Monday, November 30, 2009

I hate name bashing.

I really do.

Full on racists will talk about somebody having a "black name." Or just make up stuff because the name is too "foreign."

Name bashing is always directed at the person with the name.

I did not pick my name.

I did not pick its spelling.

Yes, I know you don't know how to spell it. Excuse me if I get a little pissy - you're not the first person this month, this week, this day, this hour that I have had to spell it for.

I am not changing my name.

I like it, I consider it a part of who I am. I even like the spelling.

Stop bashing people's names.

What stirred me to write this?

Against my better nature, I started reading Roommate Confessions on CollegeHumor. One could be considered ableist --

Remember when I gave up trying to protest your overbearing OCD/hypochondria that you used to dominate our dorm? Yeah, that's about the same time I started having sex on your bed when you went home on weekends, or, you know, to class.
Sandra Flores, GMU

Another bashes the roommate's name and her mother in addition to using disgusting ableist language --

Brittannie: first of all, teach your trashy mother how to spell a simple name right. It makes you look retarded right off the bat, but then again, perhaps she knew it would be fitting later on in life.

Another shows somebody who is incredibly cruel and ableist (it's funny to hurt your roommate!) --

That wasn't pink eye. I put some steel wool shavings in your contact case and dipped the tip of your eye liner in dish soap.
Dee B, BSC

However, all is not lost.

Right underneath that disgusting confession is this --

You wrote in to Roommate Confessions to brag about a prank you pulled on me. A prank that resulted in severe bodily injury. Well, I never mentioned it, but I did bookmark the page and show it to my parents. And our lawyer. And the dean. Guess what, dumbass? You might've looked like a badass on the internet for fifteen minutes, but you're the one who got kicked out of college and is getting sued for every cent you're worth. Checkmate, bitch.
John T., School Not Given

I applaud you, John T. Most of these confessions are of roommates vandalizing their roommates' property, spoiling their food, and just being a jerk in response to jerkiness.

I don't know much about CollegeHumor's reputation, but I do know that it - like most "humor" sites - seems to be marketed towards boys. The front page always has a "cute college girl" on it.

I mostly visit for "Parents Just Don't Understand" which chronicles parents, siblings, everybody who has trouble with technology. It's the least objectionable part of the site.

Back to names - I cannot stand it when people complain about the spelling of a "traditional" (White, WASP) name. Before the previous cycle of ANTM, cycle 12, the website Jezebel put up the finalists. One had the name Kourtney. Cue the "I hate her!" cries - because her name is spelled with a K.

Names are not sacred. There are no rules - at least not in America. I do not care that my name is considered a derivative of a "better" name. This is my name. Stop insulting me.

And also, would it hurt to pronounce it right? I'm not talking about when I write it - total chickenscratch city - but when it's on a computer printout.


No H's, no R's. I am not Katherine. I am not Kathleen. I am not Katrine. I am KAITLYN.


Anonymous said...

Okay, first of all I totally agree with you on the name policing. The names I'd like to name my children are not what considered normal names, but I think they are lovely.

The whole phenomenon of calling names "ghetto" names pisses me off.

Also, although it doesn't matter, how the hell do people mess up your name? That spelling is common and "normal" where I am.

Kaitlyn said...

I have no idea - most of the people with my name - with its various spellings - are at least 10 years younger than me. So maybe people aren't used to it?

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