All day I’ve been following this Ask MetaFilter thread about whether most women change or keep their names upon getting married. My own contribution is in there, but just in case any of you didn’t get the memo, I kept my name. We toyed with the idea of combining our names into some SuperSurname, but “Snook” and “Howard” don’t really form anything cool. Besides, I can’t imagine changing something so fundamental about my identity. It’s not a genealogy thing so much; there’s lots of Howard boys to carry on the line. It’s just that I’ve been Kristy Howard for so long that it would be too weird to be anything else. I’m willing to concede that my feelings might be different if my surname were difficult to pronounce or spell, but Howard is just about perfect: everybody recognizes it yet it isn’t as boring or ubiquitous as Smith or Jones. (Apologies to any offended Joneses.) Anyway, I was intrigued by this comment from the thread:
Data point: in Korea all women keep their family surnames. This seems paradoxical, given the low status of women in Korean society, but it’s all about bloodlines here. Paternal ones.
How about that? I was following ancient Korean tradition without even realizing it!