The French women do not want to be called ‘mademoiselle‘ any more, they prefer ‘madame’ that doesn’t give out their marital status.
Now as this TIME article says Germans have done away with Fraulein and cosmo women in English speaking world prefer Ms. instead of Miss and Mrs.
Many in the comment section of the article have called this a small issue and how women should focus on work and a lot of blah. They are mainly men, who have never had to change their names, and were never put in that position.
A big number of urban women have their passport, a variety of licences, bank accounts and a lot of official formality in their name before they get married, everywhere in the world including in India. And especially in India, once they are married, the whole conversion of name lands them on a ‘mission’ where either they want all their documents in a hyphenated or a full on married name.
New age guys have evolved too. They don’t get ruffled with their wives maintaining their identities. But that too doesn’t make everything okay. Some friends who kept their maiden (another worrying word that is) names, ended up with a mayhem cause their father’s names were mistaken for their husband’s names if they indicated their status as married. This doesn’t only involve red tape of going through a lot of sarkari babus, there is also a lot of cultural confusion in the process. Every time someone mentions if I’ve kept my ‘maiden’ name I feel like the Fairie Queen from the 15th century.
Too much to think of, I know. The thought could open a very tricky pandora’s box for every thinking gal.
Simply accepting the things as they are do not solve any thing. Doesn’t a salutation sans marital status everywhere in the world make sense? A Ms. and Mr. or a Shri and Sushri (instead of kumari/shrimati etc.) in India can solve a lot of identity crisis for women. A lot has changed for women over past 100 years, and there is a long way to go. Sometimes, inertia or an unwillingness to challenge accepted belief, abiding by tradition and not putting off family members, all of it seems to contribute in this name game.
There can be no judgement against those who are completely converted to their married names, retained their maiden name with a hyphen or kept their surname as it is. Women have never been told who exactly made these rules and why are they supposed to play along with them?
There are a lot of bigger issues out there in the world. Women are a part of all of them. They can do without this irritating name changing business without hurting anyone, even tradition. Don’t we make new traditions everywhere as we move on in time?