Self Made Man (2006): Norah Vincent


My Year Disguised as a Man

As long-term readers of this blog will know, I’m very interested in gender as a concept. How do we internalise society’s expectations of gender? How can we tackle gender imbalance in the workplace and the boardroom? Is gender itself innate or created? How can we reinvent our own gender, and with what level of success? When I heard about this book, it promised to answer another question that niggles with me a great deal and which, perhaps, I’ll never really know the answer to. Is there really that much difference between men and women? Norah Vincent, a New York journalist best described as ‘fearless’, decides to investigate this question. Rather than simply collecting information from interviews, she goes one better: she decides that, for a whole year, she will join her subjects, dressing, socialising, living and dating as a man. It’s a daring project and fascinating to read about, even if I have some misgivings about her methods.

Continue reading