Prison Radio
Peter “Pitt” Mukuria

Hey, this is comrade Pitt Peter Kamal Mukuria 1197165, currently here at Red Onion Resort.

The essay is titled “Crippling Patriarchy And Eradicating Antiquated Social Norms.” And I’m gonna start with a quote by Sarah Grimke. She stated that “I have no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask our brethren is that they would take their feet from our necks and permit us to stand upright on the grounds which God has designed us to occupy. To me, it is perfectly clear that whatsoever it is morally, right for men to do is also morally right for a woman to do.”

Yeah, a revolutionary man prides himself on being supportive of gender equity and fight patriarchy of all forms in display for women’s liberation. There are many forms of patriarchy, which exist as we know that most of us oppose, but yeah, we consciously and or subconsciously engage in or perpetuate.

Now on this brief essay/commentary, I’m going to present an argument which I anticipate many men, hell, even some women will disagree with. However, the point of this argument is to present an idea which I believe is a blind spot for those of us who claim to be supportive of gender equity and, of course, patriarchs.

For us revolutionary men, counter-revolutionary men, bourgeoisie, proletariat, liberal, and conservative men, despite our polar differences, the one form of patriarchy which we exercise as a whole is the carrying on of our last names.

We get married; our fathers take on our last names as do our children in order to carry our legacy. I think this is one of the most bourgeoisie patriarchal way of thinking, which I believe greatly hinders gender equity and weakens our fight against patriarchy.

This insinuation, that our children bear their father’s last names in order to carry his legacy utterly negates and, in many ways, dehumanizes and devalues the women. What about their legacy? Why is it that a woman has to be the one to surrender her name, her identity.

Next question: why was the men’s legacy deemed the more essential than women, when women are actually the ones who carry unborn infants and their wombs for nine long excruciating months and have to endure the indelible pain or birth. Once a baby is born, according to tradition, he or she must bear the father’s last name in order to keep his legacy alive.

This form of carrying on our legacy and women relinquishing theirs and changing their last names to their husbands upon marriage, I think boils down to men exercising power over women. The form of ownership of [inaudible] slaves were stripped of their identity and forced the bear the slave master’s last names in an explicit form of ownership.

Lucy Stone was an anti-slavery staunch abolitionist who also risked her life by teaching slaves how to read and write. Organized at the big club for girls she was one of the first-known women who refused to give up her name after marriage to Harold Blackwell. And her children’s last name was, to no surprise, Stone.

Continuing one’s legacy from generation to generation does solely entail this antiquated approach of men’s last names being passed down. This legacy continues through genetics, your children, not a name.

I believe this brief essay gives my position on this matter. But for the sake of clarity, would I personally ever consider or take on a woman’s last name upon marriage or have my children’s last name be that of their mother’s? I absolutely, categorically would!

And I’m named after my grandfather, whom I love dearly. But it’s a name passed down to me in the same manner of patriarchy as presented on these essay/commentary. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to break this tradition as I strongly believe it is the perpetuation of patriarchy which also plays a role in inhibiting gender equality.

There’s nothing shameful or makes you less of a man about, you know, taking on a woman’s maiden name upon marriage. In fact, I think it’s power- it’s empowering for both sexes. I anticipate naysayers and to those who feel otherwise, I welcome any debate on this subject. I wouldn’t present the subject without strong ground to stand on.

Well, Lucy Stone illustrated by keeping her last name upon marriage is that a woman should have the option of whether to keep our last name or change it to that of her husband. Not having the option is the polar opposite of what gender equality entails; gender equality dictates that both genders share the same way and all privileges.

Quote: “Whatsoever it is morally right for men to do, it is morally right for women to do,” unquote as affirmation by Sarah Grimke. The decision upon which the last name of a married couple goes about keeps as is, and the last name of the children should be a choice made between those couples, rather than a mandate, dictated by bourgeois obsolete traditions.

Conventional ways of thinking must constantly be challenged if there is to be any real progress. You can be a feminist or support gender equity and the post-patriarchy, while we must also continue to search for ways to eradicate obsolete social norms and break out of the patriarchy’s psychological entrapment which hinders gender equity but merely perpetuates patriarchy.

I’ll conclude with the word of the chairman Mao Tse-Tsung: “Women hold up half the sky,” and Mumia Abu-Jamal: “Man can never be free so long as patriarchy exists.”

And this is comrade Pitt, Peter Kamal Mukuria, 1197165, Red Onion State Prison, P.O. Box 1900, Pound, Virginia 24279. You can also reach me via Jpay email. Have a great one.