The James Chartrand Story… Or Why Tits Still Seem To Matter

I just left a comment on James Chartrand’s coming-out post at Copyblogger. I encourage you to read it first.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Men With Pens, but I have frequently left fangirl comments on this blog. I respected and admired her work not because she was a man, but because she was and is a killer writer. Along with all the respect and admiration, I have to say there is a soupcon of rage at the world that she did better with the male pseudonym than under her own name.

I have always been an ardent feminist. I had hoped that our culture had moved beyond caring about the floppy innie and outy bits that dangle off of or in our bodies when it came to the world of work, and especially the world of writing. While I have been successful as a copywriter that specializes in web copywriting, I can’t help but wonder if I had been similarly dishonest about the fact that I sport mammary glands if I would have been just a touch more successful.

I keep on trying to rationalize the Chartrand story in other ways, like maybe she was more experienced when she took on the pseudonym, maybe the fact that she had such a killer website influenced the clients, etc. In the end, I have to take her at her word that the pseudonym itself, and not these other factors, was the single most important factor in her success, no matter how angry this makes me feel.

Also, there is a special place in the nine circles of hell, whether you believe in it or not, for the person who outed her. What a supreme dick. While pseudonyms are, by their very nature, dishonest, they have widely been accepted in literary circles for centuries as a necessary evil. I for one applaud James Chartrand and her pseudonym, and wish her long years of success in the future. Please join me in supporting her with your own comments on her post.

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  1. Samantha Garner – Calgary freelance web writer, editor & copywriter » Blog Archive » James Chartrand, pen names and our backwards world - December 14, 2009

    […] announcement felt kind of like a real-life episode of Coronation Street (not a bad thing, mind). Others have written about it quite well. For me, it got me thinking about pen names in general. Some of you may remember my own failed […]

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