Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Gender of Writing

I just came across a blog post on copyblogger from
James Chartrand.
James is a successful freelance writer, making a good living from it. When his blog, that is essential for him to get writing jobs, made the top ten list of writer's blogs, and additionally somebody outed him, he decided to go public about his/her gender.

This writer has chosen a male name for economic reasons. With a male name, she could get more and higher paid jobs. With a male name she got more respect from clients. With a male name the clients were happier with her work. Working under a male name enabled her to provide for her children and become financially stable.

This in itself is a wonderful example on how much work there still is cut out for feminism. Additionally to the article from James, the comments and related blog posts are quite revealing.

Reading James' blog, and a blog post from Tiger Beatdown (http://tigerbeatdown.com/?p=671),  raises the question whether it is really just the name change that made James so successful. The blog design makes a distinctly male impression. James created a whole male persona by making references to his (either invented or modified) real life. Many posts include sexist remarks.

Since it is common for bloggers to write about their personal life, and the followers feel like they know the real person, be familiar with it/him/her, the creation of a persona would in my opinion help getting jobs and income. But does it have to be so blatantly male and sexist?

There are several things that come to my mind:
  • James got a kick out of being perceived as an alpha male
  • James rejects her femaleness secretly
  • No matter what, this is in retrospect a great social experiment
  • Will the writing and the perception of the blog change now?
I am looking forward to further writings from James. 

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