Amal Clooney is quickly becoming one of my favorite women in the celebrity sphere. She’s strong, gorgeous, independent and smart. In fact, there are few women like her right now who seemed so at ease and content with single life — even though she’s since nabbed one of the hottest bachelors, well, ever. She had a fabulous career and was full of life before him, after all.
That’s why I was shocked to see all the criticism surrounding Amal’s decision to change her last name to Clooney. Does this suddenly make her anti-feminist? No.
Feminism is simply believing women and men should have equal political, social and economic rights. What rights has Amal lost by changing her name? None. It was her decision, made in regards to her relationship. This has nothing to do with feminism, and everything to do with a new phase in Amal’s life. There are many reasons it’s silly to call her anti-feminist, and these four are at the top of our list.
She’s formally committing to the partnership
When you get married, you are unequivocally legit as a couple. By sharing a last name, you show the world you’re partners in crime. You’re a team. Would two Yankee baseball players wear totally different names on the fronts of their uniforms? Of course not. The name doesn’t mean anything but the meaning behind the fact that you share it.
When it comes to getting married, it’s not all about you anymore. Marriage is sacrificing your selfish desires, and including another person in your life and decision-making. By giving up your name for another’s, you’re making a commitment to the strong partnership, and potentially the family, you are building with that special person. Standing united is key to that.
She’s still a high-powered woman
Amal’s an awesome attorney, and even though her recent wedding was one of the year’s biggest moments, she’s not letting the “Mrs.” title slow her roll at all. She’s already back on the job, advising Greece on how to secure a safe return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum in London. How’s that for a powerful woman?
She made her own choice, despite the potential for pushback
No one forced Amal to change her name. Maybe she actually, truly wanted to. Should we deny her that? It’s entirely Amal’s decision to keep Alamuddin or take Clooney — and if she listened to the naysayers instead of following her own head and heart, we wouldn’t have the same respect for her.
How on earth can we call a working attorney and humanitarian, who waited until age 36 to wed, anti-feminist? She’s making the decisions that work for her, part-traditional and part-modern, regardless of what anyone else says. Good for her.
One day when (God-willing) I get married, I plan to change my last name, too — and I’m proud of the last name I was born with. I’ve built a career under that last name; it’s the last name attached to every byline I’ve ever earned. But marriage is about more than me, more than my accomplishments and my byline. It’s about building a life with another person, joined together as one, and I will change my name for that reason. Like Amal, it’s my choice. However, even when that day comes, my work and accomplishments under the name “Birch” won’t be any less important to me — and I’ll still be all about girl power and female achievement.
Amal’s accomplishments aren’t nullified now that she’s officially Mrs. Clooney, and there’s no need to pick apart her surname choice when she’s clearly forging her own path as an attorney, woman and now as a wife. She’s a feminine force. No wonder Clooney fell so hard.
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