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Am I right thinking this is sexist?

(33 Posts)
startrek90 Sun 14-Jun-15 11:04:12

Been a long time lurker, trying to learn more about feminism. This seemed off to me and I want to know what you think.

I was talking with my inlaws and some friends recently about my sis who has had a baby boy. My sister has followed our family tradition and given her son his father's name as a middle name (I did the same) and people said how lovely it was to honor the father etc...

We started to talk about girls names and my DH said (in the interests of fairness) he would like to give our daughter my name. Well everyone started to say how vain and distasteful it was and how any daughter would hate it etc...

This seemed off to me. That it's ok to honor a father but to do the same for a mother is wrong. It seems to go hand in hand with not acknowledging mothers on wedding certificates (I had to put my absentee father on instead of the person who raised me and cared for me). I thought this was sexist. Am I right? Or have I not got the right idea?

Moln Sun 14-Jun-15 11:13:04

have I got this right, the family think;

father's first name as son's first name = lovely and a great honour.

Mother's first name as daughter's middle name = vain, distasteful and not a honour (interpreted from the idea the daughter will obviously hate it)

Yes that's sexist.

LurcioAgain Sun 14-Jun-15 11:19:26

Yes, they do sound sexist and frankly a bit bonkers. Thank heavens your DH sounds sane!

On its own, a family tradition where a name goes down through the geneerations isn't sexist. My cousin's DH's family have this with the boys name. My family has a middle name that goes down the female line - my mum had it, I have it, my sister's eldest has it. It's a nice name, and a nice idea.

But to challenge the idea of extending a tradition to daughter's names when it's always been done with son's names - yes that is sexist.

startrek90 Sun 14-Jun-15 11:21:44

What I don't understand is why people think like that. Why are mothers worth less? That's what it feels like.

tribpot Sun 14-Jun-15 11:25:21

Did they literally in the same conversation say this was a lovely thing to do for fathers and vain and selfish to do for mothers? How did they explain the difference when you asked them? It just seems so unlikely - that a girl would hate having her mother's name as a middle name, why?

startrek90 Sun 14-Jun-15 11:48:16

Yes it was the same conversation. I assure you this did happen. They honestly couldn't see anything wrong with the dichotomy. The argument was that giving a son his fathers name was more 'natural' than doing the same for a daughter.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sun 14-Jun-15 11:53:20


It's baffling to me how people justify these things sometimes.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sun 14-Jun-15 11:53:21


It's baffling to me how people justify these things sometimes.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sun 14-Jun-15 12:01:51

Natural? Eh?

It's baffling to me how people justify these views sometimes. Can they not hear what they're saying?

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sun 14-Jun-15 12:02:20

Ooh phone had a mini-seizure then!

messyisthenewtidy Sun 14-Jun-15 12:05:36

Thank goodness the wedding certificates issue has been changed, thanks to the campaigner nameequality.

Yes it does sound sexist.

AskBasil Sun 14-Jun-15 12:09:23

Ludicrously sexist!


tribpot Sun 14-Jun-15 12:22:11

Natural in what sense, because names get handed down from fathers already? Whereas a woman's name is completely disposable? What did they make of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge giving their new daughter Diana's name? Distasteful and vain, or a lovely way to celebrate the life of a woman who Prince William adored?

startrek90 Sun 14-Jun-15 12:34:45

They have no idea about the royal family. I live abroad.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 14-Jun-15 12:42:06

We do this with the girls (the first ones anyway) in our family. It's a way of having a little continuity down the female line while obviously the big continuity of the surname has traditionally gone to the men.

It goes back 6 generations that I know about, and everyone I have told has looked surprised and then said how lovely, what a great idea. I can't imagine DD1 will be mortified at having my name as a middle name, why would she confused

Clearly OP this family are sexist, and what they are choosing to be sexist about, to me and I imagine most people I know, it would make no sense. Like, most sexist stuff you can see in the culture where / why people might think or do something, even if you think it's wrong. This is just weird.

Although just seen it's a different country so maybe would make more sense in that country.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 14-Jun-15 12:44:10

Oh by the way you and DH should go for it if you have a girl, like I say, it's a tradition in at least one family I know about grin and is really nice and also takes a bit of effort out of naming the first one wink

If your first name also happens to be the first name of your MIL then it's 2 birds with one stone and everyone's a winner!

LassUnparalleled Sun 14-Jun-15 12:45:06

I'm not sure sexist is the right word. They are utterly wrong, bonkers, unpleasant and so far from what is just a normal, standard western convention which should not give any one pause it almost needs a new word.

grimbletart Sun 14-Jun-15 13:09:47

It's sexist and illogical.

00100001 Sun 14-Jun-15 18:56:14

wait - I'm confused is this what is happening about names?
is it:

Nephew gets Dad's middle name as first name? e.g Dad is Tom John and Son is John Adam?

Daughter get's Mums first name as a first name? eg, both called Sarah?

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 14-Jun-15 19:57:16

No I read it as

Baby: Charlotte Joanna
Mum: Joanna Elizabeth
Gran: Elizabeth Mary
Great gran: Mary Alice

This is how we do it in our family and what I took from "My sister has followed our family tradition and given her son his father's name as a middle name "

The following bit I can see would be confusing but as she's talking about the "same tradition" I think it's just wording rather than anything else.

OP may confirm herself of course grin

PuffinsAreFictitious Sun 14-Jun-15 20:00:11

Yup, sexist. And wanky.

SenecaFalls Sun 14-Jun-15 20:56:12

Speaking of the Royal Family, the Queen has her mother's name. And Princess Anne's second name is Elizabeth. And Zara's second name is Anne.

00100001 Sun 14-Jun-15 21:02:05

I'm waiting for confirmation before getting my gavel out grin

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 14-Jun-15 21:07:16


WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 14-Jun-15 21:10:09

I was thinking it would be unlikely that it would be the same first name as then when you yell "angela what do you want for lunch" the various angela's wouldn't know if it was them!

Then I just remembered in the usa don't they do it eg William P Blogspot the fourth, and that? No idea how they handle the lunch issues. So maybe it is the first name after all. That's not how I read it though, she does say middle name.

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