In an attempt to uncover the truths about the lives of men in our society, author Norah Vincent disguised herself as a man and wrote a “travelogue”, Self-Made Man, to compare her experiences of living in different communities as a man and her own lifetime as a woman. On her journey, Vincent participates in a bowling league where she forms friendships with a group of middle-aged men. She goes to strip clubs to discover that a place where men take refuge to avoid the society’s expectations, where women do not dare to step into, do not provide comfort for those men but only dejections. She also goes on dates with women and discovers how difficult it is for men to approach, let alone get to know, a woman. She then goes on a prolonged retreat to a secluded monastery full of men to learn that they even struggle to interact with others of the same gender, adding to the fact that they can barely interact with other women. After forming multiple emotional and friendly relationships, Vincent goes to work as a door-to-door salesman and learns how dif...
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... contempt yet when a woman acts in such ways they receive compassion. “People see weakness in a woman and they want to help. They see weakness in a man and they want to stamp it out” (213). Many people do not notice these minute mental responses that many of them provide.
From her one and a half year in disguise as a man, Vincent has uncovered various experiences where men would suffer because of the gender identity that have been imprinted on them by our society. Just as women has always been the victim of the gender inequality that resulted from the social construction of gender, men has also suffered physically, emotionally, and most important of all silently. How, then, can a man live freely when everything and everyone goes against the idea of a man being allowed to live as a human being? But who is to blame for the difficulties we all face? Probably all of us.
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