Free «Does a Family Need to Share a Surname” by Liz Breslin» Essay Sample

Liz Breslin ponders on the topic why women in the 21st century are still taking their husband’s surname when they get married as well as passit to their children. Breslin – an unmarried feminist and the mother of two kids –  says that her kids have their father’s last name and she is sure of taking her husband’s name the following year when she gets married him. The simple answer to why it is going to happen that way is that she is a family person (Breslin 65).

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Traditionally, a man expects that when he gets married, his wife and their children will take his last name, thus giving precedence to the paternal line. Breslin says that a shared surname will signify that the family is bonded together. If some children took their mother’s surname and others the father’s last name, it would send a message of disunity: as if the kids belong to each of the parents separately. She also discusses blending of family name and argues that it cannot work (66). The reason is that kids will have problems concerning family links be it in school, at the doctor’s or in immigration because the society we live in is accustomed to the fact that a family commonly shares the same surname. Lastly she argues that as a woman, she had the bonding with her kids during breastfeeding and that she is the default setting of comfort in the family house. She therefore feels that the father should link with his kids by sharing his name (Breslin 67).

To Breslin, a family means more than titles or words and for that reason they chose one name – her husband’s (Breslin 67).

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