Why Alphas Aren’t First in My BookPosted: October 6, 2014 Filed under: On Books, On writing | Tags: guest post, romance 2 Comments
I was going to write a blog post about alpha males and how they aren’t really for me, but then Nicole Evelina wrote one and I figured I’d just copy off her homework. Check her post out, you guys. I luff it. ❤
For generations, women have been taught that the ideal hero of a novel – regardless of genre, but especially in romance – is the alpha male. You know the type: tan, perfectly muscled, ruggedly handsome, can go all night, likely to appear oiled up/sweaty on the cover.*
I’d like to challenge that stereotype. Actually, I am in most of my books (King Arthur, and Lancelot to an extent, being exceptions because of their existing characteristics).
Why? Well for one, I am so not attracted to the alpha male – it’s part of the reason I don’t like romance novels. Physically, I’ve always gone for what I call the “heroin chic” look: skinny, may or may not have muscles, usually tall. (I think it comes from too many years of hanging out with musicians.) I like someone who won’t crush me under his weight or break me in a passionate embrace…
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I used to think that the whole alpha male thing was important, and worth spending my time and effort to emulate. I sure am glad I’ve grow up and out of that mindset.
I could go on at length about how destructive the alpha idea is: how it teaches boys that they should disregard the feelings of others and be obnoxious bullies. Suffice the say I am glad there are more more thoughtful images of what a man should be like available these days.
I’m definitely hoping as my little fella gets older that he can see the other options that are presented to him. I think that’s one of the things that was so powerful about Emma Watson’s #HeForShe UN speech – she wasn’t just focusing on women’s issues but on the flipside, the effect that these cultural stereotypes have on men too. It’s worth a look if you’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing it so far!