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  • Shana Jenkins

Alpha. Beta. Submissive? Virtuous!

One, None or All of the Above

As if society hasn’t placed enough labels on women already, now we have to be defined according to our strengths and/or seemingly weaknesses? Is one of these labels more preferred over the other, or are each an example of who we are or who we have to be, to be accepted in the world we live in? Before we can answer those questions, let’s take a look into what each one of those labels or, I'll use interchangeably, roles mean.

Alpha female- powerful and successful woman, often in a leadership role. Alpha females are often described as intimidating by men and women alike.

Beta Female- a sweet and a caring soul who is usually demure (reserved, modest, and shy) and the type of girl men prefer to be with. She is feminine, very creative or artistic, and enjoys the simple pleasures in life. A beta female is usually the Alpha female's best friend and is seen as the 'plain jane' who ties the group together.

Submissive- inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another; unresistingly or humbly obedient.

Virtuous- conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright.

Recently, I came across a social media post regarding this topic and it immediately sparked my interest so I decided to read further up on the subject and then write about it. The gist of the conversation was that more women are “aspiring” to be Alpha females rather than be Beta females, which would cause some problems in male/female relationships because some men, probably those of high stature, prefer to be with this "Beta" female. Assuming she causes minimal problems, is silent, and submissive. One comment that stood out to me on this post was that of someone we will call “Sista-girl” for the sake of me pretending like I was minding my own business. "Sista-girl" said, “It’s not that women are “aspiring” to be Alpha females, some women are just playing the hands they were dealt due to the circumstances life has handed them,” to say the least. Let me tell you honey! If I were in church, I would’ve thrown my hanky at the pulpit and yelled in my best first lady voice, "Preach-Preachaa!!" That resonated so deeply with me as I look back over my own life and observe the types of women who surrounded and currently surround me.

I grew up in a single mother-grandmother-great grandmother village and to be honest, most of the people in the village surrounding me were single mothers as well (interesting revelation). So that means most of everything that I learned growing up came from women. More specifically, 3 individual women who wore so many hats it would’ve been hard back in the day to place them in one specific role. It’s no secret that for years women have been holding down the Homefront financially, spiritually, emotionally and then some, having to step into both roles whether by choice or by force, attesting to “Sista-girl’s” point, women are not “aspiring” to be this dominating force, we are simply playing the cards we are dealt and picking up the slack where it lies. And that’s just in the home.

On a professional level, think about the women (especially black women) who might start off in the workplace with the “Beta” mentality because we don’t want to come off as the “angry or aggressive” black woman. But to be honest, the Beta role CAN’T last long at work either, otherwise you’ll be working in the mail room forever (not that there is anything wrong with the mail room, cue ‘Started from the Bottom Now We Here'). My point is women, especially black women, HAVE to tap into that alpha side in order to be taken seriously and break grounds for herself and fortunately but unfortunately, sometimes that can carry over into the household, and even in relationships. And as much as men say they want a Beta, I think depending on the type of man you’re dealing with, that man could get bored with an ‘all-Beta’. I believe men like a challenge whether they will ever admit to it or not (please note: there is not too much I will speak on if I haven’t lived it or witnessed it personally so believe me when I say this).

The submissive female I think it’s safe to say she falls under the Beta category, or does she? By definition, one who is submissive is someone who yields to the authority of another and is unresistingly or humbly obedient. How does that make you feel? For me, I actually love the word, it’s who we were created to be, women AND men alike. But all too often we seem to leave men out of that category…See Ephesians 5:21-23, NIV version.

Last but not least is my favorite, the Virtuous Woman, the Proverbs 31 woman, or the Wife of Noble Character, whichever version you prefer. Now this woman is a boss in HER own right. If you really look at the verses, she is a little Beta and a little Alpha, but I’m sure she submits when she needs to and bosses up when she has to. And if I had to say so myself that’s probably what her husband admires most about her. She makes his job easy (true help-meet) and does her own with grace…See Proverbs 31.

In conclusion, after deciphering the definitions of each label or role, it’s safe to say that it might be very hard to find one woman that fits one specific role, especially in a time where everyone is expected to “pull their weight or hold their own”. It’s best we accept the FACT that depending on the circumstances our lives have placed in front of us, each woman is and has the right to be whichever role(s) suit(s) her and her situation. At any given moment she might have to switch it up, whether it be at work, at home, or in line at the grocery store with the clerk that decided to turn her light off and go on break like she didn’t see the line full of people…Women have to be Alpha, Beta, and Virtuous, you men just better pray that YOU are in the right position (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc. )to receive the woman who will willingly “submit” to what you have to offer. It takes two.

Cue Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman”-it’s all in me!” Just playing the hand I was dealt.

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