In recent years, a large number of feminist speeches have begun to appear on the Internet. Some of these speeches are to fight for women’s legal rights, while others question the status of women, and even deprive men of many rights.
The gender conflict behind the right to have surnames
The legal fight for women’s rights is of course necessary. Women are in a weak position in society due to many physiological conditions. But some social and cultural traditional customs actually have their own reasons.
For example, some so-called feminists once made comments on the Internet, believing that children taking their father’s surname is an oppression of women in a patriarchal society and should be changed.
Before talking about whether such remarks are reasonable, we might as well take a look at why the right of children to bear surnames arouses people’s discussion?
Continuity of marriage, family and property
Marriage is a way, even the only way, to continue human society. This is because after marriage, starting a family and having children are the only way to go.
For most people, they have to have children after getting married. Therefore, from a biological perspective, reproduction completes the continuation of human beings from a physiological perspective.
So in terms of property rights and ownership rights of items, reproduction also has to shoulder this function.
In most cultures, giving children a surname is the main way to achieve this function.
Femininity in a patriarchal society
Engels and Marx’s research on human society in their later years largely inferred the period of transition from matriarchal society to patriarchal society, and the important significance of this transition – that is, the emergence of private ownership.
Human society also originally valued the reproductive function of the mother, but now valued the function of inheriting the father’s property. Therefore, when human society continues its own offspring, in order to ensure that the offspring can inherit its own property, it ensures this through the system of continuing the father’s surname.
We can imagine that in a matrilineal society, the reason why women have a high status is because women have reproductive functions that men do not have, and women at that time were regarded as precious resources that could continue the bloodline.
At the same time, because the marriage system at that time was not monogamous, it was difficult to find the child’s father after the child was born. Therefore, in a matrilineal society, the child’s uncle had almost as much power and status as the child’s father.
Later, with the development of private ownership, the inheritance of property and ownership received greater attention from humans. At this time, women’s status also began to change – their fertility was no longer valued as before.
Because capital and wealth can solve the fertility problem to a certain extent. At the same time, in order to assign certain ownership of property, a surname is needed to prove its uniqueness.
This is the meaning of the right to have a surname. Is the status of women oppressed because of the right to bear surnames?
After analyzing the history of surname rights, we might as well take a look at the relevant situation in society today.
Some women think that since the child takes the father’s surname, they do not recognize their importance as a mother. This is not the case.
First of all, as early as the end of the last century, our country began to implement the policy of voluntary surnames for newborn babies. In other words, the state does not force children to follow their father’s surname.
Secondly, some women believe that the ownership of the surname affects its importance in the growth of their children. Is this true? Let’s take a look at the situation in most modern homes.
The social division of labor in the family of “men take charge of the outside and women take charge of the house” generally still exists, which means that in the family, the husband shoulders the financial burden of the family to a greater extent, so while the wife is completing her own work, she must also Use some of your energy to raise your children.
Mothers have more contact with their children, while fathers obtain financial income through their own efforts, except, of course, irresponsible “fathers”.
Therefore, if both parties reach consensus and the wife really believes that the right to bear the surname will affect the children’s view of her, or she contributes more to the family, then this is no longer a problem.
The right of surname and family in the times
Finally, since this thing is called “right”, what kind of impact can it bring to the family, especially the children themselves? When two people get married , their families of origin are naturally united.
The following life was not only a struggle between two small families, but also two big families trying their best to use the resources at their disposal to help this large “community” achieve better development.
For most marriages, the groom’s family has to bear the betrothal gift and other expenses at the time of marriage. Including this, the various social relationships and resources of the groom’s family afterwards are actually wealth that the children can use throughout their lives.
Of course, this is not a simple replacement, but it can indeed bring many conveniences to the children.
Therefore, if you cannot ensure that you can absolutely protect all matters related to your children, including their lifelong development and the consent of your spouse, then you might as well continue the traditional use of the father’s surname.