Male Like Me

From The New York Times: ‘Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey Into Manhood and Back Again,’ by Norah Vincent.

Vinc3 Don’t judge this book by its cover. It features two photographs of the author, Norah Vincent. In the first, she’s a brassy, attractive woman with short, upswept hair and a confident smirk on her face. In the second, she’s done up in man drag, with poindexter eyeglasses, a day’s worth of stubble and a necktie. There’s your premise in a nutshell: assertive, opinionated Vincent, best known as a contrarian columnist for The Los Angeles Times, goes undercover as a man to learn how the fellas think and act when them pesky broads ain’t around. Flip the book open, and the first thing you come to is its dedication: “To my beloved wife, Lisa McNulty, who saves my life on a daily basis.” Yes, ladies and gents, the author is a self-proclaimed “dyke.”

Vinc2_1 Ned lands a thankless job going door-to-door selling “entertainment books” filled with coupons for discounts at local businesses. The raw, malevolent arrogance of Ned’s fellow salesmen, who actually psych themselves up by shouting out such idiotic motivational acronyms as Juice (for Join Us In Creating Excitement), can’t hide their desperation. Vincent scares herself when, dressed up in one of Ned’s power blazers, she submits to the Juice mentality and actually succeeds at being a feral-jerk saleswolf, earning her boss’s praise as “a highly motivated type a guy.”

More here.