Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Leeds Mallinckrodt-Reese

Leeds is the daughter of Casey and has the hyphenated last name of her mother and birth father. Her first name is the natal name of her paternal grandmother. She is considering what to do about her hyphenated name for future career and relationships.

Leeds’ first name is also part of her last name heritage. She explains, “Leeds is my dad’s mom’s maiden name, before she changed…Ok, you’re one case where even your first name has to do with last-naming practices. Yeah, so it’s just a whole family name. And Leeds, my dad’s mom was very traditional, like when she married Mr. Reese she changed her name to Reese, but they wanted to keep her last name in the family, so my uncle’s middle name is also Leeds, and my first name is Leeds.”

When asked about her feelings toward the hyphenation practice, Leeds said: “Not really..I, I think that if I like my ‘lasting other’s’ last name enough, I would change it, but I’m also…I’m not sure that I would. I like the idea of having a family that has, that you can refer to as ‘The Deadricks,’ ‘The Reeses,’ because I think it’s nice to be part of something like that. And have it be a definitive way of referring to someone or something that you’re a part of. Have you felt like you’ve missed that in your life? Sort of. A little bit, yeah. And I think that because I feel like I’ve missed that it’s more of a consideration for me, it’s gonna be more of a consideration for me when I have children of my own. Yeah. But, yeah I’m not sure, I’m not sure if I would change my name. And I think I would want my children to have their dad’s last name. I would not keep Mallinckrodt-Reese. To impart on another child. Yeah, cause then you’d have to add, and triple hyphenation. And there’s something, aesthetics are definitely part of it. And it’s a lot of letters!”

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