This post likely isn’t what you thought it was when you opened it up. It is actually about a butch lesbian named Norah Vincent, whose name may be familiar to some of you. Nearly 20 years ago, she conducted a rather bold experiment in which she decided to live as a man, to understand how men think and what our problems and issues are.
She was quite successful in this endeavour. In the process of living as “Ned”, she came to understand the realities of male relationships, bonding, problems, burdens, and virtues. She realised that the ridiculous stereotypes she once held, of men being these prejudiced, misogynistic, leering knuckle-dragging grunting imbeciles when among their own kind, were absolutely and completely wrong.
But these realisations came at an extremely high price. She basically went crazy. And she never truly recovered from her experiment:
For 18 months, Norah pretended to be a man under a new name: Ned. She did “manly” things and 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. But despite these adventures, Ned didn’t feel alive, free, or fluid. In fact, Ned was wearing Norah down, and she began to fall into a deep depression.
“I suspect people will go into this thinking oh, it’s written by a lesbian, she’s going to be male-bashing all the way down the line,” Vincent said during a phone interview. “But my experience was one that made me feel very vulnerable and made me feel a lot of pain and difficulty. While all of us in the post-feminist movement are convinced that women have always had it worse and men have always had it better, it took me stepping into their shoes to realize that that’s not true at all.”
Norah’s immersive journalism was anything but empowering. She felt alone and defeated as Ned. “Men are suffering,” Norah said. “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.”
She had to admit herself to a hospital for feeling suicidal in 2008. While Norah was incredibly self-aware and reflective, it seems she never got over the mental difficulties and setbacks she faced from living as a man. In the summer of 2022, Norah finally succumbed to her pain and died at the age of 53 via assisted death in Switzerland.
This is deeply sad for a number of reasons. Ms Vincent was a feminist once, but she had the intellectual curiosity – and, more importantly, the integrity – to question her core beliefs and put them to the test. She walked her own talk, and she learned some very unpleasant things about both men and women.
I wrote up a post about this all the way back in January 2015, in which I discussed some of the points that she raised in her interview. It is worth taking another look at those points in light of this rather tragic news.
Before I go into that, let us turn things over to Joker, who did a long video today about Ms Vincent’s experiment and the results thereof. It is nearly an hour long, and as such is a bit of a slog, but I assure you it is worth listening to and absorbing:
As for the results of Ms Vincent’s work, time and experience have shown me that everything she discussed and wrote about is absolutely true. In my earlier post from years ago, I unpacked some of the points that she raised about how sex for men is a physical need, and how society and civilisation force men to repress their most violent urges, often to their own extreme detriment.
I would like to expand upon a couple of other ideas, mentioned by Joker as well.
The War of the Sexes
The first is this idea that Ms Vincent mentioned about women still being attracted to “manly men”. This is every bit as true today as it was 20 years ago – more so, in fact. Women are conditioned by a weakened and degenerate society to believe that weakened and degenerate men are attractive. This is UTTERLY false, as we red-pill types know full well.
The reality is completely different. Masculine, manly men will always be sexually successful, no matter what market they are in. The problem that they face today is not one of scarcity – it is one of abundance. In the modern dating and marriage market places, virtually every woman wants to bed and eventually marry Gigachad Thundercock – to the point where even 3s and 4s on the classic 10-point scale think that they can successfully land 9s and 10s among men.
This lack of balance creates serious and severe problems for both men and women. The natural solipsism and hypergamy of women has to be controlled and channelled – it cannot be allowed to run unchecked. If it does, then we end up with the society that we have now in the Western world, where weakness and cowardice are rewarded, and the masculine virtues are devalued.
Different societies deal with this problem in different ways – most of them very, very badly.
The Only Realistic Solution
Japanese society deals with it by enforcing a kind of blanket conformity that turns men into productive worker bees and women into compliant home-makers – but this model falls apart completely the moment that their men have to take some initiative and show some independence. The result is a society with rock-bottom birth rates that has essentially given up on reproducing.
Islamic society deals with it by going in completely the wrong direction, putting all power in the hands of men and reducing women to the status of chattel. Islamic doctrine is as anti-feminist as you can get – women are quite literally fields which men can “plough” at will, whenever they please, with up to four wives and as many slave-concubines as they wish.
A number of African societies deal with it by going in the exact opposite direction, concentrating far too much power in the hands of women. You only need look at Africa to see the results.
There was a time when Christian societies kind-of-sort-of had the issue figured out. Instead of trying to solve the problem of the adversarial relationship between men and women through command-and-control tactics, the Christian ethic simply accepts this for the curse that it is, and says that Christian men and women must exercise discipline, self-control, and faith – and they cannot do it alone. They have to rely on God’s help to maintain the balance. A TRUE Christian marriage has THREE entities in it – Man, Woman, and GOD. Any failure to put God at the very centre of marriage, results in deep unhappiness.
That is the only way to solve the problem of the Battle of the Sexes – and, incidentally, doing so solves precisely the problems that Norah uncovered. Discipline is freedom – as I have said so many times, freedom is not the right or ability to do whatever you want, it is the hard substitution of discipline imposed from within, for discipline imposed from without.
The Virtue of Compassion
The second point is one that Joker mentions in his video. As he points out, when Norah talks about the “tenderness” that men show to each other, this is not the correct term, even though she is correct in her general sentiments. The correct word is COMPASSION.
This is, in many ways, a uniquely masculine virtue. It is not one that women truly share.
Do not misunderstand. Women are more than capable of being deeply caring, supportive, and loving when their men feel pain and despair. A good woman knows exactly how to support her man and encourage him when he feels the full weight of the world pressing upon him.
But women cannot support men in the same way that other men can. It is simply not possible. The very concept is alien to them.
The platonic love and camaraderie of men comes from a place of respect and honour. When a man loses his job, or fails in some way, or gets really badly hurt, it isn’t just the loss of income, face, strength, or capability that damages him. The true pain comes from the feeling that he is LESS THAN A MAN.
What does it mean to be a man? It means to excel in the four true masculine virtues – Strength, Honour, Courage, and Mastery. When a man fails in these areas, he feels himself worthless – and he is right.
The love and care of a woman does not get him out of that hole – it merely supports him and helps him to feel that he has not completely failed himself and his loved ones, who depend on him for sustenance and shelter. No, what truly gets him out of that hole is the feeling that other men still regard him as One Of Them.
There is a very good REASON why, in primitive societies, exile was often considered the absolute worst punishment that you could inflict on a wayward man. Death itself was often preferable to exile, because being part of the tribe meant help and support from one’s brothers.
Cold-Edged with Dear-Bought Wisdom
I will add a personal reflection here. When I lost my job back in 2018 and had to leave the USA, I had to leave behind a brotherhood of men that I had come to know well through my martial arts training. This was, by far, the worst and hardest part of leaving. For the next 4 years, I had no such support system, no male friends with whom I could discuss potential solutions, no one that I could meet face-to-face over a beer to bounce around ideas and figure out how to get out of the hole that I found myself in.
Family and loved ones could do little to fill that void. The respect and honour of one’s male peers is impossible to replace through familial or female substitutes. It cannot be done. Looking back, I have no doubt that a big part of the reason why it took me so long to recover from that shock and loss, is because I did not have that brotherhood with me. I had earned my place at that table – and then I had to give it up, even though they wanted me there and valued my presence.
Conclusion – a Tragic Loss
Overall, Ms Vincent’s passing is a sad and deeply unfortunate one. It is clear that she carried daemons with her after her experiment. Therein lies a stark warning to both men and women:
Our two sexes are radically different in our modes of thought, expression, psychology, needs, wants, biology, physiology, and a thousand other qualities. Those who seek to erase the distinctions between men and women, and pretend that sex is just a social construct, are literally trying to unmake what God has made. Therein lies the path to madness and despair, as Ms Vincent tragically discovered.
More than that, blaming the problems of women on “toxic masculinity” is lazy, stupid, and deeply ridiculous. Women have serious problems that go all the way back to the Fall. The broken and ruined societies of the West that we see today are not the result of too much “toxic masculinity” – they are the result of the complete ABANDONMENT of the masculine virtues.
Ms Vincent, to her great credit, figured this out and pointed out that men have a fundamental need, a deep desire, to be respected and honoured by their peers, societies, families, and especially fellow men. A man can live without a woman in his life just fine – but a man cannot long survive without the regard and respect of his closest male friends.
Let us give thanks, then, to Ms Vincent for what she showed the world – and let us hope that she now finds the peace which eluded her in life.