People Are Discussing Whether A Husband Should Take His Wife's Surname After Marriage And It's Pretty Interesting

By Maliha Khan | 2 Jun, 2019

As a society, we view a woman taking her husband’s surname as the norm. This is what we are used to and what we have known our entire lives, but what if the roles were switched? What if the man was asked to take his wife’s family name, for no reason, but just because.

If you really go deep into why a woman is always the one to change her name to better accommodate the man, there is no specific reason besides the fact that it just has always been this way. I for one did not have to change mine, because you know it works out when you marry another Khan, being a Khan yourself.


So I got the courage and asked these two simple questions

Should a man take his wife's last name?
Source: Instagram/@Malihahahahaha


Should a woman allow her husband to take her last name?
Source: Instagram/@Malihahahahaha

And I posted this to start a discussion on various platforms:

Man takes last name discussion
Source: Instagram/@Malihahahahaha

As expected, the results were pretty darn interesting and definitely very insightful. Let’s start off with the poll first. Here are the results.

67% of the men who answered this poll were not willing to take their wife’s last name after marriage…Interesting.

Man Last Name Results

61% of the women who answered this poll didn’t want their husbands to take on their last names.

Woman last name results
Source: Instagram/@Malihahahahaha

The results were similar to what I had expected, but to see the number of people open to the idea shocked me. I had initially thought that the question for men would have a higher number for no than it ended up having. Results may have been skewed due to the fact that this was the first poll in the story and some people mindlessly click through Instagram stories (very relatable), but the results have spoken.

Surprisingly enough, the number of women that were not interested also shocked me. I would have thought more of my followers to get on the bandwagon and prefer their significant other to take their last name, but I guess I was wrong.

Since the results were a little different than I had thought, I decided to do a little bit more research. Instagram allows the creator of the poll to see who voted for what, and upon going through that list, I saw a pattern. Majority of my Pakistani followers had voted the way I had set my expectations as and the people messing with the results were people outside of our community.


So why is it so hard for us Pakistanis to welcome a new idea or way of living? “This is how our elders did it.” Since this is all we have known, we are comfortable with this idea, which is why this continues in our culture. However, I did ask the same question on my socials, and received some interesting replies.

“Tradition hai, toh kaise yeh change ho sakta hai?”

Last name tradition

“It’s weird.”

Last name family

“Government documents pey yeh option hi nahi hai, the government will fall apart if this kind of change takes place.”

Last name NCIC


“Feminism propaganda hai”

Last name feminism

“Feminism is ruining lives”

last name male feminism

Seriously, though. Y’all need to chill. Feminism is about equality, not oppression.

“Because, patriarchy.”

Last name patriarchy


Khair, amongst all of this, there were still people who were open to certain discussions and had some constructive feedback. Like this dude:

last name normal

Straight to the point.

last name average

You go Glen Coco!


last name romantic

Lol, waisay true.

last name nicer

Honestly, though. There were some pretty nice responses. Like this individual who associated names with identity instead of tradition.

last name identity


This person gave a pretty detailed (and diplomatic) reply. 

last name conversation

And this person felt like the bloodline had to survive.

last name kids

Haye koi iski shaadi kardey, isko pata chalay larkay kya cheez hotay hai.

last name convo

(Not all men, of course.)

And I saved the best and most logical for last…

last name logical

I am in no way trying to change how our society works, nor am I trying to start a movement. I am an open-minded, progressive part of our society. Pakistan is one of the most well-known countries in the world, but not always for the right reasons. Topics like these are not discussed or brought up, because the fear of against the norm is instilled in us. I say it is okay to change the narrative and tell a different story, and the only way we can do that is by having these conversations.

I respect the opinions of my friends, family, and colleagues, and this is exactly why I chose to share them. Let us know what you think of this hypothetical idea down below!


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