Trouble with the Hero Complex

I don’t think there is a man alive who has never fantasized about saving the damsel in distress. It’s a lovely little archetype drilled into our imagination since before we could read on our own. I know that I still slip away into the fantasy during my more boring classes. The problem is that I have started noticing the potential for these scenarios away from my day dreams.

Walking around downtown at night, I always kind of wish to hear the sounds of struggle in the distance so that I could gallop in like the shining Prince Charming and beat away her attackers. That’s a nice thought in all but that’s still me kinda saying, “I hope some innocent woman gets attacked tonight” and that’s totally not the kind of vibe I want to be putting out into the world. It’s so bad that I’ll see a woman walking alone and I’ll think to myself, “If anyone tries to mess with her, I’ve got her back” but that’s still like one step away from saying, “Yeah, she looks like an easy target.”

I like to think that I’m being vigilant. A real life superhero looking out for the defenseless. But sadly I know me, if anything were ever to really go down my hero instinct would never kick in. I mean, I’m a grown man who still runs away from bumble bees. (I don’t mean a quick dodge. I mean turn the other way and sprint, flailing my arms, and yelling in tongues.) I don’t know why I think I’d suddenly turn into Rambo or something when dangers afoot. So I just end up spending time thinking about scenarios that if they were to happen would just end in people getting hurt.

If only little boys were raised to idolize other types of male figures. What if instead of the big strong prince that fights the dragon, boys wanted to grow up to be the guy with great credit who has mastered the art of empathy? Maybe then I’d spend less time fantasizing about saving women and spend more time saying “Hello” to them.


3 thoughts on “Trouble with the Hero Complex

  1. Loved your description of yourself running from bees (“speaking in tongues”). I have the same problem with spiders.

  2. Good lord why don’t you have a Facebook? I could read your hilarious status updates and you could read my attempts at being funny. We could be comedy bros.

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