Mrs Jennifer Affleck Owes You No Explanation For Her New Name

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(Photo: VALERIE MACON via Getty Images)
(Photo: VALERIE MACON via Getty Images)

(Photo: VALERIE MACON via Getty Images)

Some know her as J-Lo, others as Jenny From The Block. And though most people recognise her as Jennifer Lopez, that’s about to change.

We’ve been fan-girling over Jen and Ben ever since they got back together. The pair started dating over 20 years ago from 2002 – 2004. But they broke off their first engagement and ‘Bennifer’ went their separate ways. Fast forward to 2021 and the couple reunited.

Jennifer and Ben Affleck tied the knot last weekend in Las Vegas and in her newsletter, the singer revealed she’s officially changed her name to ‘Jennifer Lynn Affleck.’

And people have conflicting opinions. Many fans ((including comedian Katherine Ryan) have expressed disappointment that J-LO would change her last name.

The topic of women and surnames is a complicated one. We know that traditionally, marriage was once one of the biggest signifiers of patriarchy. Back in the day, many families would pay a woman’s dowry, presenting money or presents to the groom’s family upon exchange of their marriage – an act which is still upheld in certain communities.

So we get it when some people say that a woman taking her husband’s name reinforces patriarchal ideas. Others on social media have questioned why Jen would ditch the identity she’s created a career around. And yes, there are practical considerations to be made on that.

But – and it’s a big but – in 2022, it’s far more nuanced than that.

Firstly, most of us have our father’s last name so what difference does it make if we take another man’s name? And there’s an assumption that all of us have close family ties. Not everyone has a good or close relationship with their family and would change their last name within a heartbeat.

Some women just see names as that, a name. It doesn’t have a tie to who they are, so it can be easily replaced. Some women take their husband’s name because they like how it sounds, other couples do things the other way around, go double-barrel, or mash-up their names into one new one.

Who cares as long as they’re happy?

It’s important to recognise the history and foundations of marriage and taking your husband’s name, but ultimately a woman now has the choice to select which surname she has. If a woman chooses to take her husband’s surname, that’s her prerogative. Who are we to judge?

Regardless if she’s called Jennifer Affleck or J-Lo, her legacy still stands.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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