46 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1

A Name of One’s Own: The Spousal Permission Requirement and the Persistence of Patriarchy

PdfPDF by Beth D. Cohen · February-8-2013 · Categories: Lead Articles, Number 1, Print Edition, Volume 46

Throughout the years, I have witnessed many friends and acquaintances struggle with naming decisions during the occasions of marriage, birth of children, divorce, and remarriage. Naming decisions are deeply personal, and as expected, people choose different paths; they change their names to their spouses’ last names, keep their birth names, hyphenate their names, and alternate the last names of their children. In particular, two friends, who upon marriage adopted their husbands’ last names, decided to resume using their birth names during the course of their marriage; both felt as though they had lost a piece of themselves and sought to reclaim their identity by reclaiming their birth name. Their individual identities, however, were not reclaimable by themselves as individuals; each [...]