Sunday, May 22, 2011

The value of maiden names

A recent study (discussed in the likes of “Smart Money,” “Daily Finance” and MSN Money) suggests that women who kept their maiden name obtained higher education levels, had fewer children, more successful careers and higher salaries. The value of the maiden name, the study concludes, is about $500,000.

And so we’re invited to conclude: if you want to make half a million dollars more during your life, just keep your last name. Women who do have higher incomes.

And while I was intrigued by this concept, being a gal who decided back in high school that I would probably retain my maiden name (I see adopting someone else's last name as unnecessary and archaic) I was humored by the suggestion that keeping your name makes you earn more.

Because here’s the thing: for me, having a good career is far more important than keeping my name. I give a lot more consideration to what I should do with my life than I do arguing with people on the virtue of to whom my mail is addressed. And if I end up making $500,000 more than the average bear, I'll probably chalk it up as ambition rather than holding out on a name change.

I think you can make $500,000 with your last name, his last name, or the last name "Poobehr." I don't think it matters nearly as much as where you've set your sights.

And so this article prompted me to make the following suggestion: isn’t it far more likely that women who pursue higher education and boast high incomes incidentally choose to keep their last name – that perhaps when women are working hard and making bank, they’re less likely to worry about taking someone else’s? It seems a bit more likely than the possibility of simply keeping one’s last name as insurance for a future of fortunes.

I feel like this article proudly asserted: being fat makes you eat more fast food!
And I’m left questioning the obvious discrepancy in the logic.

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