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Letter to Andrea Nemerson,

A bit of context first: Andrea Nemerson writes a sex advice column called for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2000, she ran a letter from a reader complaining that he hadn't had a date in 4-1/2 years and wondering why women didn't like to date nice guys. She apparently got deluged with letters from men saying that women only liked "alpha males" (i.e., rich guys and assholes), and encouraging the dateless guy to become more "alpha" (by working out, getting rich, and/or just swaggering around more). I wrote this letter, which she ran in reply to the alpha-team:

August 25, 2000

Andrea Nemerson

Dear Andrea:

Re this whole "alpha male" stuff: I'm completely appalled that you got no letters disputing the assertion that women only want "alpha males" (read: rich gym-buffed jerks), and I just have to put in my two or three cents on the other side.

One: I've heard a lot of men complain that women "don't like nice guys/only date jerks." Not one of them was what I would call a nice guy, and I wouldn't have dated any of them on a bet. To a man, the complainers were angry, whiny, petulant, passive...well, jerks, with chips on their shoulders and immense hostility towards women. If you're complaining that you can't get dates because women don't date nice guys, you might take a hard look at whether the phrase "nice guy" actually describes you.

Two: A lot of women have been badly burned by terminally unemployed men who leeched off of them financially, and are wary about repeating the experience. It may be that the woman you're chasing wants a rich man who can support her; but it may be that she just wants a guy with a job who can hold up his end.

Three: What kind of women are these men going after, anyway? I know loads of fabulous het and bi women who couldn't care less about this "alpha male" crap, and would be totally happy with some funny-looking brainy/arty/nerd type as long as he was smart and funny and reasonably sane and not a jerk (see above). The thing is, these women aren't necessarily what you would call "alpha females" -- they're on the brainy/arty/nerd side themselves. Are you only willing to date young, slim, pretty women with nice clothes and classy jobs? If so, then please shut the hell up. If you're only interested in conventionally attractive women, you have no right to complain that they're only interested in conventionally attractive men.

Finally: I am so glad I'm bi I could plotz. Dykes have their failings, God knows, but griping about how women "only want alpha males" sure ain't one of them.

Happily Beta
(a.k.a. Greta Christina)

Copyright 2000 Greta Christina. Originally printed in San Francisco Bay Guardian.


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