What’s In A (Man’s) Name?

The man’s name “George” has a long tradition of being adopted by women who were not being taken seriously because of their girlie names. Today is the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Eliot, the English writer who had to change her name from Mary Ann Evans to George in order to have a homosexual relationship with a married man (this being considered far less of a scandal in her day than living in sin).

But she was not the only binominal author in history. Before her, the French hippie-chick, Amantine Lucile Dupin changed her name to George Sands even though, honestly, nobody would have ever mistaken her for a bloke. It is widely accepted that in more recent times, the openly polemical, Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, as well as George Harrison from the 1960’s boy-band, The Beatles and the hard-drinking, Liverpool footballer, George Best were all ladies who made the choice to grow a beard and change their name in order to take part in occupations that God obviously intended to be reserved for members of his favourite sex, the male of the species.

But men have fought back with many of them entering careers that are only fit for women such as cookery and nursing. Nature has a way of balancing itself out.


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