Even when masked by the anonymity of the internet, a male-sounding name can help turn people into successful bloggers. “Taking a man’s name opened up a new world,” according to a blogger who writes under the name James Chartrand. “It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.” Far from an activist parable, Chartrand writes that she would have been perfectly happy keeping her real identity and gender a secret. Eventually, however, someone talked. And though she feared for her business and her livelihood, Chartrand writes:
Truth be told, if just a name and perception of gender creates such different levels of respect and income for a person, it says a lot more about the world than it does about me.
George Eliot would be proud.