Monday, January 21, 2013

Thomas Matlack: Let's Talk About Millennial Men

The responses to the interview questions may not represent the views of The Echo Boom Bomb's author. These interviews are provided to inform readers of information from experts and provide these experts with a medium where they can answer questions without any content changes. You can also read other interviews at this link. All media in articles, unless otherwise stated, was added by Tim Smith.

What Do Millennial Men Offer?

In trying to find someone to interview about young men, I stumbled across very few - if anyone - who wanted to discuss them. One in particular, however, only discussed young men as they related to women - ironically, completely missing this generation of men (some of whom won't and don't want to marry). Of course, I enjoyed the challenge of finding a good voice and discovered Thomas Matlack through the site, The Good Men Project - a site he founded.

Who Is Thomas Matlack?

Brief Bio (from Wikipedia):

Tom Matlack is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author. In 2009, Matlack founded The Good Men Project with the hope of sparking a “national conversation” around the question of “What does it mean to be a good man?” Tom Matlack and his business partner, James Houghton, started The Good Men Foundation with two main objectives: to help at-risk boys by contributing money to proven nonprofits, and to initiate a broad discussion on what it means to be a good man. The founders hope that an all-inclusive dialogue—by men, among men, and about what it means to be a man in America today—will lead to an increased awareness of the problems specific to at-risk boys and men, and, with that, progress toward real solutions.

He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life.

You can find him on Twitter.

Quick and To-the-Point

1. What major challenges do Millennial men face?

A challenging economy, war, porn, and a culture of violence.

2. Currently, media love to highlight anti-male stories (example: end of men by Rosin); how do you see these assertions?

I find them ridiculous. Men are not one homogenous group. We are many, many different things. And no I don't think it encourages our boys to be inspired to goodness and greatness in whatever way they define those things.

3. What are some ways in which we can communicate effectively and help strengthen young men?

Level with them. I think far too often we put our head in the sand as our boys are assaulted by media in all forms about what it means to be a "real" man. Telling boys the truth about our own lives--struggle, successes, and total failures--is a good place to start.

4. Some media tend to discuss men only as they pertain to women - as if men only exist to serve women. Ironically, Pew and my study show that many Millennial men won't marry. What other value do Millennial men provide?

Service is an important part of what young men do particularly well. This can be in the form of friendship to others, service to those less fortunate, or service to our country in different ways.

5. Several organizations (especially churches) have asked how can a community structure itself in a way which attracts young men. How would you answer this question?

I think honesty is the key. Young men can sense when they are being lied to and all too often what they are being told and what they can see with their own eyes are vastly different things. Any organization that wants to build credibility with young men can't serve up a bunch of half-truths and hope to get anywhere.