Thanks to Prince, I decided long ago that I didn't care whether or not people thought I was a "real man." When Prince came onto the scene in the early 80's, people lost their minds: here was an utterly confident, sensitive, flamboyant little man, prancing around in opulent, purple clothes, wearing eye liner, screeching and groaning about doves crying...and every woman on this planet wanted him. This naturally drove "alpha males" crazy, since Prince defied everything they stood for, yet their women openly lusted for him.
I mean, he was banging Kim Basinger, when she was every guy's wet dream as the insanely hot Vikki Vale in Batman! This cat ferociously loved women on all levels, and women seemed to be hypnotized by him, their panties dropping at the blink of his eye. He was comfortable and proud of being a man, without being shackled by machismo.
This fit me well growing up. Even as a very young cub, I was enamored with women, but couldn't care less about sports, getting buff, kicking ass, or anything else that society tells men they need to do to get close to women. I quickly learned that those bros who spend all their time in the gym or on a football field, talking about "crushing puss," and picking on smaller kids/readers/artists/nerds...those guys were troglodyte jackoffs. As George Carlin once said, they're operating on "obsolete male impulses from 100,000 years ago."
I came to learn that a real man is intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate. A real man is strong yet kind enough to help others in need. A real man is creative, and has a sense of adventure independent from patriarchal expectations. A real man knows what he wants, and is honest about who he is. A real man takes time to get to know people, without trying to dominate everything.
Sadly, I often find that the most intelligent, independent, feminist women around- who talk endlessly about equality and how we need to get rid of gender norms- ultimately end up dating macho, narcissist douchebags. They rightfully go on and on about how women can defend themselves, how they want a sweet, sensitive guy- just to end up with a clueless, dense asshole, because of an antiquated sense that this guy will protect them. Or, better yet, that these guys are somehow better at sex than a nice, intelligent, and sensitive guy.
They see weakness in guys who are confident enough to show their feelings and respect women as equal, when the irony is those are the guys who tend to be best at sex. They're more intense and creative, but also patient enough to make sure the woman gets off multiple times before his turn.
They don't seem to get that the very traits that makes alpha males so dominant and competitive, also pushes them to treat women like conquests, with little regard for their needs and desires. In other words, you're hooking up with a viking, who sees the world as his to take.
Consequently, alpha males will never let themselves be vulnerable, which is imperative for love to work. As Prince said in his episode of New Girl: "Anything beautiful is worth getting hurt for."
The whole concept of "alpha male" is a worthless joke, and it's high time we treated it as such. Besides, society has it wrong: in the wild, true "alphas" defend the weak, and lead the pack from behind, to make sure everybody is ok. Not to mention, in nature, females are often just as much the pack leader as males. Modern human wannabe "alpha males" prey on the vulnerable, can't seem to do anything on their own, and are ultimately terrified of things they don't understand.
In this modern age, it's more important to be intelligent and compassionate, than a toughass. Sure, a ripped jock might kick my ass in a squared-up fist fight- but I'm also way less likely to get into any fight (thus keeping a woman out of danger), because I'm not a competitive alpha male, looking for my next chance to prove my masculinity.
Cheers to Prince, for giving me the guts to be a real man.