Saturday, 6 July 2013

What's In a Name?

So I couldn’t resist rising to the bait and throwing in my two pennies worth on the recent comments made by the former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins on why she won't allow her children to play with certain friends.

For those of you who haven’t seen it this was a feature on This Morning...

The discussion was whether parents should judge a child (or that child’s parents) according to their first name and Katie proudly divulged that she screens her children's friends on the basis of their names not permitting them to play with the likes of a ‘Tyler’ or ‘Charmaine’ (her examples, not mine!) as these children would clearly be from a lower class family and therefore this would be reflected negatively in their behaviour.

Her bizarre rant went on to suggest children with certain names don’t do homework, have bad manners and are generally little blighters in the making! She did however treat us to a terrific gaff when she stated that she hated names based on geography only for Mr Schofield to point out her own daughter is called India – priceless!

I could go on and describe every ridiculous, attention grabbing and moronic statement she made but it’s probably better to watch the clip for yourself.

So what do I think?

Essentially this was a class rant (from a woman who appeared on the reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and found herself in the papers for, ahem ‘cavorting’ with a man who wasn’t her husband in a field, a tad ironic?). Katie can dress it up as she chooses but she was essentially saying her children would not be allowed to spend time with any child she considered to be of a lower social standing than herself.

I could to-and-fro for hours about whether she is right, wrong or just simply publicity hungry, but my underlying feeling was one of sadness for how this ill judged attempt at getting her face back on TV / guiding her children through life (delete as you wish) is denying them the opportunity to make friends – real and true friends.

What a shame her children won't be able to enjoy nurturing true friendships with people they will love and trust for the duration of their childhood and possibly even adult lives. She is denying them the wonderful opportunity to make friends in a way which arguably only children can, based on absolutely nothing more than how one person feels about another – a child’s friendship isn’t confused by gender, class, money or in fact any outside social influences and that’s where it’s beauty lies. Whether we want to admit it or not, adult decisions are repeatedly affected by outside influences, consciously or subconsciously, maybe we could all learn a little from our crazy toddlers.

Her comments have however made me consider whether we are all a little guilty of making judgements when hearing someone’s name – do we judge a book by it’s title? – Perhaps a blog for another day!


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