Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Lilly Martin

When questioned about her last name story, Ms. Martin emphasized familial connections, saying, “My last name story is that, you know, because the parents are from Spain, you see them keep their full name, the way they were born, right? So, I really liked Martin and I had no problem with honoring that part of my heritage and it wasn’t a problem for my husband, because some people you know, some husbands have a problem with it… I really liked it so I went with Martin [and] didn’t change my name when I got married. The only time that, for me, it became more of an issue is when the kids came along. And then I just wanted to honor that part, that we were married and that we were family.  And so, I did the hyphenated Martin-Hurst for their sake. But for the most part, you know, even now that I am getting away from stuff with the kids, I am back to Martin.”

Ms. Martin was also questioned as to how much feminism influenced her decision to keep her natal name, responding, “I guess for me, I have a real problem.  In other words, I don’t consider myself such a feminist that it was for that reason. I was just comfortable with it, I like it, it was part of my heritage, but I wouldn’t sit there and say, ‘Oh my gosh, women have to do that because if not, you are not identifying with who you are.’ So, to me, let’s not put too much on the feminism part for me personally. Just be comfortable with who you are, and if there is something in your heritage that makes you want to go that way, or your beliefs, then go for it! But if not, just don’t get hung up on that.

Interviewer: Gracie Rennecker

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