As a female in the UK, I'm expected to drop my last name and take my (male) partners' name when we get married - there's no law against me keeping my last name, though it's generally frowned upon.
Ever since I asked my Mum from a young age "Why does the girl have to take the guys last name?" and she informed me that we don't, and in fact her Aunt kept her name when she married, I never wanted to drop my last name.
Now, I'm not saying that I'm expecting my partner to take my last name and drop theirs (though in this case, when it comes to it, he's willing to), I've always been willing to compromise and double barrel or we just keep our own names.
I find that it's generally males who have a problem with me wanting to keep my last name, females sometimes start of a little confused but soon accept my decision, whereas guys generally don't. As a result, I get asked "Why?". I have my reasons (which my partner knows and understands), though I don't see why they matter since guys never have to explain themselves. I was recently asked to explain myself, and I did, and he then belittled my reasons after saying he wouldn't judge me, which made me regret explaining my position.
When I get asked
Why won't you drop your last name?
or questions of a similar nature, by someone I'm not too friendly with or don't trust to not judge/belittle my reasons, I'd like to explain how it's my decision without having to explain myself, the ways guys aren't expected to explain theirselves.
- For clarification, I do not have children, nor am I planning to anytime soon.
- I'm aware that not all males feel as if the women should take the last name.
- It's not always people who I don't know or aren't that friendly with who think that I should take the guys name, for example a (female) family friend heavily criticised my decision to keep my last name when it was brought up in conversation by my Mum, and even proceeded to say "I don't see the point in marriage if you don't take the guys last name". In this case my Mum defended my position and tried quickly to shut the conversation down before it became a heated debate.
- I don't actively bring up this fact, it generally arises organically in conversation, and can be brought up by friends and family members who are aware (see my above point).