Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The power of emotional men...

Like pretty much everyone I know, I've found the London 2012 Olympics surprisingly compelling and emotional to watch. I've been glued to the coverage every night and am so impressed by the sterling efforts of Team GB. But by far the most fascinating aspect of the Games for me has been the emotional response of our medal winners as they receive their medals - in particular the male athletes...

Source: BBC Sport

Watching Sir Chris Hoy receive his sixth - and last - Olympic gold medal was a profoundly moving event, not least because of his reaction on the podium. Nobody watching his tears could fail to understand what that moment meant to him. It was a beautiful moment of pure honesty, witnessed around the world.

This got me thinking. So often today's writers of romantic fiction are criticised for creating male characters who are capable of displaying real emotion. They are branded as 'weak', 'unrealistic' and even - heaven forbid - 'unmanly'. Apparently, women don't find emotion in a man attractive or sexy. But I beg to differ.

A man who can connect with his emotions when it matters most is as far removed from weak and unattractive as it is possible to be. It is entirely possible for a man to be strong, driven and yet fully able to display emotion. Watching Sir Chris brimming with pride and being swept away by the immensity of his achievement demonstrates this perfectly. Nobody would accuse him of being weak for it. On the contrary, his open display of emotion was a sign of strength - and immensely attractive for its honesty.

Source: Getty Images, from article on

So, the naysayers can keep their Rhett Butlers and their Christian Greys. I'll take a strong, attractive, emotional man any day of the week!


Anonymous said...

I like men who show a bit of emotion as much as you do, however last week I got dumped and the whole way through breaking up with me he cried & cried. I ended up comforting him & wasnt able to deal with my own emotions until I was alone. Sometimes emotion can get a bit too much...

Miranda Dickinson said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your break-up, Anonymous, and I agree that too much emotion at the wrong time can be very unhelpful!

As a writer I guess the key for me is to create male characters who can display strength of character coupled with emotional awareness - at the right time.

Keris Stainton said...

I totally agree with you and yelled at the TV when Ian Thorpe said (I forget who it was about) "Men don't cry, but it's okay when you've won a gold medal." So weird that it's still seen as a sign of weakness in 2012!

Laura E. James said...

Sir Chris Hoy is now my son's favourite person. He learned about him at school, before the Olympics, and was keen to watch him cycle, and when he witnessed the emotional medal ceremony, he smiled because, even at his tender age, he understood the significance of The Real McHoy's achievement. He told me it was good for a man to show emotion. It was a strong thing to do.
My son has announced his intention to become an Olympic cyclist.
So, in this house, it's emotional awareness all round, and if the moment is moving, overwhelming or deeply touching, then why not show it?
Laura x

Elle Turner said...

I completely agree, Miranda. I think it's definitely attractive if someone a) knows how they feel and b) is prepared to admit it!
Elle xx

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