On Sept. 14, I found something among the birth announcements that I’d waited a long time to see: Lexie Ann-Mari Whitmore, born on Aug. 30 to Ashlie Whitmore and Eric Fitzpatrick, has her mother’s last name.

The mothers listed in all the other announcements that day had kept their own names, yet every one of their baby sons and daughters had their father’s last name. This patriarchal practice makes a mother choose between giving up her own identity or having the same name as the children to whom she gives birth.

To be fair, why not give daughters their mothers’ last name, and sons their fathers’ last name?

Anyway, Ashley and Eric, thanks for making my day, and giving me hope that things are still moving toward equality, little by little. May Lexie grow up to appreciate you both.

Claire Prontnicki


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