In our ever-changing society, it is safe to say that we are slowly leaning towards becoming more progressive. We set the precedent for same-sex marriage across the globe after all, and this made many look outside the boundaries of what a ‘traditional’ union might be. But while we might be forward thinking in this sense, it is still a rarity for a man to take his wife’s maiden name after marriage. Many women will decide to take their husband’s name or as is now becoming a fashionable norm, keep their own maiden names.
We’ve seen one or two celebrity couples break the mould in recent times, actress Zoe Saldana’s husband Marco being the prime example, and now it seems actor extraordinaire Johnny Depp might just do the same thing. On a recent Jimmy Kimmel appearance promoting his latest film, Black Mass, Johnny Depp joked about taking his wife Amber Heard’s last name. To give you some context, Depp was speaking to Kimmel about the fact that he doesn’t know anything about the last name Depp or where it came from. Kimmel noted that Depp’s wife Amber Heard did not take Depp’s last name. The actor said lightly that he might take Heard’s last name, which Kimmel responded to with a skeptical laugh and a “that would be a weird thing,” comment.
Which begs the question, why would it be such a weird thing? It isn’t the usual choice granted, but there’s nothing weird about taking your wife’s last name. It’s a sweet sign of respect and another reverent step towards striving for equality between the sexes. It’s been done by quite a few men, including celebrities. As well as Marco Saldana (who famously said he “didn’t give a s**t” if he was “emasculated” for his name choice), Jack White changed his name from Jack Gillis when he married Meg White in 1996 and he has kept that name, despite the couple divorcing. Also, when the lead singer of The Faint Todd Baechle married Azure Ray musician Orenda Fink, he took her last name.
The only odd thing surrounding this debate is that many women are simply expected to give up their own names after marriage and no-one bats an eyelid, but when the tables turn, it suddenly becomes an issue or unfairly labelled as “weird”. While a woman should be allowed to take her husband’s name if she chooses, it should be a choice, and not laughed off as weird if a man wants to make that choice instead. And we think Johnny Depp-Heard has a very nice ring to it, if we’re honest.