The New York Times found in a 2015 analysis that around 70% of women in the United States take on their husband’s family name upon marriage, a number that suggests an allegiance to a cultural paradigm that has existed since medieval times. 

Simon Duncan, a professor of family life at the University of Bradford in the U.K. who has been studying male-name taking, affirmed the patriarchal undertones that are associated with women embracing a man’s surname. 

“It is quite surprising…[that a large number of women adopt the man’s name] since it comes from patriarchal history, from the idea that a woman, on marriage, became one of the man’s possessions,” Duncan said, according to the BBC. 

“Is this just a harmless tradition, or is there some sort of meaning leaking from those times to now?” he asked.

After a fierce Twitter debate inspired by a user asking, “y’all be marrying women who don’t want your last name?????” people shared their own opinions of the name-taking tradition.

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