Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Year Disguised as a Man by Norah Vincent Review by The Rawness


This book covers the journey of a lesbian who disguises herself as a man for a year and then infiltrates different groups of men to see what the world of men is like. I admit, I walked into this book with a lot of preconceptions, expecting it to be more politically correct or judgmental of men; I was very pleasantly surprised. She, herself, even describes how she walked into the experiment expecting to find her worst views of men confirmed and instead found herself much more sympathetic to them than she predicted. One part I especially found fascinating was when she described how different it was to approach women as a straight man than as a gay woman, and how women were so much more hostile to her approaches when she approached as a straight guy than when she was a gay woman, and how the narcissistic, entitled attitudes of a lot of these straight women actually started making her very misogynistic and angry towards them. Hearing her describe her struggle with her growing misogyny that arose from dealing with women as a straight man was an incredibly accurate depiction of what it’s like for guys, and I recognized what she was describing immediately. I could really admire that level of insight and intellectual honesty. She joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women and men, goes to strip clubs, infiltrates a monastery, and then joins a men’s therapy group. She eventually reveals herself to every group except the men’s therapy group, so you get to see the reaction and fallout each time. I’m shocked this hasn’t been made into a movie yet. Highly recommended. –The Rawness

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