Why Married Women Are Using Two Last Names on Facebook
Scheuble refers to women like Weissman, who change how they introduce themselves depending on context, as “situational last-name users.” Even some famous double-surname users who ostensibly kept their maiden names to maintain professional recognizability after marriage, have been known to go by different names in different situations. Sandra Day O’Connor has been known to go by “O’Connor”, her husband’s last name in colloquial settings, while Hillary Rodham Clinton has generally gone just by “Clinton” in her campaigns for political office.
.. “Two last names without a hyphen is very much a trend right now,” Tate says, and adds that starting around 2012, women replacing their middle names with their maiden names has been “a big, big name-change trend,” particularly in the South. Both formats, she says, are particularly popular among highly educated women with established careers at the time of marriage. She ascribes that popularity to the fact that this format offers more flexibility than hyphenating. Hyphenated names are “like Krazy Glue,” she says, in that the names have to remain stuck together virtually everywhere: Women who hyphenate have to sign all legal documents with their hyphenated last name, and often feel more obligated to introduce themselves with both last names colloquially—and that, Tate says, can be “a mouthful.”
.. third-grade teacher Alyssa Postman Putzel (née Postman) has adopted what’s sometimes known as a “double-barreled” last name since getting married last summer. Both women appreciate the recognizability it affords them online and in professional contexts
.. While tech has contributed to the popularity of the unhyphenated double surname in the United States, tech is also in some ways standing in the way of it becoming a commonly accepted naming format. Scheuble says she’s come across legal and administrative forms designed to enter last names into databases that can only register a single or hyphenated surname. “You can put a hyphen, but you cannot put a space,” she says. Scheuble recently tried to help her niece who has an inherited double-barrel last name apply for grad school. “God knows where she ended up” within some schools’ administrative systems, Scheuble says. “It’s ridiculous that computer systems make decisions about people’s lives. But that’s what happens.”