Tag Archives: Star Trek

Is Spock the Ultimate Alpha?

A lot of you responded to my last post saying that Spock was the man for you. Tall, dark, and brainy, he played second fiddle to Kirk, but does that mean that he wasn’t an alpha male?

What is an alpha? According to AlphaMen, the characteristics of an alpha are leadership, confidence, inner-directed, humor, consideration of others, protective . They left out integrity, but I’d include that on the list as well.

Spock hits on most of these. He knows who he is (confidence), he does what he thinks is necessary (inner-directed),  he does what must be done to protect the ship (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one,”) and a case could be made that he even has a sense of humor (his ongoing debates with McCoy).

But he’s not a true leader. While Spock’s integrity and ability earned the respect of the crew, he doesn’t have the charisma necessary to inspire people to follow him–nor does he particularly want to. And that more than anything else is why Spock is a beta.

How does a beta differ from an alpha? He’s not a wimp, but he’s no pushover, either. He doesn’t need to be in charge, but he can be when he has to. He’s perfectly happy doing what he’s good at, but he’s able to step up and take command when necessary–and to relinquish that control when he’s no longer needed.

If alphas are the most popular romance hero trope, why is Spock so appealing? I think it’s because he’s the ultimate challenge. He doesn’t give his attention to every woman that comes along (unlike a certain alpha we could name). Only a rare and very special woman can attain his regard, and many of us, who are drawn to the brainy type, like that. We don’t want to be one of many. We want to be the One. (That’s one of the reasons I married my brainy beta. It didn’t hurt that he was pretty darn cute, too. :-))

So why does Spock do it for you? Or not?


Filed under Life, writing

Which Classic Trek Character Are You?

I’m old enough to have grown up when reruns of the original Star Trek were one of the few sources of science-fiction on TV. (Lost In Space doesn’t count. It just doesn’t.) SF wasn’t mainstream back then. Trekkies were geeks and nerds long before there was such a thing as geek chic. Did that make us cutting edge? Well, uh, no. At the time it just made us different.

Or maybe it was because we were already different that we loved the show. Instead of playing cowboys and Indians, I imagined Away Team adventures. I never put myself exactly into the shoes of any of the original characters, though. I was a Russian/Vulcan hybrid. Emotional and analytical. “It is logical that humans are emotional, Spock. It is their nature,” I’d tell him. Like he didn’t already know.

I knew at nine what I was. I wasn’t impulsive and egotistical. I wasn’t decorative and supportive. Grumpy, stubborn, sneaky, or technical. (Hmm. The seven dwarfs as an away team . . .)

And yet, I’m all those things. The crew of the Enterprise (in the original show) represented the individual traits of a whole personality. The show wouldn’t have worked as well without any one of them. They even addressed that in the awful episode where Kirk’s personality was split in half. Still, some traits dominate.

But at nine, none of that was on my sensor array. At nine, I was just a Vulcan, with enough Russian in me to justify my illogical emotional outbursts.

Which character were you?


Filed under Life