I Am Proud of My Name, My Gender and The Career I’ve Earned
By Lyndsey Besser
In general, I’m a pretty even-keeled person. It takes a lot to get me up in arms. But this week, something did.
On Wednesday morning, an “investor and serial entrepreneur” took to the Wall Street Journal for some digital mansplaining. It was suggested that I, along with other women worldwide, forgo my name in favor of my initials in order to create a gender neutral online persona to keep the male-dominated tech industry from overlooking me. It’s one of the most blatant examples of sexism I’ve seen in quite some time. And in the Wall Street Journal, no less…
Rather than fixing the gender bias, a man suggested that I cover up my gender. We have the nation’s first female candidate for president, but I still shouldn’t appear to be female online?
The shining light after being told to simply endure a gender bias, was that I got to see how brilliant, powerful and downright quick-witted my fellow females are. So rather than preaching my own thoughts on this dreadful article, I’ll leave it to the Twittersphere.
— Rachel Sklar (@rachelsklar) September 29, 2016
Hope @johngreathouse u had good intent, but this is wrong. If u subbed “black men” for “women”; “race” for “gender” would you feel proud?
— aileenlee (@aileenlee) September 29, 2016
@johngreathouse great point Aileen. Maybe the next piece’s lede will read, “Just make your name sound less black”
— Sheila Bryson (@americanadian) September 29, 2016
But don’t worry, John has since gone on to set things right via a Tweet.
My response to John: This was not a mistake. This was not a dreadful article you accidentally wrote or that happened to be misinterpreted. You had those thoughts. You wrote them down. You re-read them and thought, yup, this is great. This is WSJ caliber. You submitted your piece. Even worse, the WSJ accepted it. And then you excitedly promoted it on your quite-influential social channels. Your words this week were absolutely infuriating and damaging. But you are the reason I will push on, hold my head high, and fight harder than you’ll ever have to to get where I want to go. I will not change for you, not even for one second. I am proud of my name, my gender and the career that I have earned.
Note: As the female CEO of Double Forte which counts more men as clients than women, I am unquantifiably proud to have Lyndsey Besser post this on our blog. She represents the best of what we are all about -LC. #micdrop