“Beautiful post! I want to see more discussion on this topic! Alpha males are great for fantasy, but in reality, they don't always work out so well, as I gather you, Tina, can attest. I've also been told that women tend to go for the "bad boys" in the hopes that they will be the "special one" that changes him or that they can make him into something different, and more often than not, it's just the women that get hurt. Are romance novelists helping women have false expectations about alpha males? It's something to think about. . .
Pandem can’t be the only person to ponder this question, and I know when I should get more info before making a decision, so I consulted writers from the AZ chapters of RWA. They fell on both sides of the fence.
“I think your male writer is absolutely right. In my personal experience with bad boys, they can’t be tamed and don’t want to be tamed. They enjoy who they are because it’s fun. Mind you, my point of reference is young bad boys because I learned early to give them up. They’re usually Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Right. That being said, I think you can still write a strong hero and just cut out some of the testosterone, i.e. the Alpha Beta male. Or make the negative issues part of the plot. Have something happen that makes them rethink their whole view of life, maybe a ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’ moment. Just some thoughts…”
“Bad boys are NOT alpha males! They are the bottom rung, not the top. They are bad because they have self-esteem issues and are searching for power in inappropriate ways.
Alpha males are confident, self-sufficient, capable. Their self-esteem is so good, it's over the top. They don't "need" anyone. Richard Gere in "Pretty Woman" is the quintessential example. Or Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire."
The reason those movies were so popular is, again, because there was a "chink" that let the women in. Do real-life alpha males have "chinks"? Some do; some deny it.
Are romance writers doing women a disservice by presenting a false hope? No. It's fiction; escapism; it's not real, and women know it.
The counter-question is: does Playboy do men a disservice by presenting unnatural images? No. It's fiction; escapism; it's not real, and men know it.
But we all like to escape now and again! “
"Norway is the new Scotland"
A WOMAN OF CHOICE
I sincerely hope our readers know our novels are fantasies. My favorite movie right now is Mama Mia and I didn’t leave the theater thinking a man from my past would ever walk in the door and marry me without even a long discussion first. LOL
Whether or not bad boys are alpha is a matter of opinion. I think they can be. At this point we may be debating semantics. In any case, the bottom line, in my opinion, is women want a good man and men want a good woman, whether it is in a book, a movie, or real life.
Next week’s question will be, “Should Men Read Romance Novels to Learn More About Women?” Email me your opinion at suspensebytina @ aol.com (no spaces) and you may be quoted on next week’s blog post.