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Mrs. George Clooney = Mrs. Big Disappointment?

Why an empowered woman changing her last name becomes a hot topic issue and why do so many people care?

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The Name Change Game (That every women who gets married will play)

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Shape's Magazine article Why It's Cool Amal Alamuddin Changed Her Name to Clooney by Charlotte Hilton Anderson, talks about how women criticize each other for making the choice to change their last name when they are married, and even says "Mrs. Clooney! (Come on, how many girls would kill to have that title?!)" in the article.

There are the usual reasons women change their name:

1. My name is too hard to pronounce

2. I get to be "Mrs. _______!" (yay love!)

3. How else will people know I'm married?

4. Wondering what people will say about it (and not having to wonder, because some will just plain ask)

Now, the author even admits that less women are changing their names than a few generations ago. . It's true that the more progressive women become, and more independent, they has been a decline to buck this societal trend. It is seems easier to get a college degree, or a doctorate, but so hard to keep your own name. It's like "Ok, education is good, but you still need to show you are a going to be a good little wifey". Take Amal for example. People were so impressed with her credentials and her capability, but does becoming Mrs Clooney take something away from her all accomplishments? She still accomplished them, but now George get's credit in what she's done, because she's part of his legacy now. She doesn't have her own any more.

I have seen it first hand, how uncomfortable people are today with women not changing their last name. "You're not changing it? Oh.. why not?" This seems more normal to change your name, and your identity, than to stay as you were, as you have always been. Since many people still don't know about the proper use of calling a woman "Ms. ____", they end up just calling you "Mrs. (your maiden name)". Which is gross, because that's your mom's title most likely, and you didn't marry your dad...

Also, this changing of a name has more repercussions than you think. It's not about the hassle of changing state certifications, licenses, or passports (which is still annoying).

Since people know that (as it is now), it leads them to the logical conclusions when people start thinking about babies:

Having Girl =/= Surname not being carried on past this generation

Thus, Having Girl =/= Not as good as having a Boy

You may think that is blowing it out of proportion, but it is amazing how many often you hear in real life that women are told to "give me a son" for that very reason. You think it's cute, because daddy's going to go fishing with little Frankie, but daddy (might) just want to ensure his last name goes on with little Frankie. My dad, who has two girls, has been told it must have been disappointing to not have a boy. Because he is wonderful and I love him dearly for this, he says he was never disappointed having two amazing girls. I also just stare at people who are "disappointed". You were lucky enough to have a healthy child, you can't be content with that?

But, I digress. That is a whole other issue, but it does relate to this one.

If women want to change their last names, go for it. I don't care the reason, but I do ask that you think about your reasons. Don't just do it, because girls have been told "You're going to be Mrs____ one day" and all girl (me included) might have wrote our names with our crushes last name in middle school. You want to change your name? Great, but do it for you and what you believe, but not because "it's just done".

Women have overcome a lot of obstacles and constantly challenge norms that hold us back, and sometimes even break them altogether. I think this issue has gone by the wayside for a long time, and independent, smart women did not stand up to this societal norm. Now, we are divided, but we shouldn't be.

People in society should just accept that women don't want to change their name (for their own personal choices), and it is no one's business. I don't go around asking married women, "Don't you miss your heritage? Was it sad to lose your identity...", because it is rude.

The first step to making this a non-issue is for women, who are on the fence about changing their names, to buck the norm, even if it means hyphenating your name. The more women that do it, the less rare it becomes and no one will care if Amal changes her name.

Women who change their last names shouldn't have to defend themselves for it, so why should women who do change their name have to?

*Fun Fact: Lucy Stone's refusal to take her husband's name, as an assertion of her own rights, was controversial then, and is largely what she is remembered for today. Women who continue to use their birth name after marriage are still occasionally known as "Lucy Stoners" in the United States.

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