Alpha-Mask Males are Betas hidden behind an exaggerated Male Mask. These are the men who have been, for example, so injured by rejection or abuse that they have constructed an elaborate shield that allows them to show indifference in times of fear. The more extreme Alpha-Mask Males are ‘over the top’ in their masculine traits – super macho, emotionally stunted, possibly violent, intent on their survival at any cost. Their drive, which may have been drilled into them by family, peers and mentors, is in craving respect, no matter how it is achieved.
Most often, unfortunately, the Alpha-Mask Male has been responsible for some of the most destructive human acts and is often mistaken for a true Alpha by Betas. Their kind of over-aggressive leadership and willingness to ride roughshod over others has long been held up as the standard of leadership in popular culture, so much so that those who emulate them can find their way to the highest levels of business, politics and the military.
In such cases, the ‘respect’ that the Alpha-Mask craves and thinks he is receiving may only be fawning sycophancy from followers and copycats seeking their own aggrandizement. We see it all too often in political ‘strongmen’, dictators and despotic corporate CEOs. They do not take No for an answer, they rule with an iron fist and the bloody history of humanity is full of such men. Leading by instilling fear in their followers and destroying their opponents has been the hallmark of the most repressive societies. Political polarization without compromise is a typical Alpha-Mask tactic, which makes a mockery of public discourse and democracy.
Whatever the initial impetus for a man to become an Alpha-Mask Male, they are a pervasive influence on our media-driven, sound-bite society. The image of the Alpha-Mask as the strong, win-at-all-costs superman is an easy one to assimilate, and is attractive to adolescents looking for their own identity. It is unfortunate that more of these future Alpha-Mask Males are not guided towards less destructive behavior.
The influence of patriarchal values has been so pervasive for so long, that our norms are slow to change, and our dominator cultures love the Alpha-Mask Male. He is useful as cannon fodder in the endless string of wars that he is taught to anticipate with glee. He is the aggressive, violent member of the herd who thinks he is Somebody, and who can be brainwashed into any action his superiors demand of him. He is the gang member who continues to give patriarchy the ammunition it needs to keep his people down by his violent acts and his prison record. He is the avid consumer of every product that he thinks will prove he is A Real Man, from straight-pipe Harleys to weapons for recreational slaughter. We have seen Alpha-Mask Males as Presidents of the United States and as fanatical terrorists.
Yet all this behavior is founded, however unconsciously, on the male need to display, to be noticed, which gives a woman the power to ‘civilize’ the Alpha-Mask Male. If a woman can win over one of these men and get past the over-aggressive exterior, she may find a frightened boy, whose sensitivities are raw; someone with great depths of feeling just waiting for the gentle touch to bring them out from behind the Mask.