Here you will see only the simple black and white of the word on the page, providing a moment of peace and quiet, free from distractions, as you ponder the questions and ideas presented here, including those of your own name and sense of identity. In Women, Their Names, & The Stories They Tell, women discuss everything from our oldest naming traditions to the newest naming trends. Their stories provide the keys to a multifaceted sense of identity. What are the psychological implications of names while we are growing up and once we are adults? What about associations to family, race, culture, history, and religion? How do the younger generations think about names and identity? Can our oldest naming traditions guide us as we enter the rapidly changing world of the 21st century? The essayists take us through the different phases of life and provide us with new ways of looking at the world based on diverse cultures and religions. They enrich our understanding of identity and the world we live in. Reading their essays, you will experience the wonderful diversity of mankind and how much we have to offer one another. These women have changed my life. Reading Women, Their Names, & The Stories They Tell, will also change you: you will have a more fulfilling sense of self, new ways of relating to others, and new knowledge in a vast array of topics. Women make this complex knowledge accessible by putting it in everyday stories we can all understand and relate to—stories that are reassuringly familiar or completely unexpected.
Because everyone has a different story with unique insights, I invite women to continue talking about their given names on this website. Reading Women, Their Names, and the Stories They Tell will help inspire you and guide you as you write your own story. The essays vary in length from a few sentences to one or two pages. Women and girls of all ages are invited to share their stories. Younger generations are growing up in a very different internet age, which has enormous implications for their sense of identity. I would also like to open up the conversation to men. To read some of the name stories, simply click on “Names” at the top of the page. To tell your own story, click on “Your Name” at the top of the page and follow the instructions. Your last name is not necessary. Any additional information you can give about your culture, religion, age, or what part of the country you come from would also be especially helpful, although not necessary. You can also post comments—all in our efforts to help one another along life’s path. Your essays and comments will appear after I’ve read them. Thank you for continuing the discussion.
Elisabeth Waugaman, Ph.D.
I have a B.A. from Newcomb College of Tulane University and a Ph.D. from Duke University. My first book, released in 2006, was “Follow Your Dreams: The Story of Alberto Santos-Dumont.” All my royalties went to the Brazil Foundation to help children in Brazil. Twenty-five percent of royalties from Women, Their Names, and The Stories They Tell will go to help women and children in the U.S. and twenty-five percent will go to help women and children abroad.