Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ms. or Mrs.?

A study has determined that women who keep their own names after getting married are more likely to be perceived as more competent and intelligent than women who take their husbands' names (or who hyphenate). They are also more likely to get hired and paid more.

When Mike and I got married, it never occurred to me to take his name. I staunchly clung to my own name in spite of his disapproving aunt deliberately calling me "Mrs. G___________." Why should the woman be the one to give up her name? It's not fair. I always admired couples who combined their names or hyphenated (both of them, not just the female).

It wasn't until after the disapproving aunt died that Mike shocked me by announcing that he wanted to hyphenate our names. I've settled into our double G-G name after some time...although I have to admit that when making a restaurant reservation, I still use my simpler original name rather than spelling out the full mouthful.

I have observed a higher percentage of women who keep their own names or hyphenate in my workplace than in our broader community. When I peruse the school directory, I see a number of hyphenated or different names in couples--reflecting the progressive area in which we live.

I hope we see a day when the scales tip, and more women keep their own names or both spouses hyphenate. That will be a sign of true equality.


  1. I use your original name too when making a reservation!

  2. My good friend Mark took his wife's last name when they married. His father had walked out when he was very young and he said, "Why should I be so attached to his name?"