It often happens that you see the following query in the feminist blogosphere: "Can I still be feminist and take my husband's last name?" Of course, nobody can prevent you from being a traditional housewife, dedicating your life to shopping and washing male underwear, reading only "Ladies Home Journal", watching nothing but soaps and 'The Bachelor", vote for Sarah Palin and still insisting that you are feminist. In my book, however, adopting your husband's last name demonstrates that you are anything but a feminist.
Many people today identify with feminism (or rather, its toothless third-wave version) because it approves of anything they do, as long as it is their "choice." They believe that it's ok to consider yourself a feminist and still mark yourself publicly as some random guy's possession. They march through life passing themselves from their father to a husband to the next husband, changing their identification every single time. This strategy is, of course, unavailable to women who make their own name mean something. If you have several diplomas, articles and books published under your own name, it might be hard for you to ditch it all in favor of showing to the world how easy it is to transfer your identity into somebody's possession.
The argument you hear most often from quasi-feminist name-changers is that there is no difference between having one male name (your father's) and another (your husband's). Of course, it never occurs to them that if they are so set on name-changing, they could always adopt their mother's, grandmother's or great-grandmother's name. They could also start the tradition of being the first woman in their family who values her own name and doesn't ditch it in favor of some guy.
The idea that a woman needs to change her last name when her father gives her away in marriage comes from the millenia of women being seen as things, object, possessions. You can't be a feminist and not be bothered by this profoundly patriarchal tradition. You can't be a feminist and still value yourself so little that you would be willing to abandon even your name to a man. You cannot hope to build an equal relationship with a person whose very name (and the entire family history it carries with it) is automatically deemed so much more important than yours just because of your gender.