I'm a feminist who took my husband's name
When I changed my name, people thought I'd lose my independence but that wasn't the case. Becoming a mom solidified my choice and yes, I'm still a feminist.
Oh, Amal Clooney, not only did you break the hearts of millions of women, including mine — I mean I've been in love with your husband, George Clooney, since he was on The Facts of Life — now you're enraging many of those women because you took his last name. Some are even calling the former Amal Alamuddin anti-feminist.
I'm a strong, independent woman who supports equality for all.
Yep, I'm a feminist. A feminist who took my husband's name. The horror!
Many years ago, a colleague of mine was planning her wedding so the name-changing question was asked.
"I took a while to do it, but I changed my name," I said.
"I'm not that kind of girl," said another married colleague with more than a hint of disdain.
Um, what? How, exactly is any woman a "kind of girl" for changing her name?
I was in my early twenties when I married my husband. I held off on changing my name for a while. I did the two last names, the hyphenated name and then the lightbulb went off.
My maiden name is Gourwitz. Try pronouncing or spelling it correctly the first time. I thought taking Burns would make life easier. Then I tried making a dinner reservation with my new last name and the hostess asked, "Is that spelled with a Y or an E?" I can't make this stuff up.
Anyway, I don't understand women who are up in arms about taking their husband's name but then after first comes marriages then comes the baby in the baby carriage, wait for it — the baby gets Dad's last name.
Whether that reasoning is to carry on the man's name or because his, um, material was needed to make said baby, whatever. That's a woman's choice — a woman who I think probably calls herself a feminist, too. But if she's not "that kind of girl" who wouldn't dare let her feminist flag fly at half-mast by taking her husband's name, why doesn't she give her baby her last name?
As for my family, it's easy because my husband, kids and I have the same last name. School forms, medical records, you name it. That said, I have friends who do the hyphenated thing, chose Mom's last name as a middle name or even created an entirely new last name for their kids. Cool.
So, hats off to Amal Clooney for exercising her choice as a woman to do whatever she wanted to.
I'm happy to be Ami Burns. I mean, if I can't be Ami Clooney, someone — even a feminist — should be able to take George's name without judgment.