The age-old battle of the sexes has heated up again because of the re-emergence of hypergamy. What exactly is it and why are women being crucified for it?
In the age of social and sexual equality, a curious term emerges from the old, dusty pages of history to make a reappearance in many a conversation—and some heated debate: Hypergamy.
Many feminists, pickup artists, red pill guys, male feminists, and everyone else are abuzz. Talking about its merits and flaws, how it spells doom, or how it just fits in the fabric of nature. They’re saying it’s bad for civilization, it makes getting dates harder, women are superficial, men should strive harder—it’s all about evolution, and so many more.
One famous piece by one Rollo Tomasi, “Hypergamy Doesn’t Care,” even sparked a battle of wits and of the sexes revolving around this thing called hypergamy. But what, really, is hypergamy? Is it just a new buzzword for today’s times?
Hypergamy is a marriage system wherein women marry men of a higher social class. To put it simply, hypergamy is “marrying up.” In this system, the man shouldn’t marry a woman of higher status while a woman shouldn’t marry a man below her status.
Contrary to what many may believe, hypergamy has been practiced by countless cultures throughout history, such as in India, imperial China, ancient Greece, medieval Europe, and modern China. It finds its function in hierarchical societies. Marrying up is done in the hopes that the woman’s family improves its rank, class, or social status. It’s also done to create politically advantageous connections.
Today, much of the modern world sees men and women as social equals, so you would expect that hypergamy is almost non-existent.
A new, contemporary interpretation and application of hypergamy is in the works.
In sexual selection, hypergamy makes sense as it is in the nature of men to seek women who are youthful and have the attributes *wide hips, big boobs* that make them seem likely to give birth to healthy babies. Meanwhile, women seek men capable of providing at least the essential resources for the survival of the family.
However, beyond reproductive qualities, political and social connections, and wealth, modern women seem to be looking for other qualities in men that make the latter seem superior. These now dictate what is attractive and suitable for women, thereby shifting the standard by which status is measured in contemporary times.
This shouldn’t be mistaken for mere gold-digging though, as women aren’t only looking for mates to give them material things. They are after those with a “higher status,” which means a plethora of different characteristics more perceived than actual. These include:
– Success (having a title, running and owning a business, being up in the career ladder)
– Wealth (big paycheck, fancy cars, big house, sharp suit, designer clothes, latest gadgets)
– Maturity (being older than the woman; often several years her senior)
– Assertive personality that makes him the dominant alpha male in a group of males
– Seeming to be tough or strong (a protective quality)
– Being ambitious (having plans in life, working hard)
– Being surrounded by a lot of other adoring women
– Good looks
The role of technology
Another shift in the standard can also be due to technology, wherein social media and online dating play major roles. Because women have access to numerous men online, a so-called Candy Store Effect comes into play. Thanks to technology, women can enjoy—and take for granted—a buffet of men to sift through anytime they want.
Just recently, the playground for attraction can be found in bars and nightclubs, where their choices were only as big as what the four walls of the watering holes and nightspots allowed. Now the playing field is online, through sites such as Facebook and OkCupid, as well as dating apps such as Tinder.
As a result, women became choosier. While in earlier times they had to be reasonable and even compromising with their choices for mates, now they tap into an unlimited supply of men that they can discard or keep as though shopping for shoes.
And with such a wide array of men to choose from, women developed a way to sift through all that testosterone. They screen through potential mates based on superficial criteria, such as pictures *or even just one profile picture or avatar*, job, income, and maybe every now and then, a sense of humor as reflected through his profile description, tweets, or posts.
And with this, hypergamy comes to dictate social and sexual attraction more than it had been in the recent past.
Is hypergamy good or bad?
There’s a war being waged among men, women, and the different ideologies they believe in when it comes to hypergamy. Let’s take a look at the two sides of the coin here.
Those who say that marrying up is good reason:
#1 Natural selection. Since hypergamy allows women to intuitively or intrinsically choose their mates based on superior qualities, this ensures reproduction and natural selection run its natural course. It makes sure each new generation is stronger and better than the one preceding it.
#2 Thank you, hypergamy. Looking at our evolution, hypergamy allowed early women to choose mates that were smarter, stronger, faster, better hunters, better gatherers, better protectors, just better. If it weren’t for female hypergamy, evolution would have become stunted, and the human species would still be living in trees today.
#3 Child support and more. While marrying up is really more than just money, the fact women go for stronger, successful, more established men can be traced to how the female mind works. Women who are looking for long-term mates are naturally drawn to guys who will not just be good providers, but are also equipped with capabilities for emotional support, warmth, being responsible parents, being responsible, and other similar qualities.
#4 Motivation for perfection. Because women have long been nature’s selectors when it comes to mating and reproduction, it is now up to men to strive to become better versions of themselves. And that’s not too bad. From remembering proper daily hygiene and grooming, to going to night class to improve their skills, and getting that second job to save more money, the concept of hypergamy helps men to strive for ideals that make them suitable mates.
Meanwhile, many say that hypergamy is bad because:
#1 On the hook. Hypergamy allows women to choose any guy she wants. Finding one guy may be fine at first, but there’s always that hunt for someone who will be better, and this leaves the “inferior” guy being kept on the hook just in case the girl gets dumped.
#2 It doesn’t care. From the words of Tomasi himself, hypergamy doesn’t care if a man is a good person, a devoted father, or a loving husband, because women just go after someone who is richer, more powerful, more popular, and more good-looking.
#3 Oh, the pressure. Marrying up puts pressure on men to be the best that they can possibly be in order to attract the women they want. From the way they carry themselves, to the way they talk, to how financially stable they are, the pressure can be too much and still be inadequate.
#4 Divorce. Many even go as far as saying a lot of divorce is due to women cheating on their husbands over “better” guys.
The conversation surrounding hypergamy these days is, unfortunately, a gross generalization and at most, sexist. The idea that a desirable woman is only after rich, successful, and good-looking guys is a mere caricature because reality is different. Women aren’t just after status or money or fame which they get from their male mates.
In fact, there are women these days that have successfully made a name for themselves or simply manage living the life they want without needing a guy as the provider. Case in point: the rise of the alpha female who doesn’t mind “marrying down” if the guy treats her right by the very least.
There are also women who would be happy with a guy with an average job and an average salary, and sticks by him for the rest of their lives because he is a kind-hearted man who is devoted to his family.
Now if you’re someone who believes you are doomed because of hypergamy, then consider this: Get a job, put a roof over her head, carry a good and sensible conversation, and make her happy. And if that’s not enough, then you have to convince her that you are the greatest guy to ever walk the face of the earth everyday for the rest of your lives together. If you can’t do that, then maybe it’s best that you stay single or, at best, unmarried.
Hypergamy may be naturally and intrinsically ingrained in the female psyche *thanks, evolution*, but it’s up to every man to be the best they can be or not—and accept the hand that they’re dealt.