While stereotypes surrounding women preferring a ‘bad boy’ over a more daintily sensitive man remain dominant, the mainstream media and entertainment industry have attempted to foster a narrative which positions the meek, sensitive, man as an equally–if not more–viable sexual candidate for women over a burlier, more confident, male.
There is a metapolitical reason behind the promotion of less masculine males to usurp alpha males as king: physically weaker men with lower levels of testosterone tend to vote for left-wing, egalitarian, redistributionist, causes over their more masculine counterparts.
Moreover, from a cultural standpoint, several memes have emerged deriding many expressions of contemporary western manhood, perhaps best captured in the dying ‘soyboy’ meme. The ‘soyboy’ meme evolved into other images–all of which pick apart modern male archetypes, ranging from the brain-damaged porn addict known as the “coomer” or the nihilistic, estrogenic, bearded coastal city-dweller whose life revolves around fleeting material consumption or “consoomer.”
Psychology Today published a piece exposing the feminist predilection for a benevolent sexist male. The article defines this form of sexist as:
…overtly less hostile and misogynistic, and reflects beliefs that I was taught, as a man from the U.S. South. Benevolent sexism includes beliefs that:
- Women should be “put on a pedestal.”
- Women should be cherished and protected by men.
- Men should be willing to sacrifice to provide for women.
- Women are more virtuous than men.
- Women are more refined and pure, compared to men.
Despite aspects of benevolent sexism appearing chivalrous and romantic, previous research has found that women who endorse these beliefs often demonstrate approval of restrictions on women’s freedoms, independence, and autonomy, and may impact women’s support for gender egalitarianism.
The article cites a study by Gul and Kupfer which tested women’s level of attraction to different types of men. Deviating from traditional, more superficial tests, measuring a woman’s level of attraction according to the male’s physical prowess; the test focuses on the above described ‘benevolent sexism.’
The Psychology Today article continues:
Gul and Kupfer’s research offers a new way to approach these complex dynamics of attraction, integrating the role of evolutionary influences with culturally-influenced social role expectations. It also challenges some of the misleading beliefs that blame both women and men for the persistence of sexism in our society. It’s important to note that sexism and misogyny are not identical concepts. Kate Manne suggests that misogyny is more about control of women than about hatred, and argues that sexism is more of an ideology that supports the reasons why we treat women differently.
“Dating male feminists turned out to be one of the least empowering decisions I’ve ever made.” —Kate Iselin
Women who find sexist men attractive are not being traitors to other women, nor are they naïve females who don’t understand their choices. Instead, they are women making rational decisions, and accepting tradeoffs. They recognize that it may be more beneficial to have a partner who is committed to them and willing to sacrifice for them and their family than it is to have a “woke” feminist man who wants them to be independent.
Following the #MeToo scandal, many high profile self-described male feminists were outed for sexual assault in spite of their outspoken dedication to respect women and their ability to consent.
Internet memes circulate social media as male feminists continually find themselves embroiled in sexual assault scandals, becoming something of a stereotype in itself.