she's 12

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‘She’s 12’ prompts debate about a child legally changing their name

One Twitter user asked for some parenting advice—which caused an alarming phrase to trend.

Sep 22, 2020, 1:22 pm

Internet Culture

Siobhan Ball 

Siobhan Ball

After seeing “she’s 12” trending on Twitter, a lot of people expected the worst. However, rather than yet another pedophile scandal, the trending phrase turned out to be part of a relatively mild parenting question, one that nevertheless managed to produce some highly polarized views.

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"what the fuck kind of world are we in now when im thanking the gods that "she's 12" doesnt have anything to do with trump or Q anon or some kind of famous person being sick?" screenshot of the trending she's 12 from the Twitter sidebar
@luna_alola
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"when she's 12 is trending on twitter" image of Kirby who is a round pink blob with little round pink hands holding a phone and the caption "Kirby's calling the police"
@WingedOracle
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It really is sad, and scary , when you wake up too “she’s 12” trending and your actually relieved it is not about or connected to your nation’s leader.
@WingedOracle
"She's 12" is trending for normal parenting advice and not some Epstein shit." black and white image of Robert Downey Jr wiping his brow with the caption "thank god"
@Redacted_IGN
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Last night, Twitter user Jason Ernst went to his followers for some parenting advice after his 12-year-old daughter told him she wants to change her name. Apparently unhappy with her unusually spelled given name, Klaire with a K, Ernst’s daughter wants to legally change her name to Ace. Unwilling to go the full legal route but happy to call her Ace as a nickname, Ernst wanted advice on how to get her to accept this compromise, as so far she’s not happy about it.

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My daughter’s name is Klaire, she’s 12. She hates her first name and wants it to be “Ace”. She wants it legally changed. Both her mother and I are against that. I hate it. I said it’d be ok as a nickname but she’s not okay with that. What do I do?
@Geranthrimin

Some people thought he should let her legally change her name. Several Twitter users pointed out that they knew from an even younger age that they wanted to change their names, while others emphasized that even children deserve a degree of personal autonomy and names are a very personal thing.

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"“she’s 12” yeah cut the bullshit 12 year olds are human to and trust me i’ve struggled with my name for my life because i wasn’t allowed the choice not y’all saying that when she’s 18 she can just change it... it’s not like feeling are just gonna magically disappear-..." gif of Spongebob jumping out of a plane
@sgtpepperlem0n
https://twitter.com/Kittycake413/status/1308363126509772800
@sgtpepperlem0n
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"She's 12" is trending thankfully not bc....the reason you'd think  It's bc a parent is unsure if he should respect his daughter's wishes of being called a different name, Ace (which is an awesome name btw)  The way I see it is, a name is a personal thing, and if someone
@loveydoveypup
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doesn't like it then it's none of YOUR business to deny them the right to want a name they want that makes em happy   If she wants to be called Ace, then call her Ace. 3:11 PM · Sep 22, 2020·Twitter for Android
@loveydoveypup
for everyone saying she’s 12: yeah, she is. in a year or two she’ll be in HIGHSCHOOL. you need to start letting her make her own decisions. you should ask her WHY she truly wants to change it, and you should be fully supportive of everything she chooses to do.
@loveydoveypup
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Others took a more authoritarian approach, with some even ridiculing the parent for taking his daughter’s feelings into account. The phrase “you’re the parent” featured fairly strongly.

Is anyone surprised this genius is part of the Resistance? She's 12 and this cuck is considering changing his daughter's name because she wants to. I think these people were hatched on another planet.
@CarmineSabia
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Jason, You gave her the name Klaire which I like. Tell her if she loves Ace she can have others call her that. Right now she’s 12 and when she’s turns 18 she can pay with her own money to change her name. Don’t stress over this you’re the parent. Smiling face with smiling eyes
@travelong6
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So "She's 12" is trending. This could happen to both genders too. I don't like my first name too. But I don't want it to be changed. To people that wants to change your name, don't. Your parents picked that for you. Unless your named after a brand or your name has numbers.
@MarvelistTea
Naming your child is something parents struggle with for at least 9 months.  Their soul, their values, and their hearts went into that choice.  The childs obligations is to honor that.
@MarvelistTea
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One user even blamed parents considering children’s feelings about their own names and identities for the “entitlement issues” we apparently have today.

"Some of the responses I’ve received. This is why we have entitlement issues. Her name is Klaire. She’s 12. Jason is the parent. End of discussion." screenshot of responses including "or he can just accept and respect her because they're their own person" and "Or he could respect his kid. That seems like the easier solution here. Instead of getting Twitter to laugh at it with strangers in the comments."
@travelong6
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Then there were the more measured approaches, advising them to wait a few years before legally changing her name, as teenagers do go through phases, but to call her Ace in everyday life in the meantime.

She's 12 and probably won't like that name in a year or two. If she still wants her name changed at 14-15 then let her. There were things I thought were cool at 12 and in a couple of years I thought they were stupid.
@CyrusVGZ
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Was relieved that "She's 12" was treading for this and not something else... I think it would be best to just address/introduce her as "Ace" and she can legally change her name at 18. If people call her Klaire, correct them in front of her to show that you also support her.
@Djvoicu
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She's 12 and when most of us were around that age, we also hated our names. But then we soon loved our names. So yeah, don't legally change her name and just keep Ace as a nickname. Call her that, tell others to call her that. Lots of people don't go by whats on their certificate
@thatwritechick
My daughter is 11. If this were her, I'd agree that her name would be Ace, and her father and I would call her that all the time. It would be her name, not a nickname. I'd tell her that to get it legally changed, we should wait a few years, just to give her the time to see
@thatwritechick
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And finally, there are those who are just relieved the tag is about something so harmless.

"you can’t fathom the relief i felt when “she’s 12” was trending and it wasn’t pedo shit" image of Troy Barton from Community looking alarmed
@savannahtaffy
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*First Published: Sep 22, 2020, 1:22 pm