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March 17, 2006
You know what you don't read?

You don't read stories about a man disguising himself as a woman to see how the other half lives.

This is the third story I've read/seen in the last three years about a woman dressing as a man to find out what life as a man is like.

You never hear about a man who cares enough about women's lives that he disguises himself as a woman and then writes about his experience.

Aside from that, the review of this book makes it sound like the author went in to get the dirt on, well, on what dirt men were and wound having to admit that trailer-trash, smokin', drinkin' and bowlin' guys are just people. And not bad people. (Certainly less narrow-minded and bigoted than the Ivy League bunch in the White House these days.)

The reviewer may be right about Vincent's prejudices getting in the way of the story that's there to be told. It could be careful quoting out of context, but the examples shown do sound more like a catalog of the problems caused by class differences than by gender and, until I read the book I can't tell if the reviewer's position (that Vincent is determined to ignore class in favor of seeing gender oppression everywhere) is correct or not.

It sounds as though Vincent's written a book worth reading almost in spite of herself. Maybe a book that reveals more about her determination to find men squalid and brutal than to find the truth, but a book that might give the attentive reader some food for thought.

But then she starts staring at the guys in the [massage?] parlor "taking in these women like a drug."

From what the reviewer says, Vincent treats this as an example of female oppresion, but me, I just think it's sad. I don't see any angle about it that isn't just.... Sad.

I don't know. I'm going to think about it. I never wanted to be a man and male-bashing is boring, but I might pick this one up.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:07 PM