Sister Sirens

BACKLASH: When Baby’s Last Name is Mom’s

gloria baby name

Such a powerful piece on The Hairpin today by sister siren Molly Caro May about how she and her husband embraced HER last name for their new daughter.


“That moment confirmed for me that the patriarchy is still deeply ingrained—in all of us. Surnames are one of the unseen limbs of the old world. Giving a child the father’s last name is still a given. And that given preserves the man’s place of power, from the Supreme Court on down to the everyday Joe. How can that still be the case? Why, I wonder, are we so slow on this one? It seems lazy of us.”

Read this entire gem at the Hairpin:

What Happened When . . .

And read her piece on producing books and babies on the Gloria Sirens here:

Letting. It. Go.

2 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on Lisa Lanser Rose and commented:
    Twenty-four years ago, my husband and I gave our daughter my last name for similar reasons. He’s a writer and thought my last name “sounded better.” He’s one of thirteen children, and said, “No danger of my family name dying off.” Still, we dithered until after my harrowing 36-hour labor, when our daughter was safely in the open air and they brought us the paperwork. My husband, still traumatized by what he’d witnessed, said, “You made her. She should have your name.” Even though we were hardcore Catholics, no one batted an eye. I guess being a writer and a vegetarian had gotten people accustomed to my far-out ways. I thought all women of my generation would be doing likewise, but it wasn’t until fifteen years later that I met another couple who’d passed on the mother’s last name. Around the same time we’d made our decision, late ’80’s – early ’90’s, they’d made this deal: if it’s a boy, he gets the father’s name, a girl gets the mother’s. They had four children, three girls and one boy. Nowadays, so many children’s surnames differ from parents’ and siblings’, it’s not such a big deal. I wonder why Molly Caro May met so much more resistance than we did 24 years ago? Sisters, are we losing ground?


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