Self Made Man

by Norah Vincent

First book in a loooooong while ~ with good reason, I guess!  New baby & a cross country move...  I found myself desperate for the connection I had to my little library back in NY and the feeling is just different here in a large community, beachside, in San Diego so I joined a book group.  A femminist book group - ha!  I have yet to make it to a meeting but no matter, my opportunity hopefully will come this week.  And, without further babble, here's my short conclusion on this latest title.

I don't like to read too much about a book before I dive in for fear of not assessing the material without preconceived knowledge but I did get stumped by this one because of my thoughts based on picture & title.  Basically, dyke feels the world gives privileges to men and denigrates women so, after being ridiculed by her older brother and his friends for years about being more male than female she decides to try and pass as "Ned" and enter into the world of man.  Fine enough but her way of entering is by spending time in places that arguably should stay for men only.  Sex clubs, dating, healing retreats, bowling league, a monastery... oh yes, she as he was there.  Lots of interesting ideas were approached but I had to get over her need to expose the men friends she met (although all names are changed).  And, even worse, when she outed herself, which she did to some in the beginning, she felt compelled to rip off her shirt and show her bound breasts.  Hmmm.  As I said, lots to ponder.  I hope for a lively book group meeting on Monday!