Many apologies for my recent absence from blogging. Concurrently launching two new liquor brands in Q2 is proving very time consuming, but it has allowed me to step back briefly enough to review some of my more ‘influential’ posts. Amongst those, none generated more dialog than my essay on Alpha, so I thought it prudent to come back to this very contentious topic.
I understand why guys, both of the red and blue pill variety have a problem with using the terms Alpha and/or Beta; depending on the perspective, terms that are definitive about what someone has an investment in make us uncomfortable. It’s much more comfortable to put those issues into more subjective understandings because when we’re objective about them we can’t help the wondering or the doubt of our own status within that definition. Objective terms are very close to absolutes depending upon who’s doing the defining.
From a generalized perspective, I feel that the terms Alpha and Beta are good reference points in assessing the characteristics that women find arousing in men for both short and long term mating strategies. However, I think that beyond these convenient terms, men need to be more realistic about how they apply to their own self-impressions in contrast with how women are interpreting the Alpha and Beta cues that they exhibit. For the record, at points in my life I’ve personally been the worst, bottom scraping Beta, the douchebag Alpha stud in the foam cannon party in Cancun, and the strong (but lesser) Alpha father and husband. So it’s with this in mind that I think guys shouldn’t believe that their ‘stars are set’ and they’ll never live up to the manosphere standard of Alpha.
The reason that so many guys get so bent about what defines an Alpha is usually because they don’t fit that general definition very well. So it’s a logical ego defense to make necessity a virtue (once again) and redefine it to better suit their own conditions. It’s exactly the same dynamic as the debate over Looks vs. Game. Game takes priority for those without Looks and vice versa. A personal definition of “what’s Alpha?” becomes whatever plays to an individual guy’s strengths, and women who can’t appreciate them (i.e. all of them) are relegated to being less-than quality women. Sour grapes are sour, but deductively it makes sense; we want to be the embodiment of what we ‘know’ is attractive to women and others. The worst beta schlub you know thinks he’s Alpha, because every woman he’s ever known has defined for him that being beta is what women want.
Ethics of Alpha
The problem then is looking at the definition objectively. In an objective light it’s difficult to look at ourselves as not measuring up to an Alpha ideal. So it becomes the first recourse to cast suspicion on the whole idea of being Alpha at all. It’s a pissing contest between immature men then. Or is it? There is a LOT of observable, provable evidence that many so-called Alpha traits do in fact elicit very predictable, desired, favorable behaviors (usually breeding precursors) in women. From an evo-psych perspective Alpha is just as unprincipled, just as efficiently ruthless and uncaring as it’s female counterpart – feminine Hypergamy.
So then the definition moves into an ambiguous moral ground; is it ethical to be / act Alpha? To be Alpha implies that you necessarily rise above a certain degree of common mediocrity depending upon the context – whether you do so like a guy from hotchickswithdouchebags.com or like a perfect “honorable” gentlemen is irrelevant, you still position yourself above “other guys”. To some extent this is selfishness or implies a self-importance that questions moral tenets.
At this point I should also add here that women NEVER doubt themselves on moral grounds for outshining their own competition in the sexual market place – they just do so covertly and with a polite smile, unburdened by ethical doubts. Hypergamy is its own excuse.
And that brings us to the subjectively deductive end of defining Alpha. Every sexual competitor seeks to disqualify their rivals from breeding opportunities. Most animals fight for territory or harem rights. Humans generally (though certainly not exclusively) do the same combat in the psychological. We seek to disqualify sexual competitors by calling into doubt the sexual credibility of a rival. “Yeah, he’s really good looking, but that means he’s probably gay” from a man, or “You think that blonde with the big boobs is hot? Girls who dress like that are usually sluts” from a woman are both psychological, sexually disqualifying forms of combat.
This also applies to the observably, provably, sexually successful male capable of OVERTLY flaunting his high sexual value with two (or more) concurrent women. He must be of low moral character to so flagrantly manipulate his multiple girlfriends, right? His observable success, as a sexual competitor, conflicts with what a beta believes should constitute a beta-defined definition of Alpha-ness as it characterizes him personally. Ergo, the polygamist either must be disqualified as a sexual competitor based on subjective (moral) grounds, or a guy is forced to alter his own definition of Alphaness and therefore his own self-estimate.
Every guy has a Game. Everyone thinks they are Alpha in their own way. Even the worst doormat Nice Guy, hammered flat by women for a lifetime, thinks his supplications or Capn’ Save-a-Ho mindset is the best way to win a woman’s intimacy. He’s invested in thinking he’s unique in his understanding of how best to arrive at sex with a woman. Likewise, Alpha-ness is a moving target that’s conveniently applied or disparaged based on personal circumstances.
Personally I believe Alpha-ness can, and does, have a concrete, objective definition. The problem arises when anyone asserts that they can definitively outline Alpha traits when it conflicts with the subjectiveness and ego-investments of those who define it personally for themselves. So we get a wide variety of what makes a man Alpha – he’s the guy of high moral character, princely ambition and integrity, as well as the self-important cad banging his wife and “their” girlfriend. They are BOTH Alpha. Thus I would propose that while certainly contextual, objective Alpha-ness is NOT exclusive to social status or personal integrity, but rather an attitude of expressly manifested traits. These can be innate or learned, but the definition is not dependent on moral grounds (or a lack of). A scoundrel and a champion can be equally Alpha or Beta in their own psyche’s.