Half Of America Thinks Brides Should Be Forced – By Law – To Take Husband’s Name

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Women who marry in this day and age have a multitude options that their grandmothers never had. In addition to independent bank accounts, the right to your own credit card, and even holding property without your husband’s permission, ladies today can choose between so many married names. You can keep your maiden name, take his name, have him take your name, go hyphenated, the possibilities are endless. But not according to a new poll of Americans in which half of the participants said that taking your husband’s name should be law — no questions asked.

Indiana University chose 815 participants who were “nationally representative,” which does read a little suspect. But two thirds of respondents said that a woman taking a husband’s name after marriage is “best” and 50% said that they would support a law requiring women to take their husband’s name. Another 50% agreed that a man taking his wife’s name is also fine, but not without “incredulous” humor according to sociologist Brian Powell who cited the general reaction to be condescension. One quote the sociologist shared from an interview was “Sure, if he wants to be a woman.” 

How lovely it is to undermine men who see no problem in taking their wife’s name for a change, while also suggesting that exhibiting characteristics akin to “be[ing] a woman” is a strike against him. And why is being a woman such negative suggestion?

Although the study suggests that Americans are becoming more nostalgic for a traditional home life, it’s unfortunate that values like marriage and committed partnerships must come encased in fixations on gender. While convenience is a well-noted reason to take your husband’s name, especially if kids come along, Powell said that weddings today are still fraught with traditional gender roles:

“Wedding services today still have so many markings of the traditional gender divide. The symbolic aspects of gender are still very powerful.”

And considering so many Americans allegedly wouldn’t even blink if such “symbolic aspects” were cemented into law, I’d say that’s reason to be concerned. Mind your options, ladies.

(photo: Shutterstock)