In The Bro Code and Generation M, filmmaker Thomas Keith examined how American culture bombards young men with sexist and misogynistic messages. In The Empathy Gap, he looks more closely at the ways these messages short-circuit men's ability to empathize with women, respect them as equals, and take feminism seriously.
Keith begins by exploring some of the key messages about manhood that boys absorb from the culture -- that they should acquire material wealth, meet conflict with aggression, harden themselves, suppress all human emotion except anger, and view women primarily as sexual objects -- then argues that these messages not only devalue women but also undercut men's innate capacity for caring and empathy. Along the way, he draws fascinating parallels between sexism and racism, spelling out how each is rooted in cultural norms that discourage empathy, and shows how men who break with these norms live happier and healthier lives.
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