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June 23rd, 2012 01:25 PM #51Member
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- Mar 2012
I'm glad this thread has been so interesting and has made me think of things that I hadn't intended to link to the initial question. Hearing other peoples opinion has been very useful as well. As I said early I don't mind unisex names but I probably wouldn't give a boy a name I personally considerd female, such as Tracy, I've only ever known female Tracy's you see. And also vice versa for girls, I wouldn't name her something like Bruce. On the topic of what is a girls name or boys name or unisex name, it all depends on your culture, spellings, personal experience etc. Apparently Colin used to be a female name but now as far as i know it's just for boys.
Names trends change just like language and I don't think we should stop that. Personally I don't think there's anything that damaging about giving your child a name more often used by the other gender, I only wouldn't use it because it would be iritating to be thought of as the opposite gender when you were first mentioned to someone. As to the gender debate, my opinion was summed up by @jeska - men and women are different but that doesn't mean they can't be equal.
The whole thing comes down to the fact that anyway, once you know a boy with a girls name like Erin you just get used to it and it becomes their name. I knew a girl called Freddy as well and that suited her to a T. Thanks for all your comments
June 23rd, 2012 02:34 PM #53Senior Member
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- Aug 2010
I think asking a man's opinion on this is crucial. When I was a little girl riding ths bus, a younger boy was crying bc kids found out his middle name was Ashley. He hated bc its a girls name. Sure Ashley started off as a boys name, but today its girl. He didnt care that it Used to be a boys name, all he knew was alot more girls named Ashley. My husbamd feels the same way. If people would mistake a boy for a girl then my husband wants to stay far away from that name. I think it is different from giving a girl a boys name (tho my daughter thinks that is a dreadful idea as well!) But men are different than women and they have more of an ego to protect.SAHM to Tess, Kaia and Jasper
Hopeful for Penelope and Emmett someday
"The earth, O Lord, is full of your mercy: teach me your laws" Psalm 119:64
June 23rd, 2012 02:53 PM #55Junior Member
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- Jun 2012
June 23rd, 2012 05:09 PM #57Senior Member
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- Sep 2011
If you found out you were wrong about a name would it change your opinion and now make It accessible to you? Would it change our view on the use of the name in society and would we be more of accepting of seeing it on the other sex?
Last edited by thetxbelle; June 23rd, 2012 at 05:14 PM.Josephine Athénaïs - Josephine Ivy - Myriam Athénaïs - Vivienne Josephine
Athena Beatrice - Beatrice Cecile - Eleanor Anne-Sophie -Myriam Beatrice - Meredith ElizabethAmbrose Aristide - Ulysses Aristide
Girls: Bérangère, Bérénice, Honorine, Mazarine Boys: Augustin, Emeric, Hugo, Lambert, Lucien, Maxence, Yves
June 24th, 2012 01:25 AM #59Senior Member
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- May 2012
I was a tomboy as a kid, and by my dress and hair was often mistaken for a boy, but that was my choice; i WANTED to be that way. i changed a lot (past 3rd grade or so), and while i still have a lot of that tomboy in me, i'm definitely a woman. There's a difference between choosing how people see you because of your appearance, and being forced to give an impression of something that is inherently untrue because someone else decided that there were absolutely no other possible name choices that would do - regardless of the underlying unexpressed reasons that may have been behind that choice.
I've also heard plenty of stories of girls with masculine names who were given them because their parents were hoping for male children. You never hear of the reverse - which simply does point to sexism.
I've talked about this elsewhere, but another issue i have with the name crossover thing is cultural appropriation. Someone hears a word or name in another language and decides it sounds better on the opposite gender, and ba-boom, a lot of boys i know named Azriel (because they're Jewish and that name has been used in Jewish communities exclusively on men for centuries) are going to encounter people who wonder why they have such a girly name because some people in the US saw it on a name website and decided it sounded feminine, and it "went over". It just seems unfair, thoughtless.
June 24th, 2012 05:48 AM #61
To pretend or assume that this issue is simply about parental choice, or the sound of a name, while choosing to overlook or ignore the cultural and sociological motivations or objectives in naming (albeit hypothetical) borders on denial. Of course, understanding gets the booby prize--because even if we think the reason(s) girls are being given male/boyish/surname names and boys are not being given female/girlish names make any kind of good academic sense to us, it is nonetheless what's actually going on anyway.....
But I agree we're really missing the male perspective. It's all fine and well for a woman with a surname/unisex name to chime in and say, well my parents really loved the name and they loved me and I love it too.....(this just proves the point that for the most part, this naming style does work for a girl or a woman--but the question we're attempting to answer on this thread is "Would you do this with a son? In society, would giving a boy a decidedly female name work out?") Are there any men out there with names traditionally given to women who might respond? My bet is precious few, so why is that?
I know of an-8-yr-old boy the next town over named Meredith--father is of Scot descent--but I don't know how having this name is playing out for him because it's become such a delicate question. Merely asking it can imply disapproval along with curiosity, and I'm not close enough to the mom to ask.
June 24th, 2012 11:36 AM #63
Don't worry everyone, male opinion to the rescue. I've spent the last while reading through this and I must say, some of you got very off topic from the original question.
My names Jonothon, I had plenty of trouble growing up with that spelling. If I'd been named something very obviously feminine, not unisex, like Aisling, I'd have died. I am a boy, I want a boys name. School would have been hell on me if my name had been Aisling, Siobhan, Sarah, or Mary or anything like that. I can only imagine I would have been beaten up and picked on remorselessly. I would have changed my name the second I could.
If I were named a unisex name that was traditionally a boys name and still used equally on boys such as Avery or Quinn, I don't think I'd mind all that much if I met a girl named either of those. I'd think their parent's must not have wanted a girly girl and was trying to avoid that (despite how wrong that is because you can be a girly girl named Avery). If I was named a unisex name that was being used mostly on girls, like Madison, I would feel cheated by my parents because I would see 50 girl Madison's to the one boy Madison, me, and wish my parent's had tried harder to find a more boyish name so I don't get teased.
I would not give a boy a girl's name and I would not give a girl a boy's name. To me the "unisex" name trend is just another way in which society is attempting to erase the concept of gender. Names are only a very small part of the problem and are more influential to building a young child's identity than we might realize. I'm going to use the "unisex" name Elliot as an example. When a little boy named Elliot meets a little girl with his name, what does that say to him? That he has a "girl's" name? That his name isn't masculine enough? Perhaps the damage done is not so bad if Girl Elliot is wearing camo cargo shorts, a Spiderman t-shirt, and playing in the mud like Boy Elliot. That says to Boy Elliot that wearing camo, liking Spiderman, and playing in the mud is what Elliots do. But what if Girl Elliot is in a pretty pink dress and carrying a doll, and Boy Elliot now thinks he's supposed to wear and do the same as Girl Elliot? Or maybe he's just wondering why this icky girly girl with cooties has his boy name. In the second scenario, regardless, Boy Elliot becomes confused, and if he were to do the same as Girly Girl Elliot, he would be shunned by his peers. Boys are criticized and rejected for being like girls, yet girls are praised and accepted for being like boys. How confusing that must be for the men these boys will become, to live in a world where women are no longer their complement, but their competition. Men and women are, always have been, and always will be different. Why should we not respect this when it comes to naming our children?
Meeting a girl with your same name isn't the end of the world and most boys I know (including my son TBH) would likely make fun of the girl instead of being confused. If my son met a boy named Sarah he'd probably make fun of him too. Not saying it's right, just honest. Men and Women are different, not in the way Cat was saying in that all men are destined to work as hunters and all women gatherers, I'm partially colour blind but let me tell you, colour blindness isn't as prevalent as you make it out to seem when you say "Most men are colour blind and women see more colors" That's not true. Women can be color blind, it's just rarer and that has everything to do with recessive genes and nothing to do with a mans role in society. Men and women are different, and they can be equal, but that doesn't mean when should all have the same names (that would be boring). In 50 years when this trend has stopped and all the little Michael's, James', Charlies, etc have grown up, I think they're more likely to feel a bit cheated by their names (if the names don't have family significance because that's a whole different thing).
I'd be happy to come back and talk some more if you want me to, since I think I'm the only man willing to answer thisDa to Julianna Piper (8), Zane Ronan(6), Aisling Evania (2 1/2)
June 24th, 2012 12:41 PM #65Senior Member
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- Dec 2011
My sons's name is Bryar which means thorny bush..not very feminine if you ask me...but Disney gave it to a princess...so some think its a girls name. I actually found the name from another movie...Liam Neeson played a character named Briar Gates.
So I guess in a way..I gave him a girl name in some peoples eyes.Willow, Arabella, Hazel, Vivienne
Rowan, Oliver, Tennyson,
June 26th, 2012 04:23 PM #67Senior Member
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- Mar 2011
Elliot meeting a girl Elliot made me laugh too. Having a lifetime of experience of this and feeling passionate about this because it's personal means I could write for hours and hours and pages and pages so I will try and be brief.
Firstly I don't think giving a boy a girl name as a social experiment, an effort to even things up, or some kind of behavior engineering or feminist perspective is fair or right. Children should not be pawns like that.
But equally I do think most parents want what is best for their child and I can't imagine many parents deliberately giving their child a name thinking this will lead to a life of hurt. Sure their view may not be yours, but I don't think people do it from bad intentions.
I think the teasing thing is over-rated. Yes, boys with girls names will be teased, girls with boys names will be teased, boys with boys names will be teased, girls with girls names will be teased, the spotty boy or girl, the fat boy or girl, the boy or girl who can't run well, the boy and girl who acts different, doesn't like a certain band, or lives in a certain area or wears the wrong clothes will be teased. It's part of growing up and just happens and trying to find the least tease worthy name can just open the door to something else. And often its last names that get teased too.
Kids I think are way more relaxed about names being different but pick up cues from adults. I had more negative comments when I was younger from adults than any child, but they picked up cues from the adults and that led to more teasing and more comments. If parents weren't so bigoted then kids might be less that way too. Like Parkerbelle I had one teacher (a sub of sorts) who seemed to be annoyed with me that I had a "girl" name and so punished me for it by putting me in an all girl group for instance. I think adults like that are just bullies and not the norm.
Yes there can be confusions, but really once people see you they know what gender you are right, so is it really that big a deal.
Boys don't become feminine by having girls names and if anything the opposite might be true as they may over compensate to prove their masculinity. But they only have to do that because there exists a double standard.
The worst part for boys is usually having their sexuality questioned. Does that happen to girls?
I think my position is that I see all the negatives but know there are positives too. It's hard to articulate how those come about but most guys with girls names that I have talked with seem to be really well balanced and I know several male Erin's a Kelly, a Kerry, a Leslie, a Lindsey etc, etc.
As someone said, all the Leslie's, Ashley's etc that are around who are male seem to co-exist well enough with their female counterparts of the same name.
Guess I will stop for now.
Last edited by cka; June 26th, 2012 at 04:39 PM.Chelsea
- Named after the place. A guy named Chelsea, who through his name became fascinated with names.
Girls: Alexandra, Cambria, Catrin, Claire, Emma, Gemma, Louise, Kirsty, Sutton, Tess, Zoe
Boys: Bryn, Brit, Guy, Xavier
June 26th, 2012 04:45 PM #69Senior Member
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- Oct 2011
I have absolutely no problem with unisex names. I personally wouldn't use a boys name on a girl, but I don't have a problem if others do. To those stating that it's "psychologically damaging" and that you confuse a child, well that's just ridiculous. No child would be confused as to their gender just because they share a name with another child of the opposite sex. Children don't think the way adults do, it's adults that put this ridiculous gender role scenario on them.