I’ve seen a thing on Tumblr and Tiktok a few times (god how do they get me to check tiktok) which tends to take the form of ‘wow, look at this white girl talking about baby names, what a fucking idiot she is.’ And I get it, it’s great fun for the internet as a whole to decide we’ve found the right girls to bully, and you can all knock yourselves out but one thing that I can’t keep escaping is how stupid it is to mock baby names.
I get it, you can have an aesthetic preference, you can have names that you’d never call your kids, especially, if you are a millenial, because you can’t afford to ever have kids, and I understand entirely why someone might not like their name that they got given but it seems more and more when someone sits around harmlessly playing with names, to treat them like they’re buffoons.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of names that get trotted out in this space that make me go: Huh? Weird?, but that’s the extent of my interest, I don’t figure it’s time to break out the cyberbullying boxing gloves, same as I don’t think it’s a good idea to shout at strangers for how they prepare rice you’re not going to touch. Fuck you.
One of the names that seems to come up a lot in this list is Khaleesi, which don’t get me wrong, I can understand a parent being mildly embarrassed about that name they gave to their child if they gave it, say, in Season 2 and how they were impacted by Season… whatever the last one was. And set aside that you don’t name a kid that unless you legitimately like the word, people like to bring up ‘oh she turns evil, duh’ as if that’s a point against them.
Because uh, I don’t know if you notice this, but lots of the names that you see in common parlance in English have some pretty awful roots.
Joshua: Hey, did you know that Joshua, the first guy, committed genocide? Like it was in his whole story that he picked up the mantle after Moses was done with it, went into a land that was already occupied, killed lots of people, and forcibly settled on their land? That’s pretty shitty behaviour!
Samuel: This was the name of one of the last Prophets in the Bible, and he uh, also demanded genocides. In fact, when Saul failed to genocide enough, Samuel supposedly dragged the not-dead-yet king up in front of the court and cut him into pieces personally, because he was pissed at the absence of a genocide.
Paul: Oh hey, know the Paul of the Bible? That dude thinks that women should shut up and slavery is an okay dealio! Most modern New Testament scholarship spends most of its time arguing Paul probably didn’t mean that awful shit he said.
Joseph: Oh hey, remember when this dude threatened to kill his baby brother Benjamin to shock his brothers into just feeling bad about having tried to kill him? Like, the one person who wasn’t involved, and Joseph thought oh yeah this is my target.
The reason you don’t think these names are stupid or awful is because you are used to them. The fact that they are part of our common parlance in our weirdly antisemetic Christian culture is a sign that we don’t think they did anything wrong, and they are ‘normal names.’
Every single name you can trace through history and find, in many cases, just because they’re old that they are directly linked to terrible people.
So maybe leave li’l Leese out of it and stop calling random white girls on youtube idiots for not having your aesthetic preferences. Jeeze.