The Internet issued a collective gasp last week at news that the creative force behind its favourite science page, I F***ing Love Science, is a woman.
Elise Andrew’s defiant, funny and profane manner had apparently led the site’s more than 4.2 million fans to believe it was the product of a male mind.
Predictably, her reveal prompted an onslaught of sexist comments, from “Are there kitchens in space?” to endless threads on her looks. “EVERY COMMENT is about how shocking it is that I’m a woman! Is this really 2013?” Andrew tweeted in response—but her case is hardly unique.
Legions of female tech writers and bloggers are posting under male pseudonyms; the issue has even forced academic panels on the “perils of blogging as a woman under a real name.”
It’s been more than 150 years since Mary Anne Evans wrote as George Eliot to ensure her work was taken seriously. On the web, Evans’s act of desperation is the apparent norm.