We might be used to female novelists trying to pass for men, such as the Bronte sisters, but this story reverses gender roles.
As MSNBC’s Cartoon Blog
explains, “Rachel got a job, and a paycheck, as a cartoonist at the Wiener Zeitung, replacing Markus, who was forced to leave his editorial cartooning job under pressure from his editor, because his cartoons had offended a politician who would later become Austria’s chancellor.”
So why did Markus create her? Her cartoons
tended to more left-leaning and biting than Markus feels he can get away with, and her gender also played a role: editors find female cartoonist to be a rare bunch, since male cartoonists seem to dominate the editorial pages. Their voices might be heard more in the niche industry.
Markus also told MSNBC Rachel might be a favourite because he made her to be Jewish. Austria’s harsh history might encourage executives to be open-minded to Jewish staffers, Markus believes.
When Markus/Rachel began working at Kronen Zeitung, he began arousing suspicion. His editor hired an off-duty policeman to tail him and eventually the gig was up. Markus was fired, and now works at Wiener Zeitung and Tiroler Tageszeitung.
MSNBC reports Rachel’s identity, although not a secret, “isn’t known outside of a small community of Austrian cartoonists and journalists. Readers have no idea that Rachel is actually Markus.”
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