It’s fascinating to see how completely the media fails to understand both the socio-sexual hierarchy and the sigma male.
Men online are more lost than ever, to the point of turning an actual psychopathic killer into a point of reference. Bateman is hailed for not conforming to the models of masculinity that’ve arisen on the web 2.0. He’s neither an alpha (a dominant asshole at the top of the social hierarchy) nor a beta (a submissive loner who’ll never get a girl). Bateman represents a new model of masculinity: The “sigma male”, inexplicably named with another random ancient Greek letter.
According to Google trends, the “sigma male” search term first appeared in early 2021 and quickly gained popularity over the past two years. In 2023, #sigma has over 46 billion views on TikTok. Sigmas “are known as the rarest males on earth, which makes them irresistible to women,” says TikToker Sel Nakim in an explainer video with almost 900,000 likes. “They’re at the top with the alphas, but they’re outside the hierarchy.”
Instead of boasting about their status like alphas, sigmas tend to be mysterious loner types. They think outside the box; they accept themselves and are proud to be different. They attract success and respect. Basically, they’re perfect. And Bateman – a man sophisticated enough to wear a suit to murder a homeless person – is their aesthetic king.
As it happens, the term “sigma male” was coined in 2011. But given the complete inability of the media to even understand which party is winning the war in Ukraine, it can hardly be surprising that they understand neither the concept nor its genesis.
Neither fictional characters created by Brett Easton Ellis nor serial killers have anything to do with sigma males. And they are very far from perfect; to the contrary, there is usually something fundamentally broken in them that prevents them from being able to operate within the hierarchy.
Nevertheless, the ideas, they propagate.