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October 7th, 2013 05:15 PM #86Zelia/Elja • Nineteen • Name and history nerd from an early age • I have a blog.
October 7th, 2013 05:36 PM #88Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
Cohen is a very important name for a lot of Jews. Using it as a first name is vastly different from it bring someone's surname. Just because there are a few ignorant people using Cohen as a first name does not mean it is ok. A lot of people do offensive things for bad reasons, this doesn't give you an excuse to join in.
It is so typical of our culture now days for people to take something special and significant and say it's your fault your offended that I have used it. Is it so hard to find a different name, one that isn't going to cause an issue?
As for the poster. You made a daft choice, you should have done more research. Your son now has a name, just live with it and explain that you didn't know and that he is named after someone.
October 7th, 2013 06:59 PM #90
October 7th, 2013 07:00 PM #92Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
- Flyover Territory
I wouldn't necessarily shove a parent who uses this name into the "ignorant and oppressive category" as a whole. But I can wholeheartedly call them ignorant (in the true, dictionary meaning of the word) in an area as huge as naming their own child for not doing a simple google search of the name that they've chosen for their child (for goodness's sake - what if Cohen was the name of some terrible Stalin-esque tyrant, or something?). In a simple Google search for "Cohen given name", FOUR out of the top six suggested articles revolve around this debate and give an explanation of exactly why this is considered cultural appropriation. Basically, by saying that "everyone can have their own meaning and importance" associated with the name is to say "I get to choose when I will show respect toward deeply held religious beliefs of others, and since I choose to attribute no meaning to this 'string of letters' people shouldn't be offended". I can choose to attribute my own meaning to all sorts of words, but that doesn't mean that the vast majority of those around me are going to share my meaning - they are much more likely to go with the dictionary or social meaning of said word or idea. The difference with something like Cohen, is that my decision won't affect me adversely *because it's a minority* whose cultural meaning I'm choosing to ignore. Oppression isn't just beating people down or passing laws to limit rights - it's often just the act of pretending a minority people don't exist or that their opinions don't matter. It's incredibly dismissive of an entire group of people to just say "Ehhh, I don't know any Jewish people, so who cares?"
Last edited by tk.; October 7th, 2013 at 07:03 PM.Tara, proud mama to a Honey Badger
... with a Baby Badger in the works
October 7th, 2013 07:34 PM #94Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
Sorry I'm trying to understand you but I find it difficult too, I don't know why, maybe the way you write. My main point has always been that I don't believe the first name cohen to be the same as the last name cohen because they only share orthographic similarity and not meaning or even pronounciation/phonemic basis in most cases. I never mentioned anything about minorities as I don't even know if jewish ppl are minorities where the OP is from or not, they are not a minority everywhere, but regardless or minority or majority status no one should be oppressed, and I certainly never said oppression is just beating people and limiting rights nor did I mention ignoring that is has a meaning to them or ignoring them?? I'm merely saying the name Cohen is different to other people, for example to me where I'm from Cohen is both Koen/Coen spelling variation and a name of a popular store thats been used on kids cause..I honestly don't know why parents name their kids after a popular furniture store *shrugs* but thats what the name is to me thats what I associate it with and therefore I don't think its the same name as the jewish cohen, do you get what I'm saying? To me it isn't the same name, others don't feel the same as I do and thats how the world works, people will always disagree with each other on different things. If I had a kid named Cohen and someone told me it offends them I would explain its a Koen/Coen variation where I'm from and not the jewish name they are thinking of. Respect goes both ways, I respect Cohen is religious for some , people should respect that its not the same name for others. I don't understand how thats hard. You simply can't avoid everything that offends anyone anywhere in the world. Personally I wouldn't use Cohen/Coen/Koen cause I don't like it but I'm not gonna see others mauled for using it. Freedom for all, no one owns a name.