Baby’s Taking Mom’s Last Name

July 18, 2014

Molly Caro describes the process and the unexpectedly encouraging consequences of giving her daughter her own last name (Molly’s) instead of her husband’s. Caro’s argument is not that children’s surnames should be either the mother’s or the father’s last name per se, but rather that it at least merits a free and fair conversation where all options are on the table. This should not be revolutionary; this should be normal.

“People might say these are small peanuts, but language is never small. Language shapes how we view things before we even know we are viewing them. How we name something determines how we value it. If women’s last names are consistently absent from history, never passed down, then where is their—our—value?” 

Read about Molly’s experience here.

posted by Corbin Lambeth

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for posting this great Link of the Day!

    My husband and I gave our three daughters my last name as the surname and his last name as the middle name. It has worked out fine: Rosamond Arthur Eggebroten, Ellen Arthur Eggebroten, Marie Arthur Eggebroten. We planned to do this whether the baby turned out to be female or male.

    My only married daughter so far has taken her husband’s last name–she’s now Ellen A. Michel. Names mean so much–very important decisions. Any steps to overturn patriarchal practices need to be taken.

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