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Myth Of The Ghetto Alpha Male

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Ghetto men have a reputation for being tough guys. To the untrained eye it may seem the problems many ghetto guys have with violence and the legal system are a result of them being textbook alpha males. But that’s only partly to blame. These problems actually come about not totally because of manhood run wild but because a combination of testosterone running wild and the feminine side running wild.

The black community in general has a high illegitimacy rate. And if you isolated the illegitimacy rates to just the ghetto, the percentage of single mother homes would be even higher. Thus, the ghetto tends to be a very matriarchal community. There aren’t many men, and most of the men you do find tend to be young. As Tariq Nasheed says in his book The Mack Within, you hardly see older men in the hood. This is because when most guys get past a certain age in the hood, they have either worked their way out, gone to jail, entered the military or died from violence or drugs.  The few old men you do still see in the hood tend to be burnouts.  So not only do young ghetto guys lack fathers to instruct them in how to be men, but they also lack older male authority figures outside their family to look up to (most teachers are female too) in their neighborhood.

Like all young men of all races, they have testosterone surges making them aggressive and competitive.  However they don’t have reliable older men to teach them how to channel this testosterone-fueled aggression positively, and this creates an insecurity in their male identity causing them to create their own hyperexaggerated ideal of what a man should be. Supermacho, obnoxious, fearless to the point of knuckleheaded, overaggressive…basically the parody of manhood we see in gangster rap. It’s overcompensation to the worst degree.

But even though they are doing their best to be superthug, they still end up doing things in a subtly feminine (not effeminate) way because feminine influences are most of what they know.  Most of their role models and involved family members are women, and the few men in their lives were likely raised by only women too. And it shows in how they handle conflict: grudges are held forever, they never know how to let anything slide, they think primarily with emotion and are prone to outbursts, drama and confrontation and most importantly, they don’t know how to choose their battles.

True male behavior isn’t being a drama queen, emotional outbursts and holding onto grudges; true male behavior is picking your battles, knowing when to fight and when to let things slide, analyzing things calmly and logically and having discipline over your moods and emotions and exercising emotional restraint. There are times when it’s acceptable to lose your shit and times when it’s not.  These are things that a true mature male influence teaches you, and such influences have almost disappeared completely from the hood.

A chick in the hood can get away with all the drama queen meltdowns and public displays of emotion and confrontation because most people, guys and girls, don’t feel as threatened by a woman and are more likely to let her just yap without serious repercussions. Or at worst just argue back and never let it escalate to a physical level (although it does happen on occasion). When guys are the ones getting overly emotional and confrontational, it’s a lot scarier and it invites a much more serious retaliation, because now the behavior’s coming from a man, which means possible escalation into serious, possibly fatal, violence. That’s why a society of men learning to manage conflict and emotions from women is a disaster waiting to happen, because what’s an acceptable conflict resolution style for a woman can get a young man arrested or killed.

Sure a lot of male tendencies are going to show on the surface. These guys are young and are bursting with testosterone after all. But look at a lot of the other behaviors that are there also.

Recommended Reading:

  • Men and Marriage by George Gilder goes even deeper than either this post or Nasheed’s books into the dynamics of illegitimacy on the black ghetto community, and goes further into describing how the ills of the black community are actually the canary in the coalmine showing the future dysfunctions awaiting the rest of the civilized world. Highly recommended.

31 Responses to “Myth Of The Ghetto Alpha Male”


  1. Check out my new website http://www.alphamalestatus.com

  2. Zack Aslanian-Williams on March 5th, 2008 at 8:15 PM

    There are a few things that I want to contest here.
    You mentioned a 70% illigitimacy rate among ghetto males. I think we should all think more about legitimacy with regards to child rearing and who defines it. I know ariticially inseminated people with two mothers? Are they illegitimate. Every being is legit because we exist as part of God’s will.

    Secondly, how do you account for the ghetto behavior of men who were raised by their mom & dad, especially in the Latino, Asian, and White communities?

    Also, as you yourself implied, the colorful and flashy fashion styles popular in the ghetto represent a worldwide trend of “metrosexuality.” It comes in cycles-Arab men are doing the 70′s-80′s polyester disco thing with the v-neck and chest hair pockin out, and traditionalists consider that unmanly. Meanwhile, ghetto niggas sport tall-T’s and du-rags that resemble middle eastern dishdashas and kaffiyehs.

    Overall, I agree with the author about this feminization of American society. I think it’s taking place accross racial and socio-economic boundaries accross the country. What’s wrong with that? I personally think it’s a good thing, and I’m a straight male currently active duty US Navy. But we are not an anglo-saxon nation anymore and we don’t have to act like men used too…

    I think the stereotype of ghetto male behavior is comporable to that of the Irish 100 years ago-easily angered, easily placated. It was an upperclass, white, Yaley male cheerleader-truned-cowboy that got us into the current war, not a ghetto nigga.

    Now Africa is a different story. But is the African situation really comporable to that of black American males? Or do we make the connection out of false solidarity (if we’re black) or racism?

    The truth is the old story of ghetto problems in America is less and less relevant. We have very few problems in the US compared to the rest of the world, and those problems cross racial boundaries.

    Besides, within 50 years Europe and America will be brown, black, and mixed. Demographics are destiny.

    Anyway, very interesting point though.


  3. “Sitting on the stoop getting their hair braided by other girls.”

    This has been an alpha trait forever. Female lions groom the alpha lion.

    Vikings braided their hair.

    Many tribal societies braided their hair from Irish, African or Indians.

    Genghis Khan had his hair braided by girls. I would think he would be considered an alpha male by any standards.


  4. “I think the stereotype of ghetto male behavior is comporable to that of the Irish 100 years ago-easily angered, easily placated.”

    You’re right. All of those black crime statistics must be made-up.


  5. You’re right. All of those black crime statistics must be made-up.

    1. I don’t think he was saying that.
    2. 100 years ago the Irish in America had extremely fucked up crime stats too, which I think is his point.


  6. “Besides, within 50 years Europe and America will be brown, black, and mixed. Demographics are destiny.”

    Is there any evidence that whites will marry significantly outside their cohort in the next several decades?

    More likely there will be white flight from Europe and/or America.

    And then you’ll have America and Europe going third world, as the mean IQ of the places plummets.


  7. Is there any evidence that whites will marry significantly outside their cohort in the next several decades?

    More likely there will be white flight from Europe and/or America.

    A white flight from Europe and America to….where exactly?


  8. “A white flight from Europe and America to… where exactly?”

    It would be interesting to look into “forgotten/unknown” white cultures, like Argentina.
    “86.4% of Argentina’s population self-identify as European descent”
    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2....._white.php

    They have less feminisation then the typical anglosphere. That means they might have births above the replacement rate, etc. Maybe white culture will survive in some of it’s past colonies?

    I think it might worth researching.


  9. “Besides, within 50 years Europe and America will be brown, black, and mixed. Demographics are destiny.”

    Is there any evidence that whites will marry significantly outside their cohort in the next several decades?

    Exactly, there is no evidence. We might not be the majority any more, but we ain’t going nowhere!

    But hey, now Hispanics (and Asians to a lesser extent in some states) are set to dominate demographically, good luck to all the “brothers and sisters” who will soon get a harsh reality check when all the un-earned privledges white liberals have granted them disappear!

    You might think we are evil racist bigoted imperialists blah blah, but one things for certain, when the alternatives take power, you’ll be begging for the good old days

    Careful what you wish for…


  10. If your living in a place where its generally thought that you might not make it to 21 of course you’re going to take things to the extreme and look as best you can at all times and knock out as many people as you can and have sex with as many women as you can. When you could be dead tomorrow patience is not a virtue its a handcuff. Not to mention the chances of becoming anything in the hood but a gangster is slim to naught. You don’t need a suit to work at a liquor store.


  11. I find it ironic that I find this story when looking for a dating site. That’s right I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m looking for a dating site. I am a black male. I have never been arrested. I have never been handcuffed. I have never done a drug though I am for the legalization of some of them. I do not have any illegitimate children and I vigorously plan to keep it that way. I am educated and possess an undergraduate and law degree. I recently passed the bar. I attended a private school that was diverse. Why did this come up in such a search? That is simple. I’m looking for a non-ghetto/country/hood whatever you want to call African American female to date. Why do I have a hard time finding dates? Until very recently I kept in good shape, and I will be back in shape again. Simply put, the ghetto black male stereotype. I agree wholeheartedly with some of the statements in this article. One facet that should be discovered however, is that the ghetto black males and single mothers are co-dependent upon one another for many of the problems that plague the African American community. I am lucky that my father is still around, that his father (my step grandfather adopted him when he was under a year old, but my father had a relationship with his father. One thing that I noticed about my black male cohorts when growing up was this. they constantly were trying to define their maleness. Many of the black males that had fathers (decent fathers that were there for them) were actually picked on and not considered man enough. People attempted to do this to me, although I did not let them. There seemed to be a constant battle. This young man were raised with notions of exaggerated maleness to the point of mere stupidity. As I said I went to a diverse private school. One would think that that would translate into success for many of the grads. Our standards for grades, achievement, and eventual college advancement were high. Many of the African American students there were there on scholarship or proved gifted (usually on the entrance exam). Most did not go on to great success or college. Many went on to prison, dropped out, or menial employment that seemed to disappoint the families that sacrificed for them to attend the school we went to at the time. Why? The myth of the black ghetto male. Many of these exaggerrated forms of maleness led to to committ crimes, domestic violence, and sometimes worse: physical violence. Who encouraged these men? Many of the black women that would later complain about the very same behavior. There is a want in our society for the ghetto black male. I truly believe that there used to be a strong and visible minority within black neighborhoods that embodied his stereotypes. However through the media, our own culpability we have allowed this image to become representative of the community by aspiring to them. What was an exception (although a sizeable one given the poverty in our neighborhoods at the time) has become the aspiration the goal. Even black men such as myself are pressured “to be a man” usually to be goaded into some idiiotic behavior that leads to arrest, murder, or physical violence. Many of my black female friends encouraged this, the fighting, the superficiality (that would shame a metrosexual), while I saved my money for college they spent there’s on clothes that would be thrown out next year. Many young men like me were passed over for these “alphas”. Strange that now these same women, many of them with children from these same men or similiar types now are intersted in us. They are offended when I am not interested because I do not want a child right now. Let alone I don’t want to be drawn into “baby daddy” drama: i.e. lack of child support, a child I am unable to discipline because that is the point when the father takes interest only to prevent me from doing the job he won’t, arguments between her and her ex that affect the mood of the whole household, issues that cause the child to act out, maybe even against me. I find it ironic that many of my African American schoolmates of similiar age told me this, but many had no father to teach them to “be a man”, but I did. I come back to what my father always said, “Son, tell them not to tell you how to be man, tell them you have a daddy. You have a man at the house to teach you how to be one.”

  12. To Zack-Aslanian Williams from Cynthia on July 17th, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Feminization of males is bad but so is hypermasculinty
    Moderate masculinity should be the goal

    Like the ” Renaissance man ” displayed in this blog


  13. If you’ve never lived in an uncontrolled environment you can’t guess what it’s like. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Accept it.

    People in middle class America need to fall. They’re so safe, feel so secure, but ignorance is bliss. If you took away all the things they believe to have control over they would die. Why? Because anything you need to survive in a world without handouts and technology are things they laugh at and see no need for.


  14. Untrue. The middle-class doesn’t need to fall, nor should it need to. In fact, it isn’t so much the middle-class that’s the problem in the Western world as it is the entire population.

    MC people are worker drones. I don’t mean it badly, it’s just they fulfill the much needed productive part of the society. However, single mothers and dilenquents are exceptionally common these days, and they both provide little of anything to society. They also are the biggest drain on government funding, making up nearly 80% of all welfare payments.

    These people aren’t middle-class. They’re not even working class. They’re bums, pure and fucking simple.


  15. Dear Interesting, how can you be a Lawyer and write with such horrible grammar? No white person could get into a law school and write like you do. Anyways, you have to really be messed up to not be able to find black females. There are tens of thousands of Big Booties that would die to have a lawyer around. Here in Detroit, you can literally buy black women like slaves; nobody seems to care.

    Anyways, the problem here in Detroit (99% black) is that the Negro females breed without thinking of any of the consequences. They never think of role models, where the food is going to come from or who is going to pay the bills. I asked my friend Sharetta, don’t you worry about how you are going to support 9 kids ? She replied that we don’t think of those things because the case workers do it for us. Now the state of SHITAGAIN cannot afford to pay for the huge lifetime welfare caseload THEY CREATED and people in D’Toilet are faced with having to do without. The moral is, Stupidity breeds pain and suffering, do not be stupid and your life will improve.


  16. Interesting,

    At some point during your educational journey didn’t someone, somehow go over concept of splitting your thoughts into paragraphs?


  17. Live for today that is all that really matters, right? And then you hit 40 years and are still here acting like a child. I live around African-Americans and 10% are respectful and educated, the rest, I leave it up to your imagination. I have seen some acting like baboons when the situations calls for serenity.


  18. Let feminists know the truth about gender: http://manhood101.com


  19. It’s amazing my ability to have a vagina AND pick my battles. And with that, I shall end this comment.


  20. ” And it shows in how they handle conflict: grudges are held forever, they never know how to let anything slide, they think primarily with emotion and are prone to outbursts, drama and confrontation and most importantly, they don’t know how to choose their battles.

    True male behavior isn’t being a drama queen, emotional outbursts and holding onto grudges; true male behavior is picking your battles, knowing when to fight and when to let things slide, analyzing things calmly and logically and having discipline over your moods and emotions and exercising emotional restraint. There are times when it’s acceptable to lose your shit and times when it’s not. These are things that a true mature male influence teaches you, and such influences have almost disappeared completely from the hood.”

    What the fuck is this sexist shit?

    Women are not more emotional than men. They express their emotions /differently/ but to an equal degree. In fact, in relationships, men tend to be more emotionally attached because women tend to have stronger social networks with other female friends/their mom for social support (they tend to be more verbal about their relaiontshis).

    Women hold on to grudges forever? Women don’t know how to pick fights? Men are more ‘calm’ and ‘logical?’ Where did you learn about women?!?!

    Logic tends to be associated with masculinity, but women actually tend to have slightly more linear thinking than men in terms of brain type (I’m not saying they’re more logical, but simply their learning style tends to be more linear on average).


  21. Just wanted to say that I came here through Reddit and didn’t have much in the way of expectations for this article – but wow, this is one of the most insightful, best written articles I’ve read for a long, long time.
    Keep it up!


  22. To Author: Your excessive generalization nullifies your argument. Sounds very fifth-gradish.


  23. Bitch You dont know so dont act like you do


  24. DAT DUDE DNT KNW NUN… HIS BITCH ASS BETTER JUMP OFF A BRIDGE WIT HIS WEAK AHH… AND THIS IS NOT A TESTOSTORONE OUTBURST


  25. This article is right on the money. I have a blog on the the characteristics of manhood (manlytraits.com)and what you say makes a lot of sense.

  26. BlackManBrandon on September 7th, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Actually, it is tendency of those with exceptional concentration skills (i.e. longer attention span) to write long, obtuse sentences that are often view by others as wordy and difficult to read. It is my experience that most people of average intelligence deem work containing lengthy but well-structured sentences – from a grammatical point-of-view – as poorly written.

    Interesting wrote with decent grammar. In fact, I’m actually impressed with his grammar since this is a feat rarely accomplished by nearly all English-speaking (and writing) persons. I believe myself in a position to objectively judge this as I am fairly well educated and received near-perfect scores on most standardized tests throughout my entire life.

  27. BlackManBrandon on September 7th, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Anonymous on November 5th, 2010 at 10:35 PM: There is a great deal of irony in your statement.


  28. Never fails, the folks who crow about their “near-perfect scores” can’t even write a couple of paragraphs without glaring grammatical errors …

    it is tendency
    that are often view by others
    I believe myself in a position


  29. So when you can’t pick apart his argument you better pick apart his grammar… You know you’re on shaky ground when that’s the best response you can use to get in your passive aggressive racism.


  30. I have always loved how people never miss a chance to be self rightous, and the ones who scream the loudest are usallly the worst ones for it and yes ladies and gentlemen examples will be provided. Ill start with Neo, you have no call to play grammer god when the vast poplus can barley speak proper english without spell check anyway which from the looks of things was used very often in you response, another point I would like to add where is D Toilet on the map or Shittagan for that matter.I close with his advice to you Neo whe going to a gunfight dont bring your second-hand ninemille from hobo bob, bring your a game or walk away. Rotaryblades.do I hear resentment, true its pain when people crow about near perfect scores to underachivers, but we keep in mind that nothings perfect, that includes you my friend; and though I like your attemt at useing adjectives your hyperbole seems a rather serotyped femine respose given your masculine sounding name choice makes one wonder. This is an intelectual blog, so theres going to be people crowing how smart they are, thats life.And if you need a frame off refferance for “glaring “ gramtical errors anonymons number 3. I rest my case.

    Dont worry Mmrmar I save the best for last. When you say something back it up, “ Your excessive generalization nullifies your argument. Sounds very fifth-gradish.“ to quote one of our insightful commentors, this is T`s blog so if you want to ask him for his reasoning im sure his contact information is not hard to come by, you however put out your insights as fact with little backing; amature. If you want to try me on that the commets are my evidence.

    to everyone else I like reading good comments, especally the ones that make you think about what your reading, on behalf of the net I would like to thank you for you contrbution to society. Thats also extends greatly to you as well T.

    Peace out


  31. The reality of the matter is that this article is about 90% correct. I live in Detroit, Mi not the suburbs, but the city itself. One of the best sayings or ways of describing the behavior in this article that is used by people in the streets is “Man, u know dat nigga got alot of bitch in him!” Holding petty grudges, can’t pick the true battles that should be fought, emotion driven (lack of logical thinking). Playa hating on one another. “What he got dat” ya’ll know what I’m talking about. Now as far as braiding hair goes chicks braid hair on the streets in the prisons of american the weak dudes punks and sissies braid the shot callers and soldiers hair on the yards. As far as fashion goes look’en fly has always been cool, but living in the mall and worr’en about how you look is not cool.