Gender neutral names

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by floriflee, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #1
    A friend of mine with a kid frequents a family-friendly park on a regular basis. There was a little kid in the park the other day that was dressed in neutral-colored clothes. The haircut was a very neutral and the child was young enough where it could go either way (male or female) so you couldn't really tell what it was. Upon asking the parent what the child's name was and whether it was a boy or a girl the reply that was given to my friend was as follows:

    The child's name is Sasha and I'm not going to tell you.

    The parent then proceeded to explain how Sasha was going to be able to determine for Sasha's self how Sasha wanted to be treated (i.e., be raised in a COMPLETELY gender-neutral environment). Whenever the kid was referred to it was referred to as "Sasha." Apparently, the parent had gotten very good at avoiding pronouns when referring to Sasha.

    So, aside from all the other weird issues that arise from this situation it got me to thinking. What else have we turned into being more gender-neutral? I could only come up with referring to spouses and boyfriend/girlfriends as partners, some forms of clothing and hairstyles, and some colloquial phrases ("you guys" or "dude", for example). It seems like there is more than that. What have I missed?
     
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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  3. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    #3
    well i thought so too but when i watched that movie "behind enemy lines" i changed my mind.

    Terry is a uni name.


    Bless
     
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #4
    wait... is this a hypothetical question or did this really happen :confused:
    To me it sounds like a girls name...
     
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #5
    i think sasha is a russian guy's name.
    i don't see anything wrong with giving your child an androgenous name (i'm alex which i suppose is fairly androgenous, although i'm technically alexander) but to not even say what gender the kid is doesn't seem right. the kid's probably going to grow up without much of a gender identity of him/herself because his parents don't make the distinction
     
  6. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    #6
    The only thing I could think of was "Its Pat!"
     
  7. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #7
    I know a male Sascha and a female Sasha (yes different spellings).

    As for the couple the OP encountered... I sort of feel like it's similar to a lot of other concepts/ideas; they sound all right on paper, but in the real world, it's just too difficult to execute well.

    Imagine "Sasha" in school-- how to determine which restroom to use? Or when boys line up in one line and girls in the other... then what?

    Do the parents assume that every teacher and adult the child encounters will respect their wishes and be willing to put forth extra effort? It is a difficult task to support and enforce; though it could be very promising if it worked out well.
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #8
    I've know male Sashas and female Sashas.

    I hope Sasha doesn't suffer due to the parents' grand experiment in social deprogramming.

    It's too bad that we have so many boy-only and girl-only expectations put upon us as kids, and throughout life, but an evolutionary approach to changing that is going to do more good than fighting back so directly by refusing to acknowledge a child's sex at all.

    Perhaps this "don't tell" stance would be more appropriate for an adult who wants to shake things up, rather than subjecting a child, who can't give informed consent, to follow rules that are almost certain to cause teasing or alienation.
     
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #9
    Billie/Billy is fairly neutral.

    I think I would be a little put off if someone asked the gender of my (as yet nonexistent) child.
     
  10. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

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    #10
    Well.. http://www.bnbg.net/ lists that name as female but I have in the real world heard it for both male and female. however I think that name is a foreign originating name so from reading that sites stats data, they only get their info from SSA.
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    shall we assume the first few of sasha's years were spent in a box being slowly introduced to colors?
     
  12. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #12
    The male Sasha I knew was from Russia. The female Sasha I knew was from Australia.

    We all know that Pat is gender-neutral. So are Leslie and Jamie. And women often use nicknames such as Bill for Billie, Jack for Jackie, Sam for Samantha, not to mention names like Michael Learned (actress), so you never know for sure simply from a name.

    Hey, nice Q in your avatar, Benjamin!
     
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #13
    It's relatively easy to pick out gender neutral nicknames derived from other names... It's more of a challenge to pick out a gender neutral full name. :eek:

    Taylor
    Evan

    Eh, if I think of others I'll add them later. It is hard!
     
  14. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #14
    Kerry. Boy's first name, girl's first name, also a last name.

    A good way to test a name is to search Google images for it and see if you get photos of males or females.

    Example: Kerrie with "ie" is always a girl. Kerry with "y" is either.
     
  15. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

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    #15
    My name, Wesley, can go either way... Most guys prefer Wes.
     
  16. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Uh... why?

    I mean, the kid will still technically be a guy or a girl...
     
  17. Lau Guest

    #17
    All I can imagine from that is a completely beige child. :D



    I don't know. I can see what the parent is thinking, but I think the way they're doing it is going to leave the kid open to ridicule later on, once they get to school.

    I was really tomboyish when I was a kid (still am :D ) and when my mum realised (when I was still very young) that dresses and girly things made me go all hulk on her she just stopped bothering, and let me get on with charging about with the boys. Now, although I'm not massively girly in the grand scale of things, I now have my own style, which isn't necessarily pretty, but definitely feminine. And it's mine! :) I hate to think what would have happened if I'd been forced into being girly.

    I would say the best a parent could do is not actively force gender stereotypes on them, and to let their personality determine what it wants to do, wear, etc. If they feel that strongly about it, and you're relaxed about it as a parent, they'll let you know (like I did), from a very young age. If they seem quite happy about it, they probably are.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  19. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #19
    I knew two people named Izumi (fountain) and one of them was a female and the other male. That would probably confuse the heck out of someone who knew something about Japanese names and didn't see the Chinese character. Many girls names end in -mi (Kazumi, Hiromi) but of course, Izumi doesn't fit that pattern at all.
     
  20. mpw Guest

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    #20
    What idiots.

    People like that really shouldn't be trusted with the bringing up of children. I'm sure that their actions are going to do more harm to the child as he grows than good.

    Are they going to let the child choose what species he is aswell just in case he wants to be a dragon rather than a little boy.

    My daughter sometimes pretends to be a puppy, I don't mind but her crawling round the house saying woof for 10mins. but I'm not about to throw a lead on her and walk her down to the park for a dump.
     
  21. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    Um...that parent is nuts. I hope that kid doesn't grow up to become another Michael Jackson.

    To answer your question on complete gender neutrality, floriflee...who'd want to live in a world where you weren't even sure if you should eye the guy (or is it a girl?) walking past you because you're not sure of his (her?) gender?

    Whether you believe it's God or evolution that made us that way, there are male/female distinctions in virtually every species on Earth, and it's ridiculous to try to hide or do away with them. (I have the absurdist vision of a male lion cutting off his gorgeous mane so he can "blend in" with the females. :D )
     
  22. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #22
    Is a child's gender identity really so supremely important to the child at such an age?

    I wouldn't think it would be anywhere near so critically important until closer to puberty.

    And of course there's difference between gender identity and sexuality.
     
  23. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #23
    The lion which ended his wardrobe?
     
  24. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #24
    Nothing wrong with chasing that dream. A dog naps day and night and pretty much lies around the rest of the time, gets fed regularly, gets affection and dog treats for just about nothing and gets better medical care than most humans.

    I'd trade the abilities to use doorknobs and restrain myself from chasing squirrels for that life any day.
     
  25. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #25
    It happened. And to date we still don't know its gender nor its sex. To clear that up, floriflee is my wife.
     

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