Here’s a headline which stopped me in my tracks:
Princess Michael of Kent IS still expected to attend Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding – following controversial claims she named her two black sheep Venus and Serena
Here’s my question, and it has nothing to do with wedding invitations: are Venus and Serena Williams Black? If so, who could possibly object to someone naming their (black) pets after two well-known Black athletes?
The latter question is rhetorical, or rather, it should be. The sad fact is that in today’s hyper-sensitive world, the simple act of naming one’s pet after someone may be sufficient cause for social ostracism. I could perhaps understand the opprobrium if said Princess had called her two black sheep “Nigger” and “Jigaboo” because Black people seem intent on giving other people the power to offend them by using outdated epithets — but this wasn’t the case, here.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that I once owned a pitch-black cat whom I named “Othello”, and another cat whom I named “Rhona Barrett” because she had a big nose and, duh, the names were appropriate. I also had a snow-white cat named “Pig-Pen” because he was always rolling in the dirt and looked scruffy, and once had two ginger cats named “Rusty” and “Ginger” — and in today’s world, if I’d named them “Harry” and “Carrot-Top” I’d probably be accused of a hate crime towards redheads. I’ve never owned a Siamese cat, but if I did and called him “Chop Suey” or something like that, no doubt there’d be calls for my crucifixion (despite my atheism).
And returning to the Princess above: I can think of many words to describe the Williams sisters, but I have to say that “sheep-like” is not one of them. To anyone who’s ever watched them demolish their hapless opponents on the tennis court, “wolf-like” would be more appropriate — unless by making a lupine allusion, I’d be guilty of denigrating their femininity somehow.
Do you see how stupid this all is? And FFS: can’t we all just lighten up a little?
I’m unlikely ever to own a pet again; but if I do, I’m almost certainly going to name it something offensive, just because. Animal types and suggested names in Comments, please. (The more offensive, the better.)