Last Updated: January 26, 2023, 18:17 IST
The character of Patrick Bateman is played by Christian Bale in the movie adaptation of the American Psycho novel. (Credits: AFP)
Move over ‘alpha male,’ the confident natural leader who appeals to women, because now here’s the “sigma male.” This term was coined in 2010 by the far-right activist Theodore Robert Beale, under the pseudonym Vox Day.
Since the start of the year, certain TikTokers have become fascinated with Patrick Bateman, the controversial protagonist of “American Psycho.” This character, created by the novelist Bret Easton Ellis and played on the big screen by Christian Bale, is considered a model of the “sigma male.” And this concept can propagate a toxic kind of masculinity.
Move over “alpha male,” the confident natural leader who appeals to women, because now here’s the “sigma male.” This term was coined in 2010 by the far-right activist Theodore Robert Beale, under the pseudonym Vox Day. According to him, there is a socio-sexual hierarchy categorizing men into alpha, sigma, beta, delta, gamma and omega groups. While we’ve been talking about the so-called “alpha males” for a long time, the “sigmas” are less known to the public at large. According to the manosphere — a group of online communities promoting masculinity, misogyny and opposition to feminism — these individuals are the antithesis of the alpha, a kind of lone wolf who refuses to place himself in the social hierarchy and yet is successful with women. His ethos revolves around the cult of productivity and business, nihilism and bodybuilding. He does not need to be liked by his peers, and he is not interested in fashion or pop culture.
The ‘sigma male’ and success
A subject of fascination on male-centric forums and blogs, on sites like 4chan and Reddit, in the 2010s, the “sigma male” has become the symbol of a rejection of societal norms, for men who feel disenfranchised. It wasn’t until the 2020s that the phrase became a more commonplace term used beyond its initial sphere. In 2021, a Twitter account brought this then little-known term into the spotlight by sharing photos of socio-sexual hierarchy charts, a tutorial on how to “become” a ‘sigma male’ and a personal development book called “The Sigma Male.” “What the f*** is going on with men?” reads the caption accompanying the photo montage. Users of the social network immediately started to criticize the term and the alpha/beta concept as a whole.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)