People are surprised that I did not take my husband's name when I got married.
I find them odd the way they find me odd.
I know few married women who take their husbands' names in Taiwan.
Not my mother, sisters, aunts, nor did our girlfriends.
Perhaps that is the custom, or I grew up among self-conscious women.
Grandmother was recorded in the family tree with her maiden name only.
When I was young, I thought that was her full name. Dad laughed, "she does have a correct name (first name), you know?"
Therefore, I never called her maiden name anymore. She is independent from the Chou family, both in my mind and in reality.
It may be difficult to take husbands' names in a western country where the divorce rate is as high as 50%. Does one continue collecting names after seven marriages?
But my point is, why?
Is it important?
Perhaps it is, to ladies who dreamt of glorious wedding, beautiful husbands, children and houses since they were seven years old.
Does taking a husband's name make one married woman proud (that she is taken, occupied, belonged)?
Is it a shame to my husband if I don't take his name?
It must come from some religion, since religions often motivate the needs to "control."
Anne Carson quoted Plutarch in her "Men in the off hours:"
After veiling the bride they put on her head a crown of asparagus, for this plant yields the sweetest fruit from the harshest thorns and so may the bride, if properly managed, provide a civilized and sweet contribution to her husband's life despite her original roughness and sourness.
Well behave, all married women with husband's names! Thou shall not soil husbands' names and their family.
Is it alright to soil Father's name? Why am I a Chou, instead of a Lin like Mom is?... wait, that is Grandpa's Lin, afterall, not Grandma's Lin.
ps. Mom's mom and dad are both Lins, same character, same pronunciation.