As I was looking through some blogs this morning I found one in the Wall Street Journal that suggested that professional women use their initials instead of their full name for a better first impression online. This really hit me hard and stirred up a lot of emotion. My first question was ‘Why’. Why should I have to change my identity so that people online will respect me.
Would you really not contact a person named Elizabeth Smith but you would if it was E. Smith? Elizabeth Smith might be an expert in her field and an excellent resource. Not contacting her based on her first name…is that really the criteria to use?
Changing a name to just initials would not be difficult. And it would not change who I am…but it would. The blog made me think of young women who are told not to dress in a certain way so that men will not be attracted to them and be tempted to rape them. Why should women be asked to change so others will give them respect. Shouldn’t others be the ones who change their behavior?
Let’s ask people to not judge someone by their name, their gender, their hair color, their sexuality, their age. Get to know people, then you can form an opinion about them, an educated opinion. There are many good people out there that you might not get to know because you judged them on superficial criteria.