Male pseudonyms and women in jobs

December 21st, 2009 § 3 comments

Cupcakes and Mace linked to a blogger that used a male pseudonym and instantly saw a rise in the job offers and a pay increase.

To be honest, I don’t know how that makes me feel. Men still do earn a little bit more for doing the same jobs but to see such a spot on example of this prejudice in action is a lot harder to ignore that a statistic.

I just finished reading Malcom Gladwell’s book, Blink, which goes in-depth about the judgements humans make in the first impression. One study he talked about had symphony judges choose musicians through their music alone – with a wall set up between the musician and the critic. Women were suddenly getting offered positions in the symphony playing instruments that were considered manly, big cumbersome, low sounding things.

Gladwell suggested that in order for everyone to have a fair go at a job, we should remove gender, race and any other personal factor out of the applicant choosing process, leaving the bare bones of accomplishments to pick the best person for the job.

Here, here.

It turns out that by choosing a male name: James Chartrand, the pseudonym the female blogger used, she removed the inevitable questions that come with gender. A relationship, kids and family responsibilities seem to be a weight on only the female workers backs. Which, I believe, with all of me, is bullshit.

I don’t know how we can over-correct this. Fact of the matter is, it takes nine months of incubation for a woman to pop out a child. And sadly, most mothers do the hard legwork of raising the chubby balls of flesh while it’s acceptable for a male partner to go about as business per usual.

I know the Aussie government, and maybe the Brits as well are looking at extending male partner’s maternity leave to that of the woman involved in the child-making business. Which is great.

Feminism hasn’t even been around for a century. I don’t know how long it will take for equal opportunity to sink into our brains. It will be a slow, evolutionary process. At least, that’s what I keep on telling to myself when I see a reclining semi-nude woman selling toothpaste or beard shavers.

Will we have to use male pseudonyms until our collective human brain has been rewired? I’ll tell you one thing, our anonymous female blogger certainly made more impact by going out and being successful when she was believed to be male. Imagine if she had just written up a scathing blog post claiming prejudice because she was a single mother of two and wasn’t getting paid enough for her skill set. We’d blame it on the economy and think nothing of it.

What do you think?

§ 3 Responses to Male pseudonyms and women in jobs"

  • […] also wrote a post on females using male pseudonyms and steps that have been taken in some places to levvel the playing field. Make sex a non factor in […]

  • Tash says:

    Thanks for the compliment Sarah!

    I’m assuming as a beauty writer you cover make up and women’s clothes? Could a man cover that topic unless he uses those products?

    Wouldn’t it be like a hip hop fan reviewing a death metal gig? Let me know what you think. t.

  • sarah hannah says:

    i totally forget how i stumbled upon your blog but im glad that i did! Ive just spent the last like 30mins browsing through your old posts and i adore it!

    the whole men/women job thing can go the other way too. im currently working as a beauty writer and i guess it’s the kinda thing they’d favour women employees over.

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