Improve your career prospects: pretend to be a man?

A link from the Jender-Parents:

Previously a struggling single mother trying to make ends meet, James claimed she worked at a variety of online and work from home situations. It was only once she began working under an assumed male identity, though, that the real money started coming in.
“Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service. No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic. Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too. Did I quit promoting my own name? Hell yeah.”

4 thoughts on “Improve your career prospects: pretend to be a man?

  1. I’m annoyed that a lot of the discussion I’ve seen focuses whether it was OK for Chartrand to adopt a male pen name, rather than on the larger issue of structural sexism. (It’s like all that endless nonsense bickering about whether it is OK to adopt various trappings of femininity, raise your children using method foo, have sex using method bar, be a young woman, be an old woman, etc. Barf.)

    There is one discussion of Chartrand’s conduct that I do find interesting, though. In addition to adopting the pen name, Chartrand also adopted an entire over-the-top masculine persona, which included sexist behavior against other women. (I don’t think this is a necessary component of masculine personas, but it was a component of Chartrand’s.) Amanda Hess and Sady Doyle have an excellent conversation about it here.

    Also, it seems weird for me to call out a woman for performing masculinity in a sexist way when I’ve been quiet about a similar thing from a man. This icky…. thing… at Overcoming Bias is almost a month old now, and I didn’t bring it up immediately because I wasn’t sure it was worth mentioning (“Straight White Guy Displays Privilege-Related Stupidity on Internet” is not news), but since the guy in question is on your blogroll, maybe it is.

  2. Rachael, thanks so much for the links! The truth is that I haven’t looked at Overcoming Bias in years. I put it on the blogroll ages ago, basically because the idea of a blog about biases seemed so good. But you’ve convinced me it will go. Do let me know if there are others that make you cringe. I really don’t get all that much time for surfing these days.

    Also, I was totally unaware of all the complexities of the James Chartrand case– many thanks for cluing me in!

  3. Rachael,
    The post you flag strikes me an unhealthy provocation, and most of the comments (while perhaps anthropologically interesting, as one comment noted) more of the same. Telling exceptions are those by Violet, Feminist.X., Kezia, Clarisse, Occasional Reader. But the way these are treated on the blog by other readers and the blogmeister suggest to me, at least, that engagement in that forum is just a waste of time, unless one enjoys degradation.
    Too bad. The topic of sex within relationships is an important one; framing it in terms of “sex-starved men” might be the clue that “Overcoming Bias” more properly names what the blog needs to work on doing, rather than what it manifests.
    But, alas, life is short (though obviously not short enough to stop me from having spent an hour or so on this myself … :<(

  4. Thanks very much, Jender. I agree that the title and the idea behind “Overcoming Bias” are fascinating… it’s too bad the execution doesn’t live up to the concept.

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