Donnie Loves Jenny stirs up the last name debate among women

Mar 17, 2016 at 2:43 a.m. ET
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Watching Jenny McCarthy on TV defending her choice to take the traditional route was definitely not what I was expecting from the newest episode of Donnie Loves Jenny. Within the first two minutes, we watched McCarthy explain to her sister why she wants to be Jenny Wahlberg, and her sister wasn’t having any of it.

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McCarthy admitted that she is proud of what she’s made of her name and all the work she’s put into it, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to feel connected to Wahlberg in this traditional way. Her sister disagreed, but it’s important to point out that neither is wrong.

The topic of whether to take the man’s name, keep your own or make some sort of hyphenated combination name has been trending in the past few years. Some women see it as an outdated tradition that strips them of their independence. Others see it as a bond between two people who want to show the world that they are family. Both are true and both are valid.

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Unfortunately, our culture sees issues as an either/or scenario, when they should really be simply an and situation. There is no reason to pit sister against sister in this case, when both are right and both have made choices that work for them in their lives. A name doesn’t define a person’s worth or the strength of their marriage, and we shouldn't judge other women for whatever choice they make. And, more importantly, one woman’s choice to take her husband’s name doesn’t affect another woman who chooses not to. There’s no reason either woman should have an opinion about the other’s choices.

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I’m all for debate and hearing other people’s opinions, but let’s all agree to take the judgment out of it. We’re all going through enough nonsense in our lives; it’s not worth it for us to make the days harder for each other.

What do you think? Is taking a last name important?

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