Alpha Females Part 1 – Nothing New Under the Sun. Conservative Women Keep Issuing Same Sexist, Unhelpful Dating And Marital Advice to Women
This commentary will be divided up among a few posts. Here is part 1.
Visit Part 2 | Part 3 | A Response to Venker: Re: Personal Experience
For those new to my blog:
I am a right winger. I was a Republican until recently. I am now a conservative Independent.
I was a conservative Christian for many years (I am no longer sure about what my religious views are), and I (Link): Am A Former Gender Complementarian (someone who believed in and lived out traditional gender roles, views which are based in large measure on incorrect interpretations and applications about gender in the Bible).
I sometimes agree with secular left wing feminists on some topics, but not always. At times, I disagree with secular and religious left wing feminists and have written several blog posts critiquing some of their views.
This series of posts is addressing author Suzanne Venker’s relationship advice, as I have seen her advocate for, in behalf of her book “The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage.”
I myself am not, nor have I ever been, what she terms an “Alpha Female.”
I have always been what she refers to as a “Beta,” and guess what?
Being a Beta did not land me a spouse, dates, or make my life easier, more peaceful, less stressful, or rewarding, as Venker tries to reassure her female readers that it will. More on that in a future post.
As a conservative who is in her 40s and still single (though engaged at one time), I have been seeing these sorts of attitudes about gender and marriage that are discussed below in an article by Venker advanced by secular and religious conservatives since I was a teen in the 1980s.
There is an annoying, recurrent, and yes, sexist, motiff by conservatives to say the reason society has problems with marriage, dating irregularity, high divorce rates, and other relationship problems – is that women are at fault.
Women are always blamed for relationship trends and problems – and at that, usually by other women – and at that, by women who tend to be conservative and who publish books or articles about dating and marriage.
This morning, I was watching the news on Fox cable.
The hosts on the morning news show were discussing how they had a lady book author named Venker on their show yesterday who wrote a book about feminism, dating, and marriage, and she used the term “alpha female.”
The author feels that the reason so many women today are having relationship problems – getting a man or keeping a marriage together – is due to the fact that too many women are “Alpha females,” meaning, women who are comfortable taking the lead in relationships, especially on the job.
The author was saying such women tend to “delegate tasks” to their husbands, rather than meeting their husband’s needs, which causes men to initiate divorce or to make men unhappy.
If I understood her correctly, Venker feels that women can be “alpha” in the workplace but should be “beta” in the world of dating and marriage.
Telling women to be “Alpha” at their jobs but “Beta” in dating or marriage, or toward men in general, is actually harmful and dangerous to and for women. I’ll elaborate more on that below (edit: or more likely, in a future, separate post).
Because this is a recurrent, hideous attitude that crops up every five to ten years among my fellow conservatives, I have no doubt that another five to ten years from now, yet ANOTHER right wing woman will publish yet ANOTHER relationship book where she tells women the problem with them having failing marriages or dateless Friday nights is that they are just too darn feminist, too darn out-spoken, too assertive, and the solution is to be a traditional woman.
Should I still be blogging on this blog five years from now, and yet another awful conservative book be published that offers that same scenario, rather than critique it on its own merits, I will simply link you back to THIS very post.
Because these “woman-blaming books” that are aimed at supposedly helping women, ones that dispense dating and marriage advice, are always the same.
As a matter of fact, I critiqued a book very similar to this new one a few months ago:
(Link): Woman Book Author – Andrea Tantaros – Suggests That Single Women Are Miserable And Can’t Get Husbands Because Feminism. My Critique of Her Article / Book
Then there are other woman-blaming books and articles from years ago, even prior to that book by Tantaros, such as this one discusses, where it was criticized by this other author:
(Link): Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)
– that blog post published in 2013 from an editorial by another woman in response to a dating advice book by a thrice- divorced woman who told single women they can’t get dates, and it’s all their fault, because they are too much “this or that”
As you can see, there is absolutely nothing new with conservative women thinking the biggest problem women have with men is “feminism,” women who are allegedly “trying to be like men,” and whose authors insist that a woman being a docile, meek, fluttering- eye-lashes ninny who lets the man be in charge at all times, is the way to attract and keep a man.
Conservatives have been doling out this same, tired, offensive, obnoxious, and sexist advice since the 1980s, especially since the 1990s, as far as I have personally seen, but I would not be surprised if one could find the same advice from marital or dating books of the 1940s and 1950s.
This sort of advice didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now. But it sure doesn’t stop the Venkers of the world from continually peddling it.
I had never heard the term “Alpha Female” until this morning’s news program.
I had to punch the term “Alpha Female” into a search engine to find this woman’s name and to figure out what was going on with this “Alpha Female” phenomenon.
In the process of doing that, I saw many more articles that use the phrase “Alpha Female,” so apparently this “Alpha Female” concept is a trending topic in society right now, or has been for awhile.
Here is one link about the lady author who was a recent guest on Fox news (I am assuming this is the same lady), with a few excerpts from the page, with my commentary resuming below the link and excerpts you see here:
(Link): Society is creating a new crop of alpha women who are unable to love by S. Venker
Editor’s note: The following column is adapted from the new book “The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage” Post Hill Press (February 14, 2017).
[The female author, Venka, expends the first several paragraphs of this article describing the marriage her mother had with her father]
….Indeed, my mother was the quintessential alpha wife. An alpha wife micromanages, delegates and makes most or even all of the decisions. She is, quite simply, the Boss.
Alpha women aren’t exactly new, but they were once a rarer breed. Today they abound. There are several reasons why, but it’s in large part due to women having been groomed to be leaders rather than to be wives. Simply put, women have become too much like men. They’re too competitive. Too masculine. Too alpha.
That may get them ahead at work. But when it comes to love, it will land them in a ditch.
Every relationship requires a masculine and a feminine energy to thrive. If women want to find peace with men, they must find their feminine—that is where their real power lies. Being feminine isn’t about being beautiful or svelte, or even about wearing high heels (although those things are nice). Being feminine is a state of mind. It’s an attitude.
In essence, being feminine means being nice. It means being soft instead of hard. And by “nice,” I don’t mean you should become a mouse. (That’s the narrative the culture sells, but that doesn’t make it true.) Men love women who are fun and feisty and who know their own mind! But they don’t want a woman who tells them what to do. As a man named Chuck once wrote on my site: “A strong woman is awesome. But she must be inviting and be able to mesh into an actual relationship. Needing to dominate and overpower, that is a no go.”
…The roles may have changed, but the rules haven’t. All a good man wants is for his wife to be happy, and he will go to great lengths to make it happen. He’ll even support his wife’s ideas, plans or opinions if he doesn’t agree with them. That’s because a husband’s number one goal is to please his wife. If he determines his wife cannot be pleased, that’s when the marriage is in trouble.
Men are just so much simpler than women. Not simple as in dumb, as is often portrayed in the media. Simple in that they have far fewer needs than women do. What men want most of all is respect, companionship and sex. If you supply these basics, your husband will do anything for you…
…Now I know what you’re thinking: that I’m putting everything on you. I am, and I’m not. Your husband is 100% responsible for his own actions…
[the author discusses some of her marital problems]
And because I had zero interest in my husband adopting a more feminine role, I set about to become the feminine creature our culture insists women not be.
And here’s what I learned: It’s liberating to be a beta!
I’m an alpha all day long, and it gets tiresome. I concede that I thrive on it; but at the end of the day, I’m spent. Self-reliance is exhausting. Making all the decisions is exhausting. Driving the car, literally or figuratively, is exhausting.
It seems that at least once every ten years (and sometimes every five), a conservative woman will get a book published telling contemporary women they are just too independent (or too “whatever” – it may be, “too outspoken,” or “too assertive”) to get, or to keep, a man.
Women are told in these books (or articles) that if they want to get a date or keep a marriage together, they have to revert back to 1950s stereotypical womanly behaviors or attitudes.
There are so many problems going on with that attitude and a few specifics from the Venker article above, I’m hard pressed to know where to even start.
If memory serves, Venker previously wrote a book called “The War on Men.”
I take it that some conservative women see bashing feminism and women’s interests as a nice, money- making niche they can exploit, so they keep cranking out these odious books, chock full of unhelpful relationship advice to women – advice which actually hurts women in the end scheme, as I will note in future posts.
Women authors like Venker strike me as women selling out their own gender to make a buck.
I’m not a full scale supporter of secular or left wing feminism, but, I’m not paranoid of it, as so many other right wingers are.
If you’re under the misconception that all of feminism is harmful or awful and to be avoided, you may want to read this editorial, which is at a conservative Christian site:
(Link): Perhaps Feminism is Not The Enemy
I have a few more posts to write in this series, perhaps 2 or 3 or 4 more.
I started out with one very long post, but I see it can be divided up into a few. I’m not sure how I’m going to edit this to pull it all together. This is going to be difficult to piece together.
I will just end with recapping:
There is nothing new, earth shattering, novel, or revelatory about a conservative woman thinking that the best way to attract or keep a man is for women to ditch that nasty feminism stuff and be a doormat to their men, because all men (supposedly) really want to date or marry doormats rather than honest- to- God adult women who are emotionally healthy and who practice healthy boundaries.
No, Venker, you are not the first conservative woman to prescribe ditching equality and feminism in order to get relationship success as a solution for women, and I am sadly confident you will not be the last.
Frankly, I am more than sick and tired of my fellow conservatives instructing women that the best way to get a man in the first place, or keep a relationship together, is to allow themselves to be used, taken advantage of and allow a man to neglect their needs – which is what these women are in fact advocating for, though they won’t admit it in clear terms.
Every few years, along comes another conservative woman with another one of these terrible books telling women their best bet in marriage or dating is “Be A Doormat” and ditch or ignore “feminism.” It’s warped and unhelpful.
Each conservative woman author, especially the ones who say they used to be an Alpha, (or used to be strong, or used to be independent, or used to be a feminist), have this highly annoying tendency to act like they are each the first to make this revelation.
Every time I have seen these women on TV, or have read their articles, they always act like as though they’ve had this epiphany, or “eureka” moment, that going against feminism (which they unfortunately define as ‘women being doormats’) seemed to help THEIR marriage, that no other female author has ever noticed this phenomenon, and they simply MUST share this nugget of wisdom with other women.
These authors always assume that feminism is the problem with marriages and dating, and if women today would just chuck all that equality stuff out to behave like mild and agreeable “June Cleaver,” they could get any man they want, and they each assume they are the first or only female author to come up with this, when I’ve been seeing this SAME sexist swill going back to the 1980s.
And mark my words (I cannot emphasize this point enough):
In the next three to 15 years, there will be ANOTHER conservative woman who will write yet ANOTHER annoying relationship advice book telling women this:
“Your relationship problems boil down to FEMINISM and being strong and assertive. Stop being an equal, stop expecting the men in your life to treat you with consideration, let the man control the relationship, and be the docile Susie Home-Maker, and it will magically FIX your marriage, or get you more dates if you are single.”
Related Posts, off-site:
(Link): ‘Alpha Women’ Are ‘Unable to Love,’ Says Backwards St. Louis Lady
(Link): An Open Letter From an “Alpha Woman Unable to Love” by E. Logan
(Link): Sexist Fox & Friends Segment Hosts Author Claiming Women’s “Natural State” In Marriage Is To Be The “Beta”
Someone named The 208 [R]Evolution 208@revolution sent this link to me (it’s a post on Facebook critiquing Venker’s work):
(Link): Alpha Females (aka how Fox News thinks women are ruining something else – this time it’s marriage)
The comments under this article about Venker’s views are interesting:
(Link): Fox News Guest: Women Are Naturally ‘The Beta’ In A Relationship
(Link): In Defense of the Alpha Female
(Link): Oh No, You Guys, I Think I Might Be an Alpha Woman by M. Burbank
Related Posts (on this blog):
(Link): Alpha Females Part 2 – Defining the Terms – How Anti-Feminists and Complementarians Misrepresent Concepts or Terms
(Link): Alpha Females Part 3 – Being a Beta Female Does Not Work, It Won’t Get You Dates Or Keep Your Marriage in Good Shape
(Link): A Response to Venker: Re: Personal Experience
(Link): Alpha Females Part 4 – From Psychiatrists and Counselors: How and Why Being a Beta Female is Harmful and Damaging to Women
More Related Posts:
(Link): The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
(Link): Young Single Women Try to Appear Less Ambitious To Attract A Mate – via WSJ
(Link): Why Don’t Some Men Realize A Relationship Is Over Until It’s Too Late? by N. Reilly
(Link): Gender Complementarianism – A General Response – from a Former Gender Complementarian Who Is Still A Conservative
(Link): I Was A Potted Plant. Woman Writes To Ask Amy: Husband’s Incessant Monologue – Reminds Me Of My (Selfish) Ex Fiance
(Link): Continue Being a Butthole Wife: Death is Not a Justification for Husbands To Be Entitled, Selfish, or Abusive Buttholes
(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by Bella DePaulo
(Link): College Women, Don’t Listen to Marriage Concern Trolls
(Link): Husband-Hunting is the Worst Part of a Christian Upbringing – Christianity Made Me Obsessed with Finding a Husband – by B. Ramos