Should Beyoncé Be Taking Jay Z's Surname For Mrs Carter World Tour?

06 February 2013 by

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.




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Jade Thompson (Thu Feb 07 09:59:14 GMT 2013): She can be Ms fierce AND Mrs carter. The idea that it has to be either/or is a bit backwards to me.
Rachael Rees (Thu Feb 07 11:26:04 GMT 2013): I'm a proud feminist but was happy to change my name when I got married. I got a cool alliterative name, I had worked at the same company for several years so there was no issue of confusion at work. Plus I was not very attached to my previous last name - my father's name. My parents divorced when I was 7 and by my wedding day hadn't seen my dad for 11 years. If I was going to have some man's last name I preferred it to be the man I had chosen to spend my life with than the man who had constantly let me down. Unusual situation I know, but I think the message is that it's about individual choice and we shouldn't judge other women on theirs.
Una Donovan (Thu Feb 07 12:05:52 GMT 2013): The association with Jay Z will widen her appeal/fan base - genius marketing. Also she probs loves the chap.
Yennifer Suazo Garcia (Thu Feb 07 12:38:58 GMT 2013): I was dead against dropping my daddys name! It took me ages to even like it in the first place (was the only spanish kid in school)... I added my husbands name to my surname... it was an easy compromise :)
Laura LaRue (Thu Feb 07 13:21:55 GMT 2013): I am also getting married this year and have been met with the same shocked response about not wanting to change my name. I agree with everything you say here!
Yennifer Suazo Garcia (Thu Feb 07 13:25:15 GMT 2013): exactly!! I wasnt gna drop mine either i love my Suazo Garcia surname lol :) xx
Amie Caomhánach (Thu Feb 07 16:31:45 GMT 2013): It seems the important message Kat ends with in this extract is that women deserve the "right to choose". Can't she see the irony in this as she disputes Beyonce's choice to embrace her husband's name?