'So you can't tell if my child is a boy or a girl? Good.'

So unisex names are the big trend for 2015 – at least, in America. Celebrities are leading the way, happily bending genders when naming their kids. Think Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis' daughter Wyatt, and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' daughter James.

But it's a trend that has its haters. The comments section in any post about unisex names makes that obvious: "That poor kid! They’ll get teased in the schoolyard!"

There seem to be a lot of people – older people, in particular – who are really bothered by the idea that they won’t be able to tell whether a child is a boy or a girl by seeing their name.

Watch: Ryan Reynolds discusses why he and wife, Blake Lively decided to call their daughter James. Post continues after video.

Video via Good Morning Britain.

Well, as the mum of a child with a unisex name – who, incidentally, has never been teased about it – I would ask: why does it matter to you whether my child is a boy or a girl? So you can tell them they’re pretty if they’re a girl, and strong if they’re a boy? So you know whether to hand them a box of Lego or a set of pots and pans to play with? Why not just ask them what they’d prefer and let them choose?

For me, giving my child a unisex name was something very deliberate. It was my way of saying to this baby that I was going to let them be whoever they wanted to be. I wasn’t going to bring them up any differently whether they were a boy or a girl.

When my kids were preschoolers, they were often mistaken for the other gender when I took them out. That's understandable because they both had short hair and wore jeans everywhere. People were always so deeply apologetic when they called my daughter a boy or my son a girl. But it didn't bother me in the slightest. Why should anyone even care whether a three-year-old is a boy or a girl?


I thought it was kind of cool when people got the gender of my kids wrong. I like to think it protected them from some of the more extreme sexism.

I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking her value as a person depends on how pretty she is. I don't want my son to grow up thinking that he has to be tough and strong and not show his emotions.

I don't want my children to think there are boys' toys and girls' toys, boys' subjects and girls' subjects, men's jobs and women's (lower-paid) jobs. I want them to choose the toys and subjects and jobs that they really love.

I want to do my tiny bit to chip away at that glass ceiling.

I know I'm not alone here. Model Robyn Lawley seemed to have the same thoughts running through her head when she named her baby daughter Ripley in February. Lawley says she's planning to give Ripley unisex toys and clothes.

"I think we separate the genders too greatly by the toys and hobbies," she told Brands Exclusive magazine.

Some experts are claiming that the trend towards unisex names in America is part of a larger cultural shift. Parents picking these names don't want their kids to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes. I hope that's true.

So don't feel sorry for kids with unisex names. Maybe just think about why it matters so much to some people to know whether a child is a boy or a girl.

What do you think of the unisex names trend?

Feature Image: Mamamia.