Welcome to My Site

Melania Joy Murphy

I love him, but I don’t want my name to be Grossweiner.

Hello, and welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to go on this journey with you to explore married name options. This topic has always intrigued me, and I know many of you share my curiosity. I have lots of information to share with you in my upcoming blogs, such as answering questions like, how couples choose their married name? Why do 70% of American women still drop their name and take their husband’s name when they get married? And most tantalizing – what unconscious bias, stereotypes, and discriminatory behaviors are buried deep in each person’s decision? Fun stuff!

But first, I want to apologize to all the Grossweiners out there for using your name in the title of this blog. I’m sure you’re all very lovely people, and, although I don’t know any of you personally or the origin of your family name, I’m sure women marrying into the family have the same dilemma as every other bride. What should she do with that name? Should she take his name? Should she keep her name? Should she hyphenate? Would he consider taking her name? Should they create a new name? So many options.

But, it hasn’t always been that way. Did you know that it wasn’t until 1982 that all 50 states in the U.S. allowed women to retain their birth surnames when they married? That’s right, 1982—not 1882 or 1962, but 1982. Only 40 years ago. In that year, the Alabama Supreme Court held, under ‘equal protection’ grounds that the wife was authorized, but not required to assume the name of the husband, becoming the final state to drop this law.

We’re you surprised? I was. I would have thought it was much earlier. And then there were the states that, well into the 1970s, required married women to use their husband’s last name for things like getting a driver’s license, registering to vote or applying for a credit care, and women couldn’t do that unless they had official documentation stating her last name was the same as her husband. Interesting, right?

Today, women and men have choices when it comes to choosing a married name. Thank you to all those brave, tireless warriors of gender equality who fought so hard to gain this right. So—if you were born with a name that in today’s world would be considered unfortunate like Niswonger, Meth, Cocksmith, Dingle, or Grossweiner, do your spouse and kids a favor and don’t pass it on to them. If YOU want to carry it on, make it your middle name or add your married name to it. You have choices.

Don’t misunderstand me—there’s nothing wrong with taking the husband’s name … just as there’s nothing wrong with taking the wife’s name. It’s all about choices.

Peace, Love, and Choices!

Melanie Joy

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