Most countries have some kind of regulation that allows parents to give their children nontraditional and even unusual names, short of actually using offensive words and/or numbers as given names.
But children grow, and as one Gypsy Robinson of Ireland’s County Longford is finding out – her name that was once probably quite rare and nothing much more than that, has 17 years later become a full-blown ethnic slur, according to Facebook. This is thanks to the strides that political correctness has been making in the language realm.
The Irish Post has a report about Robinson’s troubles with Facebook, who have deactivated her account saying she used a fake name and thus violated the social media giant’s “community standards.” And she was advised to create another account, this time using her middle name.
Playing ball with Facebook all the way to sending them her birth certificate “and other forms of identification” didn’t help matters, and now the girl’s mother, Hazel Robinson, suspects that the company knows Gypsy is her daughter’s real name – but rejects it for reasons of political correctness “going crazy.”
“Her old account is gone for nearly two years now and we can’t get a response from Facebook. We can’t even get a human to talk to us. It’s all automated. And because it’s such a huge company, you would think there’d be some sort of steps to take to get talking to someone.
“My daughter’s name is Gypsy Robinson. Everybody knows her as Gypsy. It’s on her passport, it’s on her birth cert, it’s her actual name,” Ms Robinson said.
“Why is she getting singled out? I don’t understand, I really don’t understand. And why is her name against their community policies?
The woman also explained that she named the child believing the word to mean “wanderer.”
Before she was named, Gypsy had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and was “forced to travel to a variety of different hospitals for treatment and checkup immediately.”
The mother said she thought that given the circumstances and the meaning of the word, “it was an apt name to give to her daughter.”
Meanwhile, the lives of the Romani people – previously often known as Gypsies – for the most part continue to be a tale of poverty and discrimination in Europe, perpetuated well into this declaratively “woke” age.
Various countries of the European Union randomly revoke the rights of the Romani that non-Romani citizens enjoy – such as free movement and the right to work anywhere inside the bloc. But if it’s of any solace, their “new” name is well protected.
As for the Irish teen who struggles online with her name, there are two solutions to this problem: get Facebook to stop enforcing over-the-top and unreasonable political correctness policing of people and content on its platform – or, stop using Facebook.
But the latter may not be as easy an option for everybody as it may appear, as Hazel Robinson told the Irish Post that “due to her daughter’s condition, and the possibility that she may pass away at a young age, losing many of the photos and memories stored on Gypsy’s Facebook page would be a tragedy.”