I could suggest that the whole custom of the woman changing her name on marriage was discontinued, but that’s starting to move off-topic, so I won’t expatiate.
But it’s not really true. Sure, there are many women who do not take their husband’s surname, but most still do. (At least I think it’s most; I don’t know the statistics off the top of my head. In any case, the practice of taking a husband’s name, while diminished, is far from gone.)
Indeed, and I wasn’t intending to imply that it had, only to express a wish that it should.
This is a classic illustration of a linguistic change that makes communication more difficult. Once upon a time, and still in my idiolect, the first sentence quoted would have begun: “I could suggest that the whole custom of the woman changing her name on marriage be discontinued...” The way it is, to me (and apparently to Dave) it means unambiguously that the custom was discontinued: that women don’t do that any more. Bayard meant it as a future possibility, but in his dialect there’s no way to indicate that: the verb suggest takes the past tense of the following verb whether it’s seen as factual or counterfactual. It’s like the disuse of might have in favor of may have in that respect.