Barrister who urged women to give children their maiden name faces off against father-of-four on GMB – and says ‘it’s time to recognise the labour we go through’
- Charlotte, 33, wants to reassess history and the tradition of babies as ‘property’
- READ MORE: Abbie Chatfield is changing her surname due to her absent father
A barrister who sparked a fierce debate urging pregnant women to give babies their surname has faced off against a father-of-four on Good Morning Britain.
Dr Charlotte Proudman, 33, from London, entered a heated debate with Dr Tru Powell, alongside hosts Richard Madeley and Kate Garraway.
Her initial Tweet to expectant mothers pleading with them to ‘give the baby your surname’ went viral last week, garnering over 4 million views.
Today, she doubled down on this message asking fathers: ‘Are you saying your surname is more important than the other?’ while being of the opinion that the tradition is archaic and stems from children being seen as the ‘property of their fathers’.
She advised women to ditch convention as it’s 2023 and time to ‘recognise the labour we go through’.
Dr Charlotte Proudman (pictured right), 33, entered a heated debate with Dr Tru Powell (pictured left) on whether mothers should give babies their own surname
She said to GMB hosts: ‘Obviously it stems back to the idea that children are chattel or property of the father. That’s why historically, children have taken the names of their fathers.
‘But you know we’re in 2023 now and it’s about time we recognise the labour that we go through. Carrying a baby for nine months, going through the pain and trauma of childbirth, breastfeeding – it’s a lifelong responsibility.
‘When you’re sitting there to register that child, think about whether your surname is more important or is as important as the father’s name. And you know question why that is.
‘I think I’m really encouraged to see some of the responses from many mothers. Some of whom have done exactly that and have given their names instead of the father’s.
‘We have our own name and we have our own identity, and I think it’s important to recognise that rather than it being erased as a result of taking the father’s’.
Richard added: ‘Lot’s of kids who’s parents aren’t married do take the mother’s name don’t they?’
Charlotte replied by introducing the topic of double-barrel names, which she deemed ‘problematic’ as they are often seen as a ‘compromise’.
‘Oh it’s so good of him to allow me to add my name’ she joked.
Tru is a Birmingham-based entrepreneur, the CEO of Black Business Magazine and a father-of-four. He believes some women are trying to turn baby-naming into a dictatorship
Although Tru – a Birmingham-based entrepreneur and the CEO of Black Business Magazine – grinned at the quip, he queried the absence of conversations regarding the topic, and believed that some women were trying to turn baby-naming into a dictatorship.
Visibly unimpressed, Kate suggested that mothers could argue that things have been the opposite for centuries.
Tru said: ‘Absolutely and we should have a conversation about it . With me and my wife we have a conversation about it. About who has the last name for our children.
‘And we both decided actually – that when she married me she would adopt my surname and then our children would have our name because it is our name.
‘My wife has evolved and her name is my name. Every family is different and I don’t think we can have a sweeping blanket to say “you all should take your mother’s surname” and equally you shouldn’t take your father’s surname. You should have a conversation about it’.
Charlotte conceded that he made ‘reasonable’ points but asked the public to reassess history and see what can be changed.
Richard weighed in again, adding that he wouldn’t mind if his own kids took his wife’s maiden name.
Kate then took the debate to X, formerly known as Twitter, where opinions were nearly split down the middle.
On X formerly known as Twitter, 53 per cent of people voted against babies taking their mother’s surname, while 47 per cent said babies should have their mum’s surname
53 per cent of people voted against babies taking their mother’s surname, while 47 per cent stood in solidarity with Charlotte.
‘Just have a double-barreled surname’ said one person.
Another explained: ‘Taking your husband’s surname and then giving it to your children means all the family have the same surname. However I quite like the Spanish system where people have two surnames – the father’s paternal family name and then the mother’s paternal family name’.
One person agreed with Charlotte: ‘Good for Charlotte, I can’t think of a single reason a man’s surname should be given to a child anyway, many of my girlfriends who had babies in the 90s all kept their own surnames, brilliant to see, hope more women do the same.
Meanwhile another person said the father’s opinions should be considered if he is present in the child’s life: ‘You should do what’s right for YOU as a person or family! My son got his dad’s surname because we were planning on getting married shortly after we had him. But women do need to stop this “my baby my rules” if the dad is on the scene and contributing love and effort’.
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