This week Beyonce opted to take her husband’s surname to promote her upcoming Mrs Carter World Tour. Here, music writer Kat Lister - who's getting married in May - argues against reinventing yourself under your husband’s name...
She came, she rocked the Super Bowl, she conquered. Yet just 24 hours later, the role model for Independent Women the world over announced she is trading Beyoncé Knowles and touring under her husband’s name, Mrs Carter.
With just three months to go until my own wedding, I have to say that Queen B’s latest announcement has baffled me a little. Yes that’s right: I’m getting married and I have decided not to take my husband’s name. It didn’t even occur to me this was still a big deal in 2013, yet reactions from colleagues and even friends have surprised me. I have been met with looks of puzzlement. Some have even asked, “So why are you getting married?” Which got me thinking: why has my decision been met with “Oh, you’re one of those…” And if I am one of those, what exactly does that make me?
It would seem I’m in the minority, and Mrs Carter is leading the pack. In 2012 over 80% of UK brides expressed their intent to change their name after marriage. In fact, fewer and fewer brides are opting to keep their maiden name. Yet we are more prevalent in the workplace than ever before, with more women choosing to have children after the age of 30. So what’s going on?
At the heart of this debate lies this contradiction, a contradiction that recently splashed a semi-naked Beyonce on the cover of GQ talking about the importance of financial independence from men. So, what exactly is Beyonce’s message? More importantly, why is it acceptable to keep your identity within work and finance, yet not elsewhere?
I’m happy to say, I’m Kat Lister. I’ll always be Kat Lister. I’ll also be a wife – and a proud one at that. But please, save me the word ‘unit’. If Feminism dropkicked any inequality it’s the one that pressures my right to choose. Mrs Carter? Bring back Ms Fierce.