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Marriage

"Apple Sauce for Eve" by Marge Piercy, 1999

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“Apple Sauce for Eve,” poem from The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme, by Marge Piercy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).

Courtesy of Marge Piercy. View PDF.

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Piercy, Marge
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marge_piercy_apple_sauce_for_eve

“Apple Sauce for Eve,” poem from The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme, by Marge Piercy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).

Courtesy of Marge Piercy. View PDF.

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"Freedom for Agunot Now" Pin

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"Freedom for Agunot Now" pin, created by Agunah, Inc., and GET.

Courtesy of Rivka Haut.

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"Freedom for Agunot Now" pin, created by Agunah, Inc., and GET.

Courtesy of Rivka Haut.

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What's In a Name: Audrey Cohen

"You're changing your name? I'm surprised."
"Why are you surprised?"
"I don't know. You just seem like the kind of person who wouldn't."

I had this conversation with my friend Ben a few months before my wedding, after I mentioned that I was planning on taking my husband's last name. Presumably, what Ben meant when he said "the kind of person who wouldn't" was educated, career-oriented, politically progressive- someone for whom getting married was a pleasant parallel track to other goals instead of an ambition in and of itself. Apparently, it's difficult to believe that a woman with a career, who strongly believes in women's equality, would take her husband's name.

As we continue to develop our series on names, please let us know if you are interested in sharing your story.

Audrey and Jeff Cohen

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Audrey and Jeff Cohen at their wedding.

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Audrey and Jeff Cohen at their wedding.

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Love, Marriage, and Names

Being based in Boston, the Red Sox are a pretty big deal. I’m not a sports fan, but I get the allegiance.  (And, I get that that the Red Sox Nation is an important part of our city’s identity—feel free to ask me about the fireworks that kept me up late last night following the Red Sox World Series win.) Which is why I found a statement I heard at a wedding last weekend particularly illuminating.

The bride, a New Yorker and Yankees fan, was marrying a Boston Red Sox fan. During the toasts her sister shared, “it is easier for someone in our family to change their last name than to change their sports team.” Marriage and the decision to change, not change, hyphenate, combine, invent, or otherwise alter one’s last name is a controversial one.

What's In a Name: Mimi Garcia

Ken and I talked about our names for a long time before we got married. He always said he wanted everyone in our new family to have the same last name—particularly when we had kids. And I would say, "Okay, you are always welcome to be a Garcia." I said that as a joke, but I really meant it. 

I've worked long and hard to create Mimi Garcia. I often joke, "It's a good brand and I've worked hard to make it. I don't want to change it." 

Josephine and Wyatt Earp's g=Drave

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The grave of Wyatt and Josephine Earp in Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, Colma, California.
Courtesy of Wikimedia.
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The grave of Wyatt and Josephine Earp in Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, Colma, California.

Courtesy of Wikimedia.

The Power to Name Myself

Changing my name is a choice that I can make. I can keep my name if I want, or change it, or come up with something entirely different. By deciding to take my soon-to-be-husband’s last name, I am naming a particular moment in my life, my transition from single to married. I am changing my name, not because that is what I am expected to do, but because I am signaling a unified partnership, as we are both helpers to each other. Adam isn’t naming me, like the birds and the beasts. I am claiming the power to name myself.

Hannah White

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Hannah White.
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Hannah White.

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Amanda Koppelman Milstein

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Amanda Koppelman Milstein.
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Amanda Koppelman Milstein.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Marriage." (Viewed on February 9, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/marriage>.

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