I realize I have to let this go; I can’t force her to follow conventions she doesn’t believe in. I would like to know where the practice comes from, however.
GENTLE READER: Your friend might better ask the origin of using the birth name as a middle name, as her name and her mother’s followed the older convention.
The custom was for a lady to change her name upon marriage, not to add on to it. Miss Manners understands the wish of ladies to hold on to their original names as prompting their use as middle names, and often now not changing names at all. Yet the old-fashioned way also deserves respect, and no one should be subject to outside pressure on the choice.
Thank you, Miss Manners. I'm one who kept my middle name and dropped my birth/maiden last name altogether when I got married, so I'm MyFirstName MyMiddleName D'sLastName.
I've had women tell me I can't possibly be a feminist because I took my husband's name. I say they can't possibly be a feminist if they dare tear me down for making my own damn choice about what my name is.
I'm not one of those people whose identity is tied up in my name, anyway. I use lots of different usernames all over the internet. My name is not my identity. My personality is my identity. My thoughts and words and actions are my identity. My name is just what you say so I know you're talking to me.