Last week, reading Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, first published 202 years ago, I encountered the following passage about the heroine Catherine’s sister Sally.
“Sally, or rather Sarah (for what young lady of common gentility will reach the age of sixteen without altering her name as far as she can)…”
The following day I received an email from my 12 year old daughter and noted at the top she now has a new name. This got me thinking.
I have numerous daughters, plus have (and still do) employ large numbers of young women, all mildly deranged and again, many, adopting usually rather silly names in lieu of the perfectly good ones on their birth certificates.
Given Jane Austen wrote of this phenomenon two centuries back, plainly it’s something genetical and thus ageless in the female make-up. The question is why?
Wearing my pop psychologist’s hat I suggest it’s the female equivalent of the male loser’s badge of tattoos, now regrettably the mark of underclass females as well.
Tattoos were always explicable. They were the domain of anyone in a group where any individuality was nullified by enforced regimentation. Thus they were characteristic of soldiers, sailors and incarcerated criminals, trying to create an identity in lieu of a number.
Their fashionable reemergence in the Western world in recent years has occurred hand in hand with wokeism and the regimentation of everyone’s thinking.
Both the female name-changing and male tattooing are failed unthinking cri de coeurs of “look at me; I’m different”, which of course, by their very imitative nature, sends a clear opposite message, as in their adherence to a group behavior mentality, they’re anything but.
Finally, before anyone writes, the situation is not always analogous to say Robert becoming Bob or Edward becoming Ted. For example, I was named Robert and addressed as Bob from the outset.
I tend to agree. I personally wanted to be called Annabelle rather than the dull ‘Anna’ which was prescribed by my mother, who as a school teacher thought this name was practical. To make up for the lack of excitement in my first name I was appointed a strippers middle name – ‘Rochelle’. However, you tend to forget the underlying need of men(boys) to give each other stupid, unnecessary variations of their first or last name. Or perhaps a name that means nothing like ‘Cheese’ when they reach adolescence. For example your own son, can be often called Christo or Christ (the latter being self appointed).
Yes agreed. The tendancy of the (first) world is increasingly to become a less diverse place, which is a great shame. A homogenous culture is fairly dull. However it does allow for a grin at those people who all do the same thing assuming it makes them different a-la people with asian character tattoos. There is an excellent website devoted to these tattoos, many of which are plainly put on by a tattooist who is having some fun at the victims expense. I am also reminded of the excellent part in “Life of Brian” with Spike Milligan. “You are all individuals” ” Crowd-“We are all individuals”…Spike “I’m not” …
Agree entirely on your thoughts on tattoos, simply the domain of dumb animals.
Had a friend with the given name Desley, in her late teens she decided that was a bit dull so had it legally changed to Deslé. Apparently it’s pronounced the same but we all called her Diesel. Don’t try and bullshit your mates.
reminds me of when I once worked with Lesley, Leslie & Desley!
Ha ha excellent observation Sir Bob. The whole country is now “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME , I’M VERY SPECIAL”. Its so pathetic and really is the antithesis of where this country came from. The humble Joe/Jill average, (just my opinion, don’t be “O”ffended the more precious anti establishers) tended to be reserved and quietly confident.
There has been an explosion of male “shit on skin” displaying individuality, while (i could be wrong if anybody can confirm) female have since the dawn of time, been known to alter their speech patterns when in groups. Ie the accent becomes clipped and what we’d described as more perfect in pronunciation. This being their way to display individual superiority. The now woke way to do this is to use token Maori, whilst sipping your latte or chardonnay.
I can’t bear this bullshit behaviour and seems to be most rampant amongst the left with their social engineering and lack of practical experience.
Classic example of REAL individuality (for me) would be a Maori NCO in the army who happened to be quiet, reserved, spoke clearly when needed, did not stand for bullshit and lead by example. Ignoring others stupidity. A real leader and somebody to respect.
Regimental tattoo hidden and justified as a badge of honour.
In my limited experience with NCOs, finding a quiet one of any gender, race or cultural background is as hard as doing your bed properly on the day of basic.
…have you thought about joining the Labour party ?
Wherever I see a nasty tattoo crawling over a womens arm or neck, etc, all I see in my minds eye is someone who probably injects themselves with something illegal to get high.
More than 35 years ago, the female Public Servant who signed my letter of employment had the first name Duanette. Clearly her suburban parents were expecting a Duane and had to make a quick decision when signing the form for her birth certificate thus stigmatising her for life.
As in the past individuality was and is frowned upon. Encouragement is given to adopt the popular belief. Most 16 year old’s will steer towards fashionable, popular, individual uniformity. Adolescents aspire and desire to differentiate, from their child identity.
That brings up Jane Austin’s observation of 200 years ago. Girls and boys want to be cool, attractive, different, so the idea today, is body tattoo, nicknames, more trendy names. Similar, to what happened 50 years ago, punk, glam, goth, fit, vice. All that was aimed at attraction, social acceptance, and belonging to a group. Be it a small group.
“Male loser’s badge of tattoos, now regrettably the mark of underclass females as well.”
Bob, you’re wrong about these women being underclass. We live in a classless utopia!
Chicks with tats?
Ok, before I get lambasted with the feminist squeal. Not forsaking traditional female tattoos. Is this relatively recent phenomenon, an attempt at wanting masculine attraction attributes? Inversely, men who pierce, man bag, wear makeup wanting feminine attraction attributes?
Fast forward to today, we have the same ageless genetic makeup at play. By default, commoners desire for attraction, recognition, and status. Be it via, name change, mop of red hair, tattoos, body piercings, pink footy boots, body shape, weird clothe etc.
The sooner, we adopt a uniform, classless society, the better. Oh, that’s already been tried, and failed.
Gangs use tattoos as a form of self mutilation to ensure that members will be seen as pariahs by outsiders and so be forced to maintain fidelity with the group lest they be ostracised by all. A bit like nutty religions force conspicuous clothing and weird behaviours upon their adherents to ensure that they are off-putting to outsiders and so less likely form limited associations outside of their ‘tribe’.
Seeing the tattooed human skin lampshades in a holocaust museum put me off them for life.
Just for the record—sailors’ tattoos were their version of a CV. A sailor, looking at another sailor’s tattoos, would know how experienced the other man was. For example, a full-rigged sailing ship under sail meant that that sailor had rounded Cape Horn successfully.