The completion of the review of Self Made Man
JDN 2455791 EDT 16:15.
I’ve now finished Self Made Man—it reads quite quickly, as, I suppose, do I. Norah Vincent, as Ned, went through a bowling club, strip clubs, dating, a monastery, a door-to-door sales job, and a men’s therapy group disguised as a man. In every case, she did so successfully—hardly anyone even suspected that she was not really male, though it’s interesting to note that a few found her effeminate or suspected her of being gay.
The general message Vincent derived from the experience is exactly the message I’ve been trying to convey to feminists for about the last decade: Masculinity is fragile. Male privilege has to be defended. It isn’t something that is handed to you because you have a penis and a Y chromosome, to keep and use as you like with no questions asked; on the contrary, it is something that you have to constantly defend, building a barricade around your emotions and guarding them to the last, well, man. Your every move is scrutinized; you can lose your privilege in an instant with a second of eye contact or half an octave of vocal pitch.