If one of the most successful writers of all time has to pretend to be a dude, what hope does the rest of us have? Not much, if your experience is anything like author Catherine Nichols, who submitted proposals under her real name and then under the pseudonym "George." George's manuscript was requested 17 times, while Catherine's manuscript was only requested twice.
Kathrine Switzer Dispelled A Stupid Marathon Myth
A long time ago, when medical science wasn't as advanced (the 1960s), women weren't allowed to run in the Boston Marathon. It was believed that the distance was too much for their fragile bodies, and there were too many risks involved. Their uteruses could fall out, and oh the horror, their feminine features would turn into that of a man's. You can't exactly have women jogging when it could make them into infertile uggos.
It finally took a woman using a name that looked like a man's name to teach people otherwise. 19-year-old Syracuse University student Kathrine Switzer had been running unofficially with the men's cross-country team because her school had no women's team. After talking with her coach, Arnie Briggs, she decided to run the Boston Marathon. She hadn't gotten to the point where her reproductive organs were tumbling out of her, but she could run 26.2 miles, which gave her the confidence to know she could do it.
There wasn't an explicit official "No girls allowed" rule, but no woman had ever participated. Switzer signed up for the 1967 marathon as "K.V. Switzer," because if there's anything that throws off the patriarchy, it's initials. And that was all she did to hide her gender; she even wore lipstick on the day of the race. It was all fine to a point, as some of the men running with her thought it was pretty badass. Then everything went to hell.