African sons respecting their single moms


Can you imagine a grownup son deciding to change his name to include his mother’s instead of his father’s? Seems it’s happening with some regularity in Kenya, according to this article, which also talks about neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s book “Raising Boys Without Men,” applauding the single “maverick moms” who help their sons grow up to be good men who also have an appreciation for feelings.

Apparently to use a feminine surname in Africa is highly unusual (in the U.S. our surnames don’t denote gender) and invites ridicule from others. Yet more young sons of single moms are choosing to do it anyway because of the deep respect they have for what their mothers went through to raise them.

It’s great to hear this. After watching a documentary last night about the 50 years that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton spent trying to win the vote for women–and a few other rights like abolition, and the right of married women to own property–it makes me feel that it might be easier for men to appreciate women and be willing to grant them respect and equality if the economic distance between them isn’t so wide as it is in a lot of the U.S.

Perhaps there’s some of the class war about women’s equality…much as racism can be viewed in that way.

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