As charities warn of a crisis in men's health, building empathy among men of all ages is more crucial than ever. One way to do that? Reading fictionby Sarah Manavis / August 30, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
I come from a family of chronic film criers. My mom is known for being “teary,” wailing into a towel at Bridges of Madison County and repeatedly weeping at Ever After. My little sister infamously cried at the first Ice Age movie when she thought the tiger had died. In the last month, I have pathetically sobbed at the final scene of Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
My tendency to cry so easily used to embarrass me; that I, and the other women in my family, would break down at the simplest, most predictable Hollywood plot lines. We’re “tender-hearted,” my mother used to say, which I used to read as code for being overly-sensitive. But what I realise now is that what we actually were, and what we really are, is empathetic. Even though we don’t know these (poorly-developed) characters or lived their fictitious plot-lines, we feel for their losses, cry over their heartbreaks and feel their feelings.