I’ve said before that the interplay between couples on the Australian cooking show My Kitchen Rules is illustrative of the general alpha/beta dynamics that govern us all, and last night’s episode was a prime example of this modern relationship malaise.
The scene found “hipster couple from Richmond” Duncan and Court Hall-Eastey, (a clue to their predicament in their married name), sitting at the table after having cooked up a botched meal in the previous episode that had left them on the bottom of the leader board.
this is a photo of a poor downtrodden crybaby and his wife.
As you can tell from their wretched faces, they weren’t taking the setback on the chin. The pair sat there looking like this for some time until Court had a little sobbing scene and left the table with her dutiful husband following dutifully in her rear. Quite dutiful he is.
For me this was where it got interesting. As she had her little meltdown, Duncan tried in vain to lift her spirits. Eventually she pleaded with her husband to show some guidance. “What do you want to do?” she asked him after her histrionic threat to leave the show.
“We’re pretty far removed from winning the $250,000 so I’ll follow you however you want to play this out,” he said.
Boom. The wife pleads for a guiding hand from her husband and all he can do is say that he will follow her. This is beta behavior 101. This sorry excuse for a man has been taught all of his life that he must defer to women as they are special and unique creatures who must not be disobeyed. As such he is incapable of providing the guiding hand that she so desperately needs in her moment of acting like a petulant child.
They return to the table where their collective attitudes are even worse. And this was where an illuminative alpha spotlight of awesomeness was shone on the night’s proceedings, for sitting at the end of the table was host, French chef, and alpha male goodness, Manu.
only a French alpha male can get away with a pink dinner jacket.
While everyone else at the table attempted to tread lightly around the festering wound in their midst, alpha-male Manu stepped right up and dealt with it. As each pair offered their critique of the main meal, Manu purposefully demanded that Court and Duncan offer their own input. As expected, Court had another expletive-laden meltdown which was exactly what Manu wanted. He got up from the table and pulled the two recalcitrant kidlets outside for a semi-private talk.
“Obviously I understand that your score wasn’t the score you wanted but I personally felt uncomfortable at this table the whole night,” Manu said.
“If you’ve got an issue it needs to be fixed because your attitude tonight is not communicating, not really wanting to be here, and you’ve had your head in your hands all night.”
After pulling her into line he then listened to her concerns and reassured her that everything would be fine as long as she behaved. The turnaround in her attitude was a sight to behold. Finally she had received the male guiding hand that she had been craving all night, and possibly for much longer. And all the while her dutiful and useless husband stood by her side as Manu did his job for him. He may as well not have been there. That Manu took him outside as well was a kind public gesture on his part.
Back at the table and Court’s demeanor was unrecognisable from her previous bad behavior. She stole a coquettish look towards Manu who responded with a playful wink. Her beta husband sat uselessly by her side, his own attitude also recovered, seeing as it was entirely dependent on whether his wife was happy or not.
The beta husband is flotsam in the wind. He is powerless to deal with situations involving his wife because he constantly defers to her. He believes the lie that all will be good if he tries to make her happy – happy wife, happy life. But women are only happy if they have firm guidance. The ease with which Manu dealt with the situation was in stark contrast to Duncan’s pathetic posturing.
Remember, being alpha is a mindset. All Duncan had to do when his wife began sobbing at the table was to politely excuse the two of them, pull her aside, and give her a firm talking to that her behavior was unacceptable and that he expected more from her. If he had let her know that she was disappointing him then he would have set the bar for her to reach when they were back at the table.
But instead it took another man, a real man, for this outcome to eventuate. This little episode was a prime example of alpha and beta mindsets in action. As such it is invaluable for those men who are still trying to come to terms with how intersex dynamics actually operate.