Elizabeth's Reviews > Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again

Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent
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's review
Aug 22, 12

Read in August, 2012

I feel undecided about what rating I would like to give this book. Vincent writes honestly, and the process of her exploration of stereotypical manhood through assimilation is in many ways fascinating. However, I feel that her own emotional baggage plays a strange role in her reflections on the experience. Wading through how her tomboy childhood and lesbianism effect the entire experience was, at times, confusing. I felt empowered by the awareness she brought to how men and women seek service in daily life; she asserted that women use questions and apologies and men often give simple but curteous commands. I feel satisfied with the experience of reading this book, but also left wanting to know more about how she would have percieved the parts of manhood that exsist in a more "grey" area. Being part of a generation which is constantly pressing and questioning the boundaries of gender identity I felt Nora's perspectives on "Ned's" experience acted as an insightful peek into how adults in older generations have developed and struggle with their own identities. I'm also interested in reading the memoir she wrote after the completion of this book about her time in mental institutions which may possibly have been a result of the emotional weight of this initial experiment.

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