It’s not that there are no Lotharios out there, but they are rare.
When you begin to collect facts and use them to displace mythology, it’s amazing how it can change your understanding of things. Your reflexes and instincts shift to accommodate a more accurate view of reality.
In my eclectic surfing today I ran across one of the newer songs by Reba McEntire, “If I Were a Boy.” Context: I really like Reba’s singing. And who doesn’t like her looks? I hated her TV sitcom, but I understand why it sold from just the few bits of it I saw as I passed through some place where it was showing. It drew lots of laughs from promoting the social mythologies of our society, drawn particularly from the subculture which she represents. It was supposed to be poking fun at reality, but it was only funny if you accepted the perverted reality common on American TV.
The music video I sampled is one which has little or no direct or symbolic connection to the subject matter of the song, but such has been all too common since music videos first became a major element in our entertainment industry. Don’t pay any attention to the video portion, because it’s mostly focused on her pretty self and some long, green strapless gown which she drags around an empty mansion on a snowy cold day. The lyrics are the point.
The story is how, if she were a boy, she would act. In essence, she claims guys tend to be heartless and unfaithful. We are to believe, in her experience, every guy is a Lothario. In the language of the Game Theory of Socio-Sexual Behavior, that’s simply an Alpha Male. By definition, there are very few of them. The majority of any given sample of males will always be Deltas (see the hierarchy).
The error of the song is assuming every man she’s encountered tends to be a Lothario, which says more about her than it does men. She’s been riding the Alpha Male merry-go-round, and is disappointed at the lack of upholstery on the sculpted horses’ saddles. The majority of men are nothing like that. Her choices reflect how thoroughly she participates in modern American culture, and all that “Good ol’ American Country and Western” is still filthy debauchery, no closer to God than any other subcultural flavor.
The average Western male is turned on by pretty gals like Reba, but places them on a pedestal. In his mind, somewhere out there is the one perfect woman, and he has to win her heart, if necessary by extraordinary devotion and faithfulness. He’ll sometimes catch himself dreaming of a fling with some other cutie who passes by, but lacking any of the qualities to make such conquest likely, including the deep sense of guilt he feels before he even gets started, it won’t happen. Even if she’s a hooker and he’s got the cash, it is highly unlikely. Want a stable, faithful mate? Delta is the way to go. Beta if you are pretty enough, but keep an eye on him.
Boring, say most gals. Too bad, because in the real world what makes a fellow hot to you is the very package which makes him hot to every other gal, and him likely to take them up on it. All of them. I’m under the impression Reba’s personal life is far less tormented and heart wrenching than her songs. Her singing talent is considerable, but I can’t imagine her looks had nothing to do with her fame and fortune. I wonder if she believes what she sings? I think it’s likely she does at least partially, since her fame rests largely on sad songs of the woman wronged.
If only in her musical imagination, she needs to get off the Alpha Male merry-go-round, because there’s a lot of men who aren’t Lothario.
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