Lately I've noticed a trend in society that makes it seem bad to be the alpha male. Why is this? I honestly don't understand how it is bad to have someone the group defers to as the 'leader' in this day and age. I understand the whole feel-good vibe on how everyone is special, and has valuable insight and yada yada. I understand it, but I don't buy into it.

Take my group for instance, in-which I am the alpha. If we are trying to decide what to do today, and everyone is arguing over what they want to do as individuals, it is usually I who steps in and makes the decision. I'd like to claim my decisions are based off equality and fairness ("you decided last week, it is Billy's turn this week" sort of thing) but it isn't. Generally, I pick based on what is going to cater to the largest number of us at the same time, while minimizing down-time such as traffic, and expenditure. In-short, it is based off of logic. Why drive to LA for lunch, when there is just as good of a steak-house in our town, and so-on.

Looking at it constructively, I can see why the mantle of alpha male is a dual-edged sword. Where-as I view it as, ultimately, a deciding role, many others (including self-proclaimed alphas) view it as who is the biggest cock on the walk. I do not believe leadership should be based on might, you're not a leader, you're a bully.

In the same breath, I don't believe leadership to be the sole grounds of the intellectuals with no physical presence to enforce their rule (so to speak). Rather, again in my view, it should be a middle ground. Going back to my group, in public if people try to start fights with us, I am always the first one to put his fists up. Not because I enjoy fighting (actually, I detest it) but because I view one of my duties as the alpha to be protection of my flock.

And that there is where I feel most of the modern day douche bags who call themselves alpha males err. You're not supposed to lead your group through intimidation, all that gets you is 'friends' who are too afraid to call you on your bullshit. Not to mention you're pretty much dooming yourself to short-lived friendships. No one wants to be pals with an aggressive asshole who likes to bully even those whom he calls friend.

I'd like to wax philosophical about how the destruction of gender roles in our society has lead to this new incarnation of alpha male, or how the decline of manliness has made the true alpha male sink into obscurity, but I won't. I think I've done enough sermonizing about my opinion on the matter and will turn to you Gentlemen at this point.

So, be you alpha, beta, or consider yourself too evolved for such an out-dated line of thought, where do you fellow men stand. Is the role of the alpha male just about preening and ego-stroking, or does it fill a need? And it this need necessarily a bad thing, or, like all tools, just a thing open for interpretation of its use based on the merit individual application?

Well, what say ye, men?

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just a thing open for interpretation of its use based on the merit individual application?

In my opinion you hit it. Being an alpha male has many good advantages but depending on the person can be VERY bad. I think the biggest problem started when many "alpha's" quit being morally and otherwise accountable for themselves and their beta's.
I think the problem is more with douchebaggery in the guise of alphamaleness, instead of with genuine alpha's.
I agree wholeheartedly. Too often I have overheard young men claiming their alpha-ness, when, in reality, they show none of the qualities a true alpha should. It saddens me to realize that many these days have forgotten the true role of the group leader, and instead simply follow those they fear in some attempt to fit in. Its a self-repeating cycle that will only continue to worsen. Not to mention the damage it does to those who truthfully personify the role of alpha male.
Well said James.

Douchebaggery and wussification and the attendant lack of self respect are big problems. One who lacks self respect cannot provide respect to others and will sell out their brothers. A true alpha need not and will not proclaim that fact, even when it is not readily apparent (because of the loudmouth douchebags). What is dangerous is when people follow severely flawed douchebags to their destruction.
LOL. douchebaggery? Is that more related to skulduggery or tomfoolery?
It is similar to, but completely different than, Jackassery.
"I'd like to wax philosophical about how the destruction of gender roles in our society has lead to this new incarnation of alpha male, or how the decline of manliness has made the true alpha male sink into obscurity, but I won't. I think I've done enough sermonizing about my opinion on the matter and will turn to you Gentlemen at this point."

In some circles, a man demonstrating manly behavior becomes an object of attack. Why? Because it is threatening to females pretending to be just as *fill in the blank* as a man. We have so many women who have stopped being women because they are trying so hard to be men, that they resent a full-on manly display.

I saw it just the other day on a challenging section of a trail that I hike regularly. Several women were struggling with a rocky uphill section, and a man, in a display of prowess, politely danced past them with relative ease. I thought it was pretty awesome, but the man was greeted with sneers.

My advice to men, don't let that kind of thing bother you - you are a man and should define yourself to the universal and timeless standards of manliness, free from the influence of feminized norms.
Often when a particular man is leading the way, other men will follow because they want to know how to live as a man. I think the role fills a need when power is not abused (tough to find a guy willing to give his power away and not keep it for himself).
True, true, but in reality, a wise ruler knows his kingdom grows by the freedoms and powers he allows his subjects, no? So, applying that to the role of the alpha male, one should realize that in order for his flock to be the strongest they can be, they should be allowed to flourish and grow as individuals. The whole 'only as strong as the weakest link' line of thought.

The idea of the feminized norm being destructive to the true role of the pack leader is provacative to say the very least. In this day and age of equality, men are made to feel guilty for the uperhand our sex posses', and all for the sake of no one feeling bad. Seems counter productive to me. Instead of a few accepting thier own short-comings, an entire sex AND series of generations, are made to feel like they have to hold back for fear of reprisal. With that fear, as time has gone on, individual males have faltered to step forward to lead, and call in to line, their circles.

Earlier, the fact of accountability falling to the leader in public settings came up, and I'd like to focus on that for a minute. Too often have I seen groups of males out, with all of them being loud and obnoxious. Admitedly, I used to be a part of one of those groups. I realized, along the lines, that I was ahsamed to go out with them. The stares from the angry father or disgusted mother as my friends would shout out the foulest things were reminders of where we had strayed. We had no true leader. No one to call us to accountability or wrangle us in when we were behaving in an unacceptable manner. When I realized this, I left the group.

With that in mind, I ask, to what degree is a leader responsible?
A leader is responsible for direction.
These are some absolutely well versed responses here fellas. Just wanted to say that this whole debate has really gotten me thinking. As someone on active duty I'd like to say I had some great input to give here. Most of my leaders however are people that just have their position and basically just "fill a slot" to fulfill the needs of a chain of command, and I honestly dont feel led or driven by any of them. I come up with an idea that I think would be a greater swing towards the side of ease, efficiency, or greater output, it's shotdown because I dont have the "experience" they have...simple as that. Perhaps they don't want to feel trumped by someone of a supposed lower caliber, simply on the premise they've been doing it longer? I do find myself "running things" when I gather with people I know (I can't really say I have friends...too many variables and judgements to pass on people before you really get to know them and decide if they are a true friend.) Whenever parties or gatherings or outings happen, people usually will turn to me and ask for my opinion which I don't mind giving but I'm not going to offer suggestions unless I feel there's a serious error in the plan.
Put 10 people on an island (plane crash or shipwreck if you please) and only 3 scenarios are possible:

1: Lord of the Flies- tribal warfare and break down of all control into individual survival tasks- no survivors likely

2: Endless debate and focus groupings until the 10 survivors have 9 graves dug and one skeleton with spider webs on it inside of a week

3: a leader emerges, takes control of the skills and abilities of the group and ensures that no matter how long it takes, 10 survivors will be rescued.

The world is a cruel and brutal place, the alpha male is needed for control and survival. Without the natural leadership ability of the AM, there is almost no chance the human species would survive. This is the truth of life. We have grown fat and lazy with our civilization and microwave ovens, it is easy for us to believe as we drive around in perfect safety in our air conditioned auto transmission cars that one person is as good as the next and we are all exactly equal in every area of our lives and that nobody is different or has more abilities than another. It's nonsense, we are all different, we are not all equals, some are stronger faster and smarter than others, we only have equal rights, not equal abilities.

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