A lot of men have issues with unexpressed emotions. The new service Man Tears wants to change that by helping men to cry more.
“Crying improves your mood and helps relieve stress. Tears cleanse your eyes and keep your nose moist and bacteria-free. But gender and cultural norms keep men from reaping the benefits of crying.”
Man Tears has users set a crying goal, 20-120 minutes a month, and a crying level, normal (“When you’re looking for a good cry sesh”) or power cry (“When you just don’t have the time”). Then, Man Tears helps you to reach that crying goal.
If you choose the normal crying level, Man Tears offers a range of videos in five tearjerking categories:
- Family Dogs Being Put Down
- Perfectly Crafted Business Deals that Fell Through the Cracks at the Last Moment
- Military Returning Home
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Thai Commercials About Living Simply and Kindly
After you watch a video, Man Tears will ask you to rate how hard you cried on an emoji scale.
If you choose the power cry option, Man Tears shows you a clip from the now-defunct talk show Lopez Tonight of Jessica Alba learning her DNA shows that she is of mostly European heritage.
Man Tears was created by Romania-born, Brooklyn-based writer Patricia Becus. She told Mel Magazine the idea grew from what was originally just a feature of what was going to be an app that would help you to organise your divorce.
“I started designing the app, and I created an option to cry,” says Becus. “Because I was thinking, sometimes people go through the divorce without crying, and they forget to cry, and then they have a lot of negative emotions.
“But then I thought, maybe people don’t want to cry too much, and don’t want it to mess up their professional life — they need to cry in an organised fashion.”
A blog post about married couples who schedule sex in conjunction with learning that the American Psychological Association reports that men cry only 1.3 times per month while women cry 5.3 times per month made everything click for Becus and the Man Tears concept was born.
But why Jessica Alba?
She and the other women who worked on the project were having a hard time choosing the perfect power cry video.
“So I started looking on YouTube — my brain was tired at this point — and I saw this video of Jessica Alba and thought OMG, men may be sad to learn she is not actually [indigenous] Mexican… . We all laughed, but like I said, we were very tired.”
Becus’s project sits somewhere between the serious and the not, but she does believe that society can seriously be benefitted by a male population that cried more.
“There’s a statistic out there that women aren’t going to achieve income equality for 136 years, at the current rate, so I was also thinking sure, women can change, but it’ll never be enough.
So what if men could change? And what is the change they would have to undergo to affect their empathy levels? Crying seems like a good first step.”