I don't have a problem taking women with names like Milly and Rosie seriously. If I only a list of names to go on, I'd have higher expectations for Dr. Maggie or Prof. Winnie than I would for women with names that make me roll my eyes, like Primrose or Princess. And my expectations for Maggie and Winnie wouldn't be lower than for Margaret or Winifred. In some respects, I'd respond more positively to Maggie and Winnie than Margaret and Winifred. I might imagine, sight unseen, that Dr. Maggie would be a more compassionate listener than Dr. Margaret, for example, or that Prof. Winnie can deliver a more energetic and engaging lecture than a Prof. Winifred could.
Of course, once I met these women, whether or not I take them seriously depends on their performance and behavior. I'd still like or dislike their names depending on my tastes, but that would pretty much be the end of it. Anything else would be like meeting a gorgeous Bertha and claiming she's butt-ugly just because of her name.
Less and less am I buying into the idea that you must put the longest and most formal form of a name on the birth certificate to spare your child a lifetime of disrespect. I know I can't think of any real world example I've personally seen where someone was held back because they were Jenny, rather than Jennifer...not even when I worked in HR. If you have a stack of resumes that includes 15-letter names from Africa, 2-letter names from Asia, invented names, crossgender names, and creatively spelled names that defy all rules of phonics, a Molly or an Allie just isn't extreme or unusual enough to spark a strong reaction.
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