What If George Eliot Were Mary Ann Evans Instead?

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Well, George Eliot is Mary Ann Evans. She chose a male pen name, believing that using her own name would not allow her to be taken seriously as a writer.

Over on Thought Catalog, s.e. smith writes about using a gender-neutral name and how perceived gender affects writers’ reception. Giving examples of how gender can be used to discredit writers, she considers what might happen if writers’ names weren’t attached to the articles they wrote:

What would happen if their articles went up without bylines? Because your reception to them would change, and you’d be forced to look past your perception of the author and into the actual content of the article. Is there even such a thing as a “gender-neutral” name when so much is read into names?


Abigail Bereola is a writer and the Books Editor for The Rumpus. On Twitter, @sherarelytweets. More from this author →