When a misogynist decided to grill her on her personal life choices, Lisa Armstrong had the perfect response.
More women than ever before are choosing to keep their own surnames after marriage, and yet, unlike men, these women find themselves grilled by friends and strangers alike for doing so.
Take, for instance, Lisa Armstrong. A former member of pop band Deuce, a talented writer and a professional make-up artist on hit TV shows like This Morning, Strictly Come Dancing and Saturday Night Takeaway, Armstrong is hugely respected within her field.
She also happens to be married to Ant McPartlin. As in, yes, one half of Ant and Dec.
While her husband is undoubtedly a household name (McPartlin has frequented our television schedules since the heady days of Byker Grove), there’s no denying that Armstrong’s birth name is her bread and butter: she forged her career as an Armstrong, after all.
So, when a narrow-minded troll reared its head on social media and demanded to know why she hadn’t shrugged off her maiden name like any good wife should (ugh), she knew exactly how to respond.
“Answer one question,” wrote the troll, addressing McPartlin in a direct tweet. “Why doesn’t your wife have your surname? I thought when a person gets married the wife takes on the husband’s surname.”
Armstrong replied simply: “It’s called being a woman with your own career, David.”
Naturally, women all over the internet were huge fans of Armstrong’s no-nonsense response, and her feed was soon flooded with messages praising her badassery.
Of course, it goes without saying that we should never judge a woman for her choices: taking your partner’s name can be every bit as valid and empowering as keeping your own.
But, because there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer, the subject of what you do with your surname after marriage is a completely personal choice – and it’s a difficult, complex, and weighty decision, not to mention one which can make people overwhelmingly defensive. For that reason, you may think it prudent to stay quiet about your choices. But, with Margaret Atwood warning of a real-life Gilead on the approach (and a worrying 50% of polled US citizens holding the belief that women should be forced to take their husband’s surnames), we can’t stay silent.
Instead, we all need to stand up, raise our voices, and support one another’s right to make our own choices in all areas of life. Whether it’s our bodies, our jobs, or our names, women 100% deserve to put our own interests first – and we deserve the right to do so radically and without apology. Just like Armstrong.
Images: Rex Features