Not to talk of
What do all these names have in common?
They are all patronymic.
They all mean 'son of' or 'daughter of' a man. Or a patriarchical community of some sort, as in the case of O'X which could mean either 'grandson of X' or 'from X village'...
In many traditional societies, a person is defined by who their father is.
In the bible for instance, a visitor is always asked... 'who is your father?'
You better have an answer to that question - otherwise, you may never gain entry into anyone's home.
Of note is the reference to 'son of X' ad nauseum in old testament books. No-one is just them. They are always 'son of' someone else...
Even Our Lord was 'son of God', or 'son of Joseph', or 'son of Man'.
He was 'son of someone'.
In keeping with Hebrew tradition.
I am intrigued that at the transfiguration, God chose to say (about Jesus): This is my son...
Why did he not just say, this is Jesus...?
Even Jesus needed a father?
I love studying names.
One of my more nerdy endeavours :-)
Even in matrilineal societies (another of my pet geeky loves), patriarchy rules. You may inherit property and titles from your mother, but it is your father who gives you your identity.
Is it any wonder that nowadays with 50% of households with missing fathers in them, there are lost souls in ubiquitous abundance?
Who is your father?
In many ways, there was a time when it was almost always a bad thing to have this question addressed to you, as a child, if it was asked within your own social circles. It meant you had messed up somehow.
Someone wanted to know who to 'give a talking to' because you had done something wrong.
Because you had been naughty and someone wanted to know whose shame you had come to embody.
Best if you steered clear of this question :-)
But that was then.
Now, no-one asks this question.
When Miley Cyrus was making an exhibition of herself on the world stage a few weeks ago, save for a few Manosphere bloggers who were posing the question, 'Where the heck is Ray?', no-one wanted to know about the father.
I remember when Lawrence Fishburne's daughter started to go down the wrong path. He was ostensily hurt. But that's as far as public fatherly input went.
Persona non grata.
Perhaps in Mr. Cyrus' case, this is a good thing. Afterall, he is spared some personal shame, no?
But what does this say about society in general?
This says that we accept the status quo.
That father is no longer the spiritual head of the family.
No-one need know who or where he is.
He disappeared and no-one went looking for him.
Should he come back, no-one would notice.
This is the missing question: Who is your father?
Perhaps I should give due credit to modern society.
Perhaps modern society actually understands the gravity of this question.
Which is precisely why we choose not to ask this question anymore.
Perhaps we are not as dumb as we seem :-)
This then, is in fact a good sign.
No-one is arguing about the sacredness of motherhood. It is plain to see how important a mother is.
But somehow we have forgotten how important a father is.
How did this happen?
And more importantly, how can we restore fatherhood to its former glory?