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I took his surname. Does that mean I am not a feminist?

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With International Women’s Day been and gone, the definition of a feminist is still in the spotlight.
This one is an interesting for me, I got married a couple of weeks ago and decided to take on my husband’s surname.
Does that mean I’m not a feminist? I don’t think so.
The decision was a hard one for me and I did not take it lightly. I have been a Bickerton for 27 years and I am proud to have that family name. I also had to think about the brand I have already created for myself in my professional life.
However, as I look to the future and think about our potential family, it also makes me proud to think that we would all have the same surname and that our children would then be proud to carry the family name.
To me, being a feminist is about believing and spreading all the important things about what is like to be a woman. Family has to be one of them. Bearing a child is seen as one of the most special (albeit painful) things you can do as a woman. People may think that getting married and taking on the man’s name is an old patriarchal tradition which continues the oppression of women, but I would argue that.
While there is still many improvements to make to advance our gender the best thing we have in 2017 is choice. Women have the choice to take someone else’s name or keep their own. The man could even decide to take the woman’s name if he really wanted. We have the choice to have or not have children. We have the choice to work and raise kids or stay at home. My husband and I have decided that he will be the house husband when we decide to have children. That was a choice. We have the choice to buy a house or own a business.
I think Emma Watson was right in saying that feminists shouldn’t judge each other about what it is to be feminist. Women shouldn’t be trying to take each other down, we should be working together to rise up and be amazing.

Jem x

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