The Protector. The Provider. The Leader. These concepts have long been attached to men and masculinity. The alpha male has for centuries been what most men admired or aspired, to be. Much of this admiration was initially focused on physical attributes. These went a long way in causing other men to perceive a man as alpha in status. A tall man, with broad shoulders and a deep voice, was seen as the epitome of male power.
But let’s break that down. The tall aspect was not something this man had to strive to achieve. Similarly the broad shoulders, they too were given to him genetically; handed down without a payment request. No effort was required for him to achieve his height and breadth. So where’s the alpha in that? The deep voice? Same thing.
Of course, there’s always the Darwinian position ‘but that height, breadth, and depth, reflects a good gene pool’. Well, that may be. But there sure are a lot of tall, broad-shouldered men with deep voices languishing in prisons all over the world right now. So that’s not necessarily a given.
Then there’s the alpha male who may not necessarily have great physical prowess, but he certainly does have charisma and charm. Perhaps there’s a naturally dominant energy that exudes from him when he walks in a room. Maybe he’s got that natural power-stance – you know, hands on hip, legs spread, hips jutting forward to exhibit more of his attributes. Marvelous.
We may smile when we see the alpha male described in this way, but along with our sarcastic eye-rolls, there the traditional expectation for men to exude that measure of self-confidence. After all, we’ve all met men like that. We’ve seen them depicted in countless Hollywood movies.
And who hasn’t read or heard about those ‘delicate’ women who swoon in the presence of a dark, brooding, attractive, male? They appear breathlessly in endless bodice-ripping novellas. And for the slightly more high brow, there’s always Jane Austen’s version of a similar, yet slightly feistier, female.
These days when women can hunt, gather, forage and protect themselves, the alpha male doesn’t have the power he once had. Even more so, when the height, depth, breadth, gene pool argument can be seen embodied in two gorgeous gay men, smooching on each other, on the grass, in the park. Isn’t that still an alpha male right there? Powerfully built? Rolling around having a fabulous time with his lover?
There is, of course, the alpha male whose alpha credentials come from his ability to make money, and tons of it. And deals, BIG deals, that show how much of a big deal that man is. They’re everywhere in the corporate world. One of them is even supposedly in The White House. Except there’s nothing very alpha about his energy. So maybe, we’ll move on to other examples.
These alpha male types sense of worth is derived from how much they own, how much they’ve crushed the competition, how expensive the things they own are, and where they are in the financial pecking order. They measure their lives by the figures attached to their names.
Seven, eight, nine, ten figure incomes? No amount is too much. And yet that ‘you can never have too much energy’ has a haunting quality to it. Much like never enough, energy. There is no real peace in these energies, nor in this type of alpha male soul.
This is why the alpha male’s power is fading. We have new measures of what is attractive, powerful, swoon-worthy. Emotional intelligence is seen as the new measure of sexy to many of us. Intellectual openness and the ability to articulate what you know, is the new swoon factor. The ability to take ownership of your responses and reactions to life, is now aspirational.
Creating deals, big deals can still be admired. But it’s when those deals benefit the greater good, that they really get our attention and admiration. Standing for something, rather than fighting against something, draws us in. We now see going to war as a failure in diplomacy, rather than a measure of power. How do armed forces alpha males deal with that?
Bringing spiritual wisdom to the masses, is a premium trait these days. Eckhart Tolle would never have made it onto Oprah in the past. Dynamic he isn’t but is he changing the world one seminar at a time? Sure he is!
We’re definitely in a new age. It’s a term that has been denigrated by many. But a new age is in fact where we are. It is a time when we are seeing through long-accepted concepts, conditioning and beliefs. We’re seeing them for what they are, just beliefs and stories we’ve made up about things. They’ve been shared as if they were truth, rather than just another form of societal and cultural programming.
The good thing is, we’re all allowed to be more of who we are in this new age. We can physically change our gender. We can educate ourselves simply by browsing the web. We can run 7 figure businesses from our laptops. We can affect global change through a single tweet, or Instagram post. We can challenge racism, sexism, and fascism through simply recording the abuse on our phones.
We’re also having to be more mindful and self-aware in our actions, that is if we want to feel balanced and truly thrive in the world. We’re having to be very honest, brutally honest, about the impact dominant alpha energy has had on the environment. We can’t ignore how more, bigger, best energy, has impacted global economics and actively blocked the development of renewable resources.
We’re now in a time of listening, and finding out about how what impacts one, impacts all. We’re seeking more sustainable ways of powering the planet and empowering the individual. It’s a time of change and a time for change.
It’s not clear where the old version of the alpha male fits into this new age, if he does at all. Like the rest of us, he does not exist in a vacuum and so a revised analysis of who he is and how he’s defined, is inevitable. This is the age of going beyond the stereotypes, conditionings and entrenched beliefs that we have long outgrown. It’s the age of possibility.
Therefore, the alpha-defined male may want to actively open himself up to new possibilities, ones that free him from the necessity of being top dog. Or he might be running the risk of becoming completely extinct. Now wouldn’t that be a change!
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