I know I mentioned this in my earlier post, but I didn't get to talk about what I really wanted to talk about there. As usual, I went off on a tangent - the whole theology thing was supposed to be covered in two lines - and I was forced to break this out into a new post for the sake of readability.
What I'd wanted to talk about was the whole issue of a woman being forced to change her last name after marriage. 'Forced' may not be the right word to use because I'm not sure if this system is backed by law. Nevertheless, it is overwhelmingly prevalent everywhere in the world, and saying there's no choice at all is a fair approximation.
In a world where the curse of patriarchy is slowly being weeded out, I'm hopeful this practice will soon take its rightful place in the rubbish heap, because it's plain silly. Just take a step back and review it for a second. Forget ritual, forget tradition, forget the comfort of doing something everyone else is doing. I think you'll see it for what it is. Inanity wrapped in prejudice wrapped in tradition.
Simply doing away with the system is unhelpful, because the concept of a family name itself is quite sound. I think it makes perfect sense to have a unique name to identify all members of a family. If the father's name won't do, how do you get yourself one? I see Occam smiling, because the answer borders on the obvious. Make a new one. Since we all love ritual, we can have a naming ceremony, similar to the one that happens when a baby's born, to choose a family name some time after marriage.