I read Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man: a Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again
. The author disguised herself as a man for 18 months, apparently very convincingly. She wanted to see the world from a man's point of view and gain access to the man's world of power and privilege. It's often said "it's a white man's world" and she wanted to see what it was like to be the beneficiary. A self-described "dyke" with masculine features she figured she was ahead of the game.
Amazingly she came away from the experience with more respect and understanding for how hard the world is for men. How the expectations of "manhood" chokes their emotional expressiveness, how the primal urge for sex is, in her view, a very primal and basic bodily function, and how men feel conflicted in their relationships with women, both wanting to protect and take care of them, while wanting to basically choke them for being the source of so much of their emotional agony. It was a very enlightening book and gave me a greater appreciation for my man. It also highlights some of the differences between men and women that few of us notice.
My only quibble with the book was her tendency to go on with the psychobabble. Also, she uses foreshadowing in a ham-handed way. She never presents the book as anything scientific. It's meant to be one woman's experience and observations. I feel like I came away from the book with new insights into the motivations of and constrictions on the men around me. I feel like I need to reread it to actually remind myself of the useful stuff it contained.
As much as it pains me to link to the New York Times, they have a good picture of her in her full man-disguise