Omega Man

Following up a couple of recent posts (by recent I mean in the past 6 months) on the subject of masculinity in today’s culture, I found a pretty interesting article posted at Slate that has associations with both “Tales of a Dying Superman” and “The Stuff of Super Heroes.” These have two posts have been two of the most-read over that same time period and both come close to addressing the state of mascunity in the 21st Century.

The post uses a recent Ben Stiller movie Greenberg as a jumping off point—or maybe it is the entire impetus behind the piece—into a description of today’s omega male. On the other end of spectrum from the alpha male, the omega man has for the most part abdicated the traditional roles and expectations of a man. Now contrary to what the Slate post may suggest, or maybe what I Am Agonistes readers may be quick to conclude, I’m not convinced that our world hasn’t at least acted like that this omega man isn’t what it wants from masculinity. It’s certainly no excuse, but worth pondering, that our current “everybody-be-cool-and-for-heaven’s-sake-don’t-DEMAND-anything-from-anybody culture hasn’t breathed a great deal of life into this cultural enigma. The writer defines 4 types of omegas: The Liberal Arts Layabout, The Mimbo, Beer Guy, and the Game Boy. All are fairly easy to recognize. You can read the post in its entirety by clicking here.

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2 thoughts on “Omega Man

  1. Yes, but what does it mean? Is the scholar the traditional omega man? Is reading and erudition a sign of weakness and contemptibly? Was Joseph the ankle-biter an Omega Man and Peter a wanna-be alpha-male?
    How are we supposed to define ourselves? Does Christianity imply that we are supposed to act a certain way? Paul argues regarding hair-length that even nature teaches us that men should have shorter hair than women. Is it the same for men’s attitudes, are we supposed to act aggressive and alpha-male and scorn learning?

  2. Those are questions a man ultimately has to answer for himself. I say “no” to the scholar being omega. The same goes for a man that reads. Unless, that is, he reads or is scholarly as a means of avoiding those places where he is needed to fight injustice or where he may be asked to be “something more.” I think we are asked to embrace the tension that emerges when we walk that line between omega and alpha. Without giving in to passivity and abdication, a man must also avoid abusing the strengths he has been given. Does Christianity imply that we are supposed to act a certain way? Yes, it implies that we should act as God’s image bearer.

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