Reading the BBC text earlier this week I saw that Italy’s Constitutional Court has ruled against legislation that automatically gives children of married couples the father’s surname.  Lawyers argue that this discriminates against women.

I can only agree with this.  In these modern times couples should decide together what surname they are all going to have.  Some unmarried couples I know have married their two names together in a kind of double-barrelled surname, and others, especially female doctors I’ve worked with, have never changed their surname after marriage at all.  One staunchly feminist nurse I worked with has been married to the same man for over 30 years, yet she had never even considered changing her surname to that of her husband, as she quite rightly says (I’ll change names here) “I’m not a Smith, I’m a Jones.”

When I married in 1980 it was traditional that brides took on the surname of their husbands, but as I’ve grown older I’ve often regretted losing my maiden name.  Why should we women lose our precious identity just because we’re married?  Why should the man’s surname take precedence over the woman’s?  However, I can just imagine the furore which might be whipped up against me on Sam’s side of the family if I ever decide to revert back to my maiden name!

I know I’m a feminist at heart, and so I had to have this little rant.  Of course nowadays quite a lot of couples just live together and do not marry at all,  therefore family surnames are often different, but it should be left up to the individual couple to decide on which surnames their children take.

What do you think?

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