Naming issue and patriarchy:a new perspective on the individual and mother’s right

Pamèlia Rivière:

Despite the close attention to class inequalities, critiques of capitalism, inheritance law and patriarchal system in the society is not criticized for under theorizing the relationships between capitalism and its parallel system of exploitation, Western patriarchy. Indeed, many writers have argued that patriarchy and capitalism are two separate systems of domination operating in relation to each other. Patriarchy is widely recognized as both a system of male domination and a mode of reproduction, even though in the feminist literature a logical understanding of the significance of both concepts is lacking. We cannot separate patriarchy from the family, from local culture, from institutions or from national and international economic policies, which makes the concept of individual right, a “mother’s right” more critical and complicated and leads us to ask if patriarchy also has links to other mechanisms of domination and/or if it is tied to a mode of production, such as capitalism, a Western ideas.

The subordination of women takes on different forms in different societies, and the gender relations underpinning this subordination are not the same in every society and every culture. This begs the question: how are women, mothers subordinated. Societies in West, tend to be characterized by the practice of female inclusion in the society; on the other hand, women in the East are known as the part of “patri-lineal principles of descent and inheritance, patri-local principles of marriage and strict patriarchal authority structures within the family” (Kabeer& Mahmud). The practice of purdah, in particular, isolates women from the world of paid work and the public sphere more generally. In a traditional and patriarchal society certainly regards men as the primary decision-makers. The prevalence of male authority figures, their dominant role in the provision of family issues, and the division of labor in the society indicate that patriarchy is strongly tied to culture, religious tradition, institutions, and weak governance.

Seems that in West women have not received full freedom to exercise their individual right and mother’s right yet. Thus removing partner’s last name or inheritance law change could be seen as another kind of protest to culture, tradition and patriarchy in the Western society as well.

I’m glad that I went back to the individual name as I felt it is a right thing to do. My sonRaphaël Rivière took my last name and having that he feelsvery proud of it. I wonder why Eastern women have to follow Western culture and introduce themselves in the society following by the partner’s last name? They are already blinded by their own traditional Eastern culture, patri-lineal principles of descent and inheritance.  The prevalence of patriarchal system never felt right to me. This Western practice, the last name issue always haunted me.

I wanted to view myself with my own name not someone else’s name. I wanted to see all of my hard works will be represented with my own name. ThusI wanted to bring back the matriarchal pattern of naming children and also a change in property inheritance system as well. Someone must take that effort of transformation and attempt to change on these critical issues, so I did it. My all working friends and family showed solidarity on my ideas and creativity. That was amazing!

I decided that my children’s last name should be on my (mother’s name) name and also my (mother’s) all (private) properties (land and personal) will be distributed to my children equally.

I feel people with their names have a deep connection with their mind, body and soul. And the individual has aninner need for quiet, and a desire to understand and analyze the world they live in, and to learn the deeper truths. People with their namesmust be creative and excellent at expressing themselves. In West women are largely drawn to the literature, arts, music, science, math, and politics and often enjoy their life immensely. They are often the center of attention, and enjoy careers that put them in the limelight, but they are shackled with their last name for their Western culture. In West women tend to become involved in many different activities, including business andearning higher income. But they are not careful about the ‘mother’s right’ and understanding of the meaning ofindividual right. These days transformation of women’s last name patterns in West and East largely remains the same.

However, this is 21st century and a month  to celebrateInternational Women’s Day 2017, it is time for the Western women including the Eastern women to re- think who are bearing the last name of their partners and adding partner’s last name after the children’s first name not knowingly the importance of their individual right and “mother’s right”.

Creating new dynamics is always the beginning of layers of new viewpoint. Status of viewpoint when widened, itdeconstructs an old thought, forms the culture and build a new tradition of the Society.Over decades and centuries these leads to Civilisation, a new perspective on the mother’s right and inheritance laws.So we should do whatever makes usright and happy having decided with rational thoughts. For example, my individual name is Pamèlia Rivière; I feel I must keep it the way it has been. There is no necessity to add my partner’s last name. I feel an individual’s soul is deeply connected with the phonetics of the name and its meaning. There is no need to change her own name and loose her birth right by adding another person’s name as the last name. A woman is the bearer of off springs and must be the owner of property inheritance and distributor as well. She must make everything right in the society with her boundless power of ‘mother’s right’.

The writer is an Anthropologist and Environmentalist. Currently she is conducting her PhD research in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Email: [email protected]

























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