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Is this 'baby names' section a bit racist?

(118 Posts)
Boulders Tue 26-Aug-08 18:29:25

On this board I've noticed quite a negative vibe against any name that is more typically used in Afro/Caribbean communities than white ones. The same goes for opinions on names originating from Asia. Islamic names are discredited too. Why is this?

FAQ Tue 26-Aug-08 18:30:36

I've only seen comments about people using names from other ethnic backgrounds other than White British when the OP hasn't stated that they are from that background.

donnie Tue 26-Aug-08 18:32:25

really? I think you should give examples.

hecate Tue 26-Aug-08 18:33:17

Hadn't noticed. Where has it been done?

grouchomarx Tue 26-Aug-08 18:36:09

snobby I've noticed...

racist I'm not sure - though sometimes it seems as though people are a bit 'down' on names that are anything other than trad British, perhaps on the assumption taht the op is trying to be trendy and not considering that the name might be traditional in the OP's family, iyswim. For example, I see the name Milton was slagged in a recent thread (probably on hte grounds it was a pretentious/try hard name) but that is also a popular (and unpretentious) name in black communities.

edam Tue 26-Aug-08 18:37:36

I haven't noticed anything of the sort. You'll have to provide more details so we can understand your point of view.

There tend to be arguments that if one is not from a specific cultural background, one should be VERY careful about using names from that background - but the main examples I can think of are to do with Welsh (people who can't actually spell Welsh names).

There's also a big class thing. So-called 'chavvy' names tend to get a bad reaction. I think that's a much more obvious issue than race.

PookiePodgeandTubs Tue 26-Aug-08 18:38:19

I often read the threads and haven't noticed this. Unless it was my comment that I wouldn't feel comfortable using an African or chinese name because I would feel self-conscious doing so that you're objecting to. I would feel equally silly using a Latvian name or an Eskimo name. Just not comfortable with it.

Also, iff I read eg, that, Lakeisha was an African American name, I would think it was factual. Francesca is Italian. Niamh is Irish. To see racism in something factual baffles me.

PookiePodgeandTubs Tue 26-Aug-08 18:39:42

PS, I had no idea Milton was a popular name in black communities. I slagged it off because it reminded me of bleach and poets.

Boulders Tue 26-Aug-08 18:39:49

Interesting, so people just assume that only white women are having babies and using mn and only certain names are right for the white. Should anyone from an ethnic minority state their ethnicity when starting a thread?

I am genuinely interested if race does make a difference to the suitability of a name.

grouchomarx Tue 26-Aug-08 18:42:32

didn't read the whole thread, pookie, just noticed that because it is my Jamaican bil's name.

edam Tue 26-Aug-08 18:43:42

Where do you get 'people just assume only white women are having babies and using MN' from? You keep making assertions without backing them up. More evidence, please!

hecate Tue 26-Aug-08 18:45:56

I never make any assumptions about race or colour. If I like a name I say so, if I don't, I say so. Colour doesn't come into it.

donnie Tue 26-Aug-08 18:46:03

"people just assume that only white women are having babies using mn"

are you a troll?

spicemonster Tue 26-Aug-08 18:46:29

I think the baby names section is just conservative with a small c, rather than racist. Basically unless you choose to call your child Ben/Oliver/Emily/Sophie, you'll get your choice slagged off for being too posh/too chav/too weird.

I don't know why anyone cares what a bunch of random people off the internet think of their child's name tbh. Utterly pointless posting a thread - you're always going to get a load of people saying 'eeuggh that's HORRIBLE!'

hecate Tue 26-Aug-08 18:46:36

Besides - how do YOU know what colour the people commenting on the names are?

sprogger Tue 26-Aug-08 18:46:45

Yes, I've definitely noticed what I've considered to be a bit of an ethnic bias in the names threads. I don't think it's consciously racist, but I do think that people tend to barrel in assuming that everyone's child should on paper sound aspire to white upper-middle-classdom. If you're not British or white, some of the slagging of "unusual" (non-British-middle-class) names can come across as a little myopic.

donnie Tue 26-Aug-08 18:47:24

still waiting for the evidence. It'll be a long time coming methinks.

Boulders Tue 26-Aug-08 18:48:10

Just to clarify, I had a reaction of 'trying too hard' with some (family) names a week or so back.

The latest backlash is against the name Dante.

FAQ Tue 26-Aug-08 18:48:56

Someone slagged of one of my DS's names a little while ago saying "what sort of a name is that".......but I'm just presuming they didn't realise it's a pretty common name in the country where my exh was born and bred - and where we met and married.

donnie Tue 26-Aug-08 18:49:57

how does the subject of race enter it then?

MrsMattie Tue 26-Aug-08 18:50:44

what sprogger said

thisisyesterday Tue 26-Aug-08 18:51:26

I think boulders has a fair point.
you do get people coming on and slagging names off, and demanding to know if the poster has x,y or z cultural background.

have never seen anyone say "i'm calling my baby john" and get the same response (ie, well, it's ok, but only if you have a british background)

JuneBugJen Tue 26-Aug-08 18:54:21

Didnt know Dante had a race slant to it. Like it, but think of inferno and rings of hell etc. Not race...

grouchomarx Tue 26-Aug-08 18:54:54

I've noticed the Dante slagging too - think it's a lovely name fwiw. I tend to think of it as a 'black' name because I have so far only come across black or mixed race boys called Dante. I have seen it called chavvy on mn, I think - really don't know why.

scottishmummy Tue 26-Aug-08 18:55:01

Boulders-unfortunately some folk are unkind about any name.i dont interpret a racist subtext just rude

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