(Wo)Men with Pen(s)

by RhodesTer on December 16, 2009

FreedomYesterday I received somewhat of a shock. Or call it a jolt, if you will. A surprise. A real stunner.

A slap in the face with a cold fish. A dagger thrust into my eye socket. Spontaneous combustion.

A great big poof of smoke in my brain. A burst of light illuminating the dark dregs of society, flushing them out into the open and causing them to sparkle just a little through the accumulation of soot and soil caked onto their filthy, oily little bodies.

A burst – a poof – a bang – a gong..

And suddenly, JAMES is a GIRL.

I’m talking about my longtime pal James Chartrand of Men With Pens.

You know.. the guy I always pictured as somewhat of a cross between Tom Hanks and John Corbett, with a handsomeness that almost meets in the middle but favors the Corbett side.

James had his guitar slung over his shoulder and his longish hair with a bit of stubble on the chin – just enough to say “I care a little, but not a lot.” James wore sandals and sunglasses, and had a great singing voice that resonated like the lead singer from Nickleback, only he’d never sing about photographs or being a rock star because both of those were out of the realm of possibility with this covert web he wove for us on the net.

We never saw a photograph. We never saw a video, or had a Skype session or spoke on the phone.

Fishy. Cold, and fishy. It was a great big carp called “suspicion.”

So yesterday, that suspicion swam into a cocoon and morphed into shocking awareness when a post ran at Copyblogger that had been authored by James Himself. “Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants” was the name of it. In it he said, “I’m a woman,” and then he gave reasons for having presented himself as a man, which all sounded pretty good.

Business – impressions – wages – perspective – appearances.

Men are paid more. It’s a fact. Single with two kids to feed, that’s a fact too. Copywriting income doubled almost overnight following the reinvention of herself and the birth of James Chartrand, the mighty man with a pen in the great white north, tackling text and grappling with grammar in the exact same way Jamie had done, but finally getting the recognition, kudos and cash that go with foregoing barefeet and pregnancy in the kitchen.

Just so you know, I made up the name “Jamie.” James is mum on the original moniker and wants to go right on being called James.

People quickly took notice of the Copyblogger post. I always knew James was popular and well-known, but didn’t realize the scope of it until news broke at The Huffington Post and then Newsweek.

We’re pals, so I messaged him. “Is this true?” I asked. It was. I expressed shock, and I might have been a bit abrupt when I said I needed to think things over.

“Understood. I’m always around if you need to talk or rail or vent or whatever. Still the same person, dude.”

That’s James.. looking out for how I feel, because I’m a friend and you don’t let friends hurt if you can help it.

I can say all of this because James said it first, very publicly and just over 24-hours ago. Turns out someone was going to out him, so he beat them to it and outed himself first.

You’ll notice I’m sticking with JAMES and the pronouns HE, HIS and HIM.

I’m also going to stick with JAMES the person. My friend. My pal. Sure, I was deceived a bit but for a good reason. Everyone lies for personal gain at one time or another, and some more often than others. If you say you don’t and never have, then shutthefuckup because you’re telling a white-whopper right there, my forked-tongued friend.

I guess this is as good a time as any to leap aboard the bandwagon of truth as it rattles down the cobblestone street of verisimilitude..

I, RhodesTer, am actually a female Peruvian Snow Yak named Betty, and my other half, coffeesister, is an orangutan named Jack. But we’re still the same nutty folks you’ve known and loved all these years, aside from my craving for a mouthful of sweet, delicious grass-hay and the fact that I’m now going to let James milk me should we meet someday.

Someone has to.. Jack is always too busy peeling bananas with his feet.

tell the WORLD..
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cinderkeys December 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I read the James Chartrand post yesterday and was also jolted. I’d never heard of him, so no feelings of personal betrayal were involved. Just … haven’t we gotten beyond this?

I know, I know. I’m naive. As a feminist, I should know better. But having been lucky not to suffer any discrimination personally (or at least not blatant enough for me to notice), I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, society had gotten over gender discrimination.

cinderkeys´s brilliant blustering.. New home for Everybody Knows About Me My ComLuv Profile


2 RhodesTer December 16, 2009 at 11:29 pm

There are huge debates raging about this right now on other blogs, and I refuse to be a part of it. I just don’t care about it that much and consider James the same person I’ve always known except now it’s more difficult to maintain that mental association personae, which I need. I seem to do okay with just keeping it (in my head) as it always was, which is how I described above, so I guess I’ll stay with that at least until we meet someday, if we ever do.


3 cinderkeys December 16, 2009 at 11:32 pm

If it wasn’t clear, I wasn’t condemning James at all. I’m angry at the society that made James’s actions necessary.
cinderkeys´s brilliant blustering.. New home for Everybody Knows About Me My ComLuv Profile


4 RhodesTer December 16, 2009 at 11:36 pm

No, I knew what you meant. Hey, I’m all for feminism, it makes for nice nipples – http://rhodester.net/ashley-judd-is-a-big-fat-feminist


5 Kelly December 17, 2009 at 3:54 am

Man, your heart is in the right place. I like what resulted here, when you took time to think things over. Short and sweet.

That’s all. ‘Nuff said.


Kelly´s brilliant blustering.. What’ll You Gladly Pay For? My ComLuv Profile


6 RhodesTer December 17, 2009 at 4:13 am

Yeah, my own glass house is waaaay too fragile for me to be throwing any stones.


7 Kelly December 17, 2009 at 4:39 am

Woosh. Mine, too.
Kelly´s brilliant blustering.. Inspiration Points: I Do Not Choose To Be a Common Man My ComLuv Profile


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