I think it’s best illustrated by an analogy. Social prestige is like a book that everybody thinks is “important.” It may not be a book that you would actually want to read. It may not be a book that anyone wants to read, or in fact that anyone has read. It simply has an extrinsic value that society has assigned to it that keeps it selling and gives some status to those who read it. (In my personal opinion, William Faulkner comes to mind.)
Social dominance is like a book that is actually enjoyable to read. It tickles your mind, gives you the and makes you empathize with its characters. The book or its genre may have a poor reputation among those who keep score in popular culture, and it may in some cases actually be an unredeeming piece of writing, but the entertainment value to the reader can’t be denied.
You can also run the analogy with music. Guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen is widely regarded as the most simultaneously technically proficient and unlistenable musician in rock and roll. (Eric Clapton has suffered a similar reputation.) Plenty of high-value recording artists release absolute tripe, I’m looking at you Christina Aguilera. Meanwhile lots of garage bands can produce wonderful and spirited records as long as you can get them in front of a recording engineer before they break up or sell out.
Social prestige is a function of social value systems - rank, royalty, salary, expertise in a given skill or sphere – and can basically be communicated on paper. Social dominance is tactical – it’s experienced as a part of someone’s personality up close. It’s almost impossible to gauge without seeing someone in action, whether in person or on screen, thus it’s very difficult to communicate to third parties.
HAS THE TRUTH HAS BEEN SYSTEMATICALLY HIDDEN FROM THE CULTURE?
The first sentence of Susan Walsh’s post begins, “It’s been less than two years since I was first introduced to the concept of female hypergamy…” This is an astounding statement, one that should raise eyebrows – and not for any failure on her part. Susan is an MBA-educated former management consultant, certainly no stranger to understanding and motivating people, and her daughter had reached marriageable age before she had been clued in on one of the key factors in female mate choice. Shirley it’s not a simple misunderstanding, that she was sick the day they taught hypergamy in psychology class? I’m afraid that’s desperate wishful thinking.
Men (and women) of knowledge recoil in disgust at realizing the massive cultural denial of the reality of the sexual marketplace. Almost every reformed or reforming beta male can locate the point at which he understood the magnitude of the disinformation campaign practiced by mass media and its water-cooler acolytes. The bitter beta turned resolute, amoral player has its roots not in making up for lost trips to the sexual buffet table, but in the backlash against cultural programming aligned squarely against the truth.
Not for no reason is Roissy’s slogan “where pretty lies perish.”
It’s a shame too, because there’s no excuse for it. Not only are we in an age where ideas can be exchanged, debated, evaluated and tested more readily than ever, in today’s over-commercialized socially lawless era, the evidence for hypergamy, the male variety instinct, and other principles of self-interest has never been more stark and under our very noses.