Monday, February 20, 2006

I just finished Self-Made Man

and I am going to write this short review... I hope to write a longer review of the book later.

What I really found most intresting about the book wasn't what I thought I would.Her Insights as a female tourist in the male world while in some areas show a deep sense of depth she far to often falls back on her own feminist (I dare say Lesbian-Feminist) sensibilities. She can't keep them entirely and really struggles with that but she finds herself back in those areas where she finds the ideology to be less harmful then others.

What I really liked about the book was the insight Norah Vincent provided into her own life. She finishes off her time masquerading as a man in the Catholic monestary with a confession and you feel this book is a lot of the same kind of ritualism. She spends a lot of time getting into how troubled and tortured her acts left her but she also exposed a real wound at the fact she realized that as Norah, not as her male alter ego NED did she have the most to make amends for. Where she finds herself bumping against the battle of the sexes from the oppisite side you can see as she herself says what she finds most bothersome are things that point back at the Norah inside the Ned.

I think she as a matter of training gropes onto an idea of Male sexuality while rejecting much of the other feminist stereotypes of the man. I think she does that because thats what she is most engrossed in with her work... but it shows some of the intellectual heft the book lacked.

But this book is a confession, a very deep one. She had her sense of self, her very soul shattered and as much as this book was an experiment to her she came out of it as an entirely different person.

I think if she came with a less committed Feminist worldview the book would have been different. If Norah weren't a lesbian reporter from the L.A times but a hetero female reporter from a paper in the American Heatland we might have seen a different book.

But she's built herself into a person that see's language and a world in a certain way. And you could tell in reading this book she really had that fundemental foundation torn assunder and she had to rebuild.

So for that reason alone the book is a good read

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