Oh yeah: I'm a Woman
There has been a nice bit of buzz (thanks for all the comments!) from my recent announcement of the upcoming release of my book. Not just my discarding of the protective illusion of anonymity, but the revelation of my gender. No, I am not of the penile persuasion. Indeed, I am a member of the booby brigade.
I should point out that those who came to the wrong conclusion on this topic, although the victims of their own false assumptions, were given no quarter from moi. From the beginning, I have intentionally blogged with carefully chosen gender-neutral language. At first, it was just for fun. Later, it became practice for the novel I'm writing, as the plot depends on the reader making certain false assumptions the first time through; think The Sixth Sense. (Another example here.)
The closest I have come to dishonesty is simply not correcting those who referred to me in the masculine. My ongoing justification is that gender (mine, at any rate) is irrelevant to what I have to say as a board-certified solo family practitioner. Certainly there have been times when culturally based gender assumptions might have detracted from a given point I may have been trying to make. In that sense I admit to have taken advantage of false assumptions. However I submit that my purpose is to have my words taken at face value, rather than distorted by possibly less-than-favorable cultural assumptions.
I was never really anonymous, and I knew it. I have friends and patients who read the blog. My family reads it. (My sister even leaves comments under her own appropriately ambiguous pseudonym.) My children read it! I could never write anything I didn't want one of them to read, and that, of course, will never change. However now that I am "out", I have no intention of altering my blogging style, except perhaps to post more frequently on writing topics. My hope is that all of you continue to find my blog engaging and interesting, whatever the gender of the person behind it.