I received the following Tweet from a reader this week:
Hi Rollo, thanks for all of your amazing work. I think one topic that you have not touched upon in detail is the conflict between alpha widowhood and war bride dynamic. If women are constitutionally inclined to move on, then how can they remain sad about their ex alpha lovers? Even if alpha’s SMV was much higher than her, isn’t the whole point of the war bride dynamic is to enable a woman to move on and reproduce without lingering thoughts of her former lovers? This happened to me recently when I had to end a relationship due to unacceptable logistics (long distance). What followed was extreme anxiety on her part about losing me. So this contradicted with what I always hear about women moving on easily.
This was a great question, and one I haven’t addressed before (no, I haven’t written everything), so I thought I’d pick this one apart today.
The TL;DR version is this: Women only ‘widow’ for men that made an Alpha impression on them. If their previous Alpha was somehow ‘killed’ and replaced by a lesser man, their hindbrains resist that man’s authority over her while using her previous Alpha as the lesser man’s SMV (sexual market value) benchmark. In the most extreme examples, a woman who’s been forced to accept the authority of a lesser man who defeated her former Alpha will resist him and/or plot revenge for the idealized lover.
Historical accounts and various cultural fiction are rife with this archetypal story. The woman who is married off to a lesser man or becomes the War Bride of an undeserving rival (usually by subterfuge or sinister means) is an archetype because it reflects women’s deepest evolutionary, existential, fear – to have her Hypergamous sexual selection strategy forcibly chosen for her by a man (or men) who are undeserving or are suboptimal breeding prospects. As I mentioned, this is an existential fear for women; anything less than unilateral control over her own Hypergamous destiny is tantamount to rape. The fear is that she will spend her life raising the child(ren) of a suboptimal man.
The premise of the War Brides dynamic is thus: Evolution selected for women who could more easily transition psychologically from one dominant male to another. In our chaotic ancestral past women and girls were a commodity to be preserved for a conquering tribe. While men or boys were either killed or enslaved, fertile age women would be preserved as spoils of conquest for superior, invading, men. Simply put, women have reproductive value – men (and often their sons) were mostly obstacles in the way of resource acquisition and those reproductive opportunities.
That may seem like a bleak proposition to a Blue Pill conditioned mind today. We want to believe in some egalitarian dream of humanism and cooperation, but our evolved, ancestral past is responsible for what we are today in terms of base biological and psychological imperatives. I first proposed this theory in War Brides:
“Evolution has largely selected-for human females with a capacity to form psychological schema that preserve their psyches from what would otherwise afflict them with debilitating anxiety, guilt, and the stresses resulting from being continuously aware of their own behavioral incongruities. Evolution selects-for solipsistic women who are blissfully unaware of their solipsism.”
A lot of critics of the Red Pill make two key mistakes in their assessment of basic truths. One is that we don’t fully consider the dynamic, and/or two, we think too much about it. The fundamentals we consider about female nature, with respect to women’s psyches, are rooted in our evolutionary past. So, when I deconstruct certain aspects of that nature I have to ask the question, “why would a dynamic be something beneficial to women and/or our species on whole?” When I consider Hypergamy, female solipsism, women’s collectivist mindset, or any number of other characteristics the question I’m going to ask is why is this dynamic still present in modern women, and what are the outcomes of that dynamic in today’s environment?
Look at the obesity epidemic in western cultures today. 68% of adults in the U.S. are overweight today and 34% are morbidly obese. Childhood obesity is at an all time high. Evolutionarily speaking this is the result of how our metabolism evolved to solve certain environmental challenges we faced. Back then food was scarce. Finding a way to insure we fed ourselves and our tribe was at a premium and our biology adapted to give us the best chance of survival. Today this metabolism is a liability in an environment where food is plentiful and what we need to do to get it is much less strenuous. That’s the quick way to illustrate what I’m getting at in the War Brides dynamic:
Given the harsh realities that women had to endure since the Paleolithic era, it served them better to psychologically evolve a sense of self that was more resilient to the brutal changes she could expect to be subjected to. Consider the emotional investment a woman needs to put into mothering a child that could be taken away or killed at a moment’s notice. Anxiety, fear, guilt, insecurity are all very debilitating emotions, however it’s women’s innate psychology that makes them more durable to these stresses. Statistically, men have far greater difficulty in coping with psychological trauma (think PTSD) than women. Why should that be? On the face of it you may think that men’s better ability to rationally remove themselves from the emotional would make them better at coping with psychological trauma, but the reverse is actually the case. Women seem to have a better ability to accept emotional sacrifice and move on, either ignoring those stresses or blocking them entirely from their conscious awareness. Women possessing a more pronounced empathic capacity undoubtedly served our species in nurturing young and understanding tribal social dynamics, however it was also a liability with regards to a hostile change in her environment. Stockholm Syndrome is far more pronounced in female captives, why should that be? Because women’s ancestral environment dictated the need to develop psychological mechanisms to help them survive. It was the women who could make that emotional disconnect when the circumstances necessitated it who survived and lived to breed when their tribe was decimated by a superior force. This is also known as the War Bride dynamic; women develop an empathy with their conquerors by necessity.
So how does this relate to the Alpha Widow dynamic? Let’s parse that out a bit.
Alpha Widows are women who’ve had an Alpha man in their past make such an impression upon them that any man that comes along after him must essentially fight with that impression in order to replace him as the optimal Alpha in her life. This is usually the man a woman pines for from her Party Years. Often he’s the first guy who ever fulfilled her Hypergamous dance card. Generally, this man is at least her perceptual ideal of the sexual selection criteria she was prioritizing during that phase of her life. Usually this guy is her sexual ideal as well. That sexual impact forms a strong psychological attachment because the memories of the sex she had are associated with hormonal triggers. The memories of a significant Alpha male are enough to prompt a physical arousal response in women.
Furthermore, that Alpha impact is so significant it can alter her future sexual strategy for every man who comes after him. This is one reason women generally have a Plan B man on hold should that Alpha ideal not present himself, or should he not be ‘tamable‘ by her in the long term. Women’s long term sexual strategies tend to be punctuated by holding out for their ‘soul mate’ who also happened to be the best sex she’d ever had. Lesser men who follow in his wake are simply contingency plans. In today’s feminine-primary social order, where women are encouraged ‘never to settle for less than they deserve‘, we see generations of women experiencing the consequences of this Alpha widowhood. In fact, we go to great efforts societally to placate to it, to lessen the impact of it, and to plan contingencies for it.
But where does that leave us?
One reason I detailed the War Brides dynamic in my earliest writing was because I’d had so many men ask me this question; ‘Why is it that women can so easily move on after a breakup? We were together for years and it’s like she never even knew me now!‘ The ugly, visceral truth of this is that women are far less convicted to feel remorse, guilt or shame over abandoning (Beta) men who didn’t meet their Hypergamous ideal. We all know the stories of the ‘ride or die‘ girl who would literally do anything for her man. I once had a reader link me a story about a woman who stole a police car whose arrested boyfriend was handcuffed in the back seat. There are definitely women who will help their man bury the bodies. However, that man almost universally is that woman’s Hypergamous, Alpha ideal. And this is where the power of Hypergamy comes into the equation.
Women’s prime reproductive imperative is consolidating in the long term on a man who best embodies her Hypergamous ideal. Even now I’m not sure readers really understand the influence Hypergamy has over women. Even factoring in the War Brides dynamic, there will always be women who will literally kill for a man who best exemplifies what she believes is (or was) the best she could ever do Hypergamously.
I covered some of this in SMV Ratios & Attachment. Hypergamy influences women’s concept of love, so much so that it forms the basis of who they will allow themselves to feel ‘love’ for when it comes to reproductive opportunities. If a man embodies this Alpha ideal no substitute will replace him, unless another man exceeds the previous man’s Alpha impact.
So, how does this modify the War Brides dynamic? Hypergamous imperatives can supersede the War Brides phenomenon in that it incentivizes women to mate guard and even kill a rival to preserve a long term reproductive opportunity with an idealized Alpha man. We can add layers of social and moral doctrines to this (marriage, tribe, religion), but it’s all really embellishments or a cover story for what’s really a biological phenomenon.
Women who monogamously pair with Beta men are far less motivated to feel remorse over that man’s death or replacement by a more Alpha rival. This is where the War Brides dynamic comes in full. Hypergamy never seeks its own level and if a woman’s lesser man is defeated by more Alpha rival this only gives her a better excuse for pivoting into that superior man’s Frame. That may seem duplicitous and self-serving, but this is the ugly, visceral truth, remember? The inverse of this is that Hypergamy dictates that women will only become Alpha Widows for worthy (Alpha) men – and sometimes even the fantasy of that ideal man is enough to replace a lesser man.
So, it follows that the degree to which a woman becomes an Alpha Widow or more easily adopts a War Brides mentality is directly related to what her perception of her former partners was. Regret, remorse and jealousy are reserved for what a woman’s hindbrain believes is her ideal reproductive opportunity. In light of this I’ll have to add some caveats to both the Alpha Widow and War Bride dynamics. Neither are mutually exclusive of the other, and both depend on a woman’s perception of the man (men) involved.