The importance of surnames in people's identity

"The rain of surnames", the editorial project that forms men and women free from gender stereotypes.

18 Mar 2021

The decision of the Constitutional Court dates back to 2016 which affirms "the child's right to be identified, from birth, through the attribution of the surname of both parents". 

The goal is only one: the full and effective realization of the right to personal identity with the recognition of the equal importance of both parental figures in the process of building this identity.

From an idea of Manuela Magalhães, professor and expert in linguistic and intercultural projects in the educational field, and Susanna Schivo, the lawyer who obtained sentence no. 286/2016, the rain of surnames was born, a revolutionary publishing project that will contribute to the formation of men and women free from gender stereotypes .

But let's leave the word to them, our tenacious and stubborn creators.

Yours is an important mission. Would you like to tell us something more about the history of the project and the context in which it was born?

We think that each of us has an important mission to fulfill in the community to which he belongs: with the contribution of each one, great collective results can be achieved.

Our "battle" is born together with motherhood and the awareness of our role in the life of our children.

The sentence of the Constitutional Court n. 286/2016 that we have obtained establishes the right to the full realization of the personal identity of the sons and daughters through the possibility of also attributing the maternal surname from birth.

In our opinion, both parental backgrounds must be valued in a perspective of cultural exchange.

The message we want to convey has to do with respect for differences within the family and with mutual enrichment through the diversity inherent in our interculturality.

The project was born spontaneously from the desire to provide a fun tool for work and play to those who work in various ways for the training of men and women free from stereotypes.

Can you tell us something more about the plot of The rain of surnames?

Everything happens on November 8, 2016, the day of the decision of the Constitutional Court, when a strong "rain", on a normal sunny day, hits people, creating havoc: some open their umbrellas to defend their certainties, others look above confident for what is happening, girls and boys welcome this strange atmospheric event with curiosity and interact with it in a surprising way.

The first to hit people, with our desire for change, are the letter "S" and the letter "M", that is the initials of our names, which "fall" at the same time on a girl who is having breakfast, because often women are the first to see new paths to explore, and to a child walking towards school. These are animated letters that carry a message of fairness, respect for diversity and equality within society.

We would like to know more about you. How did you meet and when did your collaboration start?

The case made us meet and recognize in the sharing of common values and objectives.

Manuela: in 2006, when I met my future husband in Genoa, I met Susanna. It was immediately an understanding. We have had many experiences together that have united us a lot. When I got married in Italy in 2007, I discovered that I could not give the surname of my family to my children, and this made me reflect on the need to have this right recognized also in our legal system.

Susanna: I also wanted to give my surname to my son and I studied the relevant legislation of our legal system that prevented it, using my professionalism to obtain the change. The case of Manuela's son was perfect and dealing with a person like her, engaged in the educational and intercultural fields, this "battle" was very stimulating, almost a completion.

What is the real purpose of the book and what feedback would you like to receive from readers, more or less young?

We would like to inspire readers to reflect on the themes underlying the book and encourage a cultural change.

Why the choice of crowdfunding? What do you think of the instrument?

We have chosen crowdfunding above all for its potential as a communication campaign, since our editorial project aims to make people aware of the opportunity of the double surname and stimulate reflection on the importance of its choice as an excellent starting point for a balance of roles within a family.

A web platform accessible to all allows you to easily "get" anywhere to those who, like us, are not very involved in the world of publishing and are also involved in other things.

Fundraising is also a good way to involve and make those who make the offer feel, as in fact it is, a person who contributes to the dissemination of a much broader project that has to do with equal dignity and respect for people.

It is a very different thing from buying a book in a bookshop and it undoubtedly corresponds to the spirit with which we began to realize this project.

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