Why Assuming The Gender Of Rumi & Sir's Names Is Just Not OK
Back in February, Beyoncé announced that she was pregnant with twins and immediately sparked a firestorm of curiosity — one that has not abated with time — from the public. Beyoncé and her husband, JAY-Z, haven't shared details of the twins' reported birth, genders, or names yet, but the couple recently filed trademark documents for the names Rumi Carter and Sir Carter, leading people to believe they now know the twins' names. Most people are also assuming that Rumi is a girl and Sir is a boy — but assuming the gender of Rumi and Sir's names before Beyoncé has shared more information is just not OK.
First of all, the most famous bearer of the name Rumi was a (male) Persian poet who was born in 1207 C.E. and whose work still sells surprisingly well today — he continues to be the best-selling poet in the United States, despite his death several hundred years ago. According to Nameberry, the name is also a Japanese name for girls that means "beauty, flow, lapis lazuli." So Rumi is a name that could really belong to either gender, depending on how a parent feels the name fits.
The next to thing to consider is the name Sir. It's usually used as a title given out to people of high esteem or knights, so most people are assuming the name would be given to a boy. But think of Ella Yelich-O'Connor, the musician who chose "Lorde" as her stage name, despite lords typically being, you know, male.
"I basically chose Lorde because I wanted a name that was really strong and had this grandeur to it. I didn't feel that my birth name was anything special," Lorde told ABC News in 2014. "I always liked the idea of having, like, a one-named alias."
Beyoncé has been a feminist for a long while (with badass ballads like Run The World (Girls) and Flawless to her name) and naming her daughter "Sir" would instantly reclaim a traditionally male title — a pretty powerful move. Naming her son after a poet, as well, when poetry is often associated with women and emotions, would be just as feminist.
And who knows? Beyoncé and JAY-Z haven't even confirmed the genders of the Carter twins yet, so people might be getting ahead of themselves by assigning names to an assumed boy and girl. Rumi and Sir could be two girls, two boys, or any combination otherwise — and until Beyoncé decides to let us in on her babies' names and genders, it's all rather sexist speculation.