We can do better.
But before we get into the ideal solution, let's first take a look at some ideas that do not work.
- Name the child after the mother
Just as unfair as automatically naming the child after the father, though one might make a claim for it as making up for thousands of years of lost female heritage
- Hyphnated names
First, we still have the problem of whose name comes first. More importantly, the problem is that it is not a scalable solution. The name length will be on an exponential growth curve.
- Let the child choose between the two last names when they are old enough
As a person who has lived in the world with three seperate names, I can attest to the impact a name can have on an individual's life. A person's name should be one of the lasting gifts that the parents can give a child, it is not romantic enough of a notion for me to choose this option. Plus, it can put the child in an awkward position of having to pick favorites.
- Make up a new name
Having a sense of history, and connection to the past is one of the main features of having a family name in the first place. This seem to defeat the purpose of a family name.
- Put the mother's name as a middle name
Name the daughters after the mother, and the sons after the fathers.
- It is fair.
- It preserves a sense of history.
Why should we continue to accept that everytime a woman marries and reproduces, the history of her name and family gets absorbed into the men's lineage?