1. You're a History Buff:
Fitting, since the current practice is the result of centuries of patriarchic control of men over women. And, while I have no evidence to point to, it seems reasonable to believe that assuming someone's name indicates his/her dominance in the relationship, which could lead to long-lasting psychological effects about power in the relationship. [i.e. Not an especially helpful tradition to foster an equal relationship.]
2. You plan to have children:
"Although we know from modern biology the equal contributions both parents make to the genetic identity of a child, it is still true to say that the mother is the "more natural" parent, that is, the parent by birth. A woman can give up a child for adoption or, thanks to modern reproductive technologies, can even bear a child not genetically her own. But there is no way to deny out of whose body the new life sprung, whose substance it fed on, who labored to produce it, who wondrously bore it forth."
Hmmm...all that and not even a name. Does that seem fair to you?
3. It's a Gift
Yes, as were the smallpox-infested blankets provided to the North American indigenous population by Europeans who (for the history buff), incidentally invented this practice, namely the British.
4. To Show Commitment to Tradition
Ah yes, the commitment card, thus gratifying male vanity. There are a LOT of traditions and customs that could stand to be "tampered with." And calling it feminist crap? I happen to be a woman who believes the fight to be EQUAL is my choice!
5. It's Expected of Me
Was there ever a time in my life when I wanted to take a future husband's surname? Hmmm, maybe in the second grade. But after high school the idea never entered my mind. I had career goals and saw myself as a valuable and unique individual.
Besides, women had equality, or at least in terms of names we did, right? Then I got engaged and "IT" began. For some reason, even though it was perfectly legal for me to keep my name upon marriage, everyone expected me to take my husband's surname.
I was and still am bewildered weekly by such assumptions. These people obviously don't know me.
Surnames are one of the most powerful tools used by patriarchy to deny women not only equal rights but even personhood. Not only that, but I happen to be proud of the fact that my name denotes the struggle of my Acadian ancestors who despite repeated attempts to annihilate them, survived.
So, for those of you still insisting on sending mail to me with Mrs. so-and-so, could you please stop??
My name is Dina Desveaux, or for the colonization that is this blog --
Since posting this blob, I've heard back from readers with one credible reason & I came up with another one.
The most practical reason (from reader) is that you've never liked your own last name. In that case, all the POWER to ya! In fact I did consider changing my name when I got married to take my Mom's...
One I came up with: capitalism. There is evidence that by taking a spouse's name, a woman will lose her edge professionally due to the loss of name recognition. So less money, less to buy useless crap I guess...