by Jean Roberta
[Scene: twelve white guys sitting on folding chairs in a circle, looking uncomfortable.]
First Guy: I’ll start. My name is John Green, and I’m a beta male.
Second Guy: No you’re not, man! You’ve just been beaten down when you were too young to know how to fight back. If your girlfriend in high school dumped you to go out with some hotshot football player, is that your fault? I bet you could show her a better time than he could. Am I right?
[All the guys grunt their agreement after glancing very quickly at First Guy’s crotch.]
Second Guy [realizing the dangerous path he is on]: I mean, I’m not gay or anything. I’m just saying.
Third Guy: I can’t get a job because of all these refugees who’ll work for two cents per hour.
[All the guys grunt sympathetically.]
Fourth Guy: It’s not just refugees. Let’s call it what it is. Niggers and spicks and chinks and fuckin Indians are taking our jobs.
First Guy: Whoa! Watch your language, man.
Third Guy: Yeah. I mean, I know what you’re saying, but you can’t call people degrading names nowadays.
Fourth Guy: Why not, if they taking our jobs? And I didn’t even mention the women. They’re all hiring nannies to raise their kids so they can have “careers.”
Fifth Guy: We can’t even get laid any more because if we make a move it’s called “rape.”
[Several guys nod their heads vigorously, while some look more uncomfortable than before.]
First Guy: It’s not really rape if she wants you.
Fifth Guy: But they call it that! Some of them even say we have a “rape culture.”
First Guy: Women who want sex don’t call it rape.
[All the other guys stare at First Guy.]
While the Angry Men’s Group ponders First Guy’s comments, let me introduce you to two characters in an early story of mine, “When Less Is More.” (This story is still available in my collection, Obsession, from Renaissance Publishing.)
Alighieri, who preferred to be known by his family name because of its long history, was awakened by the late-afternoon sunlight that carelessly penetrated the olive-green burlap curtains of his bedroom. Like melted butter, the light poured itself over Spondee’s blonde elf-locks as she stretched a white arm across Alighieri’s darker back. She preferred to be known as Dee, and preferred not to be known as the child of two much-published members of the English Department in the local university. “You awake?” her man growled tenderly.
“Mmm,” she smiled, admiring the discreet muscles in his chest as he rose on his elbows. The couple had spent the whole weekend eating, fucking and sleeping, and they were now as mellow as old wine.
“I want to watch the BBC version of Twelfth Night on the TV in the front room,” the host informed his guest, “and I want you to lie across me.” Dee sat up as gracefully as a dancer. “Don’t put your clothes on,” he added.
Dee was pleased because she loved being naked in the daytime.
She didn’t, however, like complacent men. “I must really enjoy your company,” she teased him. “I’m missing the women’s floor hockey.” The young man couldn’t think of a witty comeback for that so soon after waking up, so he wisely held his tongue.
Soon Alighieri, who had the dark beard and chest hair of a werewolf, was seated on his cool leather sofa with Dee stretched across his lap. His hands rested promisingly on the two firm globes of her bottom as her nipples brushed the leather upholstery while she adjusted her head and arms into a comfortable viewing position.
“Now you see,” he explained, continuing their previous discussion, “a position like this isn’t hard to arrange, and it contains so many possibilities. There’s so much I could do to you.”
Dee snorted. “If that scared me,” she asked him logically, “would I lie here?”
“Mighty woman warrior,” he acknowledged, almost sounding respectful. “But you know I would never really hurt you.”
“You know I’d get back at you if you did,” she countered.
Like several of the other beta males discussed here lately, Alighieri is a nerd, and he feels as if this is the logical consequence of being the distant descendant of a famous writer in the Italian Renaissance. Dee, on the other hand, is a proud rebel against academic parents.
Alighieri keeps making moves that he hopes will give him a dominant position in the relationship, and Dee keeps making counter-moves. He can’t complain about a lack of sex, but she always keeps him off-guard.
By the end of the story, he has reached an epiphany: he cares more about her than she does about him, and that is a problem with no solution.
While writing this story, I really felt for Alighieri. I wished I could give him a happier ending, but that would have felt artificial. He’s creative, he’s intellectual, he’s attractive, and I probably would have been glad to meet him in my youth, but he doesn’t fit Dee’s concept of a “real man,” and therefore he is bound to lose her eventually.
If Alighieri existed off the page (and surely there is someone like him in the real world), I hope and pray that he will learn to be philosophical about the disappointments of life and the apparently irrational nature of taste: every person wants what s/he wants, even if this makes no sense to anyone else.
I hope Alighieri won’t join the Angry Men’s Group and complain that women in general have ruined his life, along with all the other members of “minority groups” who no longer know their place. I really hope Alighieri doesn’t start asserting White Pride (he’s barely white, but logic doesn’t seem to be highly visible in these groups) and proposing to bring back slavery, or genocide. I can only hope.
Question for Discussion: Which guy in the group do you think has the best sex life?