How Are You an Alpha Male if you Insist on Conforming to Male Stereotypes?

Surely being a “real man” is living your own life?

Matt Mason
3 min readMay 17


We’ve all seen them on Medium and across social media — the so-called High Value Men or Alpha Males (TM) usually extolling conservative (Calvinistic American) values based on stereotypes on the narrow view of what society believes a man should be.

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash
  • Sexually desirable to all women at once
  • Dominance and leadership
  • Successful at everything (ideally wealthy too)
  • Self-sufficient
  • Stoic
  • Brave / fearless
  • Confident

And many more things besides. Some of these things are potentially positive traits within reason and subject to context. Scratch under the surface though and you’ll see that “alpha males” go to the extreme.

The problems with all this

There is no nuance in their long list of things that a man must be, and no room for either interpretation or off days.

Everyone should be self-sufficient with the proviso that nobody should be shamed or seen as lesser for asking for help, whether that’s in moving something heavy or with emotional weight of stress.

There is nothing wrong with stoicism to an extent, but that can (and does) easily cross the line into emotional repression. Ditto confidence — it can and does so easily cross the line into arrogance and a superiority complex.

Dominant? Make all the decisions all of the time. Who the hell really wants to do that though? It’s emotionally exhausting to micromanage even one relationship, let alone all of them. In a business setting this is the antithesis of good leadership which relies on trust and effective use of the right resources at the right time. It also means having the good sense to know when to step back.

Brave and fearless? We all do things that make us brave. We all have to take scary steps, but these people believe you should never show fear.

There is no nuance or flexibility. There is no room for interpretation — you merely have a list of achievements to attain in order…



Matt Mason

Archaeologist by training, freelance writer by choice. General creativity nerd. EIC of "The Ace Space" - a publication for ace and aro voices.