Perhaps sick of attending christenings for Hashtag, Messiah and Nutter, this country has instated a ‘name police’ to keep things nice…
Names. We all have them, and we all certainly have opinions of them.
Every day it seems there’s a new wacky baby name making headlines – whether it’s Hashtag, Messiah or Krimson Tyde (yep, these are all real examples from the past two years). Sometimes they’re accidentally unfortunate, like the mum who named her daughter Mia Nutter; yet other times you have to wonder what parents were thinking as they filled in their baby’s birth certificate, especially when their chosen names verge on being offensive or cruel.
Here in Australia there are no official limitations on what parents name their children – but that’s not the case in Mexico. A new law in the northern state of Sonora bans parents from registering baby names deemed “derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning”. So far, there are 61 names on the no-go list, which the civil registry pulled together after revising names registered at least once in the past.
So, according to this new law, mums and dads in Sonora can no longer name their babies Harry Potter, Hitler, James Bond, Robocop, Email, or the Spanish words for scrotum, circumcision and virgin. Lady Di is also a big no-no, which probably comes as a great disappointment to local Royal Family enthusiasts. The list will be updated every few months as new names come to light.
"The objective of the list is to protect children from being bullied because of their name," the director of the civil registry, Cristina Ramírez, explains to the Guardian. "We know that bullying can seriously affect a child's personality and the development of social skills, and we want to do what we can from our area of responsibility."
She's got a point there - and for that reason you can see why naming a child Hitler, or scrotum, is a very, very bad idea. (Seriously, don't name your child Hitler.)
But names like Hermione, which would be perfectly ordinary if it weren't for the popularity of the Harry Potter series, are also on the list. Who can say for sure that Hermiones everywhere will be bullied for their names? As we all know, bullying can happen to any child regardless of how 'unique' their name is.
There's also the question of whether it's fair for a third party to have the final say on a parent's naming decisions. Some unusual or 'weird' names come about as a tribute to family members or heritage, and aren't intended to make the child a target of ridicule. And exactly how far will this policing go? Who decides what is and isn't derogatory?
However, Ramirez refutes this line of argument. "Some people are saying were are attacking the liberty of parents. We think these names attack the superior interests of the child," she insists.
What do you think? Is name policing a good idea, or an unfair attack on parents?
Here are some pics of celeb babies with names that probably could have done with a bit of policing...