Stock photo, because I don't want to catch flak for using a client's photo here.
"I'm taking my husband's last name. I'm such a bad feminist!"
This particular quote came from one of my clients (sorry, dear!) and I felt that this is another big thing that needs to be addressed.
You are not a bad feminist. This doesn't just go for my client; it applies to everyone reading. The only time someone's ever a bad feminist is if you vote to take away your inalienable rights to vote, own property, or generally be a human being in society. Here's looking at you, Phyllis Schafly!
Serena Joy in A Handmaid's Tale is an imagining if Phyllis had to live with the society she created.
Our society has a lot of different ways to join families through marriage today. Some take their significant other's last name (men take a woman's last name, too). Some people hyphenate. Some people won't change it. Some couples create an entirely different last name. I admire those couples that both change their names, only because it's a double pain in the you-know-what to change it.
You know what's great? All of these options are socially acceptable. You are creating a new family unit, and you need to do what's right for you and yours. No matter what you decide, you are not a bad feminist for choosing what's right for you. That's the whole point of equality.
In a world that continually tells women to be perfect at everything ("learn to be a boss at work and at home!" say the mags), we need to understand that equality means that we get to be as flawed as men. We get to make choices. Some of them are not perfect, but we can learn from them. We become stronger people as a result.
Carrie Fischer is always a good GIF when talking about feminism.
This is not to say that making a traditional choice is the wrong one; it's to say that if you decide later that you'd prefer to keep your maiden name, or hyphenate, it's not permanent. You can wait to change it- the only thing that will cost you is if you don't change your passport within the year. $100 is certainly worth your peace of mind.
Be a feminist, and make your own choices!
And now, puppies: