Tag Archives: alpha male

Why Alpha Males Are Bullshit (And Those Who Identify As Alphas Are Assholes)

I am a man.

I strive to be a good man.

I like to think I’ve done the best I can in that regard. I know I’m not perfect, but I still strive to improve. I also try my best not to judge others who don’t do as well or struggle to be the man they seek to be.

I say all of this as a precursor because I’m about to go on an angry rant, of sorts, on those who take advantage of insecure, vulnerable men. That rant will include profanity, tirades, and insults. So, if that doesn’t appeal to you, this is your warning. I’m just sharing that as a common courtesy.

Having gotten that out of the way, I’d like to make some important statements that hope finds its way to men and women alike.

Fuck every man who calls himself an alpha male.

Fuck every man who promotes the whole alpha male mentality.

Fuck every man who actually buys into the bullshit behind alpha males.

I understand that’s a bit terse, but I promise I mean every word. I only wish the English language had stronger forms of profanity to get my point across.

Because as a man who has written about men’s issues in the past, I have nothing but abject hatred and disdain for those peddling the objectively stupid notion of the alpha male. I would go so far as to argue it’s worse than the idea of “toxic masculinity,” another label I think is built on a foundation of bullshit.

But the notion of the alpha male isn’t just stupid and wrong. It’s dangerous.

It presents men with a rigid dichotomy that supposedly determines whether they’re a “real man” or just some loser weakling who can’t open a pickle jar. Either you’re some muscle-clad, sports-loving, macho douche-bag who builds his day around how many women he sleeps with or you’re some pathetic, scrawny weakling who deserves to get shoved into lockers in high school.

There’s nothing in between. You’re either one or the other. And unless you’re constantly striving for that alpha status, then you’re somehow a failure as a man.

Again, that’s all bullshit. I seriously cannot emphasize that enough. There is no such thing as an alpha male. That is not a thing in science, biology, or objective reality.

In fact, the whole concept behind “alpha males” is based on horribly flawed study about wolves in captivity that was later disproven. If you want to know the details, please see the following from Phys.org.

Wolf packs don’t actually have alpha males and alpha females, the idea is based on a misunderstanding

If you don’t care to read the whole thing, the long and the short of it is simple. The study that first coined the terms, alpha male and alpha female, was based on observations of social structures of wolves in captivity. However, that social structure does not manifest in the wild.

Instead, the structure is largely based on adult wolves looking after their pups. It’s not too different from how most social animals look after they’re young. We don’t call their parents alphas. That’s just a byproduct of having a particular social structure that relies on adults protecting, teaching, and guiding their young.

That’s exactly what happens in humans, too. We don’t call the parents of children alphas. They’re just parents. Their role is the same as the wolves observed in the wild. They raise their children as a family unit, looking after them and teaching them so that they can survive on their own.

At no point is there this alpha male of the pack who gets all the females and makes all the lesser males do his bidding. That’s not a social structure we find in nature. That’s a social structure we find only in cults, namely the dangerous ones.

That’s exactly what keeps the whole alpha male myth going. It feeds into the agenda of selfish, power-hungry narcissists who need some excuse for being the one who gets all the money, sleeps with all the women, and gets others to do his bidding with little to no compensation.

I won’t name names. But if you follow the news about people who throw around the whole “alpha” label, you know who I’m talking about.

Again, fuck those men and every asshole who buys into their bullshit.

Because that’s what this stupid concept propagates at the end of the day. It’s an enabling force for assholes seeking to exploit those who are vulnerable. Every cult leader in history does the same thing. Organized religion and toxic fandoms do it too. But the people who embrace the alpha male label are just uniquely insufferable.

So, the next time you hear someone throw that alpha male label around, remind them that it’s based on bullshit science and only exploited by wannabe cult leaders. And if they refuse to accept that, then don’t give them the courtesy of calling them alphas. Just call them insufferable assholes. Because that’s what they are and that’s what they’ve always been.

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Filed under Current Events, gender issues, human nature, men's issues, psychology, rants

The Pathetic Life Of Alan Harper: A Prelude/Warning To Men?


Sometimes, popular culture is uncanny at predicting the future. “Star Trek” famously predicted cell phones. “2001: A Space Odyssey” predicted tablet computers. Then, there’s “The Simpsons,” which has predicted so many things that it’s creepy. Some predictions, however, fly under the radar. Some aren’t even predictions as much as they are worst case scenarios.

One such scenario played out in “Two and a Half Men,” a show more famous for its off-screen drama than its on-screen antics. Granted, those antics were fairly crude. Most episodes revolved around dirty jokes, sexual innuendo, and glorified hedonism. In today’s social climate, this show would trigger mass protests with every episode.

That didn’t stop it from being funny. I consider myself a fan of the show. However, this is one of those shows that could never be made today, even with an emotionally-stable Charlie Sheen. Its brand of comedy just wouldn’t work in an era where sexy Halloween costumes are considered controversial.

However, the message “Two and a Half Men” conveyed goes beyond its brand of humor and the actors who made it controversial. It’s a message that probably wasn’t intended when the show first aired, but one that manifested with time. That message centers around the only male character to make it through every season alive and unaltered, Alan Harper.

As a character, Alan is the catalyst for the whole show. It begins with him getting kicked out of his house by his wife, forcing him to live with his brother, Charlie. It serves as the foundation for the antics that follow. However, in light of recent trends in feminism, Alan Harper has become more of a concept than a character.

Simply put, Alan Harper is the perfect embodiment of a defeated, emasculated man. He’s a step below the stereotypical beta male. He’s the masculine equivalent of rock bottom. Even the entire cast of “The Big Bang Theory” or Al Bundy from “Married With Children” would feel sorry for him.

You don’t need to watch every episode of every season to see how this plays out. The show rarely goes more than a few minutes without highlighting how pathetic Alan is. The denigration goes beyond his ex-wife kicking him out of his house, divorcing him, and hitting him with egregious alimony payments.

Alan Harper, at his core, is a man dependent on everyone around him for affirmation, but is incapable or unwilling to earn it. His womanizing brother, Charlie Harper, often describes him as a parasitic leech who feeds on the pity of others to survive. In terms if how he conducts himself throughout the show, that’s pretty accurate.

Everything Alan does, from trying to make a living to pursuing romance, is done from a position of dependence. He depends on his brother for a place to live. He depends on his ex-wife to see his son, Jake. He depends on all the women he encounters for love, sex, and affection. He never has any leverage, always working from a position of weakness.

This earns him sympathy, but he’s no lovable loser. In addition to being dependent and weak, he’s also neurotic, selfish, and lazy. He rarely puts much effort into improving his lot in life. He never stands up for himself, rarely accepts responsibility for his mistakes, and endures failure without ever learning from it.

This is especially true in the later seasons of the show after Charlie Sheen was fired. Instead of having to leech off his brother, Alan managed to leech off a total stranger in Walden Schmidt. He makes every possible excuse to keep living in his brother’s house, never pay for anything, and avoid any semblance of personal growth.

Even if you pity Alan Harper, there’s little reason to respect him. Whenever he has a chance to make choices that can change that, he either makes the wrong decision or avoids it entirely. He’s not just a perpetual victim of a vindictive ex-wife, a hedonistic brother, and an idiot son. He actually clings to his victimhood, as though it were part of his identity.

It was fodder for comedy when “Two and a Half Men” was still on the air. Now, it’s a serious issue that affects men and women alike. That’s because leveraging victimhood has become less a comedy trope and more an ideological tactic.

The current discourse, especially when it comes to gender, is often built around who victimizes who. A big part of the anti-harassment movement is driven by the idea that women have been victims for years, suffering in silence under the thumb of misogynistic men. There are more than a few situations like that in “Two and a Half Men.”

Men are just as guilty of using that tactic too, albeit not to the extent of Alan Harper. Men have cited the lack of attention people give Terry Crews or Corey Feldman whenever they talk about issues like sexual abuse. They’ll point out the ways in which women get preferential treatment in our society, some of which actually plays out in “Two and a Half Men.”

There’s no question that harassment and inequality are problems, but just being a victim can’t be the end of the conversation. Alan Harper is, in essence, the personification of what happens when we don’t attempt to further that conversation. It impacts everybody, but it’s especially relevant for men.

Alan reflects a worst-case-scenario. In the overall gender dynamic, he draws every bad card and makes every wrong move. He marries a woman who hates him and exerts immense control over his life. He has a callous, egocentric mother who gives him no affection, guidance, or support. The entire world takes advantage of him and he does nothing to stop it.

To make matters worse, there’s very little Alan can do to stop it. Even if he stands up for himself, he has no support because he’s so dependent on other people. If he gets kicked out of the house, he has nowhere to go. If he makes any money, someone else ends up getting it, often his ex-wife or an ex-girlfriend. He’s not just pathetic in how he handles it. He’s utterly trapped.

This is the kind of nightmare scenario that men genuinely worry about. Many women may laugh it off, but men aren’t blind to the bigger picture. If Alan Harper were gay or transsexual, then he would have organizations that support him. There are many groups that work hard to help disadvantaged members in the LGBT community.

There are also plenty of organizations that help women as well. If Alan were a woman who had been kicked out of his house by a vindictive husband, then there’s no way that the comedy in “Two and a Half Men” would’ve worked. It’s not funny to see a poor woman get thrown out on the streets and denied custody of her child. When it happens to a man like Alan, though, it’s hilarious.

That’s where the humor in “Two and a Half Men” becomes distressingly serious. A character like Alan Harper lends himself to ridicule, but his situation is no laughing matter. He’s the pinnacle of a defeated man. Society does nothing to help him and everything to mock him. If he weren’t a man, it would be a tragedy. Instead, it’s a comedy.

For men, that’s a scary thought. On top of that, his situation can manifest in the real world, minus the laugh track. It is possible for a man to lose his home, his kid, and his money thanks to a vindictive wife. It is possible for a man to be so utterly helpless that he has to depend on everyone’s pity to survive.

The fact that it’s possible, but still funny in the context of a sitcom, gives men more pause today than it did when “Two and a Half Men” was still on the air. Men’s lives are being ruined by a society that does not give them the benefit of the doubt. Any debate that tries to take the side of men tends to get labeled as misogynistic.

We can either take those concerns seriously or create a society where men may end up like Alan Harper, laughably pathetic and utterly destitute. “Two and a Half Men” was still a funny show. However, the core of its comedy has serious implications and that are worth taking seriously, now more than ever.


Filed under gender issues, human nature, Marriage and Relationships, political correctness, psychology, romance, sex in media, sex in society, sexuality, women's issues

The (Not So Secret) Sex Appeal Of Ron Swanson


What is it about certain men who seem to attract women without even trying? What’s their secret? What are they doing that other men aren’t? These are questions that many self-proclaimed love gurus and pick-up artists have attempted to answer. Since many of those gurus are frauds and many pick-up artists are assholes, I wouldn’t put much stock into those answers.

As a man, I’ve known men who can attract women so easily that it seems second nature. I’ve also known men who can barely talk to women, let alone attract them. Most men, and I would put myself in this category, fall somewhere in the middle. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a Don Draper level womanizer, it’s worth understanding the qualities that attract women.

That’s where Ron Swanson comes in. If you’ve watched every episode of “Parks and Recreation” like I have, you know why just saying that name out loud fills the immediate area with greater masculinity. That’s because Ron Swanson is a true man’s man. He has more masculinity in his mustache than most men have in their entire bodies.

I’ve cited Ron Swanson before as someone who embodies a type of masculinity that even self-proclaimed feminists can get behind. He’s strong without being a bully. He’s assertive without being cruel. He’s stern without being heartless. While he doesn’t always exercise good judgment when it comes to ex-wives, Ron reflects a level of manliness that men, women, and everyone in between can respect.

As such, Ron is in a unique position to provide insight into the world of masculine sex appeal. There are multiple instances throughout “Parks and Recreation” in which Ron attracts women. Whether he’s in a serious relationship with Diane Lewis or whipping a crowd of women into a frenzy as Duke Silver, it’s well-established that women find this man attractive.

While that probably isn’t surprising, considering Ron’s character is played by an equally-manly romantic in Nick Offerman, I feel it’s worth scrutinizing the particulars of that sex appeal. I believe there’s insight to be gained from Ron’s masculinity and how it attracts women.

Now, and I wish I didn’t have to disclose this, I don’t mean to imply that this assessment speaks for all women. I am not a woman, nor do I claim to know the various intricacies of the female thought processes. I understand that women have a variety of tastes when it comes to men. Not all of them are going to find Ron Swanson attractive.

When it comes to high standards of male sex appeal, though, Ron checks more boxes than most. That’s why I feel he’s worth singling out in the interest of scrutinizing the most attractive traits associated with masculinity. In doing so, I hope other men can learn from his example.

There are many ways Ron demonstrates these place throughout plays out in “Parks and Recreation,” but one episode in particular encapsulates the essence of his sex appeal. That episode is entitled “Lucky.” It takes place in Season 4 while Leslie Knope is in middle of her campaign for City Council, but Ron’s role in the side-plot to the campaign drama is where there’s more action, including the sexy kind.

That plot involves April Ludgate trying to hook up overly-energetic, exceedingly-dramatic Chris Traeger with Andy’s female professor. It’s not out of the goodness of her heart. Anyone who is familiar with her mannerisms knows that’s not her style. Her intentions are more self-serving because Chris recently suffered a break-up and April believes finding a new love interest will make him less annoying.

Her plan seems good on paper. She invites Andy’s professor, Linda Lonegan, to lunch with her, Andy, and Ron. There, they just happen to run into Chris, who’s eating alone. At first, everything seems to be working. Chris, through the charisma of Rob Lowe, shows a keen and overt interest in her.

While he’s doing this, though, Ron is sitting right next to Linda. He’s showing no romantic interest in her. He’s at a restaurant. His only interest is in how much steak he can eat and how many vegetables he can throw away. Ron does have a romantic side, but he also has priorities, especially when steak is involved.

It’s also worth noting that Linda is a women’s studies professor. In previous episodes, she makes very clear that she identifies as a feminist. I also have to note that she’s not the kind of radical, man-hating feminist that loves to fuel outrage culture. I would categorize her feminism as a healthy, balanced brand of second-wave feminism that dealt with more overt forms of gender inequality.

While Ron doesn’t bring those issues up, they’re a big part of Chris Traeger’s efforts to attract Linda. He effectively filters everything he says to Linda through a feminist lens, going out of his way to use the kind of rhetoric that demonstrates he understands her worldview and embraces it. Initially, Linda does seem interested in him.

Even though he’s very sensitive with his rhetoric, Chris is no beta male. He’s very masculine in his own right with how he takes care of himself and pursues things so energetically. He’s also played by Rob Lowe, who certainly has many traits of an attractive man, even by Hollywood standards.

Despite those traits, Linda ultimately rejects Chris’ invitation to join her for some land kayaking, which isn’t nearly as sexy as it sounds. Then, shortly after Chris leaves, she turns to Ron and invites him back to her place for activities that don’t involve kayaking. Ron, having had three steaks at this point, accepts and it’s overtly implied that they make love, as evidenced by him wearing his red polo shirt the next day.

To understand why Linda chose Ron over Chris, though, it’s important to break down how Ron acts in this scene. Even though Ron wasn’t attempting to attract Linda, she was still drawn to him more than Chris. According to some of the science behind the traits women find attractive in men, that actually makes sense.

From the moment Ron joined Linda in that scene, he was his usual poised self. He didn’t ask for specials from the waiter. He knew what he wanted, which was a porterhouse steak, medium rare. He was confident in his decision, as well as polite and assertive. Those are traits that are both attractive and respectful.

In addition to his demeanor, Ron’s mannerisms reflect confidence and certainty. Even though he eats three steaks, he’s not a slob. He conducts himself in a way that feels approachable and unimposing. Even if he doesn’t try to attract Linda, he does everything necessary to avoid repulsing her.

Beyond what he does, the way Ron speaks is just as powerful. He’s a man of few words whereas Chris will literally go overboard with adjectives and adverbs every chance he gets. His persona is endearing, but he also comes off as intense. For many women, including Linda, that can be a turn-off. Intense men tend to be complicated men and many reasonable women don’t have the energy for that.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ron is much simpler and transparent with his wants and desires. He says it himself in the early episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He likes pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food. That kind of simplicity makes him easier to understand and easier to work with. From Linda’s perspective, keeping up with Ron is much less tedious than keeping up with Chris.

Even from a physical standpoint, Ron conveys more raw masculinity than the health-obsessed Chris. While Chris may have six-pack abs and a very healthy resting heart rate, Ron has a manly mustache and studies show that women find facial hair more attractive. While the presence of facial hair probably wasn’t the determining factor for Linda, it likely played a part.

In the end, Linda found herself between two very masculine men. She ultimately went with the man who demonstrates the most attractive masculine traits just by being himself. Her decision doesn’t just highlight the many ways in which Ron Swanson is personifies manliness. It singles out the traits that appeal to women on a basic level.

Ron Swanson is assertive, protective, frugal, stern, loyal, dedicated, and hard-working. He would function just as effectively as a hunter in ancient times as he does as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Pawnee, if not more so. He’s someone who could still care for his lover if civilization collapsed and zombies overran the cities.

It’s here where Ron’s sex appeal goes beyond simply attracting women. Unlike egocentric pick-up artists or hyper-sensitive ladies men, Ron Swanson conducts himself in ways that men and women alike can respect. In turn, he treats men and women with similar respect.

He doesn’t hold women to a different standard. He treats Linda as an equal and not a prize to be won. He leaves it up to the woman to decide if she finds him attractive enough to be with. In the end, he made Linda’s decision both easy and appealing. It’s the kind of masculinity that men, women, feminists, men’s rights activists, egalitarians, and Americans of all stripes can get behind.

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Filed under gender issues, human nature, noble masculinity, psychology, romance, sex in society, sexuality

A (Distressing) Thought Experiment On Gender Double Standards


Whenever I pose one of my thought experiments, I do so with the hope of inspiring novel, entertaining ideas that get people thinking for all the right reasons. Ideally, these ideas are fun and enlightening. If they make people horny in the process, then that’s just a bonus.

Every now and then, however, it’s not enough for an idea to be enlightening or sexy. Sometimes, for a thought experiment to work, it needs to make people feel uncomfortable. It needs to create some sort of mental distress.

I know that’s something most people avoid. I’ve even pointed out how our brains are wired to do anything and everything to avoid mental distress, even if it leads to outright hypocrisy.

Well, as uncomfortable as it is, mental distress has a purpose. It forces us to contemplate an idea that highlights a major problem in the world. It’s often one of those problems we know is there on some level, but avoid thinking about because it’s too daunting. For this particular thought experiment, it’s not so much that the idea is overwhelming. It’s more that it reveals something about our attitudes that we don’t often scrutinize.

So with that in mind, here’s the experiment. Think back to any action scene in any major action movie of the past couple decades. Given the glut of superhero movies and “Die Hard” rip-offs out there, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Specifically, think of a scene where a female character was kicking ass. Given the rise of strong female characters, that shouldn’t be too difficult either.

A good example comes from the memorable Black Widow fight scene in “Iron Man 2.” By any measure, it’s a wonderfully entertaining scene. It has Scarlett Johanssen kicking ass in a skin-tight outfit. What’s not to love about it? Most people who watch this scene, especially comic book fans and people who find Scarlett Johanssen sexy, would be rightly entertained.

Here’s where the thought experiment comes in. This is where it gets really uncomfortable. Watch the scene above once as you usually would. You don’t need to know the context too much. This is just Black Widow beating up the hired goons of Justin Hammer, the primary antagonist of the movie. Use that first reaction as a baseline of sorts.

Now, watch the scene again. This time, though, reverse all the genders of the characters involved. Make Black Widow a man. Make Justin Hammer’s goons women. Let it play out in your mind, this lone male character beating up all these women. Does the scene evoke the same reaction? For most people not named Chris Brown, it probably makes you sick to your stomach.

This goes beyond the typical double standards between men and women, which I’ve talked about before. It even goes beyond strong female characters, which I’ve also touched on in various ways. This is one of those dynamics that has always been there right in front of us. We just don’t take the time to scrutinize it.

Image result for stressed out man

We can watch scenes of James Bond beating the crap out of a bunch of SPECTRE henchmen and be entertained. We can also watch scenes of Black Widow, Sarah Conner, and Furiosa do the same and be entertained. Swap the genders, though, and it becomes extremely distressing. We don’t see powerful characters kicking ass anymore. We just see a man beating up multiple women.

Find a scene like the one above from “Iron Man 2” and do the same thought experiment. Look for a scene where a woman beats up a much of male thugs. Then, swap the genders. Chances are, the feelings it evokes are just as distressing.

Image result for Furiosa fighting

For a greater sense of context, I came up with this thought experiment after reading an article on Cracked.com about the way Hollywood treats men. I’ve cited Cracked before because and while I don’t always agree with them, they’re good at tackling serious topics in a humorous way, even sexy topics. This one, however, had a hard time being funny.

6 Backwards Ideas Hollywood Still Has About Men

Some parts of the article were more inane than others, like pointing out how every leading man has to be at least a half-foot taller than the average guy or how tortured men are somehow compelling. Some of those details are just quirks, blatant examples of style over substance.

Beyond the quirks, though, there are some genuinely disturbing dynamics at work. We find such entertainment in women beating the crap out of men. We also find entertainment in men beating the crap out of men. However, when it’s men beating the crap out of women, context doesn’t matter. It always makes us feel disgusted and repulsed.

The thought experiment I just posed highlights that. However, it goes beyond violence as well. Rape is one of those super-sensitive issues that’s impossible to make funny or sexy. However, if you put it in the context of prison rape where men rape men, then that somehow changes things, so much so that jokes about rape will even find their way into an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Image result for Spongebob Soap

Then, there are the cases where women rape men. Yes, that does happen in real life. Women are capable of domestic violence against men. However, it’s still okay to joke about. Christopher Titus has even worked it into his standup. It even finds its way into cartoons that air on prime-time.

The best example of this is the “Futurama” episode, “Death By Snu Snu.” In that episode, the cast encounters a planet populated by big, hulking, hostile Amazonian women, albeit not of the Wonder Woman variety. Through a series of hilarious antics that are entirely appropriate for a show that has a hard-drinking, sociopath robot, the male characters end up captured.

This is where the line between hilarity and distress blurs if you dare do the same thought experiment. Once captured, the Amazonian women decide to “torment” their prisoners with “snu snu,” which is their alien verbiage for sex. The reaction of Fry and Zap Branigan is a mix of horror and intrigue.

Related image

Granted, it’s presented in a funny way, but that doesn’t change the actual substance of what happens. The women rape these men. They rape them and it’s portrayed as humorous. I’m not going to lie. I did laugh somewhat at how the episode played out. Most people with a healthy sense of humor would.

However, if you do the same thought experiment with the Black Widow scene in “Iron Man 2,” it takes on a very different context. Watch the episode again, but turn the hulking Amazons into men. Then, turn Fry and Zap into women. Suddenly, that scene takes on a much darker undertone.

It would push the line even for the most hardcore porn. Think about how that would play out, a group of warrior men taking a couple of women who just stumbled upon their world and deciding to rape them to death. It wouldn’t just be rated NC-17. It would be outright banned and subject to protest from every women’s group in the world.

What does it say about our attitudes, our culture, and our standards when we’re okay with one gender dynamic and not the other? Now, there are inherent differences in those dynamics. Human beings are a sexually dimorphic species. That means there are inherently different traits within the genders that are impossible to overlook completely.

However, the sheer breadth of the disparity here is cause for concern. If flipping the genders of a story or scene evokes such a different reaction, then that’s a serious disconnect that’s worth scrutinizing.

That’s not to say that the scenes in “Iron Man 2” or “Futurama” are wrong or not entertaining. There’s just something inherently revealing about ourselves when we flip the gender dynamics and react to the same scene. We may not like what that reveals, but it’s not something that can or should be ignored.


Filed under Thought Experiment

Virtue Signaling: How It Creates Beta Males And Bitchy Girls

They’re weak, pathetic, gullible, whiny, sullen, and boring. They lack confidence, charisma, and any meaningful personality trait that might help them stand out and accomplish something of value. They do nothing to excite the opposite sex and make only the most asinine of efforts to do so. They are the beta males, an inane segment of the male population that I’ve protested before.

Now, allow me to describe a different crop of annoying people whose presence pollutes the collective gene pool. They’re loud, obnoxious, arrogant, impolite, dense, unreasonable, vindictive, and crass. They are unflinching, unfeeling, and utterly devoid of empathy to anyone who isn’t like them. Their disdain of others and perpetual victimhood complex is the only thing that gets them up in the morning.

I’m talking, of course, about bitchy girls. If beta males are a bane to all those with a Y-chromosome, then bitchy girls are repugnant stain on the feminine mystique. I call them girls because there’s a difference between women and girls. Being a woman, just like being a man, requires some measure of maturity. Girls, like their beta male boys, have none of that. As such, they don’t deserve to be called women.


I bring up these two case studies of festering warts within the human condition to help make another point about virtue signaling. I know some people are probably tired of this topic. Believe me, I feel your pain. However, this last point is more relevant because it affects our personal lives, as well as my efforts as an erotica/romance writer.

Beta males and bitchy girls are sometimes a necessary component of a story, especially one that relies on major antagonistic characters. You need a male or female character that is easy to hate and easy to root against. That’s why we have characters like Biff Tannen and Regina George from “Mean Girls.”

It used to be that we needed those characters to be alpha males or alpha females. They had to be tough, mean-spirited jocks or cruel, cold-hearted bitches that nobody rooted for when they got gutted by a crazed killer in a hockey mask. It’s crude, but it did the trick. Unfortunately, new trends in character development, as well as real life, are tweaking that script and not for the better.


Beta males and bitchy girls may not be natural allies on paper, but they occupy the same space in terms of being utterly contemptible on multiple levels. They just take different routes and virtue signaling is how they get there.

The best contemporary example are certain breeds of those who call themselves “male feminists.” By the way, anyone who actually has to preface feminism like that should raise a few red flags. That’s usually a sign that they’re already retreating into beta male mode and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

These types of men are habitual virtue signalers, routinely bashing their own gender and agreeing with the bitchy girls about everything involving some “cisgendered white male patriarchy” conspiracy. They essentially emasculate themselves, shunning any male traits, and associating every masculine trait with being Biff Tannen.


It’s a form of self-flagellation, an effort to alleviate the sheer guilt they feel with being male and trying to earn attention and/or pity from others. That’s how they seek their validation and when they interact in groups, they can’t help but reinforce those efforts. Virtue signaling is just the proverbial gasoline they use to keep the fire going.

For bitchy women, the virtue signaling is much more overt. Unlike the beta males, they’re exceedingly vocal with their efforts. They don’t discuss, debate, or rationalize. They just yell, whine, and groan. Virtue signaling is just how they stay on topic.

Bitchy women don’t care about anyone’s voices, except their own. They loudly whine and bemoan about everyone who doesn’t buy into their view of the world. They will yell about the oppressive white male patriarchy at the top of their lungs. Then, when someone calls them out on their bullshit, they dare to play the victim.


In the mind of a beta male and a bitchy girl, they are the underdog hero of their own story and everyone else is an evil demon-possessed Nazi working on behalf of reincarnated slave-holders from the 1850s. Virtue signaling allows them to prop up this inner narrative, as though they have to keep it going in order to ensure they get the same ending they’ve seen in every Rocky movie.

It isn’t just that this inner narrative is utterly false and devoid of substance. It isn’t just that it gives them too many excuses to cling to these annoying tendencies, which constitutes excuse banking of the worst kind. The biggest tragedy here, beyond the people they annoy, is that with their virtue signaling, they champion traits that naturally drive people apart.

Beta males and bitchy women do not conduct themselves in ways that inspires intimacy, progression, and growth. They present themselves as heroes of their own story, an ideal for what a man and woman should be, but they cannot and will not realize that the picture they’re paintings is both flawed and repugnant.


A beta male, in his meek ineptitude, barely qualifies as a pet to a bitchy girl. A bitchy girl, in her immature arrogance, is just another bully that a beta male tolerates. Together, they reinforce a brutal cycle of bitterness, self-loathing, and arrogance that ensures isolation, apathy, and loneliness.

For an aspiring erotica/romance writer, that’s a triple dose of narrative kryptonite. For characters like the ones in “Passion Relapse” or “Skin Deep,” it’s important I strike a particular balance. I can’t have characters being too much like Biff Tannen or Regina George. I can’t have them be like the entire cast of the “Big Bang Theory” either. If I want those characters to be more than mere foils, they need to have some complexity.

I’m not saying there isn’t a place for characters like this. Someone needs to be Freddy Kruger’s first victim in a horror story. However, virtue signaling and those who abuse send a toxic message about what makes a man or a woman moral within the context of a story.


Beta males and bitchy girls don’t deserve to be heroes, ideals, or examples. More than anything else, they are cautionary tales of what happens when virtue signaling goes too far and infects someone’s mind. They should not be encouraged, nor should they be ignored either.

There are many different dynamics that go into making a character, real or fictional, into who they are. If they need something like virtue signaling to function, then that’s a sign there’s something inherently flawed. People have enough excuses to be mean to one another, some of which they can’t do a damn thing about. It’s better for society, our live lives, and erotica/romance novels if we don’t provide them with more.


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Virtue Signaling: Why We Are NOT The Hero Of Our Own Story


Think back to any movie that ever involved a lovable underdog. For anyone who has been to a movie theater more than once since 1978, this shouldn’t be that hard. Hell, think about a popular TV show involving a lovable underdog, going all the way back to the “Leave It To Beaver” days. What do they all have in common?

The similarities aren’t exactly subtle. The lovable underdog isn’t someone who is big, strong, handsome, cocky, arrogant, or dumb. They’re often unremarkable, so much so that others don’t acknowledge their existence. They do little to stand out and even less to distinguish themselves, but the same story usually plays out for them.

Whether they’re John McClane from “Die Hard,” Peter Parker from “Spider-Man,” or the entire cast of “The Big Bang Theory,” they embody the traits of all that is good and right with the world. They overcome obstacles, bullies, and a world where pretty girls aren’t lining up to touch their dicks to become heroes in their own right.

In the end, everything works out for them. In the end, they get what they want. The world comes to love them. Everybody, male and female alike, loves them. They are respected and admired for their thoughts, actions, and ideas at every turn. They have every reason to feel good about themselves.

What I just described is both the standard narrative for no less than 95 percent of every underdog story ever told and the primary reason why virtue signaling is getting out of hand. If that sounds like a bit of a stretch, then please bear with me. There is a logic behind it and, unlike my previous post on virtue signaling, it has a major implications.

As with other topics, like sex robots and body shaming, it’s impossible to cover every aspect of a certain topic. Virtue signaling, having only recently become a major buzzword, definitely qualifies. It is very much an emerging trend that is finding its way into politics, gender issues, media, and even erotica/romance. Since I’m trying to make a living writing erotica/romance, that deeply concerns me.

For this particular post, I want to highlight the more direct impacts of virtue signaling that I’ve observed in recent years. Specifically, I want to focus on how it affects the way people see themselves and the way they relate to one another. There’s a lot of material to cover and I can only handle so much coffee before my brain starts to short out.

I’ll table my concerns about brain function for the moment because this is something that I haven’t just observed. I’ve experienced it as well. As a man, trends that affect how men and women relate to one another don’t just affect the kinds of sexy stories I tell. They effect me personally and how I conduct myself in my day-to-day life. They effect all of us, often in ways we don’t see or acknowledge.


With respect to virtue signaling, these effects have only recently become more pronounced to the growth of social media. Unlike every other point in human history, we no longer need a million people to march through a capital city or a massive rebellion to send a message. We just need a smartphone, an internet connection, and a willingness to castigate ourselves in a public sphere.

As a result, virtue signaling has become a popular pastime of sorts. Political leaders, media figures, and ordinary people with too much free time on their hands go out of their way to make these elaborate gestures to prove that they’re virtuous or pious or tolerant or not a Nazi.

More often than not, these gestures just aren’t enough and people end up doing more and more, thus creating a brutal cycle of sorts. Sometimes the gesture is misinterpreted, as often happens with poorly-worded Tweets. Sometimes it’s just part of a larger agenda, one that requires constant reaffirmation in light of incessant criticism. Video game critics found out just how bad this could get back in August 2014.


It’s a stressful endeavor, trying to loudly proclaim to the masses that you’re as virtuous, heroic, and understanding as any protagonist from a John Hughes movie. It’s also tearing us apart and making us despise one another.

So how exactly does it work and why is it so toxic? Well, to answer that, think back to lovable underdogs that I mentioned earlier. We, as a culture, love those characters for a reason. They live in a world where they do what they do, but come out on top. They win in every way they want to win, becoming the heroes of their own stories.

The problem with that world is that it’s a total fantasy and too many people try to make that fantasy fit into their reality. Unfortunately, reality is notoriously uncompromising. Just ask anyone who tried to make a romantic gesture that backfired horribly.


It’s not that they’re insincere or inept, though. They’re just part of an entire generation that has grown up seeing this narrative of the lovable underdog overcoming the odds and they’ve been led to believe that this is how you succeed. This is how you become the hero of your own story.

We, being the egotistical creatures we are, want to be that hero. We want to be the lovable underdog we see in the movies who can say they overcame the odds, succeeded, and got laid in the process. However, the tactics we see in movies and TV shows just don’t work in the real world or require an obscene amount of luck.

Since all the success, adulation, and sex doesn’t just immediately happen like it does over the course of a two-hour movie, those wanting to be the hero try to force it. That’s where virtue signaling comes in.

Since being a hero often requires hard work, sacrifice, talent, training, and the ability to be in the right place at the right time, virtue signaling offers a much easier alternative. It’s not solely about laziness. It’s just often the path of least resistance and the most readily available path. Can you blame anyone for taking it?


Rather than actually doing something meaningful, virtue signaling allows people to feel like they’re the hero of their own story, even if they accomplish nothing heroic. To their caveman brain, it doesn’t matter. It already has a hard time processing what gets it aroused. How the hell is it going to determine whether someone qualifies as a hero?

The short answer is that it can’t. The longer answer is that our caveman brains still urge us to seek validation from our tribe and security in our identity. Virtue signaling allows us to do both, even when there’s nothing of substance behind it.

This can lead to a real identity crisis for some people. There are people who define themselves as members of a particular tribe, be they radical feminists, conservative Christians, or Twilight fans. When they feel as though they aren’t slaying the necessary dragons, s to speak, they become distressed and look for any way to alleviate it. Virtue signaling allows them to at least feel it’s alleviate, which is close enough.


That laughably low standard ensures that virtue signaling is almost always an empty, shallow gesture at most. It only ever functions as a means to help certain individuals feel better about themselves, alleviate the mental stresses that come with seeking validation, and ensure they can be the hero of their own story, even if they do nothing heroic.

In a real world full of unflinching, unyielding circumstances that keep most people from ever doing anything remotely heroic, virtue signaling offers empty promises that only feel real enough to keep our brains and tribes functioning. Even when there’s no substance whatsoever, it gives people an illusion to buy into and that can be dangerous because it gives people an excuse to not do something greater.


As I’ve pointed out before, people will cling to any excuse that allows them to justify their actions or lack thereof. Now that doesn’t make those who virtue signal bad. If anything, their desire to be the lovable underdog hero of their own story proves to me that such people are good at heart. They’re just misguided, clinging to the feelings and validation that virtue signaling earns them.

Since I like to be a bit more optimistic about people in general, I believe that the lack of substance that inherently comes with virtue signaling will eventually catch up with most people. There will be those who can never escape it. For most people, though, I believe they’ll learn that there are better ways to be the lovable underdog hero of your own story.


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Inside The Mind Of A Misogynistic Man

This is probably going to be the most ambitious, contentious, and volatile post I’ve written to date on this blog. If any post is going to incur hate mail and outrage, it’s going to be this. I’m bracing myself for whatever backlash I’ll incur because I know I’m going to offend someone here. I apologize in advance, but offensive things can contain harsh truths.

To date, I’ve tried to keep things fun, enlightening, and non-controversial. Granted, you’re bound to be a little controversial when you say orgasms have health benefits, religion is undermining our sex lives, and being naked is good for your health. This time, however, I’m going to touch on something that is already controversial. It’s gotten people fired. It’s generated death threats online and in real life. It’s been the butt of jokes and a talking point for presidential candidates.

That’s right. I’m going to be talking about feminism. Yes, I mean that kind of feminism. It’s the kind that deals with sexual assault, patriarchy, male privileged, and rape culture. It’s the kind that generates hashtags rather than aids poor girls in third-world countries working in sweatshops. If you’re a regular reader of this blog and don’t care for this issue, this is your chance to close this tab and wait for my next post. I promise I’ll get back to the fun, sexy, entertaining topics soon enough, but this is something I think needs to be said.

Still with me? Okay, then let’s do this. Let’s talk about this strange new brand of feminism that is sweeping the internet, undermining the video game industry, and getting people fired in some cases. If you’re not in your safe space now, you probably should be.

Now let me make one thing clear. I do not like talking about this. I’m a man. I can’t win these arguments because the deck is stacked against me. In my experience, discussions about women’s issues are best handled by women. It’s a crazy concept, I know. As a man, I can only bring so much to the table because I only know the perspective of a man. So how the hell am I supposed to understand the complex, sociopolitical struggles of contemporary women?

Well, being a man does give me some level of insight. I’ve noticed that discussions about this brand of feminism says a lot about how women think and feel about issues such as male privileged, patriarchy, and rape culture. The thoughts and feelings of men are a lot less scrutinized.

As a result, there are a lot of assumptions about what men think and how they justify their male tendencies. The way some feminists talk, they give the impression that men conspire in Illuminati-like meetings to conjure ways to subjugate women. First off, let me say that this does not happen. If a lot of men are going to meet in secret, it’s to tailgate at a football game or watch a My Little Pony marathon. So to all you feminists out there, you can stop worrying about that.

This still begs a very important, very relevant question. Why do men get so upset about feminism? Why do men get so hostile over women who criticize their masculine traits? Why do men cling to these unequal power structures between genders? Well, I can’t speak for all men, but since I am a man, I can provide some insight.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Again, if this is something that makes you want to punch your computer screen and start a hashtag, here’s your chance to leave. I really don’t want to offend anybody who is going to get that upset, but I’m willing to take that chance to say what I feel needs to be said.

What I’m going to do is tap into the mind of the misogynistic, patriarchal male that so many feminists despise and offer an explanation as to why men feel the way they do. Please note that this is just a thought exercise. These do not reflect my personal views. I strongly believe in equality, understanding, and empathy between all people, regardless of gender.

For the rest of this post, however, I’m going to take on the mentality of a pure, undiluted misogynist. Once you read this text, I hope feminists and non-feminists alike have a greater appreciation for why men feel the way they do. So here goes. Here is a letter from a misogynistic man to the feminists of this world.

Dear Ladies,

There’s no easy way to put this so grab your tissues, get a box of chocolate, and sit down. What I’m about to say is going to piss you off and that’s good because it pisses me off too, way more than you’ll ever know. So here it is. Here is the cold, callous, testosterone-laden truth. We HATE you.

I’m sorry, but it’s true. On some deep, primal level, we can’t help but HATE you. I’m not talking about the hate you have for bullies or poor wi-fi connections. I’m talking about a hate that is so deep, so unspoken, and so reserved that we couldn’t express it fully if we tried. It’s a hate that consumes every man, be they gay, straight, white, black, old, young, and everything in between. We don’t like this hate, but we can’t escape it.

Why is this hate so strong you ask? Well, that’s hard to explain. This isn’t the kind of hatred that we show. In fact, most men go through their whole lives never showing it. They just know it’s there. It plays out in all sorts of ways, but for the sake of clarity, here’ s a quick scenario that should give you some idea.

Remember that beautiful, sexy, popular girl that every guy wanted and every woman wanted to be? Remember that stereotypical cheerleader type that was in every bad teen movie ever made? If you do, you probably remember how we men loved to say mean, dirty things about her. We talk about all the nasty, pornographic shit we’d do to her. Then, we’d call her names like whore, slut, and bitch. We’d shame and scold her the first chance we got. Why would we do that? Why would we do that to anyone we barely know?

The simple truth is that these girls are not having sex with US. I’m not talking about US, as in men in general. I’m talking about US, specifically. It’s inherently selfish, which is why we tend to do it in groups, but it’s true. We resent pretty girls who don’t have sex with US and only US. We see it as either some other man taking something that’s ours or some girl denying us something we want.

Imagine yourself in a cafeteria. There’s all this food, but there’s only some that you really like. You find this food. You go up to the counter. You ask for it as politely as possible, but the cashier just flat out says no. You’re not getting this food. You’ll NEVER get to eat this food. Only a very select few that the cashier chooses by entirely arbitrary standards will get this food. You’d be pissed, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s how men see it when you women refuse to have sex with us.

I know. Comparing sex to food is a poor analogy, unless you’re into a specific kind of fetish porn. We don’t like it either, but this is what evolution does to us. It wires our brains a certain way. That wiring still assumes we’re cavemen roaming the savanna, hunting elephants and escaping hungry tigers. It gives us two primary drives: survival and reproduction. It’s not rational, but it’s how we survive as a species.

The problem is that when you tie survival and reproduction together as such strong imperatives, some wires are going to get crossed. We’re going to equate the act of acquiring food to acquiring sex to a ridiculously illogical degree. We kind of have to because logic doesn’t fill your stomach or propagate a species. If we had another choice, we’d take it, but this is what we’re stuck with.

It’s because of this hate we feel when you deny us sex that we feel the urge to control you. Think of a man fighting off a tiger that doesn’t want to become dinner. We fight with every bit of primal rage we can to survive and secure our next meal. As a result, we try to do the same to you.

Take a look at history. Look at how so many societies went to absurd lengths to control female sexuality, manage gender roles, and structure the dynamics of sex. There’s a reason why most of it is overtly patriarchal and no, it isn’t because of some shady conspiracy. It isn’t even done out of the inherent hate we feel towards women. It’s all about economics.

I’m sorry. I know that’s not a very satisfying explanation. That’s like the IT guy telling you that your computer is slow because pigs in Wyoming are farting too much. It’s true though. Economics, including those involving sex, drive a lot of this patriarchy shit you complain about. I’m sorry, but we kind of owe our entire civilization to that shit.

After we stopped hunting and gathering, we formed farms. We needed to protect those farms so we formed tribes and kingdoms. We also needed a lot of people to work on those farms so we needed to do a lot of boning to produce a lot of kids. That means subjugating women on a farm and doing everything we can to make them focus on producing those kids, knowing some of them will probably die in childbirth.

On top of that, we had to account for a good portion of those kids dying before their second birthday so we needed to control the lives of the women pumping them out. I know it sucks, but there’s no way around it. We can’t make these kids on our own. If we could, we’d have no reason to hate or subjugate you. We still need you though. Our survival depends on it. Remember, our brains are wired for survival, not reason.

While we’re on the subject of those kids, there’s something else to consider. We kind of need to make sure that they’re ours. We need that because again, we need to protect all this land and property. We need to make sure it stays within the family. That means we can’t have you women fucking around with other men. That means we need you to be virgins on your wedding night. We also need you to fuck us and only us to make sure that the kids you make are our kids.

Because there’s a lot of money and wealth at stake, we come up with all sorts of crazy ways to make sure you fuck only us. We create these crazy religions, myths, and cultural practices that say you should not have sex, you should not enjoy it too much, and you should focus on making babies for the tribe. Some of these excuses are pretty fucked up, but remember there’s a lot of money and wealth at stake. We’ll justify them any way we can if it helps us survive and reproduce.

So we create this whole system around men working the fields while women pump out the babies that grow up into more workers or baby-makers. Along the way, other men in other tribes do the same. They aren’t always good at it for reasons that aren’t always their fault so they form armies to invade their neighbors. That means we need to have an army too. That means even more boning to make more babies so they can become soldiers. You see the pattern here?

This is where we get into the whole rape culture/sexual assault thing. I know this is a big sticking point for women. I know you get so outraged when you see stories about blaming victims and men claiming that women are tempting them. Well, if you’re with me so far on the economics at work here, you should be able to figure out why this is a thing in the first place.

Keep in mind, we didn’t stop living as agrarian tribes until very recently. For most of our civilized history, we needed a steady supply of men to farm the fields and fight the wars. So when a man rapes or assaults a woman, we tend to make more excuses than we care to admit.

We need that man producing food and fighting wars. The woman he rapes may be hurt or traumatized, but she’s not going to protect the tribe or make the food. She’s going to produce babies and is likely to die in the process. So overall, the man will do more for the tribe so we’ll come up with any excuse we can to avoid punishing him too much. On top of that, the woman may have a disease or be carrying a child that isn’t her husband’s so that’s kind of a big problem. It’s just easier and more economical to blame her.

I get that we’re not living in a Game of Thrones society anymore. I get that we don’t need women pumping out babies to work on farms and fight wars as much as we used to. The problem is, our biological wiring is still the same. On top of that, there are still economic incentives to control women and in case you haven’t realized it yet, we’ll come up with any excuse to justify the economics of a situation, no matter how fucked up it might be.

We can’t escape the economics any more than we can escape our biological wiring. That’s why we hate you. That’s why we continue to hate you, shame you, and scold you for trying to achieve some level of equality or authority over us. The way we see it, you already have too much power over us as it is.

Think back to that pretty popular girl I mentioned earlier. Did she just fuck anyone who politely asked? Of course not! The men who wanted to have sex with her had to jump through all sorts of crazy hoops. They had to be rich, play sports, or be charming on some level to win her attention and access to her sex.

At the end of the day, she couldn’t pick everyone. There were bound to be more rejections than acceptances. That means all these men worked so hard and got nothing in return. We thought we did the work. We thought we earned the privilege of having sex with a beautiful girl, but she chose otherwise and that pisses us off.

On top of that, we can’t be honest about our masculine inclinations. We can’t be overt about them. The culture we live in now basically shames every masculine trait. To be a man is to be a bully or a tyrant. To be a woman is to be a princess and a saint. Men cause and fight all the wars. Men are the victims and perpetrators of most crime. We are disposable, dirty, pathetic excuses for flesh in the eyes of this culture and you expect us to NOT be resentful on some levels?

We men spend so much of our lives trying to secure and impress you, the beautiful women our biological programming wants us to have sex with. We can’t control the sheer intensity of this desire. We hate that it consumes us so completely. Some of that hatred is projected onto you as well. We can’t escape it and neither can you.

That’s why we hate you. That’s why we can’t help but hate you. That’s why we do what we do. If you don’t understand it, or don’t even TRY to understand it, you’ll just make it worse.


Full Disclaimer: What I just wrote was a thought experiment and nothing more. It does not represent the sentiments or values of me, Jack Fisher. This is just something I wrote to explore a sensitive topic. I apologize for any offense I may have incurred on readers, but I hope it offers some perspective on these issues.


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The Antidote to the Alpha Male/Beta Male Conflict (Involves Deadpool Again)

Yesterday, I talked about the bane of beta males and alpha males. Together, they are an overplayed, overdone, and over-emphasized stain on popular culture. Between sitcoms like “The Big Bang Theory,” underdog movies like “The Karate Kid,” and pretty much the premise of every teen movie made since 1980s, we’ve had our fill of alpha males and beta males.

We get it. Alpha males represent everything we hate about masculinity (even if they have more sex and embody all the traits we want in our leaders and CEOs). Beta males represent every lovable underdog who deserves to get the girl in the end (even if that gives every man and women false expectations and inevitable disappointment). It’s been done. We know how that story ends. So let’s tell a new story. To tell that story though, I have to revisit our old friend Deadpool.

I’ve written about him before. It seems appropriate to write about him again because the Deadpool movie just cleaned up nicely at the Teen Choice Awards. He breaks the mold of so many traditional stereotypes. He’s not an alpha male. He’s not a beta male. Granted, his crazier than a sack of crack-addicted ferrets, but the success of his movie may very well show that there’s a place for a new type of male in popular culture.

In the same way the recent Ghostbusters movie offered something different for female characters, Deadpool tweaks the concept of a well-rounded male character and, in some cases, shoots it in the ass. He’s confident, competent, and more than a little arrogant, which is kind of like an alpha male. He’s also affectionate, sensitive, and emotional, which is kind of like a beta male. In many respects, he’s a balanced male character that both men and women alike can respect

Again, it’s worth pointing out that Deadpool, as an established comic book character, is one of the craziest motherfuckers in comics. So what’s it say about the status of male characters when he’s the one who embodies the traits of a balanced male character?

Perhaps it’s fitting. Our tastes in male characters is kind of crazy when you think about it. We’re conditioned to despise alpha male characters, but we constantly elect them to positions of power and admire them when they’re athletes. It’s downright schizophrenic when you think about it and Deadpool actually has voices in his head. There’s just something wonderfully poetic about that.

Crazy or not, the shocking success of Deadpool, which made $782 million on a $58 million budget, will likely prompt a re-examining of our crazy sentiments in male characters. History shows that when there’s money to be made, those who profit from popular culture are going to exploit the hell out of it.

There may already be signs. Since the Deadpool movie, another movie came out that utilized a character who doesn’t fit into the alpha male/beta male dynamic. That movie didn’t do nearly as well as Deadpool, but it did offer a unique entertainment experience that helped make it successful in its own right. I’m talking about the movie, “Central Intelligence.”

A little Hart and a big Johnson? It sounds like the kind of humor that came right out of the Deadpool movie, but it works beautifully here. The trailer, however, only hints at the new Deadpool-like twist on male characters. Specifically, the character of Bob, played by the Rock, embodies many similar traits as Deadpool does in his movie, albeit with only 5 percent of the crazy.

Bob is a big, tough, muscle-bound badass who works for the CIA. In most movies, he’d be the kind of alpha male we’d end up rooting against. Instead, he’s not just a good guy who is a unique foil for Kevin Hart’s loud-mouthed, overwhelmed, and overly-frustrated character. He’s oddly well-rounded, showing that he can be tough, sensitive, understanding, and badass. He’s not defined by jealousy or loss or any other shallow excuse most alpha males use for being assholes. He’s a character who is lovable by both men and women alike.

In the end, isn’t that the best manifestation of masculinity? A male character that men and women alike can love? There does seem to be a market for this. Rotten Tomatoes gave “Central Intelligence” a 68 percent score, which is certified fresh. It also made $200 million on a $50 million budget. That’s not a bad return for a non-superhero movie. Could this be a sign of things to come?

If so, it’s a trend I hope will benefit my own male characters. I’ve tried to be balanced with them in my work to date. I intend to keep trying with my next project. I hope that effort shows in “The Big Game,” if it gets picked up by a publisher. I’m still waiting for a response, but if it’s taking this long, I hope that means they’re being more thorough. Time will tell, but I like to think that the future is bright for male characters.

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The Rise (and Necessary Fall) of the Beta Male

Over the course of the past couple decades, which are the primary decades in which I’ve lived my adult life, I’ve noticed a trend in popular culture. I think others have noticed it as well. I see it in novels, TV shows, cartoons, comics, and movies. It doesn’t matter if the themes are erotic or romantic. It shows up everywhere. More specifically, they show up everywhere. Who are they? I’m talking about beta males.

Let’s face it. Whether we admit it or not, we all know the traits of an alpha male. We know because those traits show up in pretty much every story that needs a villain. They’re aggressive, tough, angry, mean, self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-centered. They are bullies, plain and simple. Look at Biff Tanner from the “Back to the Future” movies. He’s basically the template of the alpha male.

Why is this an issue? It’s simple. We hate the alpha male. More often than not, he is the least likable character in a story. Never mind that these are traits associated only with men and never women. They are the enemies. They are the villains. They are the ones we’re supposed to root against, even if they’re the ones we turn to for protection and strength in the real world.

Enter the beta male, the lovable underdog who is everything the alpha male is not. He’s sweet, he’s sensitive, he’s caring, and above all, he’s emphatic. In other words, he’s basically a stereotypical woman.

In many respects, he’s an affront to both men and women. He is the antithesis of masculinity and symbolic of all the weaker traits we associate with women. It’s almost as if popular culture can’t stand the idea of men being tough without being assholes. It demeans both genders when you think about it.

So how did we get here? Well, that’s hard to say and probably something that requires multiple blog posts. I suspect it comes from our innate desire to root for the underdog or the unspoken acknowledgment that most men don’t possess the traits of an alpha male, which in turn makes us jealous. I can look into that later. For now, I’m talking about the beta male and why he matters.

There’s no dictionary definition for a beta male. We define him basically as what an alpha male is not. That’s not a good definition, defining something solely by what it isn’t. Urban Dictionary isn’t exactly a definitive site, but it does offer some interesting takes.

An unremarkable, careful man who avoids risk and confrontation. Beta males lack the physical presence, charisma and confidence of the Alpha male.

That’s a short and simple definition. Then, there are those favored by radical feminist and extremely liberal types.

A man who is content with nontraditional gender roles; i.e., he is not threatened by intelligent and/or powerful women, and he does not have to be in control of every situation to maintain his sense of self. (Frequently, he does manifest a quiet kind of confidence and control over his surroundings, but it’s not important to him that this is noticed by others.)

A beta male is often introverted, intelligent, and introspective. Though he may have been branded a “nerd” growing up, the adult beta is frequently a thoughtful, capable, and fascinating individual whom many women find appealing.

Then, there’s the opposite side of that coin.

To be a bitch like male.

In many respects, the beta male embodies the agenda of whatever someone or some line of thinking wants. If feminists want the beta male to be their ideal template for men, then that’s what he’ll be. If liberals want the beta male to be the superior, enlightened, understanding men who embody their ideals, that’s what he’ll be. The beta male is basically the universal tool for those looking to play into stereotypes for their protagonists.

There are already plenty of them. There’s Ross from “Friends.” There’s George from “Seinfeld.” There’s Peter Parker from “Spider-Man.” There’s the entire cast of “The Big Bang Theory.” There are even movies built entirely around this concept, my personal favorite being “She’s Out of My League.”

In every case, the story is the same. The weaker beta male is the underdog who never gets a break. Then, through some magical thinking and obscene luck, they win the day against the odds. It can be a good story and it makes for a nice fantasy, but that is what it is at the end of the day: a fantasy.

In real life, we don’t want beta males running everything. We don’t want beta males being our police officers, our fire fighters, or our star athletes. We want alpha males for those jobs.

When we look for a spouse or a lover, we tend not to favor those who we constantly have to coddle and protect. We want someone who will at least be our equal. We want someone who makes us stronger or at least can stand by our side on the same playing field.

So in a sense, our sentiment towards the beta male is downright schizophrenic. We love them in movie, but we discount them in real life. In real life, we see alpha males still dominating in terms of success. They get more attention, more sex, and more opportunity. Can this kind of discrepancy last? I say it can’t.

Reality, being the frustrating force that it is, tends to chip away at false fantasies in the long run. The cult of the beta male cannot last. There are only so many times we can watch Peter Parker get dumped or Ross from “Friends” get rejected. At some point, it stops being entertaining and we seek something else.

I say this as someone who has, to an extent, used beta male characteristics in my own stories. My book, “Skin Deep,” gives the main protagonist, Ben Prescott, a few beta male traits. It also gives his main rival, Zachery Crenshaw, a number of stereotypical alpha male traits. In this story, I stop short of making them too flat. I do make a conscious effort to balance them out. I like to think I succeed more than a typical episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” However, it’s a skill I’m still trying to refine.

In my other stories, I try to avoid too many beta males. I’ve actually noticed that erotic fiction in general tends to avoid beta males. Even in BDSM stories, they favor alpha male traits for both men and women alike. The success of “50 Shades of Grey” is a sign that there is a market for these kinds of characters. I hope to contribute to that market with future books, as well as my current books.

So for those who are as sick of beta males as me, check out my books or look back on the beta males in previous stories. Yes, that’s a shameless promotion of my own work. Yes, it’s entirely self-serving. However, it’s not something you’d expect of a beta male, would you? I rest my case.


Filed under gender issues, Jack Fisher's Insights, sex in media, sex in society, Uncategorized