Are women with two last names modern or mean?

Women with two last names, their maiden names and the names of their husbands (sometimes connected with the dreaded hyphen), used to be almost exclusively strident feminists who felt they were losing their identity by taking their husbands' last names while discarding their own.  Hillary Clinton always became Hillary "Rodham" Clinton after she won an election, and Debbie "Wasserman" Schultz always used both names even as people parodied her as Debbie "Was a Man" Schultz.  But women other than hardcore feminists seem to be using two names as well.

Recently, one of President Trump's spokeswomen, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was in the news.  Reuters did an admiring fluff piece talking about how Huckabee Sanders is a "rising star" and how Huckabee Sanders is taking on a "more prominent role" in pushing the president's agenda.  The article also noted how Huckabee Sanders has a challenging job, but how Huckabee Sanders's life as daughter to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee helped Huckabee Sanders make the transition to the role of political spokeswoman that Huckabee Sanders currently enjoys.

There was also a recent article about the new head of the RNC, Ronna Romney McDaniel.  After Reince Priebus became White House chief of staff, Romney McDaniel became head of the RNC.  Romney McDaniel says she's a "suburban mom," and Romney McDaniel added that she would be a bridge to moderate Republicans.  Romney McDaniel is only the second female RNC chairman in RNC history, but that didn't stop the McClatchy news service from writing a puff piece about Romney McDaniel.

Also recently in the news was Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  McMorris Rodgers is a member of the House leadership team, and McMorris Rodgers was seriously considered for interior secretary.  With an "F" rating from ConservativeReview.com, McMorris Rodgers has a well established record of voting against cuts in government spending, but McMorris Rodgers is a vital member of the House GOP, and McMorris Rodgers has also been chair of the Congressional Office for Women's Issues.

So what do you think about women who take their husbands' last names but keep their maiden names?  I think it makes their names long and cumbersome and silly.  I also think in a society where women still largely (about 70%) take their husbands' names and drop their maiden names, it emasculates their husbands by putting another last name first.

I can see some circumstances where a woman might want to keep her own name and not take her husband's at all.  If a woman marries later in life and has made a career for herself under her own name, or even more so if she is famous, it makes sense for her to keep her own name.  "Madonna" changing her name to "Mrs. Ritchie," for example, made no sense.

But by and large, the national trend still seems to be for women to drop their maiden names and use solely their husbands'.

Questions for discussion:

1) What to make of women who keep their names while also taking their husbands'?  Are they strident feminists and liberal Republicans who want to emasculate their husbands?  Or are they simply modern women who want to preserve their pre-marriage identity?  What do you think?

2) Whatever your opinion on this, doesn't a hyphen in a person's name remind you of a line of computer code, as though she is some kind of robot, or a sleazy try-Viagra-now.com website address?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

Women with two last names, their maiden names and the names of their husbands (sometimes connected with the dreaded hyphen), used to be almost exclusively strident feminists who felt they were losing their identity by taking their husbands' last names while discarding their own.  Hillary Clinton always became Hillary "Rodham" Clinton after she won an election, and Debbie "Wasserman" Schultz always used both names even as people parodied her as Debbie "Was a Man" Schultz.  But women other than hardcore feminists seem to be using two names as well.

Recently, one of President Trump's spokeswomen, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was in the news.  Reuters did an admiring fluff piece talking about how Huckabee Sanders is a "rising star" and how Huckabee Sanders is taking on a "more prominent role" in pushing the president's agenda.  The article also noted how Huckabee Sanders has a challenging job, but how Huckabee Sanders's life as daughter to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee helped Huckabee Sanders make the transition to the role of political spokeswoman that Huckabee Sanders currently enjoys.

There was also a recent article about the new head of the RNC, Ronna Romney McDaniel.  After Reince Priebus became White House chief of staff, Romney McDaniel became head of the RNC.  Romney McDaniel says she's a "suburban mom," and Romney McDaniel added that she would be a bridge to moderate Republicans.  Romney McDaniel is only the second female RNC chairman in RNC history, but that didn't stop the McClatchy news service from writing a puff piece about Romney McDaniel.

Also recently in the news was Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  McMorris Rodgers is a member of the House leadership team, and McMorris Rodgers was seriously considered for interior secretary.  With an "F" rating from ConservativeReview.com, McMorris Rodgers has a well established record of voting against cuts in government spending, but McMorris Rodgers is a vital member of the House GOP, and McMorris Rodgers has also been chair of the Congressional Office for Women's Issues.

So what do you think about women who take their husbands' last names but keep their maiden names?  I think it makes their names long and cumbersome and silly.  I also think in a society where women still largely (about 70%) take their husbands' names and drop their maiden names, it emasculates their husbands by putting another last name first.

I can see some circumstances where a woman might want to keep her own name and not take her husband's at all.  If a woman marries later in life and has made a career for herself under her own name, or even more so if she is famous, it makes sense for her to keep her own name.  "Madonna" changing her name to "Mrs. Ritchie," for example, made no sense.

But by and large, the national trend still seems to be for women to drop their maiden names and use solely their husbands'.

Questions for discussion:

1) What to make of women who keep their names while also taking their husbands'?  Are they strident feminists and liberal Republicans who want to emasculate their husbands?  Or are they simply modern women who want to preserve their pre-marriage identity?  What do you think?

2) Whatever your opinion on this, doesn't a hyphen in a person's name remind you of a line of computer code, as though she is some kind of robot, or a sleazy try-Viagra-now.com website address?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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