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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    287
    She didn't exactly make an argument, but her point was pretty clear. Why quibble?

    I agree that the trend of giving traditionally male names to girls pretty emphatically sends the message that "masculine" qualities are desirable and "feminine" qualities are not. It's especially clear when you take into consideration the fact that there is no evidence of this trend operating in reverse (traditionally feminine names being given to boys), and, in fact, traditionally male names that have begun to see frequent use on girls are now often considered suspect.

    I also think it's interesting that there are multitudes of male name feminizations (Georgia, Petra, Theodora, etc.), but you rarely see a name that's the masculine form of a female name. I posted a thread about it not too long ago, actually: http://nameberry.com/nametalk/thread...feminine-names (it got one reply, which I completely missed seeing until just now)
    on my mind, for the moment

    Daria | Athena | Ramona | Winifred | Maeve | Blythe | Nadine | Dorothea | Margot | Cyra | Renata | Hypatia | Junia | Thisbe

    Flynn | Otto | Winston | Claude | Leif | Roald | Tavish | Lionel | Cormac | Tobin | Oswin | Rory | Damon | Tycho

    Mildred "Red" ☆ Obedience "Bede" ☆ Relief "Leafy" ☆ Dorothea "Doro" ☆ Penelope "Pen" ☆ Ruth "Rue" ☆ Eudoxia "Exie"

  2. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Brit in Nova Scotia :)
    Posts
    2,899
    I'm glad this is being discussed and some sort of point is being made about it, granted, it's the same point I've been pushing on Nameberry for ages: the whole idea of boys names on girls changes the categories from 'boys names, girls names' to 'names for people, girls names'. Naming your little girl Rhys is not making a statement of equality, it's just labelling her friends Isabelle and Laura as inferior.

    But this article isn't well written. Its very noncommittal and frankly if I wasn't already interested in both feminism and names I probably would have taken little from it at all.

    I have no problem with genuinely unisex names, place names, nature names, virtue names etc - Jordan, Rowan, Noble.
    Rory, Ryan, James are NOT unisex. They are male names. Stop giving them to females, unless you're prepared to not ridicule little boys named Alice and Lily.
    Jemima Rosemary - Eilidh Briar - Fenella Beatrix ✿ Alec Huw - Emmett Nicholas - Rufus Caspian
    Billie, Magdalena, Imogen, Octavia, Ailbhe, Jessa, Raphaela, Agnes, Imogen, Amelia, Medora, Lettice, Annabella.
    Dylan, Breccan, Rhett, Oscar, Ingram, Harrison, William, Vincent, Wolfie, Keaton.

    ✿✿✿

    Traveller at heart and dreaming of future babes, but mostly I'm just an expat teenage girl from England...http://bigsistercomplex.tumblr.com/


  3. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,275
    It seems to me that there is a disturbing trend of "One/Ten Syndrome." That is on a scale of 1-10, a baby needs to either be hyper-masculine (One) or Feminissima (Ten). Hence the profusion of lacy, lissome, liquid, substanceless girls' names [Lilou, Annabella], and near-cartoonishly masculine boys' names [Gunner, Ryker, Cannon].

    I do think it makes sense to name a baby a name traditionally associated with its biological sex at birth. If later the child's gender turns out not to match that sex, or to match it somewhat imperfectly, the child can adopt a new one much as s/he changes the rest of their identity, dress, etc. I don't think it's a big strike for feminism to name a boy a confusingly feminine name, just as we all agree it's almost counter-productive to name a girl Douglas.

    I'm dipping my toe into waters that are not my own here, but I do think divergent *male* sexuality is socially much more feared and unacceptable than divergent *female* sexuality. This is reflected in multiple attitudes and expectations placed on boys in areas which are much more important than names, but since Names R Us, I'll give an example. Just look at the nameberry description of my son Antoine's name: "your friendly neighborhood hairdresser." The implication, of course, is that Antoine is a gay name (because it's French and somewhat soft; of course no one would ever say that about Anthony or Antonio), and being a gay name is obviously undesirable and mockable. I can't think of a single name that is an 'undesirable' 'lesbian' name; they're usually glossed as 'tomboy' or 'boyish' and viewed quite positively. Hence the frequently expressed worries on nameberry by posters wondering whether 'soft' names on boys are OK, or if they should stick to the safety of the machismo camp, but I cannot recall a thread where a poster queried whether or not a particular name being considered for a girl was too masculine or hard.
    Blade, MD

    XY: Antoine Raphael (3.1.2012)
    XX: Cassia Viviane Noor (11.30.2013)

  4. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,861
    Blade, thank you for making me look up a new word. Going to add lissome to my list of words to teach my students.

    I have nothing to add without feeling hypocritical. I have admitted to liking Asher and Elisha for girls, although I would never do it and I would also never name a son Victoria. This is quite fascinating, however, and I'm curious to see what else people have to say. I do agree with blade about the trend of "hyper-masculine"names for boys and "feminissima" names for girls.
    Little Bean arriving September 2014

    Zoe | Noemí Esther
    Lucas Emmanuel | Levi Alexander

    Adele | Adira | Arabella | Aurora | Eliana | Elizabeth | Milena | Susannah | Zara

  5. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,838
    Quote Originally Posted by blade View Post
    I'm dipping my toe into waters that are not my own here, but I do think divergent *male* sexuality is socially much more feared and unacceptable than divergent *female* sexuality. This is reflected in multiple attitudes and expectations placed on boys in areas which are much more important than names, but since Names R Us, I'll give an example. Just look at the nameberry description of my son Antoine's name: "your friendly neighborhood hairdresser." The implication, of course, is that Antoine is a gay name (because it's French and somewhat soft; of course no one would ever say that about Anthony or Antonio), and being a gay name is obviously undesirable and mockable. I can't think of a single name that is an 'undesirable' 'lesbian' name; they're usually glossed as 'tomboy' or 'boyish' and viewed quite positively. Hence the frequently expressed worries on nameberry by posters wondering whether 'soft' names on boys are OK, or if they should stick to the safety of the machismo camp, but I cannot recall a thread where a poster queried whether or not a particular name being considered for a girl was too masculine or hard.
    I understand your point, but I winced when I read this. Comparing divergent female vs. male sexuality is like comparing apples and oranges: yes, more gay men were killed during the Holocaust, but corrective rape is so endemic in South Africa that many lesbians cannot even leave their houses. It's all oppression, but each "letter" in the GLBTQ acronym experiences unique manifestations of that oppression. We also have to take into account intersections of privilege. The idea that certain boys' names are "gay" (and yes, the NB entry for Antoine is hugely problematic) is homophobic, and it's also misogynistic. Male homosexuality is seen as undesirable because it's coded as feminine...which says a lot about how our society views women.

    Matilda Sailor or Faye Matilda | Sylvie Wren or Simon Adler | Alice Violetta or Atlas Dov | Julian 'Jules' River or Juniper 'Joon' Lovelace | Roscoe Fox or Marlowe Fritz | Jane Lucinda or Lucien Wilde | Louisa Valor or Eloise March | Ivan Elliot or Iris Cordelia | August Jack or Jasper Hale | Dashiell Jude or Judah Reeve | Thea Marina or Marigold 'Maggie' Wynn | Finnegan Wallace or Felix Raphael

    Just a grad student dreaming ahead...

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