Alpha and omega

1 minute read

Slate is running an article by Jessica Grose, titled “Omega males and the women who hate them.” The “Omega male” is basically a loser nebbish type who shows up in sitcoms and movies:

While the alpha male wants to dominate and the beta male just wants to get by, the omega male has either opted out or, if he used to try, given up. Greenberg says of his somewhat stunted best friend, "We call each other 'man,' but it's a joke. It's like imitating other people." The omega male is not experiencing the tired trope of the midlife crisis. A midlife crisis implies agency, a man who has the job and the family and chooses to reject it. The omega male doesn't have the power to reject anythinghe's the one who has been brushed off. He's generally unemployed, and his romantic relationships are in shambleshe's either single or, if he's married, not happy about it. "I'm doing nothing and I'm tied to no one," Greenberg boasts.

The article makes this into a lament for the modern male, citing Susan Faludi and Mad Men. Well, duh! If you’re going to craft the plot of a series around a male character, it’s going to work a lot better if he doesn’t have to constantly meet new people and travel for the development of his character – because you’re stuck with the same supporting cast!

Unless he’s the Doctor.