Going way back, women, especially in the South, with famous, i.e. important, maiden names, used three names as a way of making themselves seem more important. Ostensibly it was to keep alive or bring attention to their prominent family, but in practice it was a way to do what psychologists would call furthering our ideal image of ourselves -- making us seem more important.
There was a substantial increase in the use of three names particularly by academics and working class feminists in the 1960s and 70s who were objecting to the symbolism, and onorous practical aspects, of renaming themselves using their husband's last name. It's one very obvious hallmark of our patriarchal society. (Although as my ex pointed out to me once, her "maiden" name is still a man's last name.)
The use of three names has now mushroomed out of control, in my view, and no longer has much feminist symbolism. Go on Facebook sometime and find a Southern, Republican woman, especially a Texan, who uses three names and you can spend the rest of the day clicking on friends and associates of hers who use three names. They are obviously women who would not identify themselves as feminists or at best as "first wave" feminists, which is Republican Christianity code for saying women should have the right to vote but should still submit to their husbands.
I think these women use three names primarily as a way to increase their own sense of their own importance. When we're deciding what to call ourselves we try different names out and settle on one way for a variety of reasons. How it sounds. How we imagine people think it sounds. How it makes us feel. For a feminist I would assume that the political statement they are making goes into that mental accounting. I admire their courage. Having only ever been a white male I've only ever had white male privilege. That may amount to more of an absence of barriers than a proactive advantage and I probably would never be consciously aware of either but I imagine people who don't have it are made aware they don't sometimes.
But as I say, the symbolic aspect of three names has been corrupted by self important Republican women, and I think if three name women were honest with themselves they'd admit that their decision to use three names had more to do with self promotion than feminist ideology.
I don't expect anyone who hasn't thought about it to agree with my take on feminism as it's played out in the public sphere, but to me, feminism isn't about equality but about women's empowerment. Those are not the same thing. I understand the argument, that women need to increase their power so they have as much as men do. But equality isn't really the goal of feminism.
"Women's empowerment' is an often heard phrase. Look at the kinds of memes people who identify as feminists post on social media and you'll find that they have more to do with the will to power than the concept of equality. The lines that appeal to the will to power are the ones that elicit the throaty roars from the crowd and the repostings.
This kind of feminism seeks to address a valid wrong, but not by creating a more equal world, one where you don't need power to get what you need. It simply seeks to rearrange the power hierarchy. It's the approach all advocacy groups take, in my assessment, and it's the wrong one. It will put you higher up on the power totem pole but it will just mean someone else has to go lower.
So let us all agree to be equal in all ways. Take two names you like and go with those.