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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    685

    Gender and Names

    Hey!
    One of the topics concerning names I'm most curious about are the so called unisex names. I love many unisex names (I like to call them the orange names as they are seem here on Nameberry) and other names that are not seem as unisex but I prefer on the opposite gender.
    People think this is too "celeb-like". There are the kids named River (both girls and boys); Arlo, Lincoln and James on girls, Josey for a boy and so on... which makes it hard for me to set some boundaries (I mean, I do think a boy named Caroline or Isabella is too much). I watch a tv show called The 100 and one of the main characters, a girl, is named Clarke, and another main characters, a boy, is named Bellamy (unisex name most frequently used on girls). At first, it seemed rather odd, but now I think they are perfect which makes me think it just takes some getting used to it! I never like Clark/Clarke on boys, but now I think it's a great choice for girls!

    So, what do you think? What do you think makes a unisex name? Do you like a gender specific names on the opposite gender?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
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    2,530
    I think there's a really annoying tendency (rooted in inherent misogyny no doubt) for "unisex" names to be perceived almost solely as masculine names on girls whereas feminine names on boys usually get frowned at.

    But you know, gender is a social construct and I generally believe both gender and names are very fluid things.
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    346
    I agree with shvibziks. My biggest problem with "unisex" names is the fact that it's just boys names being "stolen" and put in the girl's side. For example, naming a girl James is seen as creative and breaking gender norms and sterotypes, while naming a boy Ashley is seen as ridiculous because it has become too girly to go back to being a boys name.
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  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    685
    Quote Originally Posted by shvibziks View Post
    I think there's a really annoying tendency (rooted in inherent misogyny no doubt) for "unisex" names to be perceived almost solely as masculine names on girls whereas feminine names on boys usually get frowned at.

    But you know, gender is a social construct and I generally believe both gender and names are very fluid things.
    I agree. I do think there is a double standard... It's a shame, because I do think people are embracing boys names on girls but not so much the other way around... Even some names that were primarily masculine!

  5. #9
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    Jul 2015
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    685
    Quote Originally Posted by esmith0326 View Post
    I agree with shvibziks. My biggest problem with "unisex" names is the fact that it's just boys names being "stolen" and put in the girl's side. For example, naming a girl James is seen as creative and breaking gender norms and sterotypes, while naming a boy Ashley is seen as ridiculous because it has become too girly to go back to being a boys name.
    Ashley is a great example! In the past, Ashley was a boy name that was "stolen" and put in the girl's side. It became so popular for girls that it became odd for boys! Even if in theory Ashley fits perfectly with other popular boy names like Asher and Ashton.
    Other similar case, the one that really made me think about this double standard, was when Naya Rivera had her baby boy late last year and named it Josey Hollis. People were saying it was totally a girl's name because Josey looked like a nickname for Josephine and Hollis was too similar to Holly. I didn't see it like that. Josephine is a feminine version of Joseph and Josey could perfectly be a nickname for Joseph as well (My brain thought of Joseph right away and only realize the proximity to Josephine when other people pointed it out). Also where I'm from Jose is a pretty common name for a boy's first name and for a girl's middle name, so I guess you perceive name gender based on what you've experienced and people you know with those or similar names.

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