His Facebook post was meant to be an update for friends and family, but Grant Phillips’ explanation for why he took his wife’s surname has now been picked up by news outlets around the world.
And the public response will make you fist pump and face palm.
“After much time and consideration, I have made the decision to take my wife’s surname of Phillips,” he wrote on Tuesday.
“There are so many reasons as to why this is the right decision for Jade and I, not the least being that Jade is one of two girls without any cousins, and therefore their name will be lost after this generation.”
He also challenged the commonly held perception that a man taking his wife’s surname is “emasculating”.
“I, on the other hand, believe this is a sad perspective based on an understanding of an outdated tradition which centres around ownership. For me, I’m honored that Jade would like me to take her name.”
He never expected what came next.
“I mean, let’s face it, I changed my name… It’s not that big of a deal,” he told Marie Claire. “I didn’t cure cancer, I didn’t stop world hunger… I took my wife’s surname and I am certainly not the first male in history to do this.”
He says his loved ones were thrilled with the decision but as the story spread, reactions online were divided.
“The large majority of people seem to really love and support our decision. But of course, there are the people who think it’s “pathetic” and “emasculating” that a male would do such a thing. I have been trolled online and sent some pretty disgusting messages… Luckily, I am confident in myself and my relationship, so it doesn’t bother me.”
More than 80 per cent of Australian women take their husband's name when they marry, and a recent study has found that many people still hold backwards views about the 20 per cent who don’t. Research out of the University of Nevada found that when a woman chooses to retain her surname, people perceive her husband to be more feminine, less masculine and hold less power in the relationship.
These findings are undoubtedly reflected in the volume of men who felt the need to berate Grant on social media, both publicly and privately.
“It has shown me that, sadly, in this country male chauvinism is alive and well,” he says.
“The irony is that a significant proportion of the haters are fathers who proudly display loving photos with their daughters on the same social media pages they use to publicly condemn my private decision. Personally, I would have thought that parents would support a move that enhances gender equality in this country for the next generation of women (as I think any human should). I really hope their daughters can grow up in a country where the misogynistic views of their fathers are a thing of the past.”
“I think the fact that ‘a man taking his wife’s name’ in 2017 has turned into such a big deal is sign of just how far we have to go.”