Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gloria Steinem and I Aren't Best Friends

What I’m about to say isn’t going to make me very popular, especially with women’s libbers. I love men. I love being with them. I love talking about them. I love writing them. And I want a man to be a man.

When I think alpha, I don’t think of the heroes in novels from the seventies and eighties. So many of them, while alpha, were also great big jerks. No, what I think of is a man who is in control and who will guide the situation to his will for the good of everyone, not just for a petty whim. The alpha male is in charge and can make a decision. He doesn’t need a committee to get things done. He doesn’t need to ask five people what they think… He gets it done.

My book On Your Knees had this dedication: To all the women who have to be in control but don’t want to be.

That’s the thing. More and more today, many women are being forced into roles they neither want nor enjoy. It’s not how we’re constructed, yet in order for the world to go ‘round, woman have become the decision makers in their homes, in the workplace, in the bedroom.

I contend that quite a few women don’t want all the power that’s been thrust upon them. And that men are being stymied by the shift of dynamics. Yes I believe in equal pay for equal work. I’m thankful for the right to vote. I’m glad my day consists of more than cleaning and cooking and child-rearing. But for God's sake, there’s nothing wrong with a man opening a door for you, having an opinion or being the consummate leader of his pack, so to speak.

As a woman, I like feeling watched over. I like feeling like a world of responsibility doesn’t rest on my shoulders. I think many woman are exactly in that position—everything falls to them. They long for a man who will give them relief from that. There’s no mistaking the popularity of Male Dominant/female submissive BDSM books nor the way ménage books with two men and a woman fly off the shelves. These are books comprised of strong heroines and strong men. Alpha men. It’s the fantasy we seek, because let’s face it—finding a man like the ones in books is near to impossible. But isn’t that what reading fiction, especially romance, is about? Fantasy? Escape? The encounter with the love or the people who take our breath away and, hopefully, remind us of the blush of our new love…way back when? Or model what we once sought or dreamed (or still dream) about in a lover? An alpha: The man who’s comfortable in his position, who knows what he wants—what you want too—and isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done to obtain it. A man others look up to. A man who stands a head and shoulders above…

A man who’s fiercely possessive and who loves his mate with undying passion.

So yes, I feel the men in the books I write—and the books I read—must be alpha.


  1. Ahhhh, yes! Excellent description! Now send one my way!

  2. I was just telling the Mr. the other day that I would like to know who's stupid idea it was that I had to get a job and "earn my keep." That guy was a jerk. LOL.

    Great post Brynn.

    Dakota Rebel

  3. When I was dating, one of my 'tests' was to wait in the car to see if he'd come around and open it for me. If they did, then they got a second date. If they also opened the door AND the door to the restaurant, my opinion rose even higher.

    My sister and I wondered several years ago if we were so 'programmed' to get careers, we lost the choice to choose. It took me YEARS to stop feeling guilty for staying home and raising the kids. In my mind, I wasn't 'contributing'.

    I want a man to take care of me. Unfortunately, that's not the man I've ended up with. So I've learned to be the strong one.

  4. Oh, excellent post! And so very true, Brynn!

  5. Amen, Sister! Give me a man, fact or fiction, that takes care of his woman, his life, his territory. I think woman's thrust into positions of power has emasculated man in many ways. Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT donning a burka and submitting totally, but I want my man to rule--in my house (which he does ^_^ ) and in my books.

  6. Hmmmmmm. Storing up things to say Thursday....

    Great thoughts, and glad you took the risk!

  7. Excellent post, Brynn. And not only did you portray the quality alpha in On Your Knees but in all four Cress Brothers books-and don't forget the print book that'sout today! All my heroes are alphas, in control but never jerks and always focused on the good of the heroine. You did it so masterfully with the Cress boys. Brava! Brava!

  8. Excellent post, Brynn. And not only did you portray the quality alpha in On Your Knees but in all four Cress Brothers books-and don't forget the print book that'sout today! All my heroes are alphas, in control but never jerks and always focused on the good of the heroine. You did it so masterfully with the Cress boys. Brava! Brava!

  9. I am SO with you on that. I loved that dedication. Actually I think I read it in your presence and got all teary about it.

    Excellent blog.

  10. I agree whole-heartedly with Desiree's sentiment. The Cress brothers are perfect Alpha heroes as far as I'm concerned!

    When I read a book I want the fantasy - I want the escape - I want to get the hell away from bill juggling, dirty dishes and carpooling duties. I want a mental vacation and as far as I'm concerned, there's no better vacation partner than a *well-written* Alpha male who's going to take care of things so I don't have to.

    Thank you Brynn for writing the best vacation partners ever. I love your guys - *please* keep them coming!

  11. I think you're right that the traditional gender roles have been so shook up that both men and women are confused. However, I don't think that this is necessarily bad. My personal feeling is that the key to a healthy, happy relationship is for both parties to be clear on what they expect and what they'll contribute. Much better for men AND women to start thinking for themselves about these issues, instead of making assumptions based on culture.

    As for fiction - well, to each his own. I like my heroes to be smart and sexy (even if they're not perfect tens physically), and to really appreciate and respect the heroine. That's far more important to me than a man who will "take control".

    But then, I'm kind of bossy myself!

  12. Really interesting post.

    I hope you don't mind - I've done a blog post about it over on my blog.

  13. Great post, Brynn. I whole heartedly believe a man isn't really a man unless he has the capacity and the desire to treat the love of his life the way she deserves to be treated. Anything less is unacceptible.

  14. Those annoying women libbers are the reason why you now can choose to accomodate your fetish to give up control and are not simply born with no agency of yourself on the simple account of your biology. Don't slam them.
    And Gloria was the posterwoman for the women who gave you the right to decide of your body, wear what you like and legally persecute your rapist. You should be friends.


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