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Thread: Why is "Junior" almost always a Father and Son thing?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Why is "Junior" almost always a Father and Son thing?

    Quote Originally posted by Downtown
    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I mean, why not load up on trail mix, beef jerkey and whiskey instead?
    Maister Jr. must be a much better eater than my kids.
    [from this thread:http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25934]
    The nonchalance with which Downtown used the word "Jr." in reference to the offspring of Maister [of the male gender as far as we know], prompted me to notice that it is almost exclusively an appellation given to sons to mirror their father. Does anyone know of any women who are called "junior" after their mother's name? I doubt anyone does. This may seem like so much semantic minutiae to the casual observer, but to me it is yet another instance of where the insidious conformity of gender roles rear their ugly head. Nothing says "Be like dad" like giving your son the same name as you. Without researching this [beyond a link or two], it is quite obviously an archaic tradition that harks back to feudal primogeniture whose patriarchal structure still shapes our modern society. This also relates to the tradition of females taking the last name of their husband (but that is a thread of it's own).

    So while we profess to uphold the notion that females are the equal of males, little cultural traditions like naming sons after their father - hence "junior" reinforce the notion that it is the man who must be the primary breadwinner and who in turn is the prime decision maker in a family. Personally, I would like to see more mothers asserting their right to name their daughters after themselves such as Mary jr., Lisa III or Natalia IV etc. or else stop this ridiculous male only tradition. Doing so would be a step in the right direction for empowering girls to become women, and to liberate men to be "human beings", rather than just "human doings". What do other Cyburbians think?
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  2. #2
    In the Danish tradition, daughters were always "(name)dattir" (or in Greenland and Iceland "dottir"), so Inge's daughter would be Mia Ingesdattir. On the male side, "(name)sen" would be the equivalent, so Jen's son would be Hans Jensen. Obviously, only the male form survives in any signficance, probably because of the unwieldiness of it.

    Mary Jones, Jr, would presumably someday become Mary Smith. What to do with the "Jr." appellation, then?

  3. #3
          Downtown's avatar
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    My DH is a Mr. Downtown, Jr. And really wanted Jack to be a Third, and I kiboshed it. Too damn confusing, as my FIL is here every other day, and having a Bob, Rob and Little Bobby (yes - that was my husband's monniker of choice for the Third ) would have been ridiculous.

    DH's grandmother named her daughter after herself - We have Grammy Dottie and Aunt Dollie. But notice we don't call her Aunt Junior.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    It's my sophomore year of high school and I just made a new friend Vinny. I call him up one day and his mom answers the phone, "I say Hi Mrs. Widmier I'm Jeff can I speak with Vinny" to which she answers, "Junior or Senior". I, being totally clueless reply, "no Sophomore".

    To this day my mom still calls him Vinny the Sophomore.
    @GigCityPlanner

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Tide
    Vinny the Sophomore
    You're in New Jersey, right? That would be a great name for a mob boss' lieutenant.

    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    If I have a daughter, my maiden name will become her first name. That's as close to "Junior" as she's getting.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Family friend was a Jr. but everybody called him Demi.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    This may seem like so much semantic minutiae to the casual observer, but to me it is yet another instance of where the insidious conformity of gender roles rear their ugly head.
    Just begging the question, but what is so insidious about gender role conformity? Is your vision of a perfect world on the side of ubiquitious androgyny?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Women don't have the ego thing about naming their kids (face it guys, it's an ego thing...). Or maybe women just don't want to foist an icky or old-fashioned name on their kids. Altho' I do share my mom's middle name.

    Until my dad died, we had 3 Randys in the family: my dad, my brother, my brother's son. My brother's name was not the same first and middle as my dad's so he wasn't a junior, but brother's son is a junior.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    If I have a daughter, my maiden name will become her first name. That's as close to "Junior" as she's getting.
    Glad to hear it. But you might find some need for distinguishing the two of you such as ella and Planderella or something.
    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    Just begging the question, but what is so insidious about gender role conformity? Is your vision of a perfect world on the side of ubiquitious androgyny?
    The alternative to gender role conformity need not be androgyny - not that's there's anything wrong with that. The similarities between the sexes far outweight the extent of their differences. Gender roles reinforce the notion that the opposite of a woman is a man, in the same way that up is the opposite of down. But such is not nearly the divergence between man and woman. Humans are among the least sexually dimorphic species of primate. The names, titles, appellations, monikers and such that we use to refer to men and women, can condition certain behavior patterns and are indicative of differential expectations. By using the surname of the husband, the wife and children cannot avoid being construed as "his" property who add to and draw from the status of "his" great lineage. The status and economic clout of the wife are thus reinforced as being quite inconsequential to that with whom they are able to attach themselves to - like a parasite, in marriage. So when we extend this patrilinialism of the surname to first names, it only adds to the expectation that a man is nothing aside from his status, and that the female can only obtain status through marriage to a man.

    I want to live in a world where the expectation to provide resources through work and the freedom to cry is equally shared by both sexes. Sadly, numerous cultural traditions such as those relating to marriage, naming of offspring, and unequal gender based dress codes still weigh us down in all denial of a world in which being a mature adult requires at least some integration of both masculine and feminine qualities in every individual. Most of us think nothing of these anachronisms but a little knowledge of social history reveals them to be the trappings of a world where women were just baby factories. Knowing the past frees one to keep what is beneficial and discard what is obsolete. Too often, we forget to throw out the bathwater from what we have long since aborted as a culture.
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    Women don't have the ego thing about naming their kids (face it guys, it's an ego thing...). Or maybe women just don't want to foist an icky or old-fashioned name on their kids. Altho' I do share my mom's middle name.
    Very good point ZG. IMO, It is a sign of men's insecurity which stems from the greater pressure they feel to obtain status and financial success in the world. Saddled as they often are with childcare, women can't afford to be so caught up in regarding their kids as memorials of their own glory. When your life becomes preoccupied with childrearing, your self is forced to live vicariously through the children.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    [ Does anyone know of any women who are called "junior" after their mother's name?
    The only one that comes to mind is the mother/daughter combo by the name of Anne Putnam. The Putnam family were part of the group of early settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who settled in Salem Village. (now known as Danvers.)
    The eldest daughter was named Anne after her mother and was referred to as Anne Putnam Junior to differentiate.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    I want to live in a world where the expectation to provide resources through work and the freedom to cry is equally shared by both sexes.
    So you come on this message board and preach to us? I'm not saying what you post is wrong, I'm just saying that it would probably sound better if you told us about the things you do to make the world reflect your personal vision instead of all these long-winded posts in which you tell us what is wrong with the world. Stop talking and start doing!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I occasionally get credit card offers for "Michele Zone Junior" or phone calls wanting to know if "Michele Zone Junior" is there. This always proves to me that a) they bought my name off a list and b) they are morons. I have been known to tell them "There is no one by that name, since Zone is my married name, not my maiden name, so my mom couldn't possibly have named me after her since no one by the name Michele Zone existed until I got married."

    Not that the sales people appreciate such humor.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Methinks that if I could have another dotter-child I would call her "Juniorette".



    Just kidding, "birthday person".



    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    ...I want to live in a world where the expectation to provide resources through work and the freedom to cry is equally shared by both sexes....
    But women have babies. There is no getting around that fact and there is no getting around the fact that women are the primary caregivers in every culture no matter how modern. That's not justifying unequal pay or treatment of women, but it does put often more of the burden on men to be the earners in the family. Is there really anything wrong with the arrangement of "you cook the meals and I fix the roof" if that's where people's skills and/or interests lie? As far as men being wage slaves, there are a lot of deadbeat guys out there who don't put any effort into providing resources for the babies they create or the women they knock up.


    My wife is sort of a "junior." She goes by the same first name as her mother (even though her mother is known by her middle name).

    Maybe I am blinded by an oppressive, paternalistic ideology but I don't see the harm in naming a boy "junior." Not every little cultural thing should be criticized to the point of elimination.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Downtown
    My DH is a Mr. Downtown, Jr. And really wanted Jack to be a Third, and I kiboshed it. Too damn confusing, as my FIL is here every other day, and having a Bob, Rob and Little Bobby (yes - that was my husband's monniker of choice for the Third ) would have been ridiculous.

    DH's grandmother named her daughter after herself - We have Grammy Dottie and Aunt Dollie. But notice we don't call her Aunt Junior.
    I'm a junior and am also a Rob. My dad goes by Bob, but there will not be a third Robert in my family either. Being a junior has been a pain at times- screwy credit reports, getting the wrong mail, etc. It would be nicer to give a child their own name, I think.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Just from my own personal world, it would appear to me that the tradition of naming sons after their fathers is decreasing in frequency. I think it may have something to do with women asserting their ideas about the names of their sons. Traditionally, the man named his sons and the woman named her daughters, but I think this is slowly ending. You should be able to rest better tonight dobopoq
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    So you come on this message board and preach to us? I'm not saying what you post is wrong, I'm just saying that it would probably sound better if you told us about the things you do to make the world reflect your personal vision instead of all these long-winded posts in which you tell us what is wrong with the world. Stop talking and start doing!
    Well, I'm not going to knock a woman up and let her name the baby after herself just so I can say I'm balancing out the "junior" equation. Einstein said that Gandhi taught us that nonparticipation in that which you believe is evil, to be the most moral way of walking your talk.
    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    ...I want to live in a world where the expectation to provide resources through work and the freedom to cry is equally shared by both sexes....
    But women have babies. There is no getting around that fact and there is no getting around the fact that women are the primary caregivers in every culture no matter how modern. That's not justifying unequal pay or treatment of women, but it does put often more of the burden on men to be the earners in the family. Is there really anything wrong with the arrangement of "you cook the meals and I fix the roof" if that's where people's skills and/or interests lie?
    Among the Kalahari Bushmen, it is females who contribute the lionshare of economic sustenance. The females collect mostly root vegetables for perhaps 4 hours a day. Meanwhile the males go hunting - occaisionally bringing back the carcass of a large game animal and everyone feasts, but most of the time they come back with little or nothing. In their culture, unburdened by the need to make money for a suit or a car or pay a mortgage etc., foodgathering is their economy.

    Just because a woman's mobility is restricted for the last trimester of pregnancy is no reason that chivalry should dictate the tone of all relations between the sexes. To an extent, getting paid equal to men is something beyond most women's control, but when they insist upon being treated "like a lady" and being bribed with with gifts and freebies as enticements for gaining the privilege of their company, they are directly undermining the notion that they deserve equality with men as beings who pull their own weight. Women can't have it both ways. Any expectation that a woman has for a man's earning power to exceed a man's expectation of hers, immediately casts her intentions for true equality with men as insincere.

    Furthermore, it is complete falsehood for girls and boys to be educated by predominantly female teachers under the presumption that they will be treated equally as adults. If we have anything worthwhile to teach boys it would be that education is just a series of games through which insignias are awarded that will allow you to earn enough money to be granted access to the precious beauty of females. What we teach kids, aspires to something more perfect than what we practice - I'm afraid. We can teach kids about the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, but we don't mention that Tyrone and Keisha are bussed in from one one neighborhood, while Bob and Mary are bussed in from another. We teach kids about the chemistry of how a lump of carbon becomes diamond, but we don't mention that little Johhny came about because daddy sacrificed several months of his life slaving for a lump of carbon that granted him access to mommy's squeeze box. Such truths might offend the parents of the kids to whom they are taught.
    Quote Originally posted by btrage
    Just from my own personal world, it would appear to me that the tradition of naming sons after their fathers is decreasing in frequency.
    Yes, this does seem to be the case thankfully.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  19. #19
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    My brother is the third. We call him Trey.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Originall posted by dobopoq

    We teach kids about the chemistry of how a lump of carbon becomes diamond, but we don't mention that little Johhny came about because daddy sacrificed several months of his life slaving for a lump of carbon that granted him access to mommy's squeeze box.
    The smart man gets access to the "squeeze box" before he buys the lump of carbon.

    Again, you make it sound as if most women only want money. Its not the money per se they want. It is the security that it provides. It is a natural drive for a woman to want security for her potential children. Why can't you understand this basic concept of human and animal nature?
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    My brother is the third. We call him Trey.
    That's a good Southernism - Trey or Trip for a third generation of a name.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  22. #22
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage
    The smart man gets access to the "squeeze box" before he buys the lump of carbon.

    Again, you make it sound as if most women only want money. Its not the money per se they want. It is the security that it provides. It is a natural drive for a woman to want security for her potential children. Why can't you understand this basic concept of human and animal nature?
    Then why don't we have the balls to teach this as the truth of the relation between the sexes? [Not that I'm saying that I agree that this is the truth or how it should be.] We condition it subconsciously through advertising, but boys and girls are fed the same info in school as if they are the same crop. We don't tell boys the information that would most help them to be happy. The more willing a boy is to compromise his morals and politics for the sake of the almighty dollar - and or be a competitive opportunistic person, the more power he will have to select the mate of his dreams. Because most grade school teachers are females and thus do not have to bear the brunt of such realities, boys are rarely being taught the information that would be most beneficial to their becoming happy, well-adjusted adults.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  23. #23
    My son's middle name is my first name. I felt it was a good way to continue on the legend but at the same giving him his own identity.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Because most grade school teachers are females and thus do not have to bear the brunt of such realities, boys are rarely being taught the information that would be most beneficial to their becoming happy, well-adjusted adults.
    Historically, "Liberal Arts" was called that because it was FREEING for the individual (ie EMPOWERING). I am a big believer in a humanities education and based the education of my homeschooled sons largely on such principles. Nor is it too late for you to get such an education if you still feel you are lacking such knowledge.


    Back on topic: I would guess that "junior" is a male thing for the same reason that small kids tend to look more like daddy than like mommy: If I gave birth to the kid, I know for a fact that I am the mom even if I slept with so many men that there isn't a snow-balls chance in hell of EVER figuring who the daddy is. But dad needs reassurance that it's his kid or he might leave rather than pay the cost of raising some other man's child.

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