Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's FYI

"My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me Sue."

-Shel Silverstein, "A Boy Named Sue."

A law professor opines upon the legality of so-called gender-mismatched names:

"Some other countries, such as Germany and Denmark, actually require boys to be named with male names and girls with female names....

Governmental prohibition of gender mismatched names is unlikely to be constitutional [in the US]. In addition to raising issues of gender classification and inappropriate stereotyping under the Equal Protection Clause, such laws would fail to recognize the dynamic nature of naming practices by locking in certain names as permanently male or permanently female. In fact, the gender identity of particular names is fluid. Researchers have found that 'names tend to evolve from male to unisex to female.' Locking in certain names as permanently male or female is to engage in precisely the type of gender stereotyping that the Supreme Court has consistently rejected."

-Carlton FW Lawson, "Naming Baby: The Constitutional Dimensions of Parental Naming Rights"

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