Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Dr. Gina Bamberger

Gina Bamberger kept her natal name for professional and feminist reasons. She describes her reasons for keeping her own last name, “The timing of my marriage was… I had already graduated and had some of my professional credentials, my medical license, and all of my med school transcripts and all that official stuff was in my last name.” Her fiancé at the time was also an aspiring doctor and if she would have taken his name there would be two Dr. Carters.

She discussed some interesting experiences with her children’s friends. Many parents are raising their children and trying to instill proper manners in them, suggesting that they call adults Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So. Gina Bamberger tells her children’s friends to just call her Gina because she doesn’t want to have kids running around the house calling her Dr. Bamberger. She explained how having the option of going by Dr. Bamberger at work at using Mrs. Carter in a more personal setting allows flexibility in keeping the two compartments of her life separate.

When asked about how she believes feminism informed her decision, she explained, “It’s been less than 100 years since we could even vote. And even though obviously women were in medical school 100 years ago… we have had some amazingly restricted rights, and you know that’s OUR country lets talk about some other countries around the world and how limited women’s rights are. So, I think its important to keep that in the forefront of our minds and to get too complacent with the freedoms that we have.”

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