Are You an Alpha Female?

I know they exist, and I know I am one. I tried to find some objective definitions of alpha females but couldn’t find any. So my working definition is that an alpha female is strong, confident, and a leader.  The problem is that many people of both genders really can’t stand alpha females  I think this is because they feel threatened.  A man who is a strong, confident leader is an alpha. A female who is a strong, confident leader is a bitch. What do you think?

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34 Responses to “Are You an Alpha Female?”

  1. Daniel Bennett Says:

    I think you should stop bitching and lead. Real leadership is needed everywhere. Real leaders take flak.

  2. zombie z Says:

    I think people are not animals, and this has nothing to do with feminism.

  3. amberfireinus Says:

    I would consider myself an Alpha female definately. Its not so much that I feel that I deserve leadership. I know that I have no clue as to what I am doing in most cases. But other people perceive confidence coming from me that gives them the sense that I do know therefore am a leader. Hopefully that makes sense.

    I also have been told I have a great amount of personal charisma. I am not what one would call classically beautiful. Yet, I am always the woman in the room that gets the most attention. I dont think that I do anything in particular to solicit this. It just is.

    Belief in yourself is the key here. I know that I can swim when thrown into any deep water situation. No matter what, Ill make it through. Maybe this is what makes me an Alpha Female. I dont know.

    Daniel – lets try to keep the comments at least polite ok?

  4. notes from the weekend « mmm, brains! Says:

    […] This made me want to kill myself. People aren’t wolves. Unless you’re a furrie, and then we have other things to talk about. […]

  5. psychscribe Says:

    Daniel Bennet: So if I understand you correctly, am I to infer that you are a person who can’t stand alpha females?

    zombie z: Did I ever say the F word?

    amberfireinus: You are the perfect exaple of a feminine alpha female, as I consider myself to be.

    notes from the weekend: please don’t kill y.ourself, because then we will have nothing to talk about.

  6. zombie z Says:

    It was posted under the category or tag of “feminism,” which is the only reason I came across it in the first place. But I would view the entire post as really rather anti-feminist. Women need a special tag to be “strong,” “confident,” “a leader”?

    Also: “feminine alpha female” is super redundant.

  7. psychscribe Says:

    zobiez : I stand corrected. I did post it under the tag “feminism”. I don’t know what you mean by women needing a special tag to be strong, confident and a leader. But as I wrote: . A man who is a strong, confident leader is an alpha. A female who is a strong, confident leader is a bitch. Have you never noticed this?

    Also: “feminine alpha female” is not super redundant. Some alpha females do not have a feminine persona at all.

  8. amberfireinus Says:

    My goodness, lets play nice! You are missing the point of the posts here people.

  9. amberfireinus Says:

    I am an Alpha female… and definately female in persona. They arent mutually exclusive. Why do you think there is always a head cheerleader?

  10. Laurie Kendrick Says:

    I’d say I’m a Beta female with Alpha tendencies.

    I’ve been a so called leader most of my life. Many times, I was convinced I could do the best job. Many times I did do the best job. I’m nothing if not fair and thorough and very creative. I have great people skills.

    But that’s part of my psychopathy.

    I never settled for being cheerleader…I had to be head cheerleader. In HS, I wasn’t content to be a mere member of the yearbook staff, I had to be Editor In Chief. I couldn’t be funny, I had to be named Wittiest Girl. Part of this need came from parents who judged me—the youngest of three girls— by my SQ (my “success quotient”). I was the most ambitious, most driven of all three and craved attention, especially from extremely withholding parents. My mother mainly.

    This need has never left me.

    So, in a recent bout with retrospection, I believe I assumed leadership roles through my own desire to prove some the afore mentioned points and AND probably because no one else wanted the responsibility.

    I’d also say part of my need to be an Alpha, is a continuation from childhood. Even as an adult, I grappled with the desperate need to make people like and respect me. I went into the most logical field for this–broadcasting. TV and radio and both fed the neurosis beautifully.

    But I’ve been out of the biz for a year and will never go back into it. I’m learning that being all things to everyone; being liked by those I know and the anonymous masses is an incredible responsibility I no longer want.

    I am drained.

    By the time this is all over, I might just slip all the way down to Omega Female.

    At this point, I don’t think I’d mind it.

    At all…

    LK

  11. theobservereffect Says:

    I think the answer to the “why” aspect of this question is best addressed by an examination of cultural anthropology. Different cultures = different gender associations. There are examples, historic and current, of matricentric cultures, where female empowerment is a given (several African and Native American cultures immediately spring to mind).

    Regarding our particular culture: Carl Jung stated that our projection of God was a specific expression of the Father archetype. I would add that, in the contemporary cultural/spiritual traditions of the West and Near East, female archetypes are also specific: Maiden, Mother, Crone, Bitch, and Whore. In a way, these female archetypes are understandable “by-products” of an male-centric society. One need look no further than the Bible or the Koran to understand how such archetypes (and subsequent gender issues) remain a part of our contemporary perspective — regardless of one’s personal spiritual path.

    Because of our particular cultural context, many males are threatened by dominant females. Additionally, many females, whose perspectives are immersed in this male-centric context — and whose self-identifications are based on this context — are also threatened… Why? Because dominant females don’t fit in with the prevailing worldview (context) and/or cultural/spiritual beliefs (perspective).

    Am I an alpha female?
    Absolutely.

    Does my status as such intimidate others?
    Probably, but my self-definition as an alpha informs me that I am independent of the “good opinion” of others.

  12. psychscribe Says:

    Wow. Great responses, people!

    amberfireinus: thank you for trying to keep peace on an apparently hot topic. Just goes to show you that alpha females can still, as you say, play nice :)

    Laurie: you do sound drained, but someting tells me after you rest and recharge you will still be further up the food chain than Omega. You sound too strong :)

    theobservereffect:Welcome! I couldn’t agree more with your intelligent analysis. Thank you for your time, thought, and input here, and please come back for more visits!

  13. theobservereffect Says:

    Thank you, psychscribe! :)

    I’ll definitely keep coming back. I appreciate your insights, your readers’ input, and the thought-provoking questions posted on this blog.

  14. gem Says:

    I guess I am destined to be an alpha female. I have worked a lot with men on my field (I took up engineering courses). I was able to lead a team of men in my previous job.

  15. Khaki Says:

    I think the best definitions, or examples of Alpha Females can be found in research on primates. Here’s an interesting article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frans-de-waal/alpha-females-i-have-know_b_63400.html

    Here is a snippet about one of the author’s gentle Alpha Females

    “One day, I watched as a small scuffle grew into something that sounded extremely serious. The chimpanzees were screaming so loudly, and the males moving so fast, that I feared a bloody ending. Suddenly all commotion stopped. The males sat down, panting heavily, while several females hung around them. The atmosphere was extremely tense, and it was clear that nothing had been settled. Then I saw who was our alpha female.

    Peony, who had been resting in a corner got up, and literally all eyes turned towards her. Some youngsters approached her, some adults grunted softly the way they do to alert others, while Peony slowly and deliberately walked towards the center of the scene followed by everyone who had remained on the fringes. It looked almost like a procession, as if the queen arrived to mingle with the commoners. All that Peony did was groom one of the two males who had been central to the fight, and soon other individuals followed her example, grooming each other. The second male joined the grooming clique as well. Calm returned. It was as if no one dared to start things up again after Peony had so gently put a period behind it.”

  16. Drew Says:

    Most societies appear to be male dominated with women being subjugated. This behavior probably evolved to keep the family unit together to help ensure our survival.
    Things are changing and females are becoming more domineering, males have a difficult time accepting this. It’s difficult for any group to lose or give up power.
    I think it’s about time and find myself attracted to strong females.

  17. psychscribe Says:

    Dear Drew, thank you for your thoughts, and thank you for visiting my site. Warmly, Psychscribe

  18. Cynthia Armistead Says:

    I’m quite comfortable being an “alpha female,” and it has no negative effects on my level of femininity. When someone claims that alpha females are “bitches,” I take that as saying far more about the speaker than his supposed subjects. Men who are comfortable with who they are don’t need to attack women for being strong.

    I’m an introvert, and I’ve never felt any desire to be in charge of anybody but myself. However, when I was working (I’m disabled now) and in volunteering, I often ended up in leadership positions, almost by default.

    I’m not shy, I’m fairly well-spoken, and while I’m not argumentative at all, I don’t have any problem speaking my mind to men or women. My partner claims that I’m “intimidating” to many people. I used to think it might have something to do with my height – I’m about 5’8″ – but since the same thing happens in online communications, that can’t be the issue (or not all of it, in any case).

  19. e2c Says:

    I have to admit that I feel uncomfortable with the whole notion of humans (of either sex) being classified as “alpha” or “beta.” From my pov, it seems too simplistic, and too much Us vs. Them. (Not that that’s your intention in this or similar posts… just my observation.)

    My thought is that it’s assertive, direct, outspoken women who get labeled with the B word, and I don’t think those traits = dominance (or leadership) per se – more like self-confidence and honesty.

  20. psychscribe Says:

    People, please forgive my delay in responding ……

    Cynthia, welcome! We seem to be in agreement here. Please come back and visit again.

    Hello c2c, and welcome to my blog. I would agree with you that we don’t want people being classified as us vs. them. That is simplistic. But just for the sake of discussion, would you agree that in any group someone emerges as the leader and others as the followers?

  21. e2c Says:

    Leader/followers – I’m not sure, to tell you the honest truth. (But I do fit the in “outspoken” category that I mentioned above… though *not* being one to seek or want “leadership.”)

    But I’m talking about friendship/social types of situations, not structured programs (work, school, etc.) where someone has to take the lead in organizing, etc.

  22. amberfireinus Says:

    e2c its not leadership sought… it is leadership that is simply given by others that makes you an Alpha. Because of who you are. I have been on Jury duty about 5 times. Out of the 5 times… every single time been voted Jury Foreman. Weird.
    Call it Charisma, call it personal power… I don’t know. I don’t seek leadership ever. I would much prefer to hide in the background truth be told. Others simply ALWAYS look to me to know what to do. Even if I don’t know, I guess like I look like I know..?

  23. brightfeather Says:

    It’s interesting that Cynthia’s comment sounds so much like the one that I would have made. In fact, many things said here resonate with me.

    theobservereffect said:

    Am I an alpha female?
    Absolutely.

    Does my status as such intimidate others?
    Probably, but my self-definition as an alpha informs me that I am independent of the “good opinion” of others.

    I can’t say it any better than that.

  24. e2c Says:

    I’m not much of a joiner, and not much for being a leader – but I’ve spent a few years (off and on) doing ensemble playing as a musician. That’s the most comfortable (and, i think) harmonious setup to my mind – where the voices are all important, and basically equal. There are solos, of course, but those solos couldn’t work without the rest of the instruments (to play off what the other instruments are doing, and to interact with them).

    And not to stretch the point too much, but… I do think being a spokesman/woman is also different from leadership per se. (Though it can be a *part* of leading/leadership.)

    Also, I was unaware until this past week that the term “alpha female” has taken on a life of its own in the press/media. My feelings about this continue to be mixed, in that I think alpha/beta is an oversimplification (not just of human behavior, but animal behavior, which seems to be where the term comes from…).

    Best,
    e.

  25. psychscribe Says:

    Wow , this topic has certainly stirred up a lot of interest. Actually I had no idea, e2c, that the term alpha female has taken on a life of its own in the press/media – is that because they’re writing about Hilary?

  26. amberfireinus Says:

    psychscribe – Hilary is not an Alpha Female – She is a souless lustfilled creature full of greed and ambition. That does not mean the same thing. people don’t naturally look to her for leadership. She connives and steals it… there is a difference.

  27. e2c Says:

    Psychscribe and amberfireinus,

    I don’t think it comes from people writing about Hillary Clinton – the term seems to be everywhere! (From Blogthings to The Guardian newspaper, which is from the UK.)

    I did a basic Google search on the term and was astounded at the number of hits it produced!

  28. jonnedog Says:

    Some of you really understand the Alpha Male/Female concept! We are mammals, accept it or not. We are social creatures and do follow the family structure of wolves and many other species. This is not an insult by any means, – it is just the way to understanding us. I am an alpha female. Alpha females want alpha males, – a weak male will be run over, figuratively kicking him out of the gene pool. Neither alphas are bullies, but are responsible for the welfare of the family as a whole. This could mean a shift, a department, an office, etc. We are NOT bitches. People just naturally respect, look up to and follow us, therefore we lead. We also naturally exude sexuality. The only one an alpha female answer to is the alpha male. We will hold back a smidgen of respect in some form to a non-alpha. We are born, not created. There is also nothing wrong with a non-alpha. Everyone has a role to play. We alphas are not easy to live with. We seem to test each other fairly frequently, to reaffirm our place. My boss is alpha and has “put me back in my box” on a few ocassions when I have stepped over the boundaries. It reassures me that he is the leader. I am comfortable in my role and know how he will react as an alpha male. I know how to approach him and how to communicate with him.
    The feminism thing has confused society since it has been taken to extremes. No one seems to know their roles. We are NOT equal and not supposed to be. Men ARE stronger and meant to be. Women can effectively compete intellectually, but then women are more likely to take time off for their offspring or health issues. Missing work is not being equal. Working WITH males is fine. If you choose to compete WITH them, you’ll lose. There are better ways to succeed. Everyone would be a lot better off accepting their natural position in the social structure. I’m just sayin’…

  29. psychscribe Says:

    jonnedog: you are certainly entitled to your opinion….

  30. Dana Koogler Says:

    I LOVED your blog and what it had to say. I keep pissing people off. Men to be exact. My husband is an alpha male and has no problem with me, but I’ve torqued off more men in the last month than I should mention. Then it occured to me…… there is a REASON. hahahaha!

    Sheep don’t like wolves. :^D

  31. SMH Says:

    If being calm, competent, self sufficient, mature, responsible and fair while defining myself on my own terms makes me an Alpha Female then so be it! That it ruffles a few feathers and unsettles others is of limited concern or consequence. Those instances that indicate people actually thinking is more surprising than the content of same.

  32. Hot Alpha Female Says:

    I think leadership has a lot to do with it. But I dont see it as leadership of other people as much as I do of one’s life.

    I think alpha female should be associated with confidence and self respect. About embracing who you are and being unapologetic of that. Saying what you want to say and standing up for yourself when you need to.

    Its not about power and asserting yourself OVER others. It is about asserting control and boundaries over yourself.

    Because not many females are like this, alpha females usually stand out from the group a little more.

    But with that said, I think many women use the whole term alpha female just to be a bitch and to be over controlling.

    This is not what it is about … but the reason why it causes so much controversy.

    Hot Alpha Female

    http://www.hotalphafemale.blogspot.com

    Thats all.

  33. lawdog Says:

    Guess what? You’re not really pissing people off…you are intimidating them which equals fear. Being alpha means confidence and that is really scarey for those without! Don’t hesitate, step over the weak and keep on walking because the weak will drag you down…or try. Those who doubt themselves and see your confidence will try repeatedly to tell you what is wrong with you so they don’t have to feel like they are less. Because YOU KNOW they want what you got…CONFIDENCE!! Don’t doubt yourself for a second …..strut on!!!!!!!

  34. psychscribe Says:

    Dana: love your comment, thanks for visiting.

    Smh and Hot Alpha Female, thanks for your posts :) I think we’re mostly in agreement.

    lawdog: I absolutely agree with you! I DON’T doubt myself and strut on I will !

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