PARENTING
01/19/2012 05:54 pm ET Updated Mar 20, 2012

Whose Last Name Should The Baby Get?

Hyphenated last names are annoying. They smack of posh British peerage or unyielding Birkenstock feminism. They're impractical (what's a hyphenate supposed to do if they marry another hyphenate?) and they force small children to lug around big, unwieldy names that never fit on their cubbies.

So, naturally, when it came to naming our daughter, we, um, hyphenated.

It never occurred to me to change my name when I married. After thirty years of major foibles and minor accomplishments, I felt I owed it to my name to stick with it. Of course, as any women's studies major would remind me, my name is not really my name. It's a patriarchal expression of my father's ownership of me. That is, until he can hand me off to some unwitting sod who will take charge.