Cultural Appropriation with Pen Names?


Haha, I’m used to it!

And yeah, I just never would’ve seen your name and thought of Hispanic, I guess! I’m honestly very surprised that hispanohalblantes thought your name was Spanish and I’m still sort of in awe and a bit confused about it! :joy:

But, what you do when pronouncing names is honestly the best thing to do. Pronounce it the way you know how and if they correct you you just change how you’re pronouncing it! That simple! I don’t get mad when people pronounce my name in English - it’s only a natural assumption - and I kindly correct them and we all move on!

But when I correct people and they say they don’t care or that “that’s the way it’s pronounced in a English” THAT gets me mad, haha. Also, the other mispronunciation is just people trying too hard and thinking my name is much more outlandish than it is! Though, if they would just read it the way it’s spelled, it would be a much closer pronunciation :joy:

But I guess if they feel like, since it has an English equivalent, my name isn’t “exotic” enough :joy:


The concept of cultural appropriation is so hypocritical and ridiculous and people who do care about it should call it race/minority appropriation because that’s exactly what it is. No one gives a bat if an Italian uses a British name, or if a black African uses a Spanish name. But if a white person uses an African or Spanish name? God forbid.


Cultural appropriation counts for anyone of one culture misusing and usually mocking or pretending to be of another culture.

It’s a serious issue that can offend people deeply.

Anyone can culturally appropriate, not just white people, but it’s really ignorant of you to say it doesn’t really exist when it harms so many people.

A black person squinting and wearing a traditional Japanese dress out of its context of importance is just as offensive as if a white person did it.

Also, you do know that Spaniards are white, right?


I know Spaniards are white. But in the US the left considers all Spanish people as oppressed minorities.


Spanish people are a minority in the US because they group them in with the rest of the Hispanics as an “ethnic minority group”. But they’re not a racial minority because all native Spaniards are white. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call them oppressed because they’re Spanish more so than the fact that people hear speaking Spanish and they assume Mexican and get all racist, but that’s more subjective and another topic entirely so I won’t delve deeper into that.

Also I don’t get why the US was even brought into this. The world doesn’t consist of solely the US so it’d be great if we could talk with a more global perspective.

You said “If a white person had a Spanish name…” but Spaniards are white so that makes no sense. Obviously a white person can have a Spanish name because Spaniards ARE white!

But, yeah, bottom line is that anyone can culturally appropriate and that it is extremely offensive, so I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t discredit it, yeah? :blush:

The point the OP was trying to make with this thread was to be sensitive to the issues and impact of cultural appropriation and to make sure they didn’t cross that line, not to have people discredit the struggle and harm of it.


I just picked a name I liked. If someone gets offended by it, or feels that a name should be an equivalent of ‘Made in…’ they could pick one like that for themselves. Personally, I chose not to be open about my ethnicity immediately.


Nowadays, it is pretty hard to know what offends people and what doesn’t because the lines keep changing all the time in the modern world because there are so many different definitions of what offends different groups of people and because of the media/campaigns. Yeah, you can use your common sense to know and realise what offends certain groups of people and you know the logic behind why it’s unacceptible. You respect that, but some people get too easily offended (no offense :wink: ) and that makes it harder to know who you will offend and when you offend them. So in my eyes, it’s better to stay as ambiguous as you can, especially online. That way you aren’t misleading people and you’re also not seen as ‘taking sides’ and being ‘biased toward a certain group’ (if that makes sense to you?).

I want people to enjoy my writing as best as they can and not turn into a political agenda/dilute the messages of my story based on how I present myself (i.e. my pen name). I think that’s pretty petty. The less bias there is, the more people can just read the story and enjoy it as it is. I want to entertain people, but give them a message. I want that message to stay as pure as possible. You know? (Lol, that was longer than I intended it to be but those are my thoughts on the situation).

@Zussage Wait, hold up? From what I have read, you have married a man from another culture and you don’t want to use his surname as your pen name? If you’re married to a man from another culture and that has become your legal surname, then that’s your legal surname (please correct me if I am wrong).

In my opinion, you can use the surname, because it is your legal surname. I understand that you are not from his culture and you don’t want to falsely mislead people, which is fine, but if you have a new surname you can use it as your pen name because that name is a part of you now. I know you aren’t going to mislead people and you aren’t intending to do so, but I do also get that you don’t want people to be like “but you’re X and you’re using X surname from X ethnicity”…

… But if you love the man and you’re married, then I think that people should respect that fact too. If you understand what I mean? If I married someone and they took my surname and used it, I would be flattered :3


That’s what I said! I, personally, have stated my beliefs but there will always be backlash with this sort of thing. I’m just very against people who PURPOSEFULLY use an ethnic name as a marketing ploy and aren’t of that ethnicity but mislead people into thinking they are. Honouring her husband - as the OP seems to be doing - is totally ok in my book.

And I’m not exactly sure if the surname is the same one in the pen name or not. I said before that, if the OP Aja’s already taken her husband’s last name and wants to use one from his culture in her pen name then I think that’s really sweet and totally okay! As long as she’s open about it to anyone who asks, I see no fault in honouring her husband by taking his last name - her legal name - or a name from his culture for her pen name.

But, again, just because WE don’t find it offensive doesn’t mean other people don’t have other thoughts, so the OP definitely has to be ready for some backlash, no matter the good intent!


I would not judge a book every based on the author’s name and what culture the names are from. That’s silly. If you want to use his name, use it. He is your husband, and you have the right to use his last name because it is yours, too. You married into the culture.

I used to have the biggest crush on this latino actor/singer. For years, I used his last name on Facebook instead of mine. I never got any backlash for it, considering I’m not Hispanic in any way possible. And Facebook is the gold mine for butthurts. I never used his last name for any purpose other than I liked his last name better than my own. Plus, most young girls use their celebrity crushes last name instead. I still use this British actor’s last name instead of my own on Facebook. I don’t like my last name at all. It’s not like it matters, either because my real last name is also British. Im not far from home with the culture of my last name and his.

My point is if you want to use it, use it. It is your last name. You are allowed that. You can’t please everyone.