The origins of the alpha male
First things first, what’s an “alpha male” even supposed to be? This term was coined in the 1940s to describe a social group in animals in which males dominate. Among them, there’s one who stands out because he has the upper hand over the other males. He also has privileged access to “resources” such as a nice space, food... and females (oh what a surprise 🙄).
This term has therefore been taken up by groups of cisgender men, i.e. men who identify with the male gender (if you don't understand, I invite you to read my article on trans identity), to prove their virility. Except that the term is highly contested in zoology, it is a false belief about how animals work! Not to mention that it’s a term that reflects very toxic masculinity 😥...
It’s usually education that perpetuates this idea of the alpha male through virility. You have to show that you’re a man, that you have the physical and sexual attributes, in short, it’s a way of showing how powerful you are. It’s the opposite of positive, gender-neutral education. Little boys who are subjected to this repress their emotions to fit this image of strength and violence.
👉 Boys will be boys... This expression perfectly illustrates the problem of this virility. This phase means that men can’t be changed, when in fact they can, it’s all about education. By perpetuating it, we only produce sexist men, who are aggressive and use harassment to get what they want, without questioning themselves once.
>>> Read; Can we love several people at once?
The portrait of the alpha male and his toxic masculinity
The problem with “alpha males”, as they like to call themselves, is that they perpetuate psychological violence on others, especially women. Yes, it’s no surprise that by relying on stereotypes that portray men as dominant, they’re inevitably misogynistic. For them, women aren’t their equals, so let’s not even talk about people from the LGBTQIA+ community (yes, you can add homophobia to that)... In their eyes, you have to be beautiful, an accessory and a hunting trophy on their arm. And if you don’t comply with their wishes, they can unleash violence, including sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence.
“Toxic masculinity is a specific model of virility, oriented towards domination and control. It’s a masculinity that perceives women and LGBT people as inferior, that conceives sex not as an act of affection, but of domination, and that values violence as the only way to impose oneself in the world.”
A feeling of superiority that overshadows everything
We therefore quickly understand that alpha males are poisonous to women, but not only that. These specimens believe that there are “beta” men, who are also inferior because they bend to our demands 🙄. In their eyes, beta men are too weak, because they listen to their feelings and are nice to us, that’s where they draw the line! Well yes, a manly man has no emotions, otherwise, he’s a weak man. Tears aren’t part of their daily life, they bury everything deep inside them. Only the feeling of superiority has a place, the rest is overshadowed because it’s reserved for weak beings 🤦♀️.
The need to be the center of attention
As a direct consequence of this emotional mismanagement, there’s also an invalidation of other people’s problems. Alpha males have an overinflated ego and don’t bother listening to others. And anyway, they’re the ones with the real problems, it’s hard carrying all that toxic weight and denial, eh 😩! Well, I'm caricaturing, but it’s a way of putting themselves at the center of attention. These men don’t even realize how much privilege they have (especially if they’re white), compared to a woman, a person with a disability, or a person of color...
A patriarchal production
It’s a pure product of the patriarchal society where tolerance and open-mindedness have no place, but the need to crush others is very present. This portrait is reminiscent of the narcissistic pervert who is, for me, a purely male construct. This toxicity is a scourge because, according to a UN study, 35% of women have already been subjected to some form of violence by a man. I bet it’s even much more than that, as for most of us it’s hard to dare to talk about the trauma caused by toxic masculinity 💔.
Too much mental load
Alpha males don’t deserve anyone’s time. Instead of trying to prove their manhood, they should go and heal their emotional wounds. Toxic masculinity is destructive to everyone, including them. Men who rely on emotional repression and stereotypical masculine traits are far more prone to depression, stress, and substance abuse. But it’s not up to us women to deal with that. I think we do enough as it is, and we have enough mental load 😑.
The only way to act is not to reproduce this pattern and way of thinking with our sons. Agnès Pargade, a child psychiatrist, explains that educating children in the same way, without taking gender into account, is important. This limits the damage of toxic masculinity as much as possible.
With adult men, all we have to do is make a list of red flags to get far away from them! And if we feel brave enough, we’ll have to communicate, deconstruct, teach or refer them to a psychologist (because it’s exhausting, and as I said, we already do a lot).
Editor’s note: Neither alpha nor beta
The male essence is lined with false beliefs, a man is strong, he doesn’t cry, he doesn’t show his emotions, etc. It’s time to free ourselves from this and educate our boys differently. A man is neither alpha nor beta, he’s a complex being like all of us, a mixture of kindness, benevolence, wit, assertiveness, and many other things. If your relationships are complex, if your relationship with masculinity is a source of suffering, it’s good to question your beliefs and your experiences. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a psychologist to work on this with him.
🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!
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