Masking Our Powers

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.


  1. Very well said, Tom!

  2. Taylor Flanders says:

    Heroic characters are naturally idolized. Human nature seems to want to put a face and a name on heroism, or as I see it, the ideal character. I will not begrudge anyone their Batman or Spiderman, personally Link from Legend of Zelda shaped me into what I am today. The heroic character gives us someone to model, to root for, to get behind. However, this does not mean we can’t be heroes in our own right. We don’t need nigh-insurmountable tasks or super villains to be heroes. The damsel-in-distress would easily be our wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend; our sidekicks our friends, siblings parents, children. The only things needed to be a hero is the courage to take on life, the power to aid yourself and others, and the wisdom to do it with (Triforce not necessary). Oftentimes heroism isn’t overly dramatic. I’ve been called a hero by my friends for stopping a sexual assault against a woman I’d never seen before and aiding cars stuck on ice when ours spun out. In both situations all I had was my presence and the will to do what was right. From kids to elders, heroes are natural. Just remember that you can be that guy too.

  3. I write about this often on my own blog. I enjoyed your take. As someone who has carryed a superhero complex my enture life, it took my wife and teenage daughter (she turns 15 next month) to “cure” me of this and show me the kind of man they along with my two younger daughters, need to be an example for them and the husband and father I want to be.

    In therapy I learned that no one would every appreciate my good qualities the way I wanted them to because my expectations were too high and their expectations were either nonexistant or too low.

    I live in a blended family. My wife is my second marriage, the 14 yr old and 6 yr old are hers, the 7 yr old is mine, we have made everyone ours over the past 3 years. Because my wife is my best friend, I listened to her when she said, “Stop trying to be perfect, you are not superman.” My teenage daughter has taught me even more. She doesn’t want me to be her friend, she wants me to be her dad. She knows I have been divorced. She likes it when I screw up and apologize. The less perfect I act with them, the more they seem to appreciate me.

    Thank you for your article.

    Lance aka TLanceB on twitter

  4. I have never understood what is remotely appealing about Batman (a lot of people seem really obsessed with this character, but he seems like a big moody drama queen to me), but I loved this article nonetheless.

    It really does seem a shame that the Bud Light-style man is the societal default, if one is to believe commercials.

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