To change your last name or not?

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 3.05.46 PM.png

Bold, Blended, Original

This post's pairing is a blend of flavors from a little known region in Masedonia. Much like the choice of deciding to take your husband's last name or not–– this bottle is singular in its approach.

During every engaged woman's life the inescapable question on whether or not she will change her last name is destined to come up. Perhaps, it's a result of our heteronormative culture in the states or a requisite hazing prior to entering marriage. 

Historically, many reasons have been linked to women taking her husband's last name. Women were considered property, so they would take their husband's last name once she was passed to her new household. Others cite a married couple and their subsequent children carrying the same last name was the only way to prove paternity in a time when testing was not available. Today, it's a ritual made by choice and one that every woman faces if she decides to get married.

What would a society look like where this was not a part of matrimony? Across the Atlantic in Spain, the issue of adopting a husband's name is absent. In its place is a traditional construct where a person has 3 names or more: Their first name, their father's last name, proceeded by their mother's last name. It leaves no room for debate, guilt or judgement. This is the name kept from birth until death, regardless of choosing to be married in between.

It's tempting to consider this feminist or matriarchal, until you next ask what happens if a couple chooses to have children. Inevitably, the woman's last name will be pushed out according to the formula. 

In the U.S., there are a number of creative ways to take your husband's last name without replacing your own, hyphenation, for example, or dropping your middle name in place for your last name.

On both sides of the debate, there are the people who seem to crusade for a bigger cause refusing to edit their name much less take on their husband's, and equally those who feel a sense of duty to uphold tradition and take on their new husband's last name. As with most of life's hardest questions, the right answer is a very personal and specific.

The choice of changing one's own name doesn't have to be made into the bigger issues of equality or support for the traditional family nucleus. Experience has dictated when people attach a very personal decision, like marriage and its complexities, to a broader political or social topic, they are usually hiding. 

Typically, and especially in women, there is a fear and unease with directly stating what you want for yourself. Scapegoating to make a stance robs us of this personal choice, a decision that is solely ours made for reasons unimportant to anyone else's cause.