Back from Thanksgiving vacation. I had enough time driving back to think of things that piss me off. This is what I came up with.
I’m always skeptical of someone that declares themselves to be something rather subjective. I worked with a guy that claimed to be a genius…I mean, with a straight face, he said to me “I’m a genius”. Now there are certain “objective” ways to declare yourself as something. If you want to say you’re a “genius”, the best objective way to do so would be to say something like “I have a 190 IQ” and/or “I’m a member of Mensa”. If true, those would be irrefutable facts and, I suppose, by definition you would be a “genius”. Otherwise, most people would think you’re just a stupid asshole.
And speaking of assholes, have you ever listened to the Jason Stapleton podcast? I once listened to him regularly but one thing that drove me crazy was his insistence that he was an “alpha male”. It made him sound more delusional than cool, which was the complete opposite intention. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened in, so maybe he stopped doing that. But Jason is hardcore libertarian and one of those white guys that came from nothing, now has something, and believes everyone owes him something. Very similar to Adam Carolla. You know, just because you make millions of dollars talking about the stock market and libertarianism…apparently that makes one important. But Jason and Adam, you guys don’t serve important functions in society so I really don’t feel sorry for you because you have to pay millions in taxes. But I digress. Jason wants you to believe he’s an alpha male. He tells us all the time. But is declaring ones self to be “alpha” an action that a genuine “alpha male” takes?
Now I’ll admit, Jason is probably more alpha than I am, but that’s a low bar to hurdle. He’s successful, according to him he’s good-looking…he seems to hold a degree of objective criteria to be classified as an “alpha male”. But again, how masculine can you be if you have to keep reminding people how masculine you are?
And that’s always been the weird thing about the anti-feminist factions…feminism is a perceived as a direct attack on “alpha male-ism”. Which in some forms, it could be! But in response to this attack, instead of upholding traditional “masculine” characteristics like self-confidence in ones’ manhood, masculinity becomes overemphasized to the point where it becomes questionable. Why would a woman’s rise in power be perceived as a threat to male power? And it’s here where the “alpha male” movement starts looking paper thin. Instead of maintaining confidence and acceptance, maleness becomes overemphasized….or in other words, men overcompensate. And it looks desperate.
Not to confuse all the Right-leaning movements out there, just because something is “libertarian” doesn’t make it “alt-right” and so on, but I’ve mentioned before that many on the Right (particularly the alt-right) want a return to paternalism sans the responsibilities that were once included with it. Others have noticed the same. They’d rather sit at home and whine about how they deserve a girlfriend because through some perverse yet unrecognized sense they’ve somehow earned it! And many have flocked to Trumpism because it stokes the fires that rages from within because it takes on an exaggerated form of masculinity as a counter-attack against increasing female power in culture. It has permitted men, or emboldened them, to bring out the worst in themselves by promoting bigotry and sexism all because they can’t get laid or feel that their masculinity is threatened.
But what Stapleton and others do to annoy me is their over insistence on the things that are stereotypically “masculine” (at least if you’re a white male)…big trucks, guns, hitting the weights, and doing everything you can to not look like a pussy. Maybe my own masculinity is threatened when I see those things. Clearly I’m not a manly man. I like sports but that’s the only thing I can talk with other “men” about. I don’t give a fuck about cars, I don’t know how to fix things, I don’t like gyms, and I’d rather watch anything with Ryan Gosling over something Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in. Mind you, maybe I do tend to do things to overcompensate…I do own a big truck that I don’t need (I only own it because I don’t want to worry about upkeep) and you can say that I like to live vicariously through James Bond when I watch those films. Fair enough. (Perhaps I’ll defend my obsession with James Bond as being a genuine artistic critique, rather than a masculine obsession, in a later post). BUT…but….in general I don’t believe that masculinity is something to be “flexed”, if you will.
While I’m absolutely a flawed person, I am who I am. The only person that I’m trying to impress is, well….ME. Seeking to become an “alpha male” by declaring yourself an alpha male is not very alpha male-like. In fact, I’d argue, just being aware of the concept throws into question of what your status might be. If you ever had to ask yourself “am I an alpha male?”, the question has effectively been answered. REAL men don’t concern themselves with such nonsense. Think James Bond has ever wondered that? Therefore, this completely disqualifies me from being an alpha. If you’re reading this post…you are not an alpha. If the TITLE of this post pops up in your feed…you are not an alpha. Alphas don’t concern themselves with such shit. They’re so cool, they’ve probably never heard of the Internet. They’re so comfortable with themselves, it never occurs to them to question their manhood.
To quote the great Commander William Riker “don’t try to be a great man, just be a man and let history make its own judgements”. Because REAL men, in addition to quoting Star Trek, don’t need to prove themselves. So put down your copy of “Gorilla Mindset” (Which you can listen to above, if you can stomach it) and just be a man for fuck’s sake.