A common misconception about Sexual Marketplace Value (SMV) rankings is that “Alpha” means you’re a successful human being. In truth, it means women like to throw their bodies at you. This means most millionaire tech geniuses are less “Alpha” than their part-time pool boys.
But don’t feel bad, ye who tried to be “Alpha” in order to become a worthy man. The People’s Republic of China is also struggling with the definition.
To fight K-pop’s influence in China, a club teaches young boys to be alpha males
By Robyn Dixon, 26 April 2019
I tried… briefly… to learn what K-pop is in order to put this article in context. Five words: Korean hip hop fairy fags. But now I now know what “Gangnam Style” means.
It is 14 degrees the morning two dozen boys gather at a Beijing park to be transformed into alpha males. A reluctant winter sun casts silver light between treacherously cold shadows. The wind bites, worsening nerves as the boys — the youngest 7 — prepare to strip to their waists for a run.
One of the watching mothers is worried. She wants her son to grow into a macho male, but it’s so cold. She tells him he can keep his shirt on, or perhaps skip the run through Olympic Forest Park.
A good example of how even well-meaning mothers can’t teach a boy masculinity. This is Mother Chen and we’ll see her again later on. Not that being macho is a promising start for learning leadership, skill or courage.
This is the kind of “feminine” parenting that coach Tang Haiyan fears can ruin boys. Tang, a former schoolteacher, founded the Real Man Training Club to combat what he and others in China see as a masculinity crisis — part of a backlash against the makeup- and earring-wearing male TV, film and pop idols who have gained immense popularity here.
“If you are promoting these effeminate figures,” Tang said, “it’s a calamity for our country.”
In a nation where men dominate political and business leadership and campaigns for gender equality have gained little traction, the debate over what is “effeminate” has become a popular pastime among older conservative residents, and mostly among men.
Little traction? When men wear makeup and jewelry? The Chicomms have reason to be concerned.
Influenced by K-pop idols in Korea, China’s boy bands and celebrities — with their delicate beauty, dyed hair and haute couture wardrobes — have a massive following among women here. But China’s state-run media condemns the young idols, calling them “sissy pants” and “fresh young meat.”
The backlash deepened after a back-to-school TV program featured the boy band F4. Angry parents attacked the Education Ministry’s decision to hold up the cosmetics-wearing young men as role models; state media warned that a “sick” and “decadent” culture threatened the future of the nation. This year, a Chinese videostreaming website started blurring earrings worn by men.
In nomine Karl Mark! They are already Converged to the point of boy bands! Our Elites said the Backstreet Boys weren’t a sign of the Apocalypse. They lied!
“The gender stereotyping is not just about gender identity itself,” said an author and researcher on Chinese masculinity. “It’s about the reproduction of the nation and how to properly cultivate the next generation.”
Song Geng of the University of Hong Kong said the fear partly reflects deep-seated insecurity about Chinese power, after historical humiliations such as the opium wars and domination of Chinese rulers by foreign imperial powers.
They aren’t over that? Yes, the opium wars were a shameful piece of British and French history but it’s been two centuries. Grudges are like dumbbells, they weigh you down only if you hang on to them.
Chinese culture is not globally competitive today but that’s a result of Communism, not China. America is suffering the same fate right now as SJWs burn our culture from Robert E. Lee to Star Wars.
“They’re worrying that if Chinese men are so effeminate… then we will become a weak country in future and we cannot compete with our rivals,” he said. “There’s anxiety about the virility of the nation being harmed by those effeminate male images.”
Screenwriter Wang Hailin says the young men resemble male prostitutes sought after by some affluent older women. “We need to be aware of this effeminacy before it’s too late and deal with it,” said Wang, 48.
He has berated fellow screenwriters, saying they portray men as “wimps, cowards, losers and idiots” and that China should look to Hollywood for strong alpha male characters.
Oh Gawd, that’s the last place they should look.
“It’s created the impression that Chinese men are all weak, irresponsible and indifferent,” he warned. “Male actors represent national ideology. We cannot encourage the younger generation to look up to them as role models.”
Chinese military leaders seem to share fears about the nation’s men, with the army newspaper People’s Liberation Army Daily complaining that 20% of recruits were not fit enough to pass the fitness test for admission because they were overweight, watched too many cellphone videos, drank too much or masturbated too often.
Ah, I see. The opium wars never ended and McDonald’s Hamburgers is to blame. Or, single mothers?
‘Reserve for alpha males’
Tang likens his club to a “reserve for alpha males.”
On the morning of the shirtless run, the boys arrive clad in down jackets, but one by one the layers come off. Each boy dons a headband with the words “Real Man.” Their track suits and shirts display slogans in English such as “Power Leader” and “Anything is Possible.”
Tang and other male mentors lead the boys in chest beating and slogan shouting.
Huddling nearby, parents — mainly mothers — shuffle from one foot to another as if to dance the cold away, taking cellphone photos of their sons. They say the boys chose to take part in the club, which offers weekly activities including American football, wrestling and boxing, and annual treks through the desert and mountains.
Those are good sports for a man. If this is a non-pozzed Boy Scouts then they’re on to something.
The boys box the air and run in place; a few look self-conscious, their movements slow and awkward. The boy whose mother said he could skip the run is with them. In this club, boys who cry are ignored; for the 11-year-old, opting out would have brought a monumental loss of face.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for him to gradually cultivate a macho character,” said his mother, who gave her surname as Chen. She described her son as shy and introverted and said participating in outdoor camps boosts his confidence.
“If you are a male, you are supposed to have those male traits. If you are a girl, you tend to be softer,” Chen said. “But I don’t think the entertainment industry has shown good role models for the society because the celebrities they put on the big screen exhibit a more feminine side of men. That’s the problem.”
Yep, I can see that. And Mother Chen is right that she isn’t the one to teach her son masculinity. But going shirtless in cold weather isn’t Alpha. It’s begging to get sick.
Li Chao, 21, lives in an plush outer-Beijing apartment with two assistants and a brown toy poodle named Coffee. He is the kind of man many conservatives despise. His hair is artfully mussed, and he wears a subtle rose shade on his eyelids, a natural lipstick and pale foundation. He makes $30,000 a month live-streaming himself applying makeup, an extraordinary sum for a young man without a degree.
I couldn’t find a picture unless Li Chao is also the chessmaster Li Chao. Asians have such similar-sounding names that the directory people must have nightmares about the Pacific Rim. “Do you spell your name Chang, Cheng, Ching, Chong or Chung?”
At school, troubled by pimples, it bothered him that boys were not supposed to care about their appearance. He got himself some concealer and started asking girls how to apply makeup.
“I felt delighted because every day I would wear makeup, and I felt really fresh and really great,” he said. ”It put me in a good mood.”
His father was horrified.
“He would get angry, and he would question me. He said you should not do girlie things. You should not look like a girl,” Li said. “He’d say: ‘Stop wearing that. Stop it. You should go outside and play sports.’
“I’ll never change him.”
To avoid arguments, Li applies cosmetics with a light hand when he visits his parents, but he rejects the attacks in state media and by conservatives. He hates some of the posts on his blog, such as one telling him the only color men should wear is camouflage.
“The whole premise of those comments is to judge someone based on their appearance,” he says. “But in modern society, you can’t judge us for not looking masculine enough. How do you know we are not masculine enough?”
Other Chinese men are also increasingly using cosmetics and facial products. A taxi driver in the eastern city of Linhai faced internet notoriety when photos of him driving while wearing a moisturizing skin mask went viral last year. Chen Yiqun was suspended from work for three days and was the butt of social media jokes, but he also found fans online who applauded his facial regimen.
“What’s wrong with having a much more diverse image of men?” Li asked. “It’s common these days for men to care about their appearance.”
Giving a professional appearance is a sign of mental health, physiognometrically speaking. But driving a taxi while wearing a hockey mask of moisturizing cream because working a job makes you exfoliate, that’s disturbing, not professional. Might as well pick your nose in public, too.
Excuse me, Jason-san, I your servant will take the next taxi.
Li has 1.5 million followers on the video-streaming site Kuaishou and 2 million on the social media site Weibo, mostly girls and women, from 12 to 30.
He waded into the debate on Weibo after the controversial back-to-school TV program, with many sharing his views: “We should create a tolerant and diverse society. Men should focus on having an independent soul, a righteous heart and a strong sense of social responsibility.”
Researcher Zheng Jiawen from Nanjing University’s School of Journalism and Communications contends that “China’s real crisis of masculinity isn’t ‘sissy pants.’
“It’s a generation of men anxious and insecure about their declining social status and their desperation to cling to power,” Zheng wrote on the Shanghai-based website Sixth Tone.
“We must all learn to accept the fact that a delicate face does not mean a weak heart, slender shoulders do not reveal a fragile soul, and a ‘betrayal’ of outdated masculine stereotypes is not a betrayal of the nation.”
Now we get to the meat of this article. Masculinity isn’t about external appearances. It’s a question of possessing and using power. Men are supposed to be strong, confident and disciplined. But it’s hard to teach those values when the State rules with such a heavy hand that dissent is not tolerated, to say nothing of actual pushback.
You can crush a woman’s spirit and she can still have a happy life because God wired women to serve. Crush a man’s spirit, however, and it doesn’t matter if you let him use mascara. He’ll be a shell of who he might once have been.
Men need peers, not authorities. This is why China will have trouble creating masculine men in the future: the Party tolerates no dissent. It’s a pity because allowing its Christians some breathing space would pay off handsomely in self-discipline and moral courage.
World view divided by gender roles
Tang, who founded Real Man Training Club in 2012, has a world view that is divided into traditional gender roles: Boys are rough, boisterous and energetic. Girls are quiet, studious and groomed.
The former school teacher, whose class included troubled, low-achieving boys, said Chinese boys are betrayed by an education system dominated by risk-averse female teachers who reward girls’ “good” behavior and punish “bad” male behavior.
They don’t sound ANY different from America.
Tang designed the club — which he says fluctuates between 2,000 and 3,000 members — to get boys to face tough physical challenges “in a manly way,” which he defines as being brave, responsible and committed.
He said he was inspired by his love of American football and a visit to California in 2006 to see how teams were trained. He came away with the idea that U.S. parents wanted their sons to play football “so they could become alpha males.” He decided the sport could transform Chinese boys.
Physical strength is only one dimension, however. At some point, these young “alphas” need to be given authority to exercise, taught how to wield political power as well as physical power. No Alpha by any definition is content to be a servant.
Beijing’s watery sunshine does nothing to take the bite out of the morning air, but it’s time for the boys to strip off their shirts. They hand them to their mothers, giggling and bouncing about, arms huddled to their chests, as their parents whip out phones for more photos.
The boys form into two military-style lines and run for about 10 minutes around the park. They run stoically, in lockstep with their coaches, as the low morning sun paints their long shadows on the ground:
“One, two, three!
“Who’s the best?
“Who are we?
“We are real men!”
Conformity is not the path they, or we, should look for. You can’t have new leaders without giving them something to lead, which means our current Powers That Be need to delegate their power and respect to potential rivals. Which is why nearly every government in human history has despised the self-made man.