The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Unpacking the Influence and Impact of Alpha Male Podcasts

Lauryn Chao
Podcasts can serve as a great and productive source of advice, or a calming source of relaxed entertainment. But they also pose a danger: serving as a voice for toxic masculinity.

Since its invention in 2004, podcasting has steadily risen to become a popular source of entertainment and information. A specific genre that emerged amongst podcasts is the “alpha-male” podcast, where men discuss and brag about their lifestyles, sometimes spreading misogyny and the belief that alpha males—the most successful men who are at the top of the social hierarchy—are dominant over women and other lesser, beta males—submissive and weaker men or subordinates. 

Aimed at impressionable and insecure young men and teenagers who view them for guidance, these podcasts, such as Fresh and Fit and Good Bro Bad Bro, deserve a closer look.

Many “alpha-male” podcasts have one thing in common: they present themselves as a “self-improvement” podcast, a phrase found in both Fresh and Fit and Good Bro Bad Bro’s channel description. 

In a video titled, “You Are A 3/10, Stop Lying To Yourself About Your Looks” on Good Bro Bad Bro’s YouTube channel, host Jack Denmo criticizes men’s physical looks. In the beginning, the audience is straightforwardly told that they are unattractive, and, even more concerning, that they lack the self-awareness to acknowledge it. Subsequently, Denmo positions himself as the benevolent individual who aims to enlighten men about their shortcomings and offer them guidance. 

Denmo details how men of certain races will have a harder time when it comes to attracting the opposite sex. So for example, Asian men [and] Indian men, they are not liked or as attractive sexually as dating options as white men, black men, European men, Spanish men, and what ends up happening guys is these dudes that are Asian and Indian they have a much harder time dating girls that they find attractive.” 

It is important to realize that attractiveness is subjective and preferences exist. This stereotypical and discriminatory statement only perpetuates racial biases. Denmo also states his opinion as the ultimate statistical fact and contributes to race being an insecurity amongst men whom he believes are less attractive—Asians. Yet dating preference data from dating apps might not be reliable due to the fact that the user base of dating apps does not represent the entire population; Asians and non-white people are underrepresented in the online dating community. 

For example, 77% of Tinder users are white and 76% of users are male; data is going to vary from community to community. Other famous dating apps such as Match and Bumble also have a similar demographic of predominantly male and U.S. users. He later also explains that the ideal man is “in the gym two hours a day… [has] a perfect clean diet” and “[does] not play video games,” promoting toxic masculinity—beliefs that men should follow traditional gender roles of being strong, dominant and not exhibiting weakness—as well as reinforcing the stereotype that all gamers are loners or lack masculinity. These unrealistic standards lead to men’s emotions being bottled up due to wanting to appear strong, it causes seeking mental and emotional help to be a stigma amongst men. As a result, mental illness in men tends to be overlooked, and they tend to not seek treatment, leading to a suicide rate four times higher than in women.

The whole episode not only straightforwardly criticizes men for their looks, but it also offers reassurance that these issues can be improved if they follow Denmo’s advice to stop dressing like teenagers, stop playing video games, start going to the gym daily, and to be famous and wealthy if you are “short and ugly”—advice doused in toxic masculinity. He tears down men’s confidence and then makes false promises to assist them in becoming even better than they were initially.

Fresh and Fit is another “alpha-male” podcast, hosted by Walter Weekes and Myron Gaines; they take a more aggressive approach when it comes to guiding men into being alpha males. The majority of Weekes and Gaines’ content centers around dating tips, with a significant emphasis on strategies involving dominance and showing disrespect towards women. In a video titled, “How to Find a ‘Good Girl,’” Gaines states, “You need to find a coachable girl, and what I mean by that is she needs to have certain attributes, that you can basically get these bad habits out of her.”

This is psychologically abusive advice as it implies that men should control women’s behaviors. Gaines’ advice reduces women to the status of being “coachable” subjects, implying that their worth is based solely on their malleability or the ease with which men can control them. He appears to have the impression that mutual respect and equality are bad habits that lead to the end of a relationship and continued advising that “if your value’s high enough, yo no social media, yo no girls’ nights out, yo I don’t like the way you’re dressed, whatever, you basically start to have boundaries and you exert those boundaries.”

Having boundaries and self-respect are a sign of a healthy relationship, but not an excuse for controlling and coercive behaviors; that is not a healthy relationship. Boundaries should be mutually agreed upon and respected. “Values” are not justification for excessive control in a relationship.

And these aren’t the only problematic statements they’ve made; in a TikTok video captioned “3 Reasons you should NOT seriously date a single mom,” Gaines stated, “Guys, single moms [are for] recreational use only. Protect yourself and your wallet!”

Not only is this blatantly misogynistic, it is dehumanizing and disrespectful. The statement perpetuates a harmful stigma against single mothers, implying that they are somehow a burden to men and should be avoided. It contributes to a culture of disrespect and objectification. Added to the fact that 47.4% of TikTok’s active user accounts in the U.S. are people aged 10-29, and 40% of total users are male, this creates a breeding ground for the normalization of such harmful attitudes, especially amongst young adolescents on TikTok and YouTube, which has a similarly young demographic.

The good news is that the TikTok video has been deleted due to a violation of TikTok’s community guidelines, and the Fresh and Fit podcast has also been banned from TikTok and demonetized on YouTube. Although it has been removed, it is important to understand the significance of the TikTok video and address why it is a harmful material that demeans single mothers. The removal of a TikTok video and demonetization isn’t enough, there are still many “alpha-male” podcasts such as the Unfilterd Podcast and whatever, spreading hateful ideologies that still thrive on these platforms and have yet to face any consequences. 

Another example of this is Andrew Tate, former professional kickboxer now renowned alpha male who often comes as a guest on these podcasts. Having been charged with rape, human trafficking, and forming an organization that exploits women, he is still freely residing in Romania. It is clear that more comprehensive actions need to be taken to address this spread of harmful ideology, such as promoting an education that challenges toxic beliefs, highlighting positive role models, and establishing accessible mental health resources to encourage men to seek help without stigma. 

To combat against the rise in this negative mentality, a more positive male culture should be created. Educating present and future generations of men on positive body images and redefined masculinity are a must to prevent misogyny and promote equality and well-being. Schools and communities could host programs that teach listeners about healthy relationships and promote an understanding of masculinity that includes respect, emotional expression, and vulnerability. Positive role models that offer actual guidance for healthy behavior and emotional expression should also be highlighted. Establishing these strategies can combat against the negative effects of alpha-male podcasts and benefit both individuals and society.


Graphic by Lauryn Chao

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