“Male Angst”, in the broadest sense of the literary genre, deals with the displeasure a male feels because of the actions he takes or thinks he has to take to obtain desired but apparently scarce resources. The focus is primarily on the displeasure ‘eligible’ heterosexual males experience in the contemporary, post-modern dating market that pertains to the preferences of ‘eligible’ heterosexual females.
The ‘Male Angst’ theory is grounded in the assumption that messages from women to men in the dating market—what women want—are distorted by biological and socio-economic factors. For example, biology may guide women’s preferences for mate attractiveness, whereby socio-economics may govern to what degree the man is ‘marriageable’.
Various explanations for these behaviors are explained by, but not limited to the following:
- Women’s increasing incomes/purchasing power (female consumerism)
- Media and marketing that primarily target female audiences (i.e. romantic comedies suggesting viable qualities in men)
- Feedback loop that creates action/reaction between 1 and 2.
These images often reflect ‘non-alpha’ males as docile and willing to endure sub-optimal dating conditions at the whim of females who do not realize that their desires are mixed (one man cannot produce all of the solutions). And “learn” at the expense of females who, when in their ‘prime’, demand alpha qualities and when they fail to retain alpha, settle for a non-alpha male when their market value has dropped considerably. One example of such media, a song called “Just Friends” by Musiq Soulchild, highlights a situation whereby the man lets the woman dictate how she would like to treat him in their relationship.
The Male Angst literary genre utilizes reflection and self-analysis regarding these unpleasant situations to empower males to produce viable solutions. As an ideology, Male Angst counters pseudo-feminism without being anti-female at its core.
Types of Male Angst
There are many types of Male Angst, but to name a few:
- A white male who is in the market for a particular white female who may feel angst about her preference for non-white men. A solution to this could be for the man to choose a different another white woman if he prefers white women, or to ‘open up’ his dating pool to include other races/ethnicities.
- A black male who because of lack of income/networking opportunities and other factors, who chooses to accept “lower quality” females because of his background. One solution to this would be for the man to increase his market value by learn a new language or skill that could help him to obtain partners from other cultures.
- The rationale in a. could apply to an Asian male who has angst about wanting to date an Asian female who prefers to date non-Asian men.
Theoretically, the sexual intrinsic value theory is a sub-division of dating market economics which is grounded in biology and melds theories in sociology, psychology and economics. Relations between heterosexual men and women are entered into based on their relative assigned ‘dating market values’, and the theory suggests that equilibrium is never truly reached and continues in an iterative process until one “settles down” or downgrades their value because of female hypergamy. This ensures that the sexual market equilibrium between men and women would always be dynamic.
The Cornerstone of Male Angst: Bateman Principle vs Coolidge Effect
Men’s dating behaviors are attributed to the Coolidge Effect (men take what they can get/are hunters/valuation of women across less dimensions; “Fish with a Net”)
Women’s dating behaviors are attributed to the Bateman Principle (women choose among men/are gatherers/their valuation has more dimensions than men; “fish with a rod and reel”)
Women’s multidimensional valuation results almost always in selecting a ‘higher value’ partner relative to a man. Which is connected to hypergamy.