Cary Tennis

Has a particularly interesting letter this time: Should I take my husband's name?

The letter writer is inclined towards tradition:

My husband (to be) likes the idea of my keeping my own name, and he feels strongly that if I were to do so, we would give it to any future children as well. At the same time, he's more than willing to grant me free access to his. I don't have any particular attachment to my last name or the heritage that comes with it; if anything, I would rather separate myself from my father. It might be a societal thing that causes me to rethink. Am I renouncing some part of myself or my feminist ideals if I do take his name? I don't feel like I am. Maybe I'm worried that people will think I am?
Cary Tennis' answer is good, as are the 26 (is that a record?) recommended reader comments.

The bottom line is, though, we come from a patriarchal culture, and our tradition of naming reflects that. We have yet to invent a better method. One of the commentors suggests giving baby girls their mother's name middle and father's name last, and baby boys their father's name middle and mother's name last. Of course if we all did this, then every boy's father's and daughter's mother's name would be lost in 2 generations. Or else we would all have those long impressive names some Mexicans proudly wield (I am thinking of our friend from CA, whose name would seem to go on for minutes, mystifying all the way...).

I dunno. What would you do? What did you do?

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