If You Want to be a Devoted Wife, Change Your Name *Eye Roll*

Stop worrying, socitey: You can be a devoted bride without changing your name.

One would think that by 2017, people wouldn’t judge a woman for not changing her last name when she gets married.

One would be wrong.

Devoted wife “how-to”

Broadly reports some creepy news concerning 70 percent of American’s views about married women.

The study, which appeared in the journal Gender Issues, found that 70 percent of American adults think women should change their name when they get married. And—brace yourselves—50 percent of adult Americans think women should be required by law to change their names when wedding bells ring.

Excuse me, but I have to type… barf… to clear my mind’s palette.

The study

The study’s purpose was to discover if society would negatively view women who kept their name.

Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer, a sociology professor at Portland State University and the study’s author, asked more than 1,200 people to participate in her survey.

Survey participants were asked to judge a woman—named Carol Sherman, Carol Sherman-Cook, or Carol Cook—based on her choice to work more hours at her office job.

In the survey scenario, Carol’s husband, Bill Cook, feels neglected and overwhelmed by housework.

Respondents were asked to decide how many days Carol’s husband should pick up Carol’s slack. They also were asked how justified Bill would be to divorce his wife, on a scale from 0 to 5.

“Among women and highly educated men, women’s surname choice seems to have little effect on their perceptions of women as a wife or the standards to which she is held in marriage,” Shafer says.

But according to the researcher’s data, low-educated men thought that “a woman who chose a different last name from her husband’s was less committed to the marriage and that her husband would be more justified in filing for a divorce,” Broadly reports.

To find out more about Shafer’s study and its cultural revelations, read the study, “Hillary Rodham Versus Hillary Clinton: Consequences of Surname Choice in Marriage.”

Society can suck it

As a recently married woman who chose to not take her husband’s last name, this survey irks me—a lot.

Why is a woman supposedly less dedicated to her marriage because she doesn’t change her name?

I kept my name because I write and want my “brand” to stay the same. I also like my last name and don’t see how changing it is beneficial.

Luckily, my “independence” has never frightened my husband. After all, he was the one that said, “if you change your name… That would freak me out.”

Hear! Hear!

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Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.