Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent


Free PDF Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent

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Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent

Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent

Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent

Free PDF Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent

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Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent

A journalist’s provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man

Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a man’s world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women aren’t around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a men’s therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.

  • Sales Rank: #199307 in Books
  • Published on: 2006-01-19
  • Released on: 2006-01-19
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 1.07″ h x 6.34″ w x 9.26″ l,
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 304 pages

Features

  • A woman dresses as a man for 18 months to live as one.

From Publishers Weekly
The disguise that former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Vincent employed to trick dozens of people into believing her a man was carefully thought out: a new, shorter haircut; a pair of rectangular eyeglasses; a fake five o’clock shadow; a prosthetic penis; some preppy clothes. It was more than she needed. “[A]s I became more confident in my disguise… the props I had used… became less and less important, until sometimes I didn’t need them at all,” Vincent writes. Gender marking, she found, is more about attitude than appearance. Vincent’s account of the year and a half she spent posing as a man is peppered with such predictable observations. To readers of gender studies literature, none of them will be especially illuminating, but Vincent’s descriptions of how she learned, and tested, such chestnuts firsthand make them awfully fun to read. As “Ned,” Vincent joined an all-male bowling league, dated women, worked for a door-to-door sales force, spent three weeks in a monastery, hung out in strip clubs and, most dangerous of all, went on a Robert Bly–style men’s retreat. She creates rich portraits of the men she met in these places and the ways they behaved—as a lesbian, she’s particularly good at separating the issues of sexuality from those of gender. But the most fascinating part of the story lies within Vincent herself—and the way that censoring her emotions to pass as a man provoked a psychological breakdown. For fans of Nickel and Dimed–style immersion reporting, this book is a sure bet. (Jan. 23)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
*Starred Review* Vincent’s first experiment in cross-dressing came on a dare from an acquaintance who was a drag king. When she experienced the intoxicating invisibility and safety that came from wearing the disguise, she wanted to learn more. For 18 months, she disguised herself as a man, renamed herself Ned, joined a men’s bowling league, visited strip bars, and dated women. Along the way, she found that the freedom and privileges enjoyed by men were counterbalanced by a constant testing and severe limits on emotions. She also found women to be distrustful, ever ready to criticize men for being emotionally distant yet clearly preferring men who met stereotypical images of strength and virility. Vincent is frank about her experiences–the hard business of sexual transactions devoid of emotions, the easy bonding between men, fear of sexual attraction among men, and, ultimately, the explosion of her own notions of sex roles. She also explores the guilt she feels about her deception. Writing from the perspective of a gay woman who had a view of the male world that women don’t get to see, Vincent finds unexpected complexities in the men she meets and in herself as well. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review
A thoughtful, entertaining piece of first-person investigative journalism . . . Self-Made Man transcends its premise altogether. . . . So rich and so audacious . . . [I was] hooked from Page 1. (David Kamp, The New York Times Book Review)

Vincent’s account of how she ‘became’ a man is undeniably fascinating.” (Los Angeles Times Book World)

Eye-opening . . . Self-Made Man will make many women think twice about coveting male ‘privilege’ and make any man feel grateful that his gender is better understood. (The Washington Post)

[Vincent] can be as perspicuous and exact as Joan Didion or Gloria Steinem at nailing a hitherto disregarded truth about the sexes in a single elegant and witty phrase. . . . This is a brave and often fascinating book, with Vincent . . . offering us perspectives that are entirely fresh and new. (The Times,London)

Most helpful customer reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
Should Be Required Reading For All High School and College Students! AMAZINGLY good.
By Bill Mann
This book has the potential to be important, this book tells a story that needs desperately to be told. It reminds me of the book “Black Like Me” in which a white man disguised himself as a black man in the 1960s.

Almost no one really knows the difference between the way men and women are treated in modern society. No one has done both, so we can’t really compare. There is an assumption that women are “oppressed” and men are the “oppressor” but since women don’t actually know how men are treated, and men don’t actually know how women are treated, it was just an assumption.

Norah Vincent decided to test that assumption. She spent an entire year letting society treat her the way men are treated. Then she compared that to how society treats women. Her conclusions? Being a man actually kinda sucks.

What makes this book so fascinating is the shock she feels when her expectations and assumptions on manhood come crashing down. She thought she was going to get access to a “boys club” of privilege, instead she found out that in many ways men actually have it worse. The book is as much about her expectations and assumptions as an American woman as it is about what she learned about men.

I hope that someday every Womens Studies class in America reads this book. I hope that someday it is required reading in High School Literature classes, just like “Black Like Me.” This book is the real answer to sexism. This book needs to be read and it needs to be shared.

Our country needs this book at this moment in history. If you only read one book this year, this should be it.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
Very good work.
By Roberto Figueroa Jr
Being a man, I wanted to read this to see how the author, a woman, sees the world of men. She did a very good job describing a lot of what goes on between men, and in a man’s universe. How we bond with, honor, and communicate our boundaries around other men. The author intuitive and got the language of men down pat very quickly. It was very well written and clear to read.
I was very disappointed with how this book ended. The author talks about how men are scary. And stresses it as through she were implying; men are threatening.
Given all of the Author’s work to break-through into the world of men, study them, as a man herself, and discover for herself what is at the source, her statement about men being scary short-changes a lot of the hard work and effort she put into discovering them, disguised herself as a man. I felt it contradicted the sum of all her efforts and hard work to pierce the veil of secrecy into the world of men.
Otherwise, an excellent book on many levels. I recommend reading it if you wan to see through the eyes of a man, or want to know what kind of world men are immersed into around other men.
It hit the nail on the head many times.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
Insightful and interesting
By James A. Wilson
This is one of the more interesting books I’ve ever read, even though I didn’t really learn anything. It seems strange to say so, because the perspective is so different from my own. However it’s rather like looking at your back yard with a new friend; it calls attention to things you were aware of but didn’t pay much heed. I think Ms. Vincent learned a lot from her experience, and I think a lot of women, especially those who know little of men save the stereotypes that they constantly strive to make real, could learn a great deal from it. While I gave it five stars there was a single disappointment, and that was in the language. I don’t mind profanity much, but I seriously dislike crudity, and in this case it’s embedded in otherwise excellent ‘conversational’ prose. It jars me out of the reverie of reading, which is why I dislike it. Despite that caveat I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn a little more about the differences between the sexes, rather than claiming superiority for one or the other.

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