An Australian man recently changed his last name—to the same as his wife’s surname. Now some social media users are slamming him for the unusual switch.
Before the name change, Grant Davis was a 19-year-old Blockbuster video store employee who disliked his 17-year-old female co-worker, Jade Phillips.
He even changed his schedule to avoid her.
“We actually hated each other when we first met,” Grant from Brisbane told NorthernStar. “I would intentionally roster myself off if I saw she was working a certain shift. Then eventually we got stuck working together one night and just became great mates.”
As time went by, the pair became more than friends. On Nov. 11 this year, Grant, now 30 years old and Jade, now 28 years old, married after 10 years of dating.
But instead of Jade taking her husband’s last name—like traditional marriages—Grant took hers.
Starting this week his name is now officially Grant Phillips.
“We’d been talking about it for a few months but I really hadn’t decided until it came time to renew my passport,” he told NorthernStar. “I was sitting there, staring at the little box where I had to write my name and I just thought, ‘I’m doing this – it feels right.’”
In a Tuesday, Dec. 19 Facebook post, Grant said he made the decision after thinking about it for a long time.
“There are so many reasons as to why this is the right decision for Jade and I, not the least being that Jade is one of two girls without any cousins, and therefore their name will be lost after this generation” he wrote. “I know a lot of people have the perception that a man taking his wife’s name is somewhat emasculating… Each to their own I guess.”
Grant told NorthernStar that his own surname meant little to him since he is not close to his family members.
“I didn’t want her to feel like she was owned by me,” he added.
But some social media users were more critical of Grant’s decision.
“Didn’t want to make it look like you owned her yet by changing your name she in essence could be seen as owning you. Which is no better…” one person pointed out.
A third person commented “What’s next? People stop the madness.. Traditional for many hundreds of millions of years.”
One more person jokingly commented “I went a step further.. I deleted our names altogether. We don’t call each other by “names” it’s degrading and racist. We just wave at each other from across the room in our space suits.”
According to a recent study by the University of Nevada, men whose wives kept their last name after marriage were deemed to be more feminine and less masculine. They were also perceived as having less power in the relationship.
“Jade’s one of two girls so if she had taken on my name, her surname would have died with her,” Grant told NorthernStar. “This didn’t seem fair because her name means a lot to her and her dad whereas I am not close to my extended family so have no emotional attachment to my name.”