There is much to be said of the Alpha male. The Marlborough Man. The top dog. In fact, many concepts of what masculinity is are based on the Alpha male. Traditionally, being the ‘nice guy’ or what one would call the Beta male is looked down upon. First of all, to crudely categorize men like this without leaving any wriggle room for nuances is already limiting, but to then imply one category is better than the other is downright damaging. Men’s groups that ‘teach’ how to be more alpha seem to miss the point that we need all types of men in the world. If all men that don’t fit the top dog mold are to be eliminated, who would we be left with? A whole lot of non-listening, aggressive, pushy men, that’s who…
In the modern world, where women don’t need to be ‘protected’, where we are out blazing our own way, there is more room for beta men. Our focus is not so much on being taken care of and making sure our children are protected and provided for. We can do that on our own. We want men who listen and can talk to us. Here are the benefits of being a beta male:
This is not to say that the Alpha male is an emotional dud, but when it comes to being able to think about their emotions and, yes, feelings and processing them in an intelligent way and then talking about them, the betas win. A lot of alpha men are probably huffing and puffing and making fun about me mentioning the F word (I’m talking about feelings boys) but really, in the modern developed world, the Marlborough men and Don Drapers of the world are going out of style. Sure we like to look at their intense hotness but at home, we want a man who can open up and process stuff. We want to know if we’re having a bad day we can come home and talk about it. If we have a fight, he’s not going to slam the door on his way out as he gets a beer with his mates. We want someone who understands. We want a ‘mature’ man. This is part of our new definition of manliness.
The beta man isn’t threatened by equality of the genders. His masculinity doesn’t falter in the wake of equal pay or even her earning more than him. When I was a girl, my mother used to tell me, “I know you’re smart, but don’t show the guys. Men don’t like that!” And I used to think to myself, “Well, I don’t want any guy that wants me to pretend I’m dumb!” That is how fragile an alpha male ego is. This doesn’t end with women being smarter, it also includes women earning more or being better at anything. It might sound like the beta man is being a pushover, but it isn’t. When the ego isn’t involved in matters of a relationship, when the man doesn’t have to posture to appear to be a man, banging his chest over everything, and the woman doesn’t need to make herself ‘smaller’, then it allows for both parties to stand together on equal ground. So much more can happen there.
I came from a family where I had an alpha man as a father. Till today I have no idea who he is. He doesn’t like to talk, to relate. As a child I wasn’t allowed to show a lot of emotion. If I cried, it was my mother’s job to take care of that. My mum was the homemaker of the house, despite running four of her own very successful restaurants. She had to come home everyday and cook for my father. I would not wish this on any other child. Not all men are like this. Not all alphas. I’m sure. But one of the strengths of being beta is the ability to be a great dad. Betas are open, sensitive and not averse to cleaning up or picking up their kids. They are defined by the traditional expectations of manliness.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the whiny, sad-sack of a man who shirks responsibility, whose relationships are usually in shambles and who refuses to grow up… the Omega Male. Typical in the wolf pack, if alphas are right on top, and betas just below, then omegas lie at the bottom of the pack. These guys are usually single or if they are in a relationship, they’re unhappy about it. It might seem like they’re betas, but their immaturity usually calls them out.
So to all the betas of the world, this is it guys, your time to shine.