really, really offended by Tuesday's blog post.
Since my life (happily!) got a little busier over the last few months, I haven't been involved in much discussion here. But today's thoughtless blog post upset me enough that I will delete my account and not add to Nameberry's traffic again, after I explain my reasoning for doing so.
The blog post about names which are 'Too Much' included Bliss, Destiny, Harmony, Heaven, Infinity, Journey, Justice, Karma, King, Legend, Merry, Messiah, Miracle, Obedience, Patience, Precious, Prince, Princeton, Romeo, Serenity, Sincere, Star, Treasure, Trust, Truth, Venus. I edited out a half dozen there, but essentially, that's the list of names singled out for criticism in Tuesday's post.
Objectively, I don't think those concepts are any more grandiose, or any more difficult to live up to (and many in fact seem more reasonable) than, for example, Grace, Verity, Joy, Felicity, Honor, Constance, Mercy, Blythe, Clemency, Faith, Haven, Chastity, Amity, Aria, Gaia, Haven, Bella, Charity, Poet, Story, Blaze, Maximus, Odin, Nehemiah, Beckham, Solomon, Atticus, or Orion.
There's one big difference between those two lists of names. Try google image searching the first set of names with the surname Williams, Thomas, or Jackson. Now try the same with the second list.
Serenity's 'too much', and on this list. Grace, apparently, is an acceptable name, despite also being quite a lot to live up to and certainly something that can be unintentionally and painfully ironic for the bearer. Both are in the top 100 names. Serenity also happens to be in the Top 10 for Black girls born in NYC in 2011. And therein is the reason for my anger. "Too Much" is definitely a judgement call, and probably a fair one in the case of a number of surprisingly popular names. The problem with the list presented in this blog post is that it skews more towards being a really uncomfortable insight into this site's priorities and prejudices than it does towards a valuable insight into those names which are 'Too Much' for the people who bear them.
There is too much ignorance, prejudice, and lack of curiosity about the fascinating naming patterns which occur in our society. I looked to this site for information, insight, and enlightenment about these patterns, and today was presented by a pile of poorly-researched, poorly-argued offensive bunkum.
There is a plethora of good, well-researched articles about Black names (and the appalling prejudice against those who bear them) available on reputable sites; they make for fascinating reading. The crux of my upset is NB adding to the quiet and pernicious prejudice against Black (or 'trashy', or in Canada, names used heavily in the First Nations community) by having America's "top baby-name experts" declare these names a poor choice. Serenity, Journey, and Harmony are not more intrinsically burdensome than Grace or Honor or Verity; Legend, Justice, and King no more grandiose than Solomon or Maximus or Rex. I want my name commentary to have better insights, better research, and a modicum of cultural sensitivity and curiosity. I have no interest in sites which further the prejudice which already exists in our culture.
I had reservations about the authors' snarky judgement calls on certain names to begin with, though many of them have since been revised. However, after today's performance, I will not be coming back.
Which is too bad, because I love names and so many of the discussions here are thoughtful and informative, and a lot of fun!