Alphas have the charisma and make the most noise, but it's the Betas, and Gammas who do the most work. -- Knitnan
[AN: Alpha theory is a relic of Victorian thinking and all that 'might makes right', 'survival of the fittest', strength==power bullshit. The creatures we think of as 'Alphas' actually wind up winning the least female attention and losing out in the genetic lottery. I'm a writer, I research this stuff for fun]
He thought he had found some of his fellows. More mild-mannered men who were generally too shy to make themselves known to the one they pined for. Daryl could understand words like 'friendzone'. He was permanently the friend. Never the boyfriend.
But this meeting... this meeting had something very wrong with it.
"It's all these Alphas," complained a fellow in a shirt that had not been washed since a prior decade. "Parading around with their big muscles and hot cars. They always impress the females by beating up on nice guys like us."
The murmur of agreement went around the majority of the room. Daryl was one of the ones who remained silent.
"The females never care about nice guys. They don't want someone who loves them, who'll cherish them. They want what they can get. Diamonds, fast cars, muscly arm candy. The system is rigged against us."
"Wait," said Daryl. "What are alphas?"
The leader of the meeting sneered through his greasy, unkempt beard. "They're the scum of humanity. Brainless morons with muscle and money and little else. Dumb jocks who live to see guys like us dragged through the mud. They're loud, annoying, assholes with nothing but money and meat to offer. By the time the females realise their mistake, it's too late. They're fat and ugly and he's dumped her for a newer model."
"Stupid bitches," grumbled another member. "They don't even know what's missing."
"Er," said Daryl. "Have any of you really studied nature? The ones we thought of as Alphas don't actually do much of the mating. They miss out because they offend the females, who then go to the quieter, more useful members of the community."
They all stared at him.
"Hi. I'm Daryl, I'm a bio-major. All of that 'survival of the fittest' stuff is an outmoded theory that has no basis in fact."
Daryl started to feel his heart like a spike in his chest. He swallowed and continued. "In our society, women have less opportunities for work? Um. Andum. When they get it, they get paid less? So it's only natural that she looks for someone who can support her and children she has? Um." Breathe. Deep. Before the spots in his vision made him pass out. "So they're looking for someone who has long-term success? That means, keeping fit, keeping groomed, andum... have- having some... high-quality clothing?"
"Then how do you explain fake geek girls?" challenged his immediate neighbour.
"I haven't found any," he said. "What you think of as 'fake geek girls' are actual girl geeks who just avoid any male who challenges their presence in the same environment. Women don't memorise statistics and facts like men do, they're more about the emotional value they get from an experience. Once they're challenged to recite things beyond their interest spheres, you label them as fake."
"Women still don't belong in science fiction," sneered a weedy beanpole in an eternal hoodie.
"Dude," sighed Daryl. "Women invented science fiction."
"Nuh-uh, Isaac Asimov did it."
"Nuh-uh, Jules Verne."
"Dude, Jules Verne wrote steampunk."
"Lady Margret Cavendish wrote the first science fiction story about a utopian society," said Daryl. He was high. He was flying. He was pissed off. "Way before Jules Verne was born. She published a few months before Mary Shelley published Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus. Isaac Asimov even credited Mary Shelley for inventing the genre. You," he pointed to a dude wearing a Tardis. "Do you know who produced Doctor Who?"
"Uh. I'unno. Some guy?"
"Verity Lambert. A girl. You," he singled out a guy in a Trek shirt. "Who backed Star Trek in the first place? Who ran the studio where it was shot? Who helped Gene Roddenberry campaign for a second pilot?"
The Star Trek guy shrugged and said, "William Shatner?"
"Lucille Ball," answered Daryl. "A girl. You," he pointed to a guy in a Batman hoodie. "Who invented the very concept of a masked vigilante with a secret identity?"
"Baroness Emma Orczy. She wrote the very first masked vigilante with a secret identity in The Scarlet Pimpernel."
"Men still invented books."
"WRONG! The author of the world's first novel was Lady Murasaki. Face it, gentlemen. Women invented everything we love. We should at least pay them a modicum of respect." Daryl sat down before he fell down. "Everything you assume is bullshit. Start again."
The Chair of the meeting cleared his throat, and broke for coffee, Mountain Dew, and the incoming pizza. He also sidled up to Daryl and said, "Yeah, your membership is revoked. Don't come back."
There's no hope for people who won't see any.
 One of the many actors who played Zorro. Who was directly inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel.