October 23rd, 2003


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jimbojones
01:30 pm - sophomoric
Why is it conventional to name your daughters Faith, Hope, Chastity, or Charity, but unconventional to name your sons Strength, Dominance, Virility, or Courage?
 
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Comments:



 
From: ex_littlede
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 10:36 am
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 10:46 am
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Swing and a miss - there are plenty of Rambos out there. Male and female.


 
[User Picture] From: screed
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 10:58 am
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Because those aren't any of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

I think Temperance would be a good name.


 
[User Picture] From: apotheon
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 11:30 am
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That still sounds kinda like a more-feminine name. "Fortitude" would be the only masculine-sounding Heavenly Virtue, I think. "Justice" comes close, but then . . . I remember that I've heard of women named Justice (rare, but they exist), and I think about the fact that names ending with "ce" tend to be feminine in aspect.

While prudence, temperance, and justice all appear in the list of Heavenly Virtues as well, the other of the four Cardinal Virtues (of Classical Greek philosophy), courage is an available option if you want to name a son after one of the many lauded "official" virtues of philosophy and theology.

In general, it seems that pretty much every oft-quoted virue available has been used for a feminine name, with exceptions that are primarily excepted only because they wouldn't make for very good names. Even the seven "Contrary Virtues", listed as antitheses to the Seven Deadly Sins in the epic poem Psychomachia, have largely been snapped up by a sense of femininity as far as naming children is concerned.

On the other hand, very rarely would most names of saints be assigned to females, a friend of mine with the Confirmation name of Ignatius notwithstanding.


 
[User Picture] From: screed
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 01:32 pm
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I was with you up to the saints observation, as there have long been female saints.


 
[User Picture] From: apotheon
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 03:06 pm
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I mostly just brought that up to make fun of a friend of mine. I doubt she'll read this, but I can always hope.


 
From: cpf
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 01:36 pm
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We named the dog Courage.


 
[User Picture] From: tawnyleona
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 02:29 pm
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Weird that you should mention that...


 
[User Picture] From: ravenword
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 02:49 pm
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A lot of boys names translate to meaning things like that, anyway. For example, "James" is the Anglicized form of the Hebrew "Jacob," meaning "conqueror" or "supplanter." (And because I know you're curious: "Sarah" is the feminine form of the word for "prince," and "Rachel" means "a ewe." Heh.)


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 08:45 pm
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Yeah, I know most names translate to stuff like that, but what I was wondering is why so many female names that don't NEED translation, but no male ones.

Some of the reeeeealllly backwoods primitive baptist and pentecostal types have been known to name their male children shit like "Strong-In-The-Lord" or "Armor-of-God", but basically you need to be like 50 miles from the nearest major highway for some shit like that to even think about happening. So I don't think that counts.


 
[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: October 23rd, 2003 - 08:19 pm
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Man, if I ever met a guy named Virility....


 
From: aduncous
Date: October 24th, 2003 - 07:13 am
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::drags out a soap box::

I think it's more commonplace for parents to want to assign ideals to a woman upon birth in a misdirected attempt to steer her life path -- whether more subtly, like through the pink hair ribbons she grows to love because they make her "pretty" to others (and thus define her worth based on her appearance and display of femininity at an early age), or by being more domineering about it and actually naming their daughter somehing like "Patience" or "Chastity" in a totally Freudian (and often ultimately painfully ironic) hope that they'll grow to embody that characteristic.

Parents worry about "the end result" more with girl-chirren than with boy-chirren, and they don't trust that it will happen naturally for girls. Naming a daughter after an ideal testifies to the fear of having her turn out otherwise, and portends the resentment she will face if she does.

Boy-chirren have the great misfortune of assumed values. They're expected to come out "batteries included" -- naturally dominant, virile, and courageous. That's the foundation of western patriarchy (and by "patriachy" I mean "centuries of unspoken mitigation of gender subjugation," not "all men are evil") still at work -- there's an almost greater social danger in that.


 
[User Picture] From: sesby
Date: October 24th, 2003 - 07:41 am
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Re: as usual...

kaff is right on. what she said!!

you know what i can't stand? the when parents stick their daughter with the name "chasity" without the t. what the hell is that?


 
From: aduncous
Date: October 26th, 2003 - 02:47 pm
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Re: as usual...

Maybe to reduce ironic risks by barring the inclusuion of "titties?"


 
From: babycola
Date: October 26th, 2003 - 03:57 am
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What a trip to date Dominance.


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