Customer Review

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Learned So Much From This Book, July 8, 2010
This review is from: Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man (Paperback)
I came upon this book in the library as I was doing research for my own book on dating. I was so intrigued by the idea that I had to take the time to read it. I am so glad I did. I grew up the only girl in a family of four children. I'd also been married twice, so I knew a few things about men. Norah's courage and candor really make this book. I thought her compassion for the difficulties men face balanced her criticisms; I did not find any male bashing going on here.

While it enlightened me in a number of areas, this book answered a burning question that developed from my dating experience: why were so many men interested in only dating younger women? I had several men clearly reject me when they discovered I was older than or even the same age they were. I could see if they still wanted children - I was in my late forties. I could see if I was out of shape or unattractive or looked older than my age, but I'm not and I don't. I finally got my answer from Norah's own dating experience as Ned. Ned dates a woman five years younger than he is and he expresses his concern that she might be uncomfortable with their age difference. She quickly responds that he has nothing to worry about, because a man's 35 is not equal to a woman's 35. "It's more akin to a woman's twenty-three." Those words left off the page for me. I came to the conclusion that it's all about the need many men have to feel superior to a woman. I don't mean this as harshly as it sounds; I've just had so many men try to compete with me and feel deflated to learn I have a master's degree or even drive a stick shift! Sadly I believe they feel they can't hold their own with a partner their age or older.

I am so grateful that Norah put herself through this experience and then shared it so openly with us. I highly recommend this book to every woman and to men, as well.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2012 11:04:49 AM PST
Mad Rapper says:
It works both ways. Men want to feel secure in a relationship too and we know about women's hypergamy. Women marry up. They are attracted to and seek out relationships with higher status men. It's why female CEO's never marry male secretaries (or equivalently low status males) the way male CEO's do. If we are not the higher status partner we feel, correctly or not (but mostly correctly as it turns out,) that it's only a matter of time before you will leave us for a higher status male. All of which begs the question, do men really need to feel superior to their partners or, rather, do they need to feel themselves to be in a secure and stable relationship without fear of infidelity due to their partners probable future loss of interest? The answer is probably both, though we've spent decades exclusively vilifying men for feeling challenged by female romantic peers and marrying younger, lower status women, while giving women a pass for the equally important role that they play in the dynamic.

Posted on Nov 29, 2014 8:40:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2014 8:41:41 PM PST
Jason Clark says:
To add to what MR has said, men don't find your degree or career attractive. However the fact that you think they're important tells us enough about you to steer clear. I find it amusing that you take what a woman said, "35 for a man is like 23 for a woman" and spin it into some sort preference among men.

If you want to know what men value it's pretty simple. Good looks, or at least doing the best with what you have, a 0.7 waist/hip ratio, and a pleasant easy-going personality. We're simply not interested in dealing with a woman who's interested in competing with men and we hate emotional drama. Home is supposed to be a refuge from the stresses of the world, not an amplification of it.
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