Let’s fix the trend of genderless kids’ names

Erin Powell

I absolutely hate boy names on girls. I’m filled with rage when I hear of girls named James, Elliot or Tyler. I don’t think it’s cute: I think it’s misogynistic.

I’d have no problem with parents giving their daughters boy names if they also did it the other way around.

Girls with masculine names are seen as cute and trendy, but God forbid a boy have a name that’s even slightly feminine. According to the Social Security Administration’s name database, five of the top 50 most popular girls’ names in 2017 were male.

The name database stated that all five names were in the top 1,000 for men in 1900, now only three are. None were in the top 1,000 for girls before 1973. Once a name becomes popular for girls, parents stop giving it to their sons.

Names that were once gender-neutral are becoming more popular for girls than boys. I’ll use Taylor as an example.

I’ve met a pretty equal amount of Taylors, male and female. Data from the Social Security Administration says it peaked in the early 90s in the top 100 for both genders. It’s now No. 112 on the list of most popular names for girls and No. 506 for boys.

It started off male, and didn’t break the top 1,000 until 1979 for girls. Within 10 years it became more popular as a girls’ name. It’s not just Taylor, almost all names considered “gender-neutral” were originally boys’ names.

Think about how people with names of the opposite gender are portrayed. “Cool girls” in movies have masculine names. Men with feminine names are ridiculed.

These images are present in everything from kids’ shows, Mr. Moseby’s first name being Marion was a continuous joke on Disney Channel, to classic literature, sorry Jo from “Little Women.”

My advice to parents: use a name that has been gender-neutral for a while. Jordan has been consistently popular for both genders for the last few decades. Also, give all your kids gender-neutral names. Or, if you’re having a boy, reclaim a name as male.