It may be 2017, but in many circles a man taking his wife's last name is still considered unusual, unheard of, unmanly. A study earlier this year even found that half of Americans believe women should be legally bound to take their husbands' last names once they get married. Women may vote and drive and run companies — not to mention win the popular vote — but we're still painfully hung up on certain social conventions.
However, there is a growing number of couples who are rejecting tradition. We interviewed five married couples from around the country in which the husband took the wife's last name, and while some of them say they did it for feminist reasons, to others the woman's name just sounded better. Or, in one case, her family name was well-known in the small town where they live. One guy even said his wife's name has helped him professionally.
From speaking with these couples, we learned that the decision to do something this as-of-now different doesn't always have to be a big, splashy statement; in this day and age you should do whatever you like with your last name, with no judgment. Easier said than done, of course: Quite a few of our couples said their decision was at first met with hostility from conservative family members. However, none of them said they encountered major legal or bureaucratic issues, save for a few confused glances.
One common thread came up over and over in these interviews: These individuals did not want to hyphenate their names or have two last names, instead choosing to have a single family name represent them as one unit.