“Alexa, can you change my name?”
Karen isn’t the only appellation facing stigma in the year 2021. Parents of a UK teen named “Alexa” have changed her name and moved her to a new school after she was bullied mercilessly over its association with Amazon’s digital assistant.
Alexa’s mom Heather (not her real name) dropped the bombshell on the “The Jeremy Vine Show,” in a segment discussing how girls named Alexa endure increased harassment as the E-bazaar’s helper becomes ubiquitous worldwide, the BBC reported.
“She’s in a much better place now,” he frustrated mother told the outlet of her daughter, who started getting targeted over her moniker in high school.
“She started to not want to introduce herself because of the jokes and the backlash,” said the beleaguered parent, adding that even teachers “thought it was OK to make a joke of her.”
Her complaints reportedly fell on deaf ears as the “school was unhelpful and told her she needed to build resilience,” Heather said. The harassment eventually started taking a toll on Alexa’s mental health.
In order to rescue her daughter from relentless ridicule, the desperate guardian decided to legally change her name.
“We have cut off friends and moved her to a new school to allow a fresh start,” said the mom. Despite the witness protection-esque measure, “the injustice will never leave her, or us,” said the regretful mother.
Her progeny’s not the only Alexa to be tormented over her title in the UK, where more than 4,000 people under 25 bear the appellation.
Charlotte (not her real name) says her daughter is only six, but is already getting teased so badly that she wished people didn’t know her name, BBC reported.
The unfortunate trend is also happening on this side of the pond, prompting one Alexa parent named Lauren Johnson to start a campaign for people with the name. Dubbed “Alexa is a human,” it advocates “for children, women, and families who have been impacted by the use of the human name Alexa.”
“The word Alexa has become synonymous with servant or slave,” Johnson said. “It gives people a license to treat people with the name Alexa in a subservient manner.”
In accordance, some parents feel it’s time for Amazon to change their device’s name to something less human-sounding. Heather insisted, “Amazon must change the default wake word on its devices. There was clearly not enough ethical research into using Alexa.”
Charlotte even brought the issue up to Amazon, who responded, “We designed our voice assistant to reflect qualities we value in people – being smart, considerate, empathetic, and inclusive.”
Alexas aren’t the only ones being mocked over their name. People named Karen — which has become a pejorative term for an entitled white woman — are reportedly having trouble landing dates due to their appellation’s newly-racist connotations.
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