Last night I finished reading Vincent's Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again. I'm very impressed.
Vincent went in drag as a guy named "Ned" for a year and a half and did her best to occupy the stereotypical niches of American masculinity, to see what they felt like. (Not good, it turns out.)
One thing that intrigued me is the fact that a lot of the experiences she seeks out are precisely the experiences I've spent a lot of my life trying to avoid precisely because they're so...what's the word...stereotypical. Mandated (hrm) by unthinking tradition and habit. But of course, being a guy I haven't completely managed to escape them either, so it's interesting to see what she makes of them. She finds grace notes in aspects of masculinity that I've never enjoyed or trusted, which makes me think I've probably been too hard on a lot of other guys over the years.
Now I have to go dig out my copy of Iron John...
The Electric Smack Shack
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
- Self-Made Man, by Norah Vincent