Name change: Cooperman to Cooperperson

Not a baby name — or even a first name — but an interesting story nonetheless.

In 1975, Long Island filmmaker Ellen Cooperman divorced her husband and tried to change her name to Cooperperson, which, she said, “more properly reflects [my] sense of human equality than does the name Cooperman.”

State Supreme Court Justice John Scileppi refused to ratify the change, saying that it “would have serious and undesirable repercussions, perhaps throughout the entire country.” He cited “virtually endless and increasingly inane” possibilities: A person named “Jackson” might seek to become “Jackchild,” a “Manning” might prefer “Peopling,” or a woman named “Carmen” might want to be “Carperson.” “This would truly be in the realm of nonsense,” he said.

She appealed, and won.

Nowadays she’s a business consultant. She still goes by Cooperperson. Here’s part of her bio:

Ellen first made international headlines in the late 1970’s when she challenged societal dictates regarding gender issues. Her battle in the State Supreme Court to change her name resulted in expansive public debate on gender bias in the media and workplace.

Source: A Man’s World

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