A Rose By Any Other Name

We chose our daughter’s name, for many reasons.  I like flower names, and her name is based on a flower.  It’s pretty.  It’s unique, but not bizarre.  But the main reason we chose her name: we wanted to encourage her.

She was named after Rosalind Franklin .  Rosalind Franklin was a biophysicist whose work helped determine the structure of DNA- one of the most important findings of modern molecular biology.

Impressive, no?

To those who remember high school biology, the structure of DNA was not discovered by a woman.  It was discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick, two men.  While allegations of sexism run rampant, that’s whole ‘nother post.  What matters to me, right now, is that Rosalyn live up to her namesake.  Here’s how:

1.  Do what you love.  Yes, little girl, you were named after scientists, and yes, Momma is a scientist.  But you don’t need to be constrained by anything- your name, your sex, your socioeconomic status.  If you grow-up and decide you want to be a professional wrestler, go for it!

2. It’s not all about fame and fortune.  Rosalind Franklin was not appreciated in her time as she should have been.  Now, in the enlightened era, she is given much more credit, at least in the science circles, with universities and the like being named after her.  But there are so many other measures of success, the biggest being overall happiness (see #1).

3.  Your gender is NOT something you should let hold you back.  It is absolutely, positively, 100% NOT an acceptable reason to abandon your dreams.  My parents taught me this lesson, and I’m teaching you.  Don’t believe sitcoms- you don’t need to stay at home and put up with a chauvinistic husband.  You’re certainly welcome to- but your ovaries don’t make it mandatory.


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