[from this thread:http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25934]Originally posted by Downtown
The nonchalance with which Downtown used the word "Jr." in reference to the offspring of Maister [of the male gender as far as we know], prompted me to notice that it is almost exclusively an appellation given to sons to mirror their father. Does anyone know of any women who are called "junior" after their mother's name? I doubt anyone does. This may seem like so much semantic minutiae to the casual observer, but to me it is yet another instance of where the insidious conformity of gender roles rear their ugly head. Nothing says "Be like dad" like giving your son the same name as you. Without researching this [beyond a link or two], it is quite obviously an archaic tradition that harks back to feudal primogeniture whose patriarchal structure still shapes our modern society. This also relates to the tradition of females taking the last name of their husband (but that is a thread of it's own).
So while we profess to uphold the notion that females are the equal of males, little cultural traditions like naming sons after their father - hence "junior" reinforce the notion that it is the man who must be the primary breadwinner and who in turn is the prime decision maker in a family. Personally, I would like to see more mothers asserting their right to name their daughters after themselves such as Mary jr., Lisa III or Natalia IV etc. or else stop this ridiculous male only tradition. Doing so would be a step in the right direction for empowering girls to become women, and to liberate men to be "human beings", rather than just "human doings". What do other Cyburbians think?