In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 5, 2006 / 7 Nissan, 5766

I'm not gay, I'm a wuss!

By Joel Stein

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I've never been the manliest guy. As a kid I had all female friends, loved musicals, owned an Easy-Bake Oven, had a sticker collection and freely told people that my favorite character in "Star Wars" was C-3PO, a robot so gay they gave him a British voice. I was able to find the one gay thing about "Star Wars." That's like going to a strip club because you like dance music.

And it's only gotten worse since I moved to L.A., where straight men wear shirts with prints on them and jeans with holes in suspicious places. After just three months of living here, I had gotten Lasik, a creme brulee torch and a yellow Mini Cooper convertible.

To stem the tide, I had lunch with Norah Vincent, a former L.A. Times columnist who spent more than a year undercover as a man for her new book, "Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again." One of the tips she apparently failed to pick up from my gender was to not use so many words.

Still, if anyone knew how to butch someone up, it was Vincent. So I took her to lunch in New York and asked for some advice.

Right away, Vincent, a 5-foot-10 lesbian, noticed that my handshake was neither strong nor assertive. Also, my eyes were too gentle. "That's a sign of weakness. That will not get you women," she said. "Make your eyes harder. When you look at people, think mean thoughts." She was making the last part easy.

Vincent suggested that I take some vocal training to lower my voice, as she did for her book. "It's not the timbre but the intonation. You're a questioner. You don't have the sense that you know exactly what you're talking about." Apparently, I talk like a Canadian.

She's right. A few months ago, I Googled an article on some blog about how my voice on the radio is the voice of a "neuter educated and acculturated out of any gender at all."

Apparently, I'm not sure of myself, which makes me unmanly. Also, it seems to cause me to Google myself a lot.

To fix this, Vincent suggested that I "project more authority. More ego. Less emotional accessibility. Don't be available for elaboration. Give them a very terse answer. Become a little more autistic." What I needed to do was bark orders. Like for the omelet with ratatouille and goat cheese I was ordering for lunch.

Even the way I sat was completely wrong. I kind of crossed my legs. This horrified her.

"Maybe Brad Pitt could sit like that," she said. "But Brad Pitt could wear a pearl necklace and get away with it." She suggested that I spread my legs as far apart as possible, which didn't sound very manly until she explained it: "Take up more space than you should because you're entitled to it."

Feeling more than a little emasculated, especially after being accused of having something called "sweet boy sneakers," I started to brag about wanting to cheat on my wife all the time. This didn't work at all. "The fact that you're able to identify and articulate your emotions puts you miles ahead of most guys," she said.

After we shared some beignets and hot chocolate, Vincent looked me up and down and said that I might be a wuss, but I was definitely not gay. "A gay man would have put more thought into his ensemble." It was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me.

The truth is, I don't mind being a little neutered. Gender is so primary in our society that we spend all this effort exaggerating our sex — hair, makeup, boob jobs, weight-lifting, sitting through NCAA games. And now that technology and societal changes have created a sea of liminal characters in the way of transsexuals, cross-dressers and gays, the rest of us are even more desperate to assert the purity of our chromosomes.

But I don't like myself when I fall into the easy, learned patterns of masculinity. I don't like that I've learned not to cry, that I get real quiet during fights, that I always have to be in charge, that I judge women first by how they look. And if questioning all of that has made me undesirably sexless, I can live with that. Plus it will keep anyone from cheating with me.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Joel Stein is a Los Angeles Times columnist. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate