To the boys on his bowling team and the girls he dated, Ned was just another guy, maybe a little baby-faced, small-town, great listener. Well, Ned is really Nora, writer Nora Vincent goes undercover for 18 months as a kind of spy in the gender wars. He hacked several canned men, strip bars, a Roman Catholic monastery, and a male sex education group. He also found work as a salesman. He struggles with the illusion of a double life, the psychological pressure of separating identities and the unexpected pressure of his own world. For example, as a homosexual, he likes to meet girls. It doesn’t work that way. Walking, talking, dressing and passing the ball turned out to be the easiest part of being human.
Later in the show, NBC canceled the controversial show about a priest who takes medicine but is mostly a self-made man, a woman’s journey to adulthood. Call us if you have any questions about women in a man’s world. Our Washington phone number is 800-989-8255 or 800-989-TALK. The email address is TOTN@npr.org. Nora Vincent joins us today from our New York office. And welcome to the country conversation.
Conan: I’ll ask you a question. Your first chapter is about bowling leagues. You’re dressed as Ned and I think you’re going for the first time. You open the door to the bowling alley and almost have a panic attack.
Gentlemen. Vincent: Yes, yes, that was definitely the scariest moment. This is the first time. I did a few little trips before I wrote the draft, but that was really the first thing on stage, ready for prime time. ..TEXT: Really, I feel like I’m in a men’s shop, like walking into a body shop or a barbershop, you know. As a woman, you know, you have straight hair. You feel like I shouldn’t be here. So of course, maybe no one looked at me, but it was like all eyes turned to me and stared. I realized, well, there’s no going back. I have to do it
Conan: Greetings from a man named Jim. You’ve never met him, but the man you approached is part of the bowling team. And immediately notice the fundamental difference between men and women.
Gentlemen. Vincent: Yes, I was surprised because I thought the guys were a bit of wolves when they met. You know, I always thought men were competitive and territorial. In fact, I found meeting strangers, and not just that night at the bowling league, it happened many times, a stranger’s handshake was incredibly inviting. Like joining a friendship that feels so old. And, you know, from my own experience, I’ve compared it to many handshakes I’ve had with women I don’t know.
In my opinion, it’s kind of fake there, and somehow, you know, you should be fine. You are socialized as a woman to be kind, but that’s not really sincerity. You are a little suspicious. In a way, we’ve been raised to compete with each other. So this seems odd to me, which I didn’t expect.