While the alphas and sigmas are considered equal as top dogs, the latter is supposedly someone who sits outside the hierarchy by choice.
A new classification of manly men called "The Sigma Male" had the internet doing a collective eye-roll this week after a viral Twitter post on Monday thrust the lesser-known term into the spotlight. Twitter user @LilySimpson1312 enlightened the uninitiated about the existence of the 'sigma male' when they posted shared some socio-sexual hierarchy charts featuring this particular category of men, a screenshot of a video titled "How to become Sigma male | Rarest Male Type," and a photo of the self-help book The Sigma Male. "What the f**k is going on with men," they tweeted, and to be honest, it's a perfectly valid question.
What the fuck is going on with men pic.twitter.com/3x1ZI20HCF— Lily Simpson (@LilySimpson1312) January 25, 2021
According to Forbes, the traditional characterization of men into two groups — the dominant alpha and the submissive beta — is based on the theory that wolf packs are ruled by aggressive leaders known as alphas and that groups of humans somehow resemble a wolf pack. Although this theory has since been debunked, the concept of an alpha male stayed in pop culture and refused to go. While most of us have come to more or less ignore the existence of this ideology, Alt-right writer Theodore Robert Beale — who uses the pseudonym Vox Day — leaned heavily into it.
Trying to decide which answer to the question "Are there sigma wolves?" would be funnier:— Kathryn 🏳️⚧️ ✨ (@TransSalamander) January 26, 2021
1. "No, of course not, that would be stupid"
Day is reportedly responsible for coining the socio-sexual hierarchy categorizing men as either alphas, sigmas, betas, deltas, gammas, or omegas based on their social position with other males and their ability to attract women. According to Daily Mail, the author — who has been described as a white supremacist and misogynist among other things — considers himself to be a sigma male. As per his categorization, while the alphas and sigmas are considered equal as top dogs, the latter is someone who sits outside the hierarchy by choice.
While you alphas and omegas were busy knotting and rutting I, the Sigma, studied the blade pic.twitter.com/vuDg7wsG7L— Kazuki’s fedora phase (@GloriousScumbag) January 25, 2021
In a 2010 blog post explaining the sigma male, Day described the sigma male as such: "The outsiders who don't play the social game and manage to win at it anyhow. The alphas hate sigmas because they are the only men who don't accept or at least acknowledge their social dominance. (NB: Alphas absolutely hate to be laughed at and a sigma can enrage an alpha by simply smiling at him.) Everyone else is vaguely confused by them. At the party, it's the guy who stops by to say hello to a few friends accompanied by a tier-one girl that no one has ever seen before. Sigmas often like women, but also tend to be contemptuous of them."
"in the totally unfair, winner take all sexual market"— Marissa Jensen (@M_Jensen23) January 26, 2021
Ya know, that thing where women are prizes to be won, not humans to be known. pic.twitter.com/6OqWFfsbBD
Meanwhile, the Alpha is described as "the tall, good-looking guy who is the center of male and female attention. The classic star of the football team who is dating the prettiest cheerleader. The successful business executive with the beautiful, stylish wife. All the women are attracted to him, all the men want to be him or at least his friend. At a social gathering like a party, he's usually the loud guy telling self-flattering stories to whom several attractive women are listening with big, interested eyes. Alphas are only interested in women to the extent that they exist for the alpha's gratification, physical and psychological."
Cishet weirdos: "They just keep making up new genders!"— Kodama Mama (@CaseyExplosion) January 26, 2021
Also cishet weirdos: "As well as the typical alpha/beta dynamic, we've categorised the omega male, delta and gamma male, we believe we've identified a new type; the sigma male."
Day's hierarchy theories are reportedly most popular with incels, men's rights activists, and pickup artists all of whom widely tout Keanu Reeves' John Wick character as a prime example of the sigma male. Meanwhile, its sudden popularity has made the term the butt of many jokes on social media. "The intellectual dark web has finally woken up to the fact that they are not alpha males, so they had to invent a new type of alpha male to pretend to be," tweeted @RaineSkunk. "Oh my God wait it's the hipster version of the alpha male. It's like an alpha male but it's really obscure and you probably haven't heard of it. It's like an alpha male but less constrained by the gym rules. He somehow gives less of a fuck. He is more authentic. He has a sword."
Men: “astrology is fake”— LizO (@AlisabethO) January 25, 2021
Also men: “I’m a sigma beta epsilon male, it’s like the rarest type of male, you probably haven’t heard of it.”
"I'm an Alpha Male! That means I'm the top of the man hierarchy!"— Galen Wilson (@GalenWils0n) January 25, 2021
"Oh yeah? Well I'm a *Sigma* Male! That means I'm even better because I don't even play by your hierarchy's rules!"
"Well my Alpha Male has a flamethrower!"
"Well my Sigma Male has flame resistant armor!"
All this because somebody misread a book from the 70’s about wolves peeing on each other— Raul Pudd (@DanielMadison78) January 25, 2021
It's also hilarious that for an idea that's been floating around for over a decade, it's only had a burst of interest quite recently - presumably a combination of FOMO and realising that doubling the 'good' archetypes increases the chance of 'successful' outcomes for clients. 2/?— Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan (@SVR13) January 26, 2021