The USAToday quoted the term, "the beta boys," when writing about the grudge letter the Umpqua Community College (UCC) mass murderer (who killed nine people) left behind to "justify" his butcherings:
The rambling document left behind, and believed to be written by the gunman, lamented an isolated life with little promise, the official said.
The contents and tone of the document, the official said, tracked the often desperate and depressed writings from members of a loosely affiliated group known as the "beta boys." The official said members associated with the group share profound disappointment with their lots in life and the lack of meaningful relationships.
Emphasis is mine.
It is possible, though not likely (1), that the UCC killer posted about the massacre a day before it happened on an anonymous 4Chan thread, to some considerable support, applause, admiration and jokes (2).
Then last Friday an anonymous 4Chan poster threatened further college massacres for the following Monday in the Philadelphia region, calling them a "Beta rebellion:"
“I plead to thee, brothers! We only have but one chance, one spark, for our revolution. The United States will soon condemn us to the status quo forever, and soon after, the United Nations. Don’t let our one chance at writing history slip away. Martyr yourself for the cause or support those who have the courage to do so. We have the chance to make the world a better place for betas everywhere.”
That threat didn't materialize. But the FBI is investigating the messages at that 4Chan site. It is important to note that these Internet support groups for the "betas" may not be directly connected to the mass killings. At the same time, the concept of "beta boys" deserves closer scrutiny, and so do all the sites which serve up this concept as an ideology and an excuse.
What are "the beta boys?"
To answer that question we need to put our wading boots on and enter the intellectual sludge in some of the shallower ponds of the Guy Lands on the net: the homes of some extreme Men's Rights Activists and Pickup Artists.
We have to learn their "alphas and betas" theories: That human men can be divided into alphas, successful, powerful and handsome men, who get all the women, every single one of them, and betas, the ordinary guys or the losers, who get no sex at all. This idea is taken from wolf packs, except that the leaders of wolf packs are not the kind of alpha males the manosphere believes in, but the parents or grandparents of the pack, both the alpha female and the alpha male.
But never mind that. This Manosphere theory now exists as its own justification. It drives the instructions Pickup Artists give to their followers (act like an alpha and you get lots and lots of pussy, however unwilling that pussy really is), and it also drives the despair of many troubled young men, who have been taught that the blame for their social isolation, lack of a sexual partner and pretty much everything else is caused by Others, especially by women who are all going after the few alpha males, and by those (mostly imaginary) alpha males.
Why are "women" (some detested pile of all womanhood, but really meaning only sexually appealing young women) rejecting as much as eighty percent of all men (based on some of the sites I visit, numbers of that size, however impossible they actually are, are routinely flouted)? Because of hypergamy, the tendency for women to marry socially upwards, of course!
So the completed theory is stitched together from some flawed early research about wolf packs, a lot of rage and an iffy concept from evolutionary psychology. (3)
What is the final impact of such a theory?
It makes the suffering individual, the man without a girlfriend or with many past rejections convinced that all the reasons are outside himself, that it's those horrible others who are sentencing him to a life of unwanted loneliness. And once a group of these individuals gather together, what do you think they talk about (4)?
How unfair the world is, how the government should mandate a program of girlfriends for all young heterosexual men who can't find them:
Hey media, this happened because, there is no government girl friend program. You wanna save lives? Tell politicians, that we need federal/state mandated girl friends, capiche.
That would be either prostitution and/or perhaps a form of sexual slavery, of course (the latter if the number of willing women would fall short of what's deemed required), but because of the reinforcement happening inside those groups, because every paranoid thought is supported by others and declared as real and true, proposals of government-sponsored prostitution and/or sexual slavery for women ultimately seem like the only possible solution. There's no other way out! Those sluts only have voluntary sex with the alphas!
And feminism is seen as the root of all evil. If we had proper patriarchy, men would be celebrated (including any male violence), young, sexually inexperienced women would have to marry men, even quite warped men, and so those men would get regular sex and their own dominion (family) to rule. Then they wouldn't have to go out and shoot people in mass killings! (5)
If you think Echidne has gone totally bonkers here you are not far wrong. It's really, really hard to read the kinds of comments threads I partly reproduce below at (1) without losing one's faith in all humanity.
And it's pretty hard not to feel that you want to seek asylum on Venus or Pluto, when you read what Milo (the M stands for misogynist) Yiannopoulos writes on Breitbart.com, in an article titled "How To Stop Mass Shootings," because his solution is to bring back patriarchy big time. Patriarchy or random death in schools and colleges? You choose, which, incidentally, was also the message of the butcher of Santa Barbara. Does that make Milo-M-for-misogyny and Elliot brothers under the skin, I wonder?
For Milo-M-for-misogyny and for many of his friends in Manosphere almost all world's problem are caused by a) women and b) the lack of proper patriarchy. If only women agreed to be utterly docile and properly dominated (like in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, say), then we would have no mass shootings, or really any kind of violence!! So the mass killings are the fault of women in general and of feminists in particular. QED.
Sigh. Let's go back to reality. You know, where all people are human beings, where women are not just walking pussy racks but feeling, thinking, hurting individuals. In fact, just like men!
And in that reality it's worth remembering that all of the above consists of certain nasty people's reactions to the Oregon college massacre, and those people are not the majority, not even the majority among the MRAs. The UUC butcher had a history of emotional and behavioral problems and an obsession with violence. He admired previous butchers of human beings and he was filled with homicidal rage over everything, including not having a girl friend.
Not your average young man, right? And not the average young man you would like some young woman to be forcefully assigned to, right? It is possible to have empathy with those who suffer from social isolation or who can't find romantic partners easily. But I cannot have empathy with mass murderers, or those who blame women or women's rights for the slaughters. There comes a point when you must take some responsibility for your own actions, when you have signed away all your empathy-owed chits.
That's where the crime (in my view) of those sites lies:
They abet and aid the views that all the problems the participants have are caused by impossibly powerful others. When you do that and when you also take away the humanity of those "others" you make the participants more desperate, more discouraged, more convinced that there's nothing they can change in their lives, that all blame lies outside, that the only solutions are horrible ones: forced sexual slavery for women or violent outbursts.
Individuals who really need psychological help, support and self-empowering therapy (6) are instead given -- what? Validation of their most psychotic suspicions.
Which, my friends, is a surefire road to a deeper hell for all those who really suffer there, and possibly also for the rest of us.
(1) To fully understand that reference, "the beta boys," you need to go back to the night before the Umpqua Community College massacre, to a disturbing 4Chan thread (now unavailable) where a participant posted this:
Some of you guys are alright. Don't go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.
happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning
so long space robots
One of the first responses asks:
Is beta uprising finally going down? You might want to chillax and not alert police.
Others chimed in:
I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get in one corner and then open fire.
Make sure that there is no way that someone can disarm you as it it possible. I suggest you carry a knife on your belt as last resort if someone is holding your gun.
You might want to target a girls school which is safer because there are no beta males throwing themselves for their rescue.
Do not use a shotgun. I would suggest a powerful assault rifle and a pistol or 2x pistols. Possibly the type of pistols who have 15+ ammo
why don't you just talk to a girl instead you beta fuck"Chad" is a "beta" reference to your typical "alpha male," by the way.
no one will respect you for this they'll just see you for the shit coward you are
go fistfight chad if you want to prove dominance
This thread created the rumor that the first anonymous comment came from the UUC butcher, because of the references to a specific date and to a school in the northwest.
Is that rumor correct? The answer seems to be negative, given what I have been able to find. But verifying/falsifying the identity of some anonymous user at such a site could be an impossible task without access to the perpetrator's computer(s). Still, the reference to betas comes from sites of that type.
Some commenters on that site argue that everything written there is a joke. Too bad if someone should take the jokes seriously! That is a joke in itself.
The problem, of course, is to ascertain what other commenters believe. My travels there strongly suggest that many, if not most, believe in the basic concept of beta boys, forever doomed to be worthless, unable to affect anything in their own lives, yet simultaneously entitled to have free access to all the best looking women. That, my friends, is a very dangerous brew.
(2) My links to the 4Chan threads no longer lead to anything because the site has taken them down. But I have left most of my original links in place, for the sake of continuity.
(3) Iffy, because traditionally marrying upwards has been about the only way women could access any wealth at all, what with them in the past being banned from guilds, most professions and from equal inheritance rights. That means that a separately assumed biological tendency for women to want to marry upwards isn't needed to explain that history. In any case, people in the Western countries mostly marry people who are like themselves.
Also, we don't see a smallish number of alpha men with lots of wives and girlfriends. The majority of people enter a monogamous marriage at some point. And if the supporters of these theories really believed in some great scarcity of available women surely they would demand polyandry. After all, a fraction of a wife beats no wife, right? (To reverse from familiar arguments expressed in support of polygyny.)
For more on this theory, read the postscript to this post of mine.
(4) Those sites, including this one, are very much like the sites where anorexics encourage each other not to eat. They support the illness, not those who suffer from it.
(5) From this comment:
George Sodini and Elliot Rodger were mass murderers who were motivated by misogyny.
What's hilarious about that comment (other than assuming that there is such a thing as a "healthy" patriarchal society) is that patriarchy, in its most extreme form, would allocate the men on the top of the hierarchy a lot more women than it would allocate the men at the bottom of the hierarchy, at least based on what's happening in a few of the still-existing all-power-to-men societies. So the problem of "insufficient pussy" would be worse for the presumed betas, not better. And yes, I call it "insufficient pussy" because the comments I'm responding here treat women as pussy racks, not as human beings. And also yes, I shouldn't read comments.
(6) Because the "beta boys" are also human beings, however flawed their current ideas might be. The world doesn't owe anyone a girlfriend or a boyfriend or celebrity status or whatever, but the world does owe everyone access to appropriate help, to get the therapy they need and to start on a healthier course in life. The sites I've visited are not contributing to that, rather the reverse. There are better Internet sites for real advice.