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Vox Day: Smiling at women is for wimps

Total Alpha Dog. Er, cat.
Total Alpha Dog. Er, cat.

You know how they say “smile and the world smiles with you?” Apparently, that’s all wrong, at least according to our dear old friend Vox Day (Theodore Beale). The fantasy author and human shitstain says this old saw needs a rewrite: smile, and the world’s true Alphas laugh at you. As Mr. Day-Beale explains:

Women say they resent it when men tell them to smile. And well they should. An instinctive smile, when one is not expressing pleasure or recognition, is a submissive gesture. This is why attractive women tend to smirk in response to the big goofy submissive smiles sent their way by lower status men.

And then, presumably, those sexy ladies will quickly excuse themselves and make a beeline for the nearest ALPHA fantasy author standing grimly in the corner, quietly judging everyone and thinking unkind thoughts about John Scalzi.

But what if you’re one of those big goofy smiling submissive dudes? How do you capture some of that broody Alpha magic for yourself? It’s simple: Don’t turn that frown upside down.

One easy way to increase your perceived level of alpha is to simply not smile at strangers. Instead, just reply with a nod or a pleasant word. One can be perfectly civil without grinning at everyone like an idiot, and it’s always interesting to see the difference it makes in people’s perceptions.

Just don’t overdo it, lest the ladies think you’re, for example, some sort of weirdo misogynist so filled with fear and loathing for everything female that you’ve actually set up an entire blog devoted to telling the world what an awesome alpha you are.

I’m not talking about walking around glowering; self-conscious anger is much worse than indiscriminate smiling. But women have always been drawn to brooding men, so rather than turning them away with a gesture of preemptive submission, give them something to which they can be drawn.

To be perfectly fair, though, this does work with most Bronte sisters.

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Melissia
6 years ago

“Just don’t overdo it, lest the ladies think you’re, for example, some sort of weirdo misogynist so filled with fear and loathing for everything female that you’ve actually set up an entire blog devoted to telling the world what an awesome alpha you are.”

It would be most unfortunate if the truth came out. Well, for him. Not for everyone else.

jayemgriffin
6 years ago

I don’t really understand how smiling when you’re not “experiencing pleasure or recognition” is instinctive?

Bonelady
Bonelady
6 years ago

You forgot the part about how these dominance theories are bases on discredited science. Wolves do not act this way, let alone humans. But Mr Beale is stuck somewhere in the 17th century in his science theory.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Sweet, so now all the PUAs will be distinguishable by their lack of laugh lines and possible presence of frown lines. This is great news, just in case they give up on wearing fedoras, as it gives us other clothing hints to watch out for.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

The question that his boys never ask is whether you should be taking advice on intergender interpersonal communications from a dipshit loathed by all but a small coterie of males?

yamamanama
yamamanama
6 years ago

Dress like her dad, it releases a hormone called Monatonin
When you get into an elevator with a woman, press a higher number than her and then make a big deal about it.
Push her in a lake
Be one of the tallest guys in the bar and brag about how long your but crack is
Sing a song that you supposedly heard on the radio and then make fun of her for not knowing it
Use the word idiot
NEVER make her pancakes! Force her to make YOU pancakes in the middle of the night.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

When I was a tweener I thought that brooding, moody dudes were cool. Then I grew up, and I’ve preferred men with a bright happy friendly smile ever since.

To be fair, though, “happy” is clearly not an option that’s available to our friend Vox.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Is Vox writing this whilst listening to The Cure and planning his Dracula costume for the next Goth night at the club?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Adding to the list of things Pox doesn’t know: that “smile” and “big goofy grin” aren’t synonymous.

When I have to deal with some dude in what should be a pleasant, brief conversation and he doesn’t smile, I’ve never thought “Alpha!” or “Brooding Sexy Man!” More like “Rude bastard who’s so up himself he likes being rude to retail/customer service staff.” At best it’d be “Have you got a toothache?”

Funnily enough the blokes I’ve worked with have usually expressed the same opinion about the deliberately-non-smiling types.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Is Vox writing this whilst listening to The Cure and planning his Dracula costume for the next Goth night at the club?

::snicker:: He’s a bit old to get away with the Baby Goth thing. Gods, how we used to laugh at them (us post-25 Goths who were into Monty Python and silliness).

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

The whole “be the brooding manchild of her dreams” thing does make sense when you realize that their goal is to attract teenagers, I guess. Creeps.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

The last dark-n-broody guy I dated was a giant high-maintenance manbaby who thought the world just didn’t understaaaaand him. No mas.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

The way I see it is, if you’re not friendly to me then why should I be friendly to you? Friendly smiles and a polite, pleasant greeting or GTFO, dudes.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Mr K could have been called brooding in his earth days, but that wasn’t the attractive part, it was all the rest of him, the not-messed-up aspects, that made him so appealing. The brooding unhappy side was what I knew would make a relationship difficult-to-impossible. Knowing him when he’s happy is ever so much better – and he SMILES! He laughs! He even grins!

Poor Pox, he’s such an idiot and flailing so hard. He hasn’t a fucking clue. Maybe this “don’t smile” twaddle is just more of the basic MRA thing of being miserable and wanting everyone else to be, too.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Smile and the world smiles with you, write a petulant rant about being to manly Alpha to smile and get mocked. Works for me.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I hope that every woman who he actually tries this approach on IRL responds with a bright, smiley “cheer up, emo kid!”

kittehserf
6 years ago

I bet it sends everyone’s creep-o-meter off the charts if he does this.

Cat
Cat
6 years ago

Actually in Russia, were I was born, people were smiling less. It was so uncomfortable that I almost felt myself kinda autistic. I couldn’t understand why people are so grumpy and why it looked like all of them just had a bad day and any time I appeared anywhere it looked like it wasn’t the right time. Then I moved first to Spain and then to USA and it was a great relieve! I realize that I do have ok social skills and I am not really autistic. Funny thing was that some of Russians that I met in US actually were complaining about too many smiles, even that everyone is smiling “like an idiot” LOL. Well, so could be all this PUA tactics will work in Russia I don’t know. LOL When I was dating I ignored guys that didn’t smile. Even if they were good looking I though that maybe the guy had a bad day and it is not a good time for conversation. If he started conversation I felt uncomfortable and did my best to disappear. LOL

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Yeah, if someone is scowling my assumption is that they aren’t really in the mood for a chat.

AngryMouse
AngryMouse
6 years ago

So PUAs are saying my severe case of resting bitch face is actually an attractive trait?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

The reason women resent being told to smile is because their faces do not exist for your amusement, Douchey McBaggerton. It’s that you think strange women exist for your pleasure and that they should smile for you, not out of any feeling of their own that makes you gross.

I love my husbands smile. I love his sense of humor. I’ve always been attracted to men who make me laugh.

These guys are sexy:
http://www.where.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/09-07-hotdateslaughs.jpg

http://www.justabouttravel.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Michael_Palin.jpg

I have crushed on them so hard.

This guy has the most knee melting smile of all time.
comment image

You know else is super sexy and funny?
This guy:
http://www.contactmusic.com/pics/ln/20130507/080513_matilda_the_musical/tim-minchin-matilda-the-musical_3651139.jpg

What is with Pox always telling men to be disingenuous? How ate up with insecurity do you have to be to strive to fake mythical “alphaness” to get dates? What’s wrong with just being confident that you’re real personality is great and that it’s OK for some women to not be into you, because you don’t need constant validation? Isn’t all this artifice in an attempt to appear to be confident and strong just an indicator that a man is anything but confident and strong? He just sounds like a bratty little boy who is looking for a macho excuse to put on a show to hide his fear and self doubt.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Forgot to add: yay for Dude Watchin’ with the Brontes! I thought of that before I even clicked the link.

Ally S
6 years ago

Go eat a fucking cactus, VD.

thewatchingdog
thewatchingdog
6 years ago

I find this guy’s “advice” to be creepy and filled with a deep undercurrent of contempt…I do however love that cat.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

What’s wrong with just being confident that you’re real personality is great

The problem here would appear to be that if you’re Vox or a follower of his, your personality is not great.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Lea – makes you wonder if it’s his excuse, because he’s such a miserable toad-dropping that he can’t even manage a happy or friendly smile.

Those pics were gorgeous. Love me a happy smiling guy ::points at gravatar::

kittehserf
6 years ago

I wonder if it occurred to Vox that VD has long stood for venereal disease?

Seems apt.

kittehserf
6 years ago

The broody PUA face could work if you look like this, though.

markb
markb
6 years ago

So all those politicians campaigning with their big, toothy grins are being “submissive”?

Cat – I am Russian-born, too. It’s a different culture. My mother and I once tried (in vain) to explain to a newly arrived Russian woman why Americans who asked her “how are you?” weren’t being phony. She couldn’t understand why someone she had only just met was so interested in her well-being. We could not make her understand that it was a form of politeness. I think smiling comes under the same category.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

As for women being attracted to “brooding men”, it isn’t that they seem so “alpha” and serious that attracts certain women. It’s that they seem broken and sad and as we used to say with a friend of mine when she’d fall for another endlessly needy person, “My love will heal him!”
Everybody wants to be a hero. That’s what can be attractive about a person who seems to need saving.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Lea: That’s why my motto is if you want a fixer-upper, buy a house. People make shitty renovation projects.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Yeah, it’s nothing to do with wanting to be dominated, it’s actually the same impulse that leads women to rescue abandoned kittens, except that it tends to result in the mankittens doing something obnoxious to the women attempting to “rescue” them.

Lili Fugit
Lili Fugit
6 years ago

Brooding doesn’t work with me. I see a brooding man and I immediately think he’s either a big pouting baby, trying too hard not to smile which means he reads shit like the inspiration for this post, or he’s a threat. Or I figure, if he’s brooding in a particular way, that he’s just busy over there brooding, like I do sometimes, which means he’s not interested in conversation or anything else.

Also yeah, this particular convention doesn’t seem to be cross cultural. I’ve been to several countries where men smile A LOT and women don’t, and smiling seems to be a kind of aggressive hey HEY kinda thing, and I’ve been in other countries where people just aren’t particularly smiley, and no one even notices that I don’t smile much either, cuz I’m not particularly smiley. But I’ve yet to read anything an MRA writes that admits there’s such a thing as other cultures to begin with.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

The problem here would appear to be that if you’re Vox or a follower of his, your personality is not great.

That makes sense.

I’ve heard that male German exchange students often think southern women are flirting with them when they first get here and are disappointed when they find out that people just smile at and speak to strangers here.

It is a cultural thing, but also may be gendered thing. A transwoman explained to me that when she was learning to better pass she learned some things about body language and this is what she told me:
Her: When you pass another woman and it’s just the two of you, do you always smile at her?
Me: Yes.
Her: Do you know why you do that?
Me: To be nice?
Her: No. You’re letting her know it’s safe behind you. She can keep walking that way and know that it’s OK.

I never thought about it before she said that and I don’t know if she’s right, but I think about it now. We pick up mannerisms without meaning to. Maybe there is something to her theory.

bekabot
6 years ago

Disquietingly, and as sometimes happens in these cases, here Mr. Beale is about one-tenth right. “Don’t seek to unload your emotions on strangers, even if those emotions are happy and peppy; the strangers may not want to (over)share,” is good advice. But as usual Mr. Beale has to extract an entire doctrine from a chance insight, and that’s where he goes wrong. It’s a bad idea for a constitutionally grumpy man to force a grin; everybody who sees him is going to know that the grin isn’t genuine. Even socially-awkward people are going to know that the grin isn’t genuine, and then he (the constitutionally-grumpy man, I mean) is going to get a reputation for dishonesty and for being a downer. Nor should a cheerful soul force a scowl; that’s going to look like the put-on it is. I think probably moderation is the key: don’t be false to your real character but don’t force it down everybody’s throat, either. But what you have there is a question of manners, not theology, so naturally Mr. Beale is at a loss.

I don’t know whether a glowerscowl would have worked on the Bronte sisters or not…I mean, they were authors; surely they were aware that what they were writing was fiction.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I do think Americans are often nice and friendly in a transparently phony way and I really get annoyed with that.

That said, genuine smiles and laughs are great. I like men who can laugh and are funny and smile when they see cute animals or taste good food or drink.

Most of the men I’ve known who’ve been successful at attracting women are outgoing and friendly. I have no idea what VD is on about. Brooding vampires like Dracula, Louis and Angel (but not Edward. Fuck Twilight) are sexy as fictional characters would likely get tiring in real life.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Off topic: There were some amazing things on HBO tonight.

Right Said Fred made an appearance on John Oliver

On Game of Thrones there was … wait for it… a MAMMOTH!!!

contrapangloss
6 years ago

The only time I remember actually liking Angel was when he got turned into a wee little puppet man. The brooding was much more fun, pleasant, and not obnoxious when it came from a felt puppet.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

if you want a fixer-upper, buy a house.

LOL!

Cassandrkitty,
That reminds me of a quote by Mark Twain.
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man*.”

*That’s man as in mankind.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I liked Angel better as Angelus. Sure, he was an asshole, but at least he had some fun!

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I don’t think Heathcliff would be terribly sexy irl.
He and Katherine were pretty dysfunctional people.
They don’t exactly get a happy ending either.
Hamlet is another sexy but broody dude and he doesn’t do so well.
Both of their love interests die tragically.
(spoiler alert!)

Even more modern brooding heroes like Batman (comic, not film) or Angel don’t get happily ever afters.

They’re tragic characters and unlucky in love. They aren’t roll models for long term relationships.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

This entire post, and hellkell’s comment, made me laugh out loud. Now there’s a pack of Very Serious he-alphas circling the house and quoting Kierkegaard. Help.

(Wait a minute…are Vox Day and his ilk actually dementors?)

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I liked Angel best when he sang “Mandy”.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

@contrapangloss: The only time I remember actually liking Angel was when he got turned into a wee little puppet man. The brooding was much more fun, pleasant, and not obnoxious when it came from a felt puppet.

And the fight between the “wee puppet man” and Spike was hil-friggin’-larious.

Lycere Cunningham
6 years ago

It sounds like Vox Day is suggesting that men should all do a thorough impression of the emotionless Herr Flick from the Britcom “Allo Allo.”

kittehserf
6 years ago

Anne Rice’s vampires struck me as How Not To Do Brooding – they came across as the perpetual teenagers most of them seemed to be. Hurk!

I wish I’d known the term mankitten when we had Magnus. Would have suited that evil-tempered ratbag right to the ground. “No, Mags, I am not tickling your belleh however cute you try to look*. I value my hands and would like to keep them.”

* He wasn’t very good at it. Having a face like a pit bull is a bit of a handicap when you’re a cat.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago

A cartoon that goes along with the Bronte Sisters one (though not that much with the actual subject of discussion) – “My roommate is Dark.” http://english.bouletcorp.com/2012/02/01/darkness/

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Teenage me loved Anne Rice’s vampires so much.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

Dress like her dad, it releases a hormone called Monatonin
When you get into an elevator with a woman, press a higher number than her and then make a big deal about it.
Push her in a lake
Be one of the tallest guys in the bar and brag about how long your but crack is
Sing a song that you supposedly heard on the radio and then make fun of her for not knowing it
Use the word idiot
NEVER make her pancakes! Force her to make YOU pancakes in the middle of the night.

I lol:ed at this.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I can’t resist posting Angel puppet videos

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