Whither The Alpha, Beta Or Omega Female?


While talking to a friend about alpha males, he mentioned that I was “kind of like” one myself. Like most women who are likened to men, I was initially proud of this fact, then confused as to what it implied, then dismissive of the notion all together.

My understanding of an alpha male was something akin to a caricature of a frat boy. Someone who made hilarious jokes about nice guys being pussies and fags, and is probably on a protein supplement of some sort.

The word “alpha” -– whose actual definition is someone in a community with the highest rank— is typically associated with men who are powerful, courageous, goal-oriented, and commanding, and is very rarely associated with women.

Sure, there will be articles about “man eaters” like Joan Holloway from Mad Men or “ballbusters” like Hillary Clinton (even writing the word “ballbuster” and placing it near another word, any word at all, is a minor irritant to me), but it seems rare to read a study based around the existence of alpha, omega, and beta females from a scientific perspective.

We know they exist on some level. Thanks to Tina Fey’s screen adaptation of the Rosalind Wiseman book Queen Bees and Wannabes, the term “mean girls” is now part of common vernacular for people who were previously ignorant of their existence. And that’s where it stops.

Surely there’s to more know than that “some girls are mean” and “some girls are nice.” But beyond this very limiting idea of an alpha female, why isn’t there more coverage of female equivalents of the animal kingdom’s beta or omega male? Is there an interest in discovering instances of these long-considered male-only classifications? Or are we merely content to only study the ways that females react to males with varying levels of power?

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin