Dear Carolyn • When a woman chooses to take her husband's name, is it obnoxious if I ask, "Why is this the right decision for you?" and then really listen to the answer? None of my friends has changed her name yet, so I haven't had to put this in practice, but I'm genuinely curious why people still make this choice. I just hate the assumption that a woman will do this, whereas a man would not. And it is an assumption; the friends who have not changed their names get a shocking amount of crap for it.
Dear Name Changes • So why would you look for polite ways, then, to give women "a shocking amount of crap" for taking a husband's name finding them guilty of sexist assumptions until they prove themselves innocent? Now, if you simply struggle to see this choice from any perspective but your own and your friends', and you want to understand, and have no agenda to push, then by all means, make like a scientist and start gathering data. But if the agenda is there, then obnoxious it is, and these women will read it right off your sleeve.