A new trend has unearthed how old-fashioned some young women still are.
Generation Z is often seen as the fresh-thinking and more provocative generation, who challenge the mindset of Boomers and Millennials with their baggy jeans and quiet quitting schemes.
But they aren’t purely progressive.
A new trend sweeping TikTok features young women getting tattoos of their maiden names as a nod to their past as they accept a new surname in marriage.
The TikToks are getting millions of views and are being widely praised by women who are declaring on en-masse that they “love this idea”.
The online commentary suggests women giving up their last name isn’t a choice, but a given.
“Cries in realisation that the name I’ve had my whole life will change,” someone commented.
The tattoo trend supports the outdated, heteronormative expectation for straight women to give up their own names and take their partner’s.
It seems no amount of slogan crop T-shirts that say ‘Bite me’ and feminist takes on the Barbie film can save the day.
Millennial women, for all their faults and $60 Brazilian waxes, seemed pretty set on making feminism cool again.
But are the young women who came after them undoing all their hard work?
There’s the “stay at home girlfriend” trend that has swept TikTok, where childless women share their lives as partners who don’t work but instead focus on tending to the home.
Now we have the maiden name tattoo trend, which is incredibly redundant. If you are attached to your last name so much … why not just keep it?
Gen Z are meant to be here to shake up the culture, not regress it.
How is giving up your own last name progressive or provocative? It is just frighteningly traditional.
Surely young women are meant to be leading the charge instead of just bending to the same outdated rules.
The last name conversation is still a topic that has the potential to ruin any dinner party or casual pub session.
A woman and man getting married and each keeping their names is the perfect example of equality, yet, when a woman chooses to keep her own name, it can still be seen as a move of defiance.
I recently mentioned to some friends that if I had a child with my boyfriend, I’d expect them to take my last name, and I was met with stunned silence.
Despite my seemingly-progressive friends in my urban Sydney lifestyle filled with cowboy boots and craft beer, the judgement that came with the decision to keep my own identity, or, worse yet, pass my name down to my child, was striking.
Even in today’s modern society, women who choose to keep their names are seen as difficult, unreasonable, and disrespectful to their partners.
YouTube power couple Faith Kelly, 23, and Ethan Payne, 28, recently went viral for revealing why they weren’t engaged.
The pair have a child together, but Ethan has refused to propose to Faith because she’s made it clear she won’t be taking his last name.
“Faith doesn’t want to take my name, and that irks me,” he explained in a viral TikTok.
Kelly clarified she was happy to take his name, but wanted to keep her own and hyphenate. The compromise wasn’t good enough for Ethan.
“It’s a personal thing. I’ve grown up with it my whole life. I like it, and I want to keep it,” she argued.
Ethan insisted that if she didn’t take his last name, she should only be “half his wife”. He then declared her taking his last name was just “how things should be done”.
It is a depressing reality that in 2023, women are branding themselves with their maiden names to maintain some sense of their own identity, rather than just keeping their own bloody names.