name change is not without consequences. Women who took their partner's name appear to be different from women who kept their own name on a variety of demographics and beliefs, which are more or less associated with the female stereotype (Study 1). Subsequent studies show that women's surnames are used as a cue for judgment (Studies 2–4). A woman who took her partner's name or a hyphenated name was judged as more caring, more dependent, less intelligent, more emotional, less competent, and less ambitious in comparison with a woman who kept her own name. A woman with her own name, on the other hand, was judged as less caring, more independent, more ambitious, more intelligent, and more competent, which was similar to an unmarried woman living together or a man. Finally, a job applicant who took her partner's name, in comparison with one with her own name, was less likely to be hired for a job and her monthly salary was estimated [euro]861,21 lower (calculated to a working life, [euro]361.708,20).
That's wild. All of that in a name? So it got me to wondering how BougieLand feels about this. Ladies, will you (did you) take your husband's name when you marry? Why or why not? Fellas, do you expect your wife to take your name? Why or why not? Do share...