No More Matricide: the Long-Delayed Birthright of Women
I heard on the news that Italy now allows children to take their mother’s name. About time some country had sense enough to take the lead in stopping humanity from perpetuating blatant deletion from its memory of one half of its formative components, the reproductive half at that, worse than murder which consignment to oblivion is for all eternity. Assuming a modest 10,000 generations to have intervened since our earliest ancestors, each of us primly flaunting our single paternal surname embodies extermination of our maternal ancestors to the tune of 2 to the power of 10,000. Wikipedia stops displaying the progression at the 512th power with 154 digits! This mind-boggling exponential matricide we are all guilty of is surely the Original Sin destined to damn us, unless we intervene.
A male chauvinist at heart, as all men are though their head might say different, I confess to having taken full advantage of the prevailing order, patriarchy, when it served my purpose. I had my wife change her name to mine the day we got married, serenely dismissive of the pain I inflicted on my in-laws by destroying the identity of their firstborn on whom they had pinned so many of their hopes. But I had my comeuppance soon enough when my daughter married and took her husband’s name, a gut-wrenching blow, because she, too, had been my firstborn, my small man’s ticket to immortality. Of course she had really no choice about it. To maintain a name different from her husband’s, even if he didn’t care one way or the other, was to invite embarrassment and ostracism. For example, when the children introduced their Mom by a different name than theirs, the guests might think her divorced and remarried.
Right then and there I knew that the global cabal against the reproductive gender, as ancient as the beginning of the species perhaps, had to cease by incorporation of matriarchy, either wholly or in conjunction. Contrary to what some traditionalists may think, patriarchy is not hardwired into our genes. To attribute it to some innate male superiority like physical strength is to revert to the days when the species relied on brawn for survival, though even then David slew Goliath.
In Japan, in the absence of a male heir, adoption of a husband has long been customary among upper class families. Even in an avowed patriarchy like America matriarchy has been around in one form or another, matrilineal genealogy always perceived more reliable, as implied by the adage, “Happy is the man who knows his father.” Among African Americans with their terrible family dislocations, roots are traced almost entirely by their mothers and grandmothers. Though largely supplanted by DNA technology as a tool for genetic verification we need matriarchy even more urgently now to spare our women, increasingly more economically independent professional sovereignties, the indignity of patriarchy.
The first part of matriarchy, the wife’s retention of her maiden name, is a cinch in America because her adoption of the husband’s name is optional. All that is necessary is to change social attitude from disapproval to approval or indifference at worst.
For the other part concerning children’s names separate legislation or judicial action may be necessary as in Italy to discontinue automatic paternal naming and initiate equal quotas, half mother’s, half father’s, the odd one by flipping a coin. Of course this results in two surnames in the family which, far from wrecking the family, will be perceived as a tribute to its foundation, the mother-father dyad. Granted some couples choose hyphenation, the wife’s name either preceding or following the husband’s, to reflect their spousal partnership but its imposition on the children leads, when it is their turn to marry, to unmanageable chains of hyphens, compared to which duality as previously outlined is a far better option. Henceforth, equal representation among their progeny guaranteed for both parents, humanity will have arrived at its ultimate phase of evolution, complete with gender equality, a daughter carrying on the family line as well as a son.
So rise up, all good men, and give your ladies their long-delayed birthright!