Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ode to the Alpha Male

Alpha male:
From Wikipedia

An alpha male is the top-ranking animal in a social group. Some animals live in a social structure where the more powerful male in the group is decided by either simple play-fights or even very aggressive battles. The current alpha male must defend his ranking from younger members. When he is too old or not strong enough to win, he loses his position in the group.

The result of this is that the alpha male usually has more opportunity to mate with the available females. This system evolved because strong males will produce young which have a better chance for survival.Alpha male can also refer to an aggressive, highly-ranked man in a human group – usually in a business setting. This is usually a very informal use, and sometimes seen as an insult to that person.



Ah the Alpha male. For the most part, we love them. Women want to marry them (or at the very least have mind blowing sex with them), and men would love to be them. Strong, powerful, and most definately in charge, romance writing is full of them. Personally, I'll take Harrison Ford over Hugh Grant any day . It's not about looks (not completely at least), but about attitude - how they make us feel.

Over the next little while, I'm going to spend some time talking about some of my favourit TV and movie Alpha Males. Some you may agree with - some you may think I'm off my rocker.

To start us off, let's look at some typical characteristics of the alpha male in romance writing.

Confidence. Any and all internal turmoil is well hidden with the Alpha Male. They don't second guess their decisions, or double back on their actions. They make a choice and live with it. We can trust that if the alpha male says he's got your back, then he does. We have faith in his actions, even if he may be leading us down the wrong path. An alpha male in a villian role can be some of the most entertaining to watch/read.

Goal Focused. They know what they want, and they know how to get it. If that goal changes as time goes on, then the alpha male makes an informed decision. If their goal is to get the girl, take over the company, catch the killer, then they attack that goal with everything they have. Sometimes, they come across as overbearing as a result.

What are some of your favourite alpha male characteristics?
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