Naming respect

I’ve written about the importance of names before. (I’m sure I have, I just can’t find the links.) About getting them right. About pronouncing them correctly. About having at least 10 names that people have used instead of my one. About having a name on social media that isn’t my name except that it is because that’s how I’m known and that’s what a name is.

Unless you choose to change your name by deed poll (or choose one on social media), the name that your parents give you is likely to be something that expresses their aspirations for you. Maybe it’s an expression of their desire to connect to their ancestors, or it’s a complete break from that. Perhaps they want you to stand out, or to blend in, or to be able to covertly break the gender barrier by having a gender neutral name. Whatever the reason, whatever it is, and however they spell it, I think an individual should be able to have their name respected.

So if you mock kids names as ‘stupid’ or ‘low class’ or wish someone’s name was ‘easier to pronounce’ then I’ll be judging you. Hard. Because in my opinion what you’re really saying is that you don’t respect the worldview that gave that child that name. You don’t respect that diversity means allowing new things in. You’re basically saying you want to keep your privilege. That’s just being a jerk.

One thought on “Naming respect

  1. Peta says:

    It might be gender neutral now, but when I was a child every introduction was followed by “but that’s a boy’s name”. I don’t remember being upset about that though.

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