Norah Vincent was a journalist who wanted to explore the life of a man to write about it. She disguised herself as a man for 18 months, and her experiences were chronicled in her book, Self-Made Man. However, her journey was not empowering, and she ended up falling into a deep depression. Norah’s story is a reminder that gender and identity are complex issues that need to be approached with empathy and understanding.
The Experience Of Living As Man
Norah Vincent hired a makeup artist to help her paint stubble on her face, worked out to build the muscles on her back, wore rectangular-framed glasses, and strapped her breasts against her chest. With the help of a Julliard vocal coach, she was even able to train her voice to sound more manly. She joined a bowling league, a Roman Catholic monastery, and an awareness group for men. She went to strip clubs and dated women. She even worked in a male-dominated industry. However, Norah found that living life as a man wasn’t empowering. Instead, she felt alone and defeated as Ned.
Norah’s experiences as Ned made her realize that the idea of male privilege is a myth. She found that men face their own set of challenges and struggles. Norah said, “Men are suffering. They have different problems than women have, but they don’t have it better. They need our sympathy, they need our love, and they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together.”
The Mental Health Struggles
Norah’s mental state started to decline as Ned, and she fell into a crippling depression. She had to check herself into a mental facility while finishing Self-Made Man. Her experience in the psychiatric hospital inspired her next work, Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin. However, Norah’s artistic expression of assuming different identities only continued to cost her psychologically. Norah’s depression never went away, and she attempted suicide in 2014.
The Final Decision
Norah Vincent opted for assisted suicide in Switzerland on July 6, 2022. Her journey of exploring gender and identity ultimately cost her psychologically, and she never got over the mental difficulties and setbacks she faced from immersing herself in her work.
In conclusion, Norah Vincent’s story is a reminder that gender and identity are complex issues that need to be approached with empathy and understanding. Her experiences as Ned made her realize that men face their own set of challenges and struggles, and the idea of male privilege is a myth. Norah’s journey ultimately cost her psychologically, and she ended up choosing assisted suicide. Her story highlights the importance of mental health and the need to address the challenges that men face in our society.