Several stories have been making the rounds in the media recently and they relate largely to the first two women of this title. Who is Cheryl Cole, Sarah Michelle Prinze and Jessica Hynes you might be asking. You’ll know them better as Cheryl Tweedy, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jessica Stevenson. Their crimes? Changing their names to those of their respective husband’s!
Whilst Cheryl is a relative newlywed, she has gone one step further and actually tattooed ‘Mrs Cole’ on the nape of her neck. If she forgets her name, she’ll be tied in knots trying to see who she actually is but to everyone else she’s got the ‘I belong to a man’ stamp firmly on show. And you know what, I think it’s daft, but I’m not personally offended by it.
Actresses Sarah Michelle Prinze and Jessica Hynes, on the other hand, were both married several years ago and have only recently changed their names. Were they waiting to see if the marriages worked out? According to reports, Gellar/Prinze decided to take her husband’s name as a five-year anniversary gift and Hynes/Stevenson wanted to take a name that her children also had. Neither of which are particularly odd reasons, it’s just interesting that they waited so long and changed them despite high-profile careers.
Of course many women choose not to take another name after marriage. After all we no longer have to bear the name of a man from birth then have ‘ownership’ transferred to another man and take their name. Does the fact that these high profile women changed their names to their husbands fly in the face of feminism? Hardly. They made personal decisions for themselves without seeking to impress any ideas of traditionalism on anyone else. It just means that we have the choice to take another name or not and that’s what feminism is all about.