Does a Male Name Mean More Success as a Writer?

BlogHer Original Post

Women have done some remarkable things over the years to feed their kids and keep a roof overhead. Not a few women have pretended to be men in order to advance in their chosen field. It's a particular temptation for a writer, because writers are represented by paper (or pixels) and not present in the flesh. Think George Sand, George Eliot, PD James, and Taylor Caldwell. The most recent addition to a list like this would have to be James Chartrand from Men with Pens.

When James Chartrand realized she was about to outed as a female, she took the story in her own hands and published it first on the highly trafficked blog, Copyblogger, in "Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants". It's a fascinating story that underscored the lingering inequality in pay, respect, and success between men and women.

It Gets Juicier

At Women's Rights in a post titled "James Chartrand, Woman Blogger: So What?" we get an opinion from Alex Dibranco.

When my parents were deliberating over baby names, Alexandra and Samantha emerged as the top two contenders. It wasn't just about how they sounded, or their meaning according to the baby book. It was about the nicknames: Alex and Sam. Notice something in common? Like the fact that both are gender-neutral -- or that, in all honesty, people are more likely to guess someone called Sam or Alex is male?

This is no coincidence. My mother, all too familiar with sex discrimination in the corporate world, was thinking ahead to how potential employers would react to the name splashed across the top of my resume. She wanted to make sure I wouldn't be tossed aside from the outset due to (conscious or unconscious) sexism.

It worked, because when I was looking this post at Women's Rights, I spent some time pondering whether the writer was male or female before I started reading the post and learned the facts. Alex went on to discuss the fact that Men with Pens has been described as misogynistic, testosterone-laden, and chauvinistic, and concluded with,

Here's my take: you're accountable for your words and actions, regardless of your sex.

And Juicier

At Freelance Writing Jobs Network, Deb asks "Do Male Bloggers Receive More Respect?".

Why so many labels? Why do I have to be a female blogger or a mommy blogger? Why do I have to be a “darling” of the blogosphere or a “diva” of social media. Why can’t I just be a blogger? Why can’t I be held in the same respect and regard as the males in this field?

So let me ask you this. Do you think the male bloggers and social media “experts” receive more respect than women?

Deb got some interesting comments to her post. Worth clicking through to read, for sure.

And Juicier and Juicier

Juicy tidbits in tech continue to pour from Geek Feminism Blog, where there linkspam posts lead to the most interesting articles about geeky topics in the entire blogosphere.

Over at Sage's Play things are always juicy and full of life and meaning. Gaea took "A Googles-Eye View of Aging". Gaea did some mining in Google with age-related phrases that brought back interesting perspectives and results.

There were so many good things happening at Wired Pen in recent weeks, it's difficult to point to just one. How about "Chinese “Circus” Does Ballet; Tips For YouTube Postings". You get some good ideas for posting you YouTube, plus you learn something about Swan Lake and ballet.

Ahh, the tech blogosphere is good to the last juicy drop.

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Virginia DeBolt
BlogHer Technology Contributing Editor|Web Teacher|First 50 Words

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