Since the seventies, the number of women taking initiative, earning their own money and entering the workforce has had a dramatic increase. The result of this was the appearance of a new label, one that had never been used before. The alpha female. Kate Mulvey, an alpha female herself, contends in her opinion article What modern women want: a beta male published on the 7th of November 2007 in The Times that modern females have decided to take charge in domestic relationships which has lead to men ‘surrender[ing] in the sex war’, becoming a beta. While maintaining an authoritative, yet somewhat comedic tone, Mulvey aims to encourage women in their twenties and thirties to not dumb themselves down to appease the opposite sex, but to see that there is a way for women to step up and take charge of the relationship.
The title of this article reflects on that overall authoritative and slightly comedic tone. The pun used can cause the title to be misread by readers. The Greek alphabet letter ‘beta’ is used and means below the alpha and in the context of relationships, the alpha is the one who determines the final decisions carried out by the couple and basically controls the situation. On the other hand, the beta is the more submissive one in the relationship. The word beta can be misread as ‘better’ which still fits into context because ‘modern women’ do want a better male in relationships. The use of the pun intends readers to feel amused while also getting an idea of the comedic tone that is shown throughout the article.
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As one can see now, the question of close relationship between men and women is not an easy one. Not without reason on the very beginning of the essay it was called "a great mystery of the mankind", and it is really so. The question has a lot of its aspects and unclear moments, which deserve special attention of scientists, which are inquiring into the question of such kind of relationships Maybe ...
On the second page of the article, there is a picture of a silhouette of a woman. The purpose of the image is to serve as a symbolic representation of a powerful female, an ‘alpha girl’. The colour black used for the silhouette is a commanding colour that represents authority. The woman stands tall and straight who looks as if she takes large strides with a confident gait. She wears a typical dress suit women tend to wear to work and carries a briefcase. This image shows readers what the alpha female generally looks like and might make readers feel intimidated.
Mulvey’s use of anecdotal evidence is predominant throughout the article. She provides her own experiences from being an alpha female and how she ‘committed the worst dating faux pas which was ‘outshining [her] suitor’. Mulvey also talks about how ‘disadvantage[d]’ women are when it comes to the ‘marriage market’. She generalises the thoughts of men saying that ‘[they] start out by saying they want a strong, powerful woman and then up running off with the secretary’ which influences readers to believe that this is the case with most men, bringing out the prejudices within them. Mulvey herself has actually encountered a similar situation and she describes how a ‘Swiss banker found [her] conversation too arty and cast his attentions on a lovely Spanish girl who worked in his office’. These personal stories that Mulvey has shared with audiences has given her more authority over the issue as well as the ability for readers to easily relate to her experiences and form a connection between themselves and the author.
To further prove that the alpha female beta male relationships work, Mulvey writes about a thirty-four year old ‘high-earning public relations executive’ named Penelope. Penelope’s husband is an actor taking on the ‘supporting role’ of the relationship and they are both fine with ‘acknowledging that [Penelope] is the chief breadwinner’. John, her husband, does not care about ‘status’ and does not feel ‘emasculated’ that Penelope ‘earns […] more money’ than he does. This case study impresses and surprises readers that this ‘role reversal’ of the alpha female and beta male relationship does work out. It is difficult to discredit as it is a study on a real person therefore this fact has to be accepted.
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At the conclusion of the article, the tone shifts to a positive one. Mulvey lists the ‘successful women’ she has ‘grown up with’ including pop culture icon Madonna and even fictional women ‘from Lara Croft to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Mulvey emphasises that a female alpha and a male beta relationship will work with an appeal to hope and the future. Although it is not yet the ‘norm’, she wishes more people will recognise ‘the trend of female supremacy’ which will ‘[point] the way for future relationships’.