Women who choose not to take their husband's surname after marriage are not sexually attracted to them, and will likely be the one to initiate divorce.
When a woman feels metaphysically submissive to a man, when she admires all the masculine qualities he exhibits and deems him worthy of submitting to, sexually speaking, she will gladly become "his" and take his name. This is the essence of femininity.
If she doesn't feel this way, if she marries someone who doesn't sweep her off her feet romantically, she will likely stubbornly defend her "identity" and try to convince her husband that taking his name would somehow affront her selfhood. Aside from the obvious question - if you aren't totally in love with him, why did you marry him? - the issue raises serious doubts about the sincerity of those who advocate this new fad.
The argument, that relinquishing your maiden name in favor of your husband's somehow robs you of your identity, is complete nonsense. Any woman whose self-esteem is so precarious that it hinges on which surname she attaches to herself has bigger problems to worry about. What should be offensive to women is the suggestion that we are so insecure, so unsure of our place in the world, that we cling to trivialities like surnames and titles like Ms. as if they represent our very souls.
Names don't represent our souls. They are just names. Only shamans and charlatans treat names as though they're mystical talismans sacred to our spiritual well being. Reasonable people know that names are used, primarily, to tell each other apart. We can change them at will throughout our lives, or call ourselves by nicknames if we wish. We can also adopt the name of someone whom we love and admire more than anyone else in the world, if we want to make a gesture of love and respect towards him. And, clearly, we can defiantly choose to hang on to the name we've got, which is also a very clear gesture on its own.
Besides which, a little investigation into the matter reveals that changing your name due to marriage, while legal, really is just a gesture. The person you were does not disappear. Here in Canada, and in many parts of the U.S., a woman may legally be known under a new name but doing so does not change her name on her birth certificate or her social insurance account. It's really only credit cards and drivers' licenses that change, bank accounts and such. And changing it back after a divorce is just as easy. Taking your husband's name is viewed more as a genteel custom rather than a hard nosed legal change of identity, one that I'm glad hasn't been chased out of use by militant feminists. I'm glad there are still some genuinely nice traditions left.
The only situation in which a woman would be justified in keeping her maiden name is when that name has become something she is known for professionally. In that case it is no longer just the name you were granted as a baby but very much a professional name, such as an actress or writer, businesswoman or judge might use throughout her career. Since it is perfectly legal in most parts of the world to use any name you wish for legitimate purposes, it would make sense for her to maintain her maiden name in her professional life, and use her husband's name in her personal life.
The trouble is, legions of women who have never done a professional thing in their lives cling fiercely to their names as though they had. Women who have made no strides in the world, who have nothing for which they are known, except, ironically, being someone's wife, insist on holding onto their maiden names or hyphenating their name as some sort of last stab at individuality. Their attempts fall flat. All that results is a husband who feels a little put out, a little hurt that his wife won't take his name, no matter how brave and modern he tries to be about it. It sends a subtle message that his wife would rather honor her father, someone she was born to, and keep his name rather than honor her husband, someone she chose, by taking his.
And the really ridiculous part is that women only have their maiden names - the "maiden" referring, of course, to a little girl, not a grown woman - because their mothers gave up their names when they married. So the names they wear with such pride are themselves a symbol of some other woman "giving up" her identity when she married, if that's the way you choose to look at it. This kind of thing makes it clear that a woman honors her parents' marriage, and her mother's choice to relinquish her name in favor of her husband's, but she doesn't honor her own marriage, or husband, enough to do the same.
And it is about honor. In certain Middle Eastern countries, it is forbidden for a woman to take her husband's name when she marries. Forbidden. And why? Well, in a country that makes women wear head to toe black garb and where a woman can be killed by her family for even the merest hint of so-called impropriety, it's not hard to surmise that the real reason they exclude women from their family names is because they believe women would pollute them, and don't deserve to use them. Is there a connection there? I believe there is. Men in that country understand that offering someone your name is an honor, an honor that they unfortunately don't wish to grant their wives. And an honor that modern women, in increasing numbers, are refusing to accept from their husbands.
This ultimately leads to the disheartening state of affairs we find ourselves in now. Scores of men, trying to be modern, trying to be sensitive, scared stiff that looking at Playboy or liking sex or offering their surnames means they don't respect the women they love, are doffing their proverbial hats to the shrieking feminists, in total agreement that relinquishing maiden names is an outdated, brutish, sexist thing. These men are among some of the fiercest defenders of a woman's choice to keep her name, believing that if they echo what the feminists say, it must mean they're good, moral men. I feel sorry for men who have been brainwashed in this way. Most men are good and noble creatures who, out of genuine love and respect for women, look to us for guidance and will even try to alter their behavior and attitudes to please us. It's a shame that feminists want to reward them by feigning insult and throwing their names back at them with disgust.
But, luckily, feminists haven't yet been able to convince women who truly love and admire their husbands to abandon the quaint but meaningful custom of taking their names. High school girls still practice writing out their first names linked with the surnames of their sweethearts, and new brides still like learning how to sign checks with an unfamiliar name.
Most women like being married. Most women know that they are entitled to use whichever name they choose, but that suggestions put forward by well-meaning but misguided people, suggestions like having her husband change his name to hers or that they choose a new name together, ultimately detract from the romance of marriage. And all women, regardless of what certain fringe groups say about it, know perfectly well that women no longer belong to their husbands, are no longer disrespected socially, legally or economically, and have no need to rail against one of most charming aspects of modern marriage.