When it comes to the hierarchy of man-ness, or whatever it’s called, it seems that there is a (much too simple) way to lump men together. There are the Alpha males, the beta males and right at the bottom of the manliness ladder sit the Omega males. Jessica Grose wrote a great commentary on Omega Males and her description of them is spot on:
“While the alpha male wants to dominate and the beta male just wants to get by, the omega male has either opted out or, if he used to try, given up. The omega male is not experiencing the tired trope of the midlife crisis. A midlife crisis implies agency, a man who has the job and the family and chooses to reject it. The omega male doesn’t have the power to reject anything—he’s the one who has been brushed off. He’s generally unemployed, and his romantic relationships are in shambles—he’s either single or, if he’s married, not happy about it.”
Clearly, this is not someone you want to identify with. So here are our five signs you’re an omega male:
You’re the last man in your ‘band’
Sure, back in the days you guys rocked. By back in the days I mean in high school and perhaps even college. But right now you’re the only original member of the band. Or perhaps the only member left. With all the original members gone, or as you put it, “Succumbed to the man!” you’re now practicing in your new 18 year-old band mate’s garage. Your chiseled abs have long given way to a beer gut, because without regular gym classes, you don’t work out on your own anymore. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to play music or be a musician, but if you’re not putting yourself out there, nor are you taking the hint that perhaps you’re better suited to do something else, perhaps it’s time to examine this ‘dream’.
Your video games are your life
I’m not talking about The Big Bang Theory nerdy video game obsession (because while those guys might be nerds, they also have amazing jobs in their respective fields – I mean Howard went to space! – a social life and well… a life!). I’m talking about how your video games are your identity. And not just video games, it can be anything, your comic books, music, or even your all-encompassing obsession with sneakers. Having a hobby, or a passion is one thing, but when that thing becomes how you measure your worth, it’s dangerous.
You’re still hanging at your high school haunts
Or your college bar. Doesn’t matter. Your friends might have moved on but you’re still there talking about the ‘good ol’ days’. Now we’re not saying that the only measure of success is if you have a big corporate job, big car, house, wife and 2.5 children, but holding on to something because you’re too afraid to move forward isn’t healthy either.
You refuse to get a ‘normal’ job on principle
Whatever it was you were against – the Man or the Corporation or Starbucks (whatever) – you’re still raging against them by refusing to get a regular job. We get it; you’re too creative for a mere job. Omega males tend to use their ‘principles’ to get out of taking responsibility. While we get that it doesn’t always have to be a 9-5 corporate job, any job that allows you to take care of yourself and responsibility for your life will do. Instead of dodging work that pays, going after women out of your league and then complaining that “all women are gold diggers!” when you strike out.
You’re still ironic, except, not really
It’s like when you see the ‘hot’ musician guy from high school at the school’s 15-year reunion and he’s still sporting the (now slightly balding) ponytail, the ‘ironic’ suit, and making air guitar signs. All the girls used to think he was so hot, but now they’re glad they didn’t sleep with him.
While yeah, this whole social hierarchy chart paints all men in only three broad strokes and doesn’t leave any room for nuances, it’s still good to be aware of where you are in life. By being aware you are empowered to take responsibility and start making some room for positive change.