A self-made man by Norah Vincent

Image from GoodReads.Com, find quotes from this book here.

Self-made man: My year disguised as a man is a book written by journalist Norah Vincent. Before discussing the book further, it must be said that this is a kind of experimentation which women have thought of doing to invade into traditional male spaces and know more about what happens there. Vincent recounts something similar in her book. She states that: 

pose as a man photo
Photo by The Library of Congress
  • Infiltrating male-dominated spaces: She did an 18-month-old experiment where she discussed herself as a man who she named “Ned” and integrated herself into traditional male-centric places or venues. This includes places like the bowling league as well as a monastery. In the book, she talks about what she and experienced in other men only places like strip clubs and such. She also details her experiences in men’s s support groups and on dates as well. 
  • Not a transgender but a lesbian: While some may construe this activity as her coming out or becoming a transgender but she stated it clearly in the book that she isn’t a transgender but only a lesbian. 

How did she do it?

Vincent got a buzz cut to pose as a man and even used a sports bra to flatten her chest. She got makeup artists so that she could have a fake beard shadow. That’s not all, she also trained her voice for months so that it sounded deeper and bulked up to gain more upper body muscle. 

What did she found out?

She said in an interview that: 

“Men are suffering. They have different problems than women have but they don’t have it better. They need our sympathy, they need our love, and they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together.” 

Apart from this she also states that many thought that her butch qualities (in female spaces) were considered to be effeminate in men’s circles. 

In the book, she expands more on how men suffer under older men and there is a very toxic cycle that continues. This results in the misogyny of course but it also results in depression and other issues in men who can’t even articulate it properly due to traditional unspoken male laws.