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Alpha males

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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This was a very popular topic on this forum in the early days. I didn't see much pushback on the concept, really. So it's interesting to me to learn that this very popular concept is based on something that is now discredited.

No such thing as the alpha male

In nature, Mech writes, wolves split off from their packs when they mature, and seek out opposite-sex companions with whom to form new packs. The male and female co-dominate the new pack for a much simpler, more peaceful reason: They're the parents of all the pups.

So really they are parents, and a pack is a family unit. Really, in the wild, it has nothing to do with jockeying for position, which is the part that's used to justify certain human behaviors as "natural".

It isn't mentioned in this article, but IIRC the jockeying seen in captive wolves is more like orphans in a post-apocalyptic society struggling among themselves to find a leader.
 

Cor Luctis

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I'm not surprised to learn that "alpha male" is a misguided construct used in an attempt to justify questionable human behavior.
 

Cor Luctis

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It's because it's validating, and what is validating always seems to outweigh what is actually true sadly.
There is no substitute for reality. I understand even that isn't as absolute a construct as we think. We all have heard of the situations where 10 people witness the same event, but describe it differently. That is not an excuse for failing to observe and understand reality as accurately and completely as possible. Often that involves listening to the perspectives of those 9 other viewers. The story of the blind men and the elephant applies.
 

Koto

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What is it validating, in your view?

I should clarify that I don't personally find it validating in any respect. In general though, the whole hierarchy thing and 'alpha' epitaph tends to attract people that are insecure about their own masculinity (as Cat said) and attempt to compensate for this by acting far more aggressive, selfish, and generally 'yikes' than would be prudent. It gives people the idea that you can just brute force your way through life and everything will work out fine; it validates the somewhat problematic thought process of 'I'm the strongest and therefore I am the most correct' and gives rise to a bunch of overly image-conscious (yet blind to this) guys who will take any opportunity to belittle others in order to boost themselves up, no matter how minute the situation. It reminds me of this video:

Edit: It's age-restricted apparently; it's just a criminal psychology video on a person that was clearly obsessed with the whole 'alpha' schtick.
 

тень

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This is such a sigma male thread. ;)
 

Tomb1

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“***what every great philosophy up till now has consisted of – namely, the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious autobiography..."
 

SurrealisticSlumbers

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"Alpha male" types, esp those who self-describe as such, are heckin annoying. Alpha females on the other hand... <3
 

Cor Luctis

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*pushes nerds into dirt*

iu
 

Cor Luctis

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plenty of nerds are broke, and plenty of dumb jock idiots are rich :shrug:
I can't argue with that, though the t-shirt does apply to some of us at least,
 

Siúil a Rúin

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There are natural leaders and there are people who just want everything for themselves. I used to have a male Maine Coon cat that was an alpha male. He was huge, had big kitty muscles, and was very confident. He knew how to dominate the other cats, but after he established his place at the top he was really nice to them. He was smart, fast, capable, and in the wild, if he were part of a group of cats, he would help them survive. He was a natural leader.

There is a sort of healthy dominance based on confidence and capabilities that is very different from someone who is simply selfish and trying to forcibly take more than their share. Natural leaders are important and needed for group survival. When healthy, and regardless of gender, they do expect a leadership position, but they are pro-social about it and enable more survival overall. They both give and take, and have a sense of their rightful position.

Just thought it would be good to throw in that angle because it is important to recognize.

Edit: in today's society these are sometimes synonymous with 'nerds'
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I have no idea what this means.

.

I wasn't sure immediately, but a little but of my research suggests that this is saying "I have so much money, I need to stack it". Of course, that doesn't necessarily track, because a stack of 100 Washington's would look pretty large, but really isn't all that much money today.


I suspect they're enjoying our confusion, not that said enjoyment bothers me much.

There are natural leaders and there are people who just want everything for themselves. I used to have a male Maine Coon cat that was an alpha male. He was huge, had big kitty muscles, and was very confident. He knew how to dominate the other cats, but after he established his place at the top he was really nice to them. He was smart, fast, capable, and in the wild, if he were part of a group of cats, he would help them survive. He was a natural leader.

There is a sort of healthy dominance based on confidence and capabilities that is very different from someone who is simply selfish and trying to forcibly take more than their share. Natural leaders are important and needed for group survival. When healthy, and regardless of gender, they do expect a leadership position, but they are pro-social about it and enable more survival overall. They both give and take, and have a sense of their rightful position.

Just thought it would be good to throw in that angle because it is important to recognize.

Edit: in today's society these are sometimes synonymous with 'nerds'

It's not in the original link, but I read elsewhere that this is how the "alphas" in the wild (the parents) acted. Mammalian parents are invested in their kids surviving so naturally they are going to make sure they are well fed.
 

VerilyVinx

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Actually, I find the concept of "Alpha Male" quite useful. I really like it. Why? Because it helps me pinpoint the people I don't want to get involved with. Thank you, Alpha Male. I owe you saving me from experiencing countless bad friendships, dates, and conversations.
 

Kanra Jest

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Alpha, beta, all just a bunch of little masculine power plays and judgement. Adorable really, but not my cup of tea, eh. Yknow?
 
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