Maybe I’ve Had It Wrong All Along: I Shoulda Been A Guy Blogger

Is a woman an “Uncle Tom” if she writes under a male pseudonym? What if she gets paid more and seemingly more respect by doing so?

Also, would a woman write differently if she “wrote like a man”. If I didn’t have the cultural pressures, would I write differently? More forceful, more tough, maybe?

Here’s what prompted this post:

A blogger for Copyblogger, who wrote under the name “James Chartrand,” outed herself as a female, explaining that she chose a male name to earn more money and get more respect in her career.

Years ago The Blogger Formerly Known As James Chartrand (who declined to identify her real name) hit a plateau in her career. She couldn’t command a higher rate. She lost gigs she should have gotten. Things were looking grim. So she distanced herself from her existing company by choosing a pen name: “I picked a name that sounded to me like it might convey a good business image. Like it might command respect.”

She chose a male pen name. Ha, more like penis name!

Choosing a male pen name seemed to fix everything for James Chartrand. She put food on the table for her kids and get a mortgage for her house near her mom.

This blogger, a woman, came to this conclusion:

Honestly, there is something rather Uncle Tom-y about Chartrand hiding behind the opposite gender. By assuming the identity of a male writer, she skirted the discrimination against women entirely while doing nothing to change womens’ lot. She just left the glass ceiling standing there, rather than shattering it.

Sure, “passing” was Chartrand’s choice, and as Charlotte York would say, she chose her choice. But it showed no solidarity for other women at all. There’s plenty of female writers out there who confront the marginalization of women head on, pointing out how with factual data how they’ve been shortchanged, asking for raises, taking their brilliant work elsewhere if their bosses refuse to budge. But “James Chartrand” took the easy way out.

Eh. I don’t know. If I wanted to make a lot of money, I’d “sell out” and be a mommy blogger and talk about my kid’s poop or the fact that I forgot part of my kid’s homework or that my jeans are tight or whatever else was personally ailing me at the moment. As far as I can tell, being snarky, female and into fashion, celebrities or some other (what I consider) trivialities can net a gal big bucks.

Or, I could sell out and go anonymous male and people would give me more respect and more money.


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