Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Faye Phillips

(Parents had intention of giving children last name based on gender of first born.)

Interviewer: Katy Stetson

SKYPE [12/18/12 3:24:32 PM] Fayette Phillips: it was an arbitrary assignment for which gender would be Moore, and which would be Phillips. But they knew they wanted their kids to have the same last name as each other, so all kids would take one last name based on the gender of the first kid. (The first female would take the maternal name, Moore, or the first male would take the paternal name, Phillips). My sister Greta was born, and so she was named Greta Moore. My parents were perfectly pleased, but it didn’t settle with my paternal Grandparents. It didn’t turn into a battle, my mom pretty graciously bowed out. She just said it wasn’t a battle she was willing to fight or one that was worth pushing a family relationship for. [My mom] said what was important to her was that her kids could create their own identity (she felt she had created and maintained her own identity under her own name; one that she would always have).And a note, she really doesn’t mind, in fact she kind of likes it, when people don’t know that she’s Libba Moore and they call her Mrs. Phillips, because she loves the Phillips family.

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