A conversation with Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
Well, part of what she says is right and part of what says is wrong. Short Term 12 is manipulative because the kids are ciphers. The change happens within and to the caregivers while the kids are the catalysts. They’re interchangeable. Their particulars don’t matter. All that matters is that they’re fucked up. So Jamison isn’t being particularly emotionally intelligent in this case. Short Term 12 isn’t troublesome because it wants us to feel for the caregivers, the adults. They deserve some sympathy, too. It’s troublesome because of the things it doesn’t want us to think about. The problem isn’t sentimentality. The problem is dishonesty.