Monday, January 18, 2010

"Self-Made Man" by Norah Vincent

I just finished "Self-Made Man" by Norah Vincent. This book has been on my reading list for a long long time.

I was expecting a lot more queer/feminist/etc theory, but was refreshed to discover that this isn't the case. Vincent is much more blunt and honest about her experiences as a man. It is clear, from her report, that nobody benefits from the current gender norms. The "men's movement" and other efforts to "reclaim masculinity" aren't at all like the "White Power" movement: they focus on becoming more whole persons rather than masks of hypermasculinity.

The one downside was that Vincent went into this project with a lot of bias, particularly about working-class, straight white men. The year and a half she spent posing as a man nearly tore her apart because her concept of reality and her place in it was so dramatically altered.

More evidence that nobody benefits from privilege.

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