The Alpha Male as the ideal of what masculinity looks like in public needs to die. The days of Don Draper, Archie Bunker, and American Dad are over. In the last 40 years society has progressed so far, so fast, that men, in general, have moved into three camps:
- Hypermasculine, uber aggressive men
- Men who suppress their masculinity and embrace their femininity
- Men in the middle wondering “where the fuck do I fit in?”
Hypermasculine alpha males currently dominate male culture. It’s promoted in movies, television, advertising, and in many men’s coaching programs available today.
The dominant definition of what it means to ‘be a man’ is defined by phrases like:
- grow some balls
- don’t be a sissy
- don’t cry like a bitch
- don’t be so damned sensitive
In short, being a ‘real man’ means burying your feelings, reject your feminine side, and don’t have any feelings besides aggression and domination.
It’s time to kill this representation of what it means to be a man before it kills us all.
Like the Yin-Yang symbol, redefining masculinity must be about balance and about embracing all the parts of you. Trying to live up to an impossible and undesirable standard of hypermasculinity can kill you. Over 6 million men every year report struggling with depression and the demographic with the highest suicide rates is men aged 40-44.
Yes, middle aged men have the highest suicide rate by far, accounting for nearly 25% of all suicides.
The alpha male ideal is a man who shoulders all the responsibilities of life and never asks for help. It’s a recipe for stress, health problems, broken relationships, addiction, and eventually an early death.
When you add in the overly aggressive and confrontational nature needed, you needlessly create ever escalating levels of violence. More often than not, that never ends well.
Blaze A New Path
These are some of the lessons life taught me over the years. The lessons have been powerful and, at times, painful. I’ve done and said things that hurt myself and others pursuing the alpha male ideal.
Let’s redefine masculinity together. The world needs a new definition of what it means to ‘be a man’. Do it for your spouse, your partner, your children.
The world needs you. Will you answer the call?