For those of you who don't already know, Norah Vincent was a lesbian feminist who went into a project with an agenda, but had her mind and eyes opened by reality. When she disguised herself as a man to check out the supposed privilege, she found out that being a man is actually far more difficult than she had imagined, and that it is women who are privileged. She went undercover during 2003 and 2004, and her book Self Made Man was published in 2006.

Living as a man was so rough on her that she stopped her research earlier than she had planned, and sought psychological help for depression. This led to another, later book in which she immersed herself in a mental hospital as a patient to write of that experience. What she went through in both of her "immersive journalism" books took its toll on her, and she used Switzerland's assisted suicide laws in July of this past year (2022) to cease living with the mental anguish.

Primary source: YouTube video of an interview Norah Vincent did with ABC News to promote her book Self Made Man back in 2006, when the book was new. I encourage anyone to watch the entire video, but I'll link to timestamps [edit - I can't seem to make that work, so I'll just use plain text until I figure it out] [new edit - the timestamp links seem to be working now, but I'll leave the plain text there just in case] that are pertinent to what I'm saying.

3:44 3:44

She shares her surprise at how men were actually far kinder, and women far meaner:

[people think] we're [women] so nice, we're so easy, men are so mean, [but it's the] complete opposite

9:20 9:20 until 10:50 or so.

Norah describing a woman she had approached as "Ned":

emblazoned with hostility

That rejection was actually quite tame and polite compared to what a lot of men experience. I'd have liked to have seen Norah's reaction to a nuclear rejection.

apologized for how she treated "Ned"

sorry for being bitchy

But as long as she had thought that Norah was "Ned", she believed her treatment of "him" was acceptable!

11:00 11:00 until around 12:10, online dating.

Norah, as "Ned", also went on about 30 dates with women, mostly arranging them on the internet.

A) I'd like to remind everyone that this was during 2003 and 2004, which was when I was using OLD. OLD was awesome back then, and not the raging dumpster fire it has become in the last 10 years or so.

B) 30 dates isn't bad, really. I'd have been interested to know how many attempts were made that never went anywhere.

C) it's interesting that while "Ned" had a few things in "his" favor, such as height and a symmetrical face, "he" still came across as rather soft and effeminate in person, which turned women off (so much for wanting sensitivity!).

interviewer: did you have any fun?

Norah: rarely. Rarely.

interviewer (voiceover narration): the pressure of having to prove herself as "Ned" was grueling. Norah was surprised that many women had no interest in a soft, vulnerable man.

There's that male burden of performance that women just don't understand, because they just are.

14:45 14:45 until about 15:03, she discusses men venting their anger and darkest thoughts, but would never actually do those things.

This is something a lot of women who venture into male spaces online fail to understand. They don't see men healthily venting, but rather plotting violence.

This also falls under one of the many reasons that allowing women to be moderators at any male space dooms that space.

More on this in a bit.

16:50 16:50 until about 17:10

This is her descent into depression, etc. Living as a man for a little over a year was enough to break her.

17:25 17:25 until 17:44

Norah: men are suffering. They have different problems, but they do not have it better...they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together.

interviewer: do you think women understand what it's like to be a man?

Norah: not at all. No clue. No idea.

Again, this is one of many reasons why male spaces without female moderators are essential.

17:55 17:55

this'll be revolutionary, since it's coming from a woman!

No, sadly, her journey has been swept under the rug by the powers-that-be and mostly forgotten, since they have a men-as-oppressors agenda to push.

Now to tie this requiem to the one female ally about whom I have no doubts [edit - one of two; I had forgotten Esther Vilar] to the theme of this forum, her journey explains partly why so many "good men" have checked out. She wasn't treated nearly as badly as most men get treated, and it was still too much for her. Is it any wonder, then, that as women have become ruder, sluttier, and just nastier all around, and as laws and soyciety continue rewarding and encouraging their bad behavior that includes frivolous divorces in which they pillage half of everything a man has worked for, is it any wonder at at all that so many men are checking out and refusing to commit? That those of us who fucked up and did, will tell any younger man who will listen "do NOT get married"?

Gentlemen, I encourage you to live for yourselves. Let those who don't care about you rot.

Suggested additional reading: archived article from Evie about Norah's life, work, and death.