Monday, April 19, 2010

I Am Having Trouble Getting My Beta/Gamma Male Piece Going.

This story is well-covered, though for the most part not in a way that I find satisfying, which is why I intend to take a stab at it myself. As the (hypothetical) reader is probably aware, the perception is that there is a serious and ever-increasing shortage of useful, dynamic, well-educated and properly developed men comparative to women at every level of contemporary society apart from perhaps the top 5% or so, as well in all age groups to some extent up to about age 50, though especially acute in the under 30 cohorts, where apart from the elite 10 or 15% of men who retain enough ambition, will, intellect, personality and ability to hold the attention of a woman to be generally acceptable, everyone else is increasingly resigning themselves to a largely celibate life of inferior status both to these alpha males and the 40 to 60% or so most able and desirable women who are visibly too good for them. This is an unhappy state of affairs to say the least, and one that has many aspects to it that will be hard to account for succinctly, such that I am not even going to attempt to address more than a couple of them.

First I suppose I had better define my understanding of the general categories of males. The alphas are of obviously the energetic leaders, achievers, and sexual heroes prominent in every human society. From their point of view there are really only two categories of men worth distinguishing, themselves (the winners), and everyone else, which in a sense is certainly true. As everyone seeks to procure as much status for himself as he can however, men just one notch or two down the scale like to add numerous gradations to put some sense of distance between themselves and the bottom, which is why in most systems of this type beneath alpha you have beta men, sometimes further divided into three fairly permeable levels, and beneath these gamma and omega men. Omega men consist essentially of the very dregs of maledom, the homeless, the severly mentally ill or learning disabled, the guys who are more likely in the next six months by a factor of at least +50 to be the object of an intervention by Richard Simmons than they are to go on a date; in short, men whose lives pass largely outside of all contact with women whosever, who indeed would cause women either to leave at once or demand the removal of the intruder if they were to wander into a confined public area where any happened to be. The gammas would be the guys who are more generally functional but don't relate to or appeal to women at all, and are therefore largely shunned by them, in many cases apparently remaining virgins against their desires well into their late 20s and beyond. The rise of the internet and techno-culture have given these men a wide forum and more of a psychic presence in society than they used to have, which I believe may be helping to feed the widespread impression that the number of losers is far higher than it used to be. They may have a working class counterpart in the doughy, unattractive and not too bright guy who in the old days could still support a beastly wife and a passel of thick-necked cretin children as a butcher or delivery driver or something that was still a definite place in society, but who has really nothing to offer anybody in today's world. The majority or near-majority of men are still classic betas, which means marriage to a reasonably desirable woman out of the very limited selection who will consider having them, and a largely boring and unimaginative existence grounded in the routine of propriety, work, earnest child rearing and so on. The loose divisions of greater, middling and lesser beta are determined by a algorithim which I have not precisely formulated yet consisting of the man's general competence/value to society, the appealingness of his wife, and the extent to which said wife actually likes him as against her level of bitterness and constant reminiscing about not having been able to nab one of the 50 or so alpha males she slept with in her teens and twenties while her future husband was relegated to video games, porn, perhaps getting lucky once every couple of years or so and pining after the likes of her as an impossible dream. The theory is that in the good old days when women were dependent on having a husband for their financial support and respectability in social station and having children, the beta men were in a much more favorable position, indeed they were considered the normal sort of man most women could reasonably expect to date and marry, if they themselves were worthy enough, could keep house and cook and were relatively sexually virtuous, that sort of thing, but that now that women don't need the (usually weak)financial support and pallid respectability that betas used to be able to offer, the top 40-60% or so discussed earlier have thrown over this massive pool of men entirely and are going all in during the prime years of their beauty to snag one of the coveted alphas, a quest of course in which most are doomed to not achieve their goal. The consequences of this on Society in the future, many sober and mature voices warn, are not going to be benign.

I had the good fortune to know in my youth a few women who were willing to offer men honest, direct, and sometimes brutal assessments of their worth and place in the world, and from the collation of these assessments I pretty consistently come up with a percentile ranking of myself vis-a-vis my other men, with 0 representing a guy lying half-conscious on a sewer grate stewing in his own excrement and 100 representing a Warren Beatty or Bill Clinton level of development, of around 66. This translates nicely to around 6.5 on the more popular 1-10 scale, which, though nothing anyone could be proud of, long experience has confirmed as a pretty accurate reading, and one which has never seemed to change or improve across a period of several decades now. This is the great difference between now and when I was younger, because while I knew I was a 6.5, I honestly believed until I was maybe even over 30 that if I really tried hard, bought better clothes or exercised seriously or read a lot and became smarter, that I would improve by leaps and bounds, even all the way to 10. I think it has been starkly exposed that it doesn't really work this way, and that it is very difficult to raise your comparative value, especially once you are already making a real effort to do so. That is, if you are really fat and really ignorant or have really bad clothes, in other words have not been making any effort at all comparative to your potential, you probably can pick up a couple of points fairly easily, and I think at one point in my late 20s I myself may have pushed the needle as high as 7 for a few months, perhaps there were a few days or even a week or two where I got to 7.5, though I have definitely fallen back now to my natural level. What seems to be happening now is that more and more people are realizing as teenagers and certainly as young adults that their inferiority to their alpha competitors is something innate that it will be virtually impossible for them to improve substantially enough to make any kind of impression on women or powerful men who could further their development, and they see no scenario where their mediocre qualities possess any value, so they are giving up, which response I will address a little further on.

On the education question, where women are now receiving 60% of the bachelor's degrees and so on and therefore, since they don't like to marry down, further exacerbating the marriageable mate shortage, I am of two minds. I do think there is something wrong with the way men are relating to and absorbing education these days, and that includes myself. An education, if you have a decent one, should I would think by the time you are in your 40s be somewhat manifest in your person so that you project a certain amount of maturity and authority that is acknowledged and respected by other people, not as a matter of submission but merely as courtesy. A lot of men, including myself, who are nominally educated at least to the point of having a bachelor's degree, do not carry ourselves in a way that projects these kinds of qualities to the same extent that modern women do. My wife is a good example of this, though she has a master's degree and is thus officially more educated than I am. Her second degree was in an education program that was 95% female, many of whom she noted had the poise, attitude and lingo of the professional classes down cold while being in numerous instances shockingly ignorant of things such as what the Cold War was or that one could buy printed books in foreign languages like Spanish or Russian. I am not suggesting that this level of knowledge is typical of either our female advanced degree holders or our public school teaching corps, but it was something I did take care to file away for further reference. I also think there is at work with regard to the graduate population that even men who like school after a certain age are going to be less cheery about returning to the classroom for the mere purpose of obtaining credentials. I know that my own feeling is that at my age I oughtn't to still be requiring training, but should be ready to assume a leadership role in whatever area of society I operate in. If I, who am a pretty low testosterone kind of guy, feel this way, then I am pretty sure the transition to the new societal model of lifelong re-tooling is not going to be a smooth one for men.

The internet has been full of stories about the dating scene at large universities that are already 60% women, most of whom are empowered to the max and determined to get what they deserve in a man, where a small number of superstuds maintain virtual harems, often openly, leaving the girls resigned to the reality that they have to share to get an occasional night of the life they want, while the majority of the guys are completely ignored and left to play video games and so on. I am not too familiar with this kind of social dynamic, which seems however to be the dominant one in our society, where the alpha males form their own exclusive groups and draw almost all of the most eligible women to their circle, reducing all the other man to ever more remote spectators. At SJC there were not a great number of real alpha types, and these tended to prefer to form their own groups with themselves at the center rather than band with their fellow alphas to form one babe-hoarding supergroup (though a few entertained such a vision). The pickup scene as it was at parties and so on became in its best moments a competition between the leaders of the various groups and what they represented, which was much more interesting for the betas because it both got them into parties and much closer to such action as took place, and as such afforded them the opportunity to occasionally try to do a little scrapping themselves, as even the girls who are interested in them don't want to go to parties where there are no cool people present. I am probably presenting a rosier picture of things than really existed, but again, however much some people complained about the general unworthiness and inferiority of the men--and that probably went on even in the 50s when the male/female ratio was 65-35--the contemporary desperation/contempt of the capable and aspiring women and the lack of hope and any sense of fight in the subalpha men seems a more advanced stage of societal disease than what I knew.

I have reached my deadline, so while I have probably left out twenty things I meant to comment on, I am going to try to wrap this up by asking the great question of the moment, which is, Is a Man's Life Worth Living If He is Not an Alpha Male? As somebody with four sons, though I am confident they all have a good chance to reach a higher level than 66 anyway, I don't want to come out and say "No", but it is very frustrating to have to live for decades with badly mismatched or unevenly developed capacities. All things considered, I have in the end a reasonably good mind, but a mind that has always been hampered by a comparative lack of good looks, personality, identifiable talent towards which to direct itself, energy, and myriad other important qualities from engaging in the world at anything near what seems to be its full potential, so I have often been unhappy and not been able to use my mind in any really productive manner. But if your qualities and abilities achieve some kind of harmony amongst themselves even at a middling or lower level of comparative value, I think it is still possible to lead a respectable, honorable and contented life.

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