Not Making Enough Money? Pretend You’re a Man!

We’ve all experienced our issues with the glass ceiling, but few of us have taken the most logical next step: just pretend you are a man.  However, thanks to remote workspace, consulting and online communities, that may be a bigger possibility, especially once more people read the story of James Chartrand. Thought to be a respected male online personality, “James” unmasked himself recently as *gasp* a woman!

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.”

In a world where women traditionally earn less than men for performing the same work, is it in your best interest to seek every advantage you can find?  Or, as others think, is it a betrayal to the gender not to try to adance us as a whole?

I’ve been coming at this from both sides.  Assuming the story is true, I’m bothered less by the fact that she made more as a man than the fact that she stated she would not have come out at all had she not been threatened with “outing.”  I, too, once blogged as a “man,” or at least gender neutral, in the hopes that maybe my writing would be taken more seriously, or I could get further into some super secret blogging circle of influence I always assumed was out there.

But once I really began to find my way and my voice, I knew that annonymity didn’t do me justice.  To write was to connect, and that couldn’t be done as a psuedonym. 

Of course, some still thought I was male even once I became totally transparent. I guess that’s always the default assumption when writing about politics.

We can get up at arms about the pay gap, or whether or not this is a blow for or against gender discrimination.  But in the end, what makes me saddest is that if this story is true, the woman is still afraid to give out her real name for the safety of her family.  “I have kids,” she says. “I’m not interested in making myself vulnerable in that way.”

That’s the biggest crime.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_neutral_toilet_sign_gu.jpg

64 comments

Sabrinna Valisce
Past Member 9 years ago

This doesn't surprise me at all but it does annoy me. Her advice is worth more if people believe she is a man! When will things ever change? I remember as a teenager learning all these gender biases and feeling so dismayed. Now, here I am in my 30's and we're talking about the exact same things.

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Carol S.
Carol S9 years ago

while i can somewhat sympathize w/john for his view, he didn't give us all the details needed to form a educated opinion. i know all too well how much a formal education is important, but there is also the hard cold facts that experience in your field should be valued equally.

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Elizabeth S.
Elizabeth S9 years ago

This is upseting to me that sexism still goes on in our society. I want to fight further for women's rights!

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Andrea H.
Andrea H9 years ago

Wow, that's crazy!

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TheRise TheRise
TheRise TheRise9 years ago

Perhaps if we just ditch gender and it's roles altogether we could compete as individuals. Talents and skills would take priority ,and this glass ceiling would shatter. If our culture didn't gender things there wouldn't be gender oppression. Per instance colors such as pink and blue are assigned genders. Also foods and energy drinks are starting to get this gender identity obsession taint.God knows clothes unwittingly have been assigned "genders" for centuries. I propose throw it all away. Be gender indifferent. Your children will thank you.By attaching "gendering" to things and etiquette you give preference of one sex over the other and predetermine their lot in life. Not really fair is it? Condemning one child to less pay in exchange for social acceptance, while empowering another to success.

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megan m.
megan m9 years ago

She did what she had to do to support her children. If anything, she helped shed even more light on this often over looked issue. It's sad that she now needs to protect her real identity because it means that people out there don't want to take responsibility for the "discriminatory" actions they were aware/unaware of and to take the opportunity to step back and examine the situation, but instead opt to place the blame on someone else, possibly even because she is a woman who had the audacity to think she could equal a man. I wonder if a man were to assume the name of a woman and then get found out, would he need to protect his real identity as well?

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John Bauer
Past Member 9 years ago

I agree that this happens, but I know for a fact that it doesn't happen everywhere. I used to work for a day care center which where I was the only male there. I was also the only person to be employed to have a college degree as well as earning a certificate in Elementary Education. So, while I was the only one there who had any experience or classes for being a male elementary teacher, all extra hours and better jobs went to unexperienced females. Just as this woman has an article showing that she basically found that she was being discriminated for being a woman and thusly changed her "sex" so she could get better jobs and pay, the state department and the EEOC found that I was being discriminated against because I was a man in a normally all-woman field. I know this is a woman's-rights area but I get frustrated when the same things happen to men and there is no press about that. It happened to me, but no one cared. If this happens to a woman, it is big news.

Where are the men's rights articles? lol

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Susan P.
Susan P9 years ago

I can't blame/judge her for what she is doing. She needs to put food on the table and why not be compensated at a higher rate for the same work? It's just sad that society makes women have to do things like this to get equal pay.

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Susan P.
Susan P9 years ago

I can't blame/judge her for what she is doing. She needs to put food on the table and why not be compensated at a higher rate for the same work? It's just sad that society makes women have to do things like this to get equal pay.

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Rebecca R.
Rebecca R9 years ago

It's pretty hard to judge a person who needed money and found a better way to make it come in-- without doing anything illegal or outwardly harmful to others.

As far as the spiritual conundrum of lying about your identity... According to this story, she did the same work she had always been doing. If that's true, who am I to judge?

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