Sanjay Dutt’s , by now infamous, interview, got me started on this post. He had a message ‘to all girls who hang on to their parents’ surname’. I find it, very difficult to understand how people can give such statements – even more so when they are planning to stand for public office. Or may be it is all to show how deeply he and his ‘homemaker’ wife is steeped in ‘Bharatiya Sanskriti’!
Anyways, this reminded me of one of my close friend’s 6 year old daughter who came home from school one day and told her, ‘Mamma, you are not part of my family!’. On further questioning, it came out, that she was taught, in school, that everybody in a family, shares a common surname! And since her mother had a different surname – she must not be part of the family 🙂 I was a little surprised at that point in time, that in a London school, this was told to the kids and that no parent objected!
Either way, I feel this expectation of a woman having to change her surname to her husband’s very unfair. Isn’t is sad that a woman has to change her identity and assume a different one once she gets married? Then again, if the woman is working, there are so many documents involved, passports, email ids – why go through all that hassle? But again, there are communities, where even a girl’s first name is changed after marriage! So a surname is probably still a better option.
Again, it is a global phenomenon, isn’t it? Wasn’t Hillary Clinton and Cherie Blair given grief , because they held on to their maiden names?
I really do not know what to make of this whole issue – apart from one thing – I find it very objectionable when people condemn women for not changing their surnames or commend them for doing so. To me, it is a personal choice, and it should be a woman’s decision whether or not to take up her husband’s name. Beyond that – it’s nobody’s business!