Okay, author moment.
Can we stop using the phrase “alpha male” in novels? First, there is no such thing in reference to human beings. The term is primarily relevant to wolves, who behave completely different than human societies. Second, the research the original “alpha wolf” concept was based on turned out not to be research at all… but faked nonsense.
Being an alpha has nothing to do with size, strength or bravado. An alpha wolf isn’t arrogant, vicious, or rude… the traits most often given to “alpha males” in books. A real alpha wolf is basically the old-fashioned TV dad, he acts with generosity, kindness and love. He’s intelligent, leading from behind for the safety of his pack, ensuring no one gets left and any predators (who usually attack from behind) get to him first. Yes, they fight. Yes, they’re predators who can take down prey much larger than they are. But they are, first and foremost, the pack “dad.”
Seriously, this fifty-year-old trend can end. Enough young women have read these books and got it into her head the “perfect man” was an arrogant abusive dickhead. Let’s try the reality: good guys (and girls) are actually the best mates. Let’s write romances where the female lead meets a real alpha, a good guy who cares about her and having a family. Who isn’t overbearing and doesn’t feel the need to “protect her” when she can do it herself. Let’s try that for a bit.