Boys Names and Gender Inequality

Since we’ve found out the gender of our coming little one, I’ve been scouring books, the internet and my brain for cool boys names. My husband and I feeling the pressure too since we gave our daughter a very unique name with a nice story behind it – so to name our son something in the top 10 “just because we liked it” seems really unfair to him. So…

  1. we need to have a good reason for picking his name (i.e. it should be related to something we like or did or saw, etc)
  2. it needs to be pretty unique (let’s say less than #500 in the current baby name ranking unless we really love it) and
  3. it needs to sound nice with our daughter’s name and, of course, our last name.

I know I’d be curious after all that, so I’ll tell you the story of our daughter’s name. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s was playing constantly on the radio while I was pregnant. In browsing names, I suggested Lilah (this was a suggestion unrelated to the song). My husband said he didn’t like Lilah but did like Delilah and I vetoed that because of the song (which is a nice song, but at that time I had heard it about a million times too many). So I was walking to work one morning and thought to myself that the difference between the 2 was basically just a D sound, and to amuse myself I decided to combine Lilah with every letter of the alphabet. And when I came across O-lilah, which later because Olyla, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Luckily, my husband loved it too.

For her middle name, we picked the name of an island we visited while on our honeymoon that, by a stroke of luck, was in the middle of a butterfly migration path and just covered in butterflies. See? How do we match that?! (Suggestions are welcome, haha).

But one funny thing I did notice is that there are way more girls names available than names for boys. It kind of makes sense because, back in the day, most boys were given family names – the girls were just going to be married off so the parents could enjoy some creativity there – so maybe all those extra decades of creativity have left boys at a bit of a disadvantage now. It’s also funny that girls have been stealing traditionally boys names for a long time (Kelly, Alexis, Taylor, Blake, Reese, Hayden, Drew, Parker, Cameron, Jordan) but it’s pretty much unheard of for the reverse to happen (except maybe Adrian). Totally unfair sexism! (which, by the way, until a male Senator can openly wear a dress to a meeting of Congress, just like a woman can wear a pantsuit, which was also unheard of years ago, I think we’ll always have gender inequality). But am I going to name my little boy Sofia or Zoey? Probably not.

Just things I’m thinking about. Share your thoughts!

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