Court Orders Italians To Use Mother's Surname As Well As Father's
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From euronews:

Italian children should have both parents’ surnames, Constitutional Court says

By Euronews with ANSA • Updated: 27/04/2022 – 22:46

Italy’s Constitutional Court has ruled that children should be given the surname of both their parents at birth.

Wednesday’s ruling overturns a long-standing tradition in Italy that all newborns are automatically named after their father.

The court ruled that the historical norm is “discriminatory and harmful to the identity” of the child, and said both parents should be able to choose the surname.

After all, look at how much less macho than Italy is Latin America, home of feminist El Presidentes like Fidel Castro Ruz, Hugo Chávez Frías, and Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda.

Seriously, the Spanish system isn’t at all bad. It might be the best system because it gives you both more information about a person and giving you a near surefire way to distinguish prominent figures just by last name, obviating most of the need for deciding whether somebody is prominent enough to be known just by surname: e.g., you wouldn’t say awkward things like “famous economic philosophers such as Adam Smith, Marx, Ricardo, Bentham and John Stuart Mill” because there are too many Smiths for one to be known just as “Smith” and because John Stuart Mill can easily be confused with his only slightly less famous father James Mill. Instead, you’d say, “Smith Douglas, Ricardo Delvalle, Marx Pressburg, Bentham Whitehorn, and Mill Barrow.”

But obviously, Americans aren’t going to change now. Are Italians going to now be ordered by the courts to refer to Armani Raimondo?

But what happens a generation from now when Paolo Corleone Vespucci marries Gina Ferrante Messi? In Mexico, their children would inherit the two grandfathers’ names, but not the two grandmothers’. After all, two surnames is one thing, but four (or eight or 16 or 1024 are another). Why? There’s a fundamental conflict between our individualist and egalitarian ideological leanings and the inevitable exponential explosiveness of our family trees. (Some cultures, of course, reduce this by encouraging cousin marriage, but that comes with its own set of problems.)

In general, mothers prefer that fathers’ names get priority for the same reason that the mother’s family members tend to reassure the father that the new baby looks just like him: it’s a reason not to go out for a pack of smokes and not come back.

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