Friday, December 18, 2009

Passing As Men Still Pays: Men With Pens Blogger is a Woman

Women have a long history of posing as men in order to earn a living or pursue a dream. Women have passed as men in order to play jazz, publish books, fight in wars, and be free from sexual assault and compulsory marriage.

Kate Harding has the interesting story of a woman who found financial success by posing as the sexist good old boy Men with Pens blogger James Chartrand:

Today, Men with Pens blogger James Chartrand revealed that "he" is actually a lady with a laptop. After working under her real name for years, Chartrand was still struggling to make it as a freelance writer. Not only was her income negligible, but "I was treated like crap, too. Bossed around, degraded, condescended to, with jibes made about my having to work from home. I quickly learned not to mention I had kids. I quickly learned not to mention I worked from my kitchen table." Out of desperation, she started submitting work under a male pseudonym, just to see if it made a difference. And boy, did it ever.

And Amanda Hess has the not-so-inspiring details of just how despicably sexist the still-anonymous female blogger was in her quest for success as the Men with Pens blogger. Maybe we should take this as the ultimate mockery of what too often passes for mainstream masculinity?