Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Daniella Martinez Jimenez

Daniella has her father’s surname followed by her mother’s surname. Her parents were born in Mexico and named her in the Hispanic double surname tradition. Though Daniella has used only Martinez for most of her life, she identifies with the tradition of her last names and does not plan on changing it.

In this quote Daniella explains the challenges of having a Hispanic last name: “In classrooms it was more awkward to have the teachers say both my names. I just would rather be called Daniella Martinez; it was easier. People sometimes still struggle with Martinez, and they struggle even more with Jimenez.”

When I asked Daniella what she might choose as a surname if she has children in the future, she responded that, “I’d want the same. I’d want what I was given, of my last name and my partner’s last name.” When I reminded her that she has described difficulties in having a double surname and asked why she would pass that along to her children, she replied, “I think it has a lot to do with ethnic heritage… I’ve grown accustomed to [my name]; it’s my heritage… It’s not something that I should be trying to grow out of or be uncomfortable around. I kind of want to have a conversation with my kids about it. I’d want to talk to them about why it’s important to know both sides and accept both sides and not feel uncomfortable because of these double last names, these stigmas that are associated with it, if there are any. But I think… America is moving into a culture where it’s more accepted, more of a diversity in last names.”

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