Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer, co-founders of Witchsy, had invented a male co-founder.
Both women “realized a month or so into starting their business that when they were themselves, many of the developers and artists they needed—men and women alike—were overly emotional, flaky and unprofessional, and didn’t take them seriously.” — Forbes
So “Keith Mann” was invented and went to work to represent Penelope and Kate.
However, women cross-dressing as men and portraying themselves as men isn’t new:
- Charlotte Brontë first published as Currie Bell.
- Kathrine Switzer signed up for the 1967 Boston Marathon using only her initials because women were not allowed to run.
- Joan of Arc fought the Hundred Years’ War dressed as a man.
- J.K. Rowling had used only her initials to write the Harry Potter series because she was told by her publisher that boys would be more responsive to a male author.
- William Shakespeare expanded his female characters’ range of action and expression of emotions by cross-dressing them as men in his plays of “As You Like It,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “The Merchant of Venice,” and “Twelfth Night”.