Considering I don’t come from a community that uses surnames, I want to know why every 9 out of 10 women I know who’ve gotten married have changed their last names from their father’s to their husband’s. Transfer of ownership eh? Right from their Facebook profiles to their Instagram handles to their names on their passports all of them.
I, for one, have never been able to understand this concept. When you’re born, though you belong to both your mother and your father, your only add your father’s name to your name. Why couldn’t my name have been Annapurani Kalyani Vaidyanathan instead of Annapurani Vaidyanathan?
Okay. That was then. Then, when the women in the society were docile. Then, when no one bothered to question anything they were subjected to.
But today is different. A tiny bit different from yesterday. But not a tad too different how it was years ago. Yet, even today, the moment a women gets married she adds her husband’s name to hers. To show to the world that she belongs to him? Maybe. To show to the world that she is taken? Maybe. But then, the same applies to her husband as well. Does he do that then? Not because the society wants him to, not because that is the norm but because the same technicalities apply to him as well? NO.
Stop doing it because it is the norm. Stop doing it because people want you to. Stop doing it because it sounds fancy. Stop doing it to show to the world that you belong to someone, because you don’t belong to anyone, except yourself. Do it if he doesn’t find any shame in adding your name to his. Do it because if he is as proud of you, as you are of him. Do it if he respects you as much as you respect him. Do it if he finds as much happiness in being a part of your life as you do, in being a part of his.
Because hey, you don’t need anyone to complete you. Woman up. You are as good an entity in this world as the man.
You aren’t in anyway beneath your man.
To those who want to argue it is her choice and she ain’t required to do it – I’m talking of the practice that’s been going on in the society for ages now. The practice that the woman now belongs to her husband’s clan. The practice that the woman and the children she begets will now follow his family’s choices and practices and methods. The practice that indicates that she no longer is part of her parent’s home now belongs to the husband’s family. I’m talking of that.
Not the one of choice – where the woman herself chooses to add his name to hers.
And to those wondering if I’m a feminist –
If you haven’t figured it already, hell yes, I am. Because, being an egalitarian clearly doesn’t work in a patriarchal society such as ours.