One day, out of the blue, I was reminded of my very dear childhood friend with whom I shared a lot of beautiful memories. I wished I could talk to her, see her what she looked like now and re-establish the connection somehow. I googled her name, but could not find her. That is when I realised that like me – she also would have changed her surname after marriage and without that crucial information, it is impossible to locate her. Which made me wonder if there is anyway I could touch base with old friends or be found if anybody else tried to find me? Wouldn’t it be easier, if I had maintained my maiden name irrespective of my marital status.
In our Culture, it is expected that a woman changes her Surname after marriage, whereas a man’s name remain the same pre and post marriage. Those who question the need to do so are labelled as Feminists. The way I see it, the only purpose the name change serves is to project an image that the whole family is one single unit.
However, as a Welcome change, there is a rise in the number of women who keep their maiden names even after marriage due to career reasons. As more and more women are stepping outside to prove their mettle by joining the workforce, it makes sense that they maintain their own identity. Some of them have started a new trend of hyphenating their maiden name with husband’s surname – an attempt to probably make peace with their new family.
Is the name change really necessary? The amount of confusion it creates in the system are countless. All the educational certificates, professional certificates, passport, bank documents etc will be having the maiden names which needs to be addressed individually if considering a name change. For professional women, all the digital footprints will be reset which is similar to starting afresh.
Where is the Gender equality in this? The Society should seriously rethink this whole concept of Surnames which is a means of exercising control over women by camouflaging the male insecurities. A Few decades back, some people started a revolution against caste based surnames. Similarly Time has come now – for women to take a stand in maintaining their own maiden names.
Marriage is a sacred Union of two Souls in search of companionship. It is a 50 : 50 partnership, in which both of you should keep your Originality and Individuality intact by being yourself.
After all, a Rose will always remain a Rose whichever garden it is in!!