Norah Vincent Quotes

Who is Norah Vincent?

Norah Mary Vincent was an American writer. She was a feminist who went undercover as a man in an attempt to prove men lead easier lives than women.

She wrote the book 'Self-Made Man' about her experiences as a man for 18 months. To her surprise she noticed life was a lot harder for her as a man.

Vincent committed suicide in 2022, scarred by her experiences.

Born September 20, 1968
Died July 06, 2022

Books by Norah Vincent


Best 22 Quotes by Norah Vincent

“Happiness is not a reward. It's a consequence. You have to work at it every day.”

Norah Vincent

“I really like being a woman. I like it more now because I think it's more of a privilege.”

Norah Vincent

“Is this level of athletic competition the ultimate distraction from real life? Or is it a form of prayer?”

Norah Vincent

“People see weakness in a woman and they want to help. They see weakness in a man and they want to stamp it out.”

Norah Vincent

“There is a time in a boy’s life when the sweetness is pounded out of him; and tenderness, and the ability to show what he feels, is gone.”

Norah Vincent

“There's a big difference between tolerance and approval, and I have no right to expect or demand the latter from anyone.”

Norah Vincent

“Think of what’s scary in a movie. The unseen, the imagined, is always more frightening than what’s graphically portrayed. The same holds true in your head. Face your fear, step into it, look at it head-on and it will diminish in stature, lose its hold on your imagination. But run, and it’ll grow wings, breather fire, and fly after you.”

Norah Vincent

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“When we're in the presence of another person, there is always a mask, even if that mask is our face. There is no escaping it. And so the vast majority of what we say to each other, whether it is to our spouses, our family, our confessor, or perfect strangers, amounts to chitchat all the same. Or at best, a crack audition for that juiciest of all parts were literally dying to play: ourselves. But alone, fuckin' a-lone we're genius.”

Norah Vincent

Self-Made Man Quotes

“A lot of men's bluster is really indicating how much the esteem of women means to them, and not how little. I was surprised, too, to find that men care as much as they do.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“Being Ned was often an uncomfortable and alienating experience, and far from finding myself in him, I usually felt kept from myself in some elemental way.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“Dating women was the hardest thing I had to to as Ned, even when the women liked me and I liked them. I have never felt more vulnerable to total strangers, never more socially defenseless than in my clanking suit of borrowed armor. But then, I guess maybe that's one of the secrets of manhood that no man tells if he can help it. Every man's armor is borrowed and ten sizes too big, and beneath it, he's naked and insecure and hoping you won't see.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“Ditto for the stereotype about men monopolizing conversations. Many of my dates — even the more passive ones — did most of the talking. I listened to them talk literally for hours about the most minute, mind-numbing details of their personal lives; men they were still in love with, men they had divorced, roommates and coworkers they hated, childhoods they were loath to remember, yet somehow found the energy to recount ad nauseam. Listening to them was like undergoing a slow frontal lobotomy. I sat there stunned by the social ineptitude of people to whom it never seemed to occur that no one, much less a first date, would have any interest in enduring this ordeal.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“Gratification kills desire. And constant gratification kills it permanently.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“If women are trapped by the whore/Madonna complex, men are equally trapped by this warrior/minstrel complex. What’s more, while a man is expected to be modern, that is, to support feminism in all its particulars, to see and treat women as equals in every respect, he is on the other hand often still expected to be traditional at the same time, to treat a lady like a lady, to lead the way and pick up the check.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

Products by Norah Vincent

“It was the woman’s job to be on the defensive, because past experience had taught her to be. It was the guy’s job to be on the offensive, because he had no choice. It was that or never meet at all.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“It’s hard to position a movement when the territory is so intimate. Men, after all, can’t exactly gather on the White House lawn and demonstrate for their right to cry in public or claim their lost fathers’ love. These, it would seem, are matters for the therapist’s couch. Private matters.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

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“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”

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“Men’s healing is in women’s interest, though for women that healing will mean accepting on some level not only that men are — here is the dreaded word — victims of the patriarchy, too, but (and this will be the hardest part to swallow) that women have been co-determiners in the system, at times as invested and active as men themselves in making and keeping men in their role.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

“Women and men communicate differently, often on entirely different planes. But just as men have failed us, we have failed them. It has been one of our great collective female shortcomings to presume that whatever we do not perceive simply isn't there, or that whatever is not communicated in our language is not intelligible speech.”

Norah Vincent
Self-Made Man

Voluntary Madness Quotes

“I could live alone forever if I just had a view of the sea.”

Norah Vincent
Voluntary Madness

“Normal life is nuts. It's a downhill deterioration to death no matter how you spice it along the way, and there's nothing you can do about it.”

Norah Vincent
Voluntary Madness

“There is a whole hell of a lot of knowledge about the human condition that we are not ready for.”

Norah Vincent
Voluntary Madness

“You want to be happy? You want to be well? Then put your boots on.”

Norah Vincent
Voluntary Madness