No, really. My most recent post for Mother Jones is about a national study on family and gender issues, the results of which shocked even the researchers.
Frankly, I agree with Jessica at Feministing who originally linked to the article. I think choosing one's name is a personal decision and marriage may or may not be the catalyst for why someone chooses to change it. There might be many reasons a woman chooses to drop the last name she was born with. And people change their name all the time for other reasons. Call yourself Princess Sparklebutt - if that is how you identify, more power to 'ya.
In my case, I am the daughter of a feminist who decided to keep her last name and adopt my dad's. She then passed down the convention to both my sister and I. I think its great. My middle name is pretty damn interesting and unique (at least in this country). So when it came to what I was going to do, it wasn't necessarily an either/or option for me. I didn't necessarily want to adopt my husband's last name, but in the end the decision was pretty easy.
We were sitting on the couch one day before the wedding - not actually talking about anything having to do with the wedding (for once), when he said:
You're not going to change your name are you?Turns out, in his view, the person he fell in love with was the person I was then, name and all, and that is who he wanted to marry - and that, is one of the many reasons I wanted to marry him.
We toyed around with other options: making a new combo one, or both of us adopting my middle name. But, we eventually decided (after all of ten minutes) to stick with the names were already had. It might just be because I'm lazy, but it seems like that is the easiest decision. Correcting well meaning in-laws and friends a few times is much easier than having to make sure my last name is changed on every sort of official documentation, work correspondence, and online account.
And guess what? The world has not come to an end.