Changing your maiden name to match your partner’s surname after marriage is a divisive topic.
Take Jennifer Lopez’s recent decision. J.Lo relinquished her name de ella after tying the knot with actor Ben Affleck at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas on July 16. While the marriage is J.Lo’s fourth, it’s the first time she’s taken a partner’s name.
Social media went into meltdown. How dare she! She it’s anti-feminist! She she’ll lose her identity from her!
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Why women choose to change their surname is nuanced, from religious and cultural mores to the more banal reason: “It makes paperwork and kids’ surnames easier to manage.”
For presenter, writer and motoring journalist, Elise Elliott (née Mooney), it had nothing to do with patriarchal pressures, as she revealed to her husband on their new podcast The Elliott Exchange.
The Elliott Exchangee is where Elise and her other half, top-rated 3AW Drive host Tom Elliott, exchange ideas on news, media, parenting, relationships and everything in between.
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“I took your surname, but not for reasons you’d like to believe,” Elise confessed to Tom on this week’s episode.
“It was hard for me because I’d built up a bit of a media career as Elise Mooney. That name was rusted on.”
It was the rather shocking and amusing revelation made by her Greek friends that helped her change her mind.
“They took delight in pointing out that Mooney (mouní) is in fact a disgusting vulgar word in Greek! So I thought, ‘Well, this is my opportunity to lose it’.”
Even the Elliotts’ marriage celebrant, Greg Evans (aptly of perfect match fame), suggested the alliterative Elise Elliott sounded better.
“For me, changing my name was not about some irrefutable act of submission. It was about that greatest freedom of all – choice,” said Elise.
Unfortunately, only after signing all the paper work, did Elise make the discovery she now shares her name with (another) Elise Elliot, Goldie Hawn’s wine-swilling, chain-smoking character in The First Wives Club!
“If you google my name, up comes Goldie Hawn with a glass of wine in one hand and a ‘ciggie’ in the other!” Elise laughed.
“Great. How am I going to win with a name like that?”
The Elliott Exchange is a new podcast from 3AW Drive host Tom Elliott and belle motoring writer Elise Elliott. The media power couple live in inner Melbourne and they love to debate. Now you can hear it every week. New episodes drop every Wednesday morning.
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