Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Hyphenated Surname

Popularized by feminism in the eighties and nineties, hyphenated names can be a way for no one in the relationship to have to give up their name. Advocates of hyphenation often cite gender equality as a reason for choosing this option. If the hyphen is only given to the children, both parents can keep their name. A hyphen, however, also allows for a unified family name. Most interviewees with hyphenated names felt very connected to them, however, there were complaints of not being able to fit one’s name into a form and other minor hassles. A question that often came up was what children with hyphenated names would do when if they got married and or had children. Ultimately, as with all naming options, there is no clear answer, and they will find themselves making choices based on their situation.

Click Here for interviews with people who have chosen or received hyphenated names.


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