Not My Name

Tis the season when I receive tons of holiday cards addressed to a nonexistent person.

My name is Nicole Vasquez.

My name is not Nicole DiCicco, or Mrs. Tom DiCicco, or Mr. & Mrs. Tom DiCicco, or The DiCicco Family.

Reasoning such as “It’s just a formality” or “it’s traditional” is not only outdated, it’s inconsiderate.

When I got married, I did not automatically get absorbed into my husband’s identity, family, or name.

Changing your name is a personal decision, and each person has the right to, or not to.

This post is not anti-name-changing, or an attempt to sway anyone’s opinion on changing your name after marriage.

This post is to drive awareness that automatically assuming a woman has changed her last name after getting married, is not ok.

The switch test is a simple way to know if something is unfair towards a certain group, by applying it to another group of people. If the other group of people doesn't feel comfortable with it, why do we expect the first group to accept it?

  • Men: How would you feel if you received mail addressed to “Mr. (Your wife’s full name here)?" Or, addressed to your first name but your wife's last name?

  • Everyone: How would you feel if you received a card or letter from someone you know that was clearly intended for you, but addressed to the wrong first and last name?

You likely felt a twinge of annoyance when imagining these situations.

So why do we still apply this tactic to women?

Being called Mrs. Tom DiCicco, is the equivalent of being called Mrs. Bob Jones, because neither is my name. Anything not addressed to my actual name, is an incorrect name.

Humans, and especially Americans, have already made great progress in respecting individual’s identities and titles. Let’s do the same for married women.