A question answered
0 comment Monday, November 3, 2014 |
The question has been asked, so I suppose the thing to do is to answer it.
The other day, the essayist Fjordman, whom I hold in high esteem, wrote a piece which appeared at Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal. In it, he referenced and linked to a piece of mine, and alluded to me by the feminine pronouns, 'she' and 'her.' This somewhat surprised me, because I have tried to maintain my anonymity online. However, it's a simple matter to learn basic things about anyone who posts online: e-mail addies or other such information. I assume that is what Fjordman did, unless he happens to know one of the few people who know both me and this blog.
So to answer the question asked by one of my regular readers and fellow-bloggers, yes, it's true. I am a she. The Vanishing American is a female American.
Maybe some of you will have guessed; I am told that it is easy for an expert to discern, simply from writing style, word choice, and so on, whether the writer is male or female. I think I always assumed it would be evident.
When I began this blog, my intent was strictly to keep my real-life identity separate from the blog; my intent was not to misrepresent myself as a male. The name 'Vanishing American' was chosen for its symbolism, and not for the sake of assuming a male identity. Somehow, though, I suppose by default, it was assumed that I was a 'he', and I was addressed as such, and spoken of in the third person as a 'he'. At first I found this slightly embarrassing and a little amusing; I mentioned it to a relative, one of the few who knows of this blog, and she said it was an understandable mistake, because of my 'masculine' style of expressing myself in writing. I don't know that I think of my writing style as 'masculine', nor have I tried to affect a male style of writing. I do know that I was told in the past that I had a male style of management, and that I needed to work at cultivating the 'feminine' qualities of giving frequent praise and compliments.
(For those who know anything about the personality typing system known as the Myers-Briggs system, I test as an ISTP, introverted sensing thinking perceiving type: most ISTPs are male. So I suppose my style is attributable to that.)
But for whatever reason, mostly because I preferred to keep my anonymity, I didn't correct commenters who addressed me as a male, or those who referred to me as such. There was never an intent to deceive, but simply to avoid disclosing too much about myself. I am a private person in real life. And I do blog about issues that many people feel very strongly about, controversial issues. There are people in my life who might be embarrassed by my un-PC opinions and the stands I take here. I choose not to embarrass them, or to force them to defend me and my views. Everybody in my personal life knows me to be an opinionated person, so I am not living a double life as a liberal in public or anything of that nature. However, for many reasons, we can't always be as outspoken in real life, for various reasons, personal and professional, without paying a considerable price.
I have noticed that many if not most female bloggers tend to indicate their femaleness either through the name of their blogging persona or the theme of the blog. My intent here was to be a 'type' or a symbol, rather than to represent myself, as one small individual. As I've said, this blog has never been about me, although at times I have alluded to my personal experiences and family background. Still, I've preferred to write about the urgent issues and questions of the day and not about me. And if I had chosen to disclose my femininity, I perhaps thought that I would be pigeonholed as a woman blogger, not just a blogger. I did not want to be thought of as offering the 'woman's point of view', just the traditional American point of view.
Whatever information I have disclosed about my life experiences or my personal history and family history is all accurate; all my thoughts and sentiments and opinions as expressed here are sincere and true. I hope that is what counts, for my readers, and not my x-chromosome.
In a way, I'm glad the question was asked; I am an honest person, and it was uncomfortable for me to allow an incorrect impression of who I was. My preference is always to be who I am, while still keeping my personal life separate from this blog. So in a sense, it will be freeing to be known as a female, because that is the reality. I do hope that my readers will forgive any wrong impression that I allowed to go uncorrected; it was not my intent to mislead anyone. So I hope this will set the record straight.
And I appreciate my readers; I hope you will continue to read and offer your thoughts here on this blog.