Post full title: Superheroes And The Necessity Of A Secret Identity From A “Red Pill” Perspective
[I enjoyed my last comic book post so much I decided to write another one. It should go without saying that this might be less than entirely serious.]
Not too long ago I had a conversation with a friend wherein the subject of superheroes came up. One of the things we talked about, that was interesting from a sociological perspective, was the effect that the presence of superheroes would have on general society. But what really got me thinking was to wonder what it would be like to actually be a superhero.
Oh, I’m not talking about what it would feel like to be able to fly, or have super strength or speed. No, what I was wondering about was the effects that superpowers and a superhero persona would have on someone’s everyday life. Would an everyday life be even possible? Maybe, but it might not be ordinary. Guess it depends.
There is one area of life, however, that would be dramatically affected by one’s superpowers and super-heroic persona: romance.
As I was pondering the impacts that being a super would have on one’s love life, I came to the realization that any hero, male or female, who wanted to marry would need a secret identity. I would go so far as to argue that in today’s climate a secret identity would be a necessity, even.
Why? Well, lets examine it for men and for women separately.
For men who don’t want to marry, and who otherwise don’t care about the possible benefits of a secret identity, then being an “open” Super would be quite a perk. The PSALM/LAMPS boost that a man would enjoy from being a super would have to be enormous. The Status alone would push you into the very top tier of men (unless powers were super-plentiful, I suppose). Then throw in a likely boost to Masculine Power from the confidence of super-powers, and possible athleticism boosts, and yeah… you are set. Oh, and you could probably make bank with endorsements, too. You would be the ultimate player.
But what if you want to marry? Well, here is the problem- that huge PSALM/LAMPS boost from being an open Super would make you a huge target for gold diggers and ultra-hypergamous women. [I imagine that female Supers would fall here.] Sure you might be able to get a 10… but will she stick by you? The thing about Supers is that their Status would probably fluctuate. Just like sports teams, some Supers might be seen as more “hot” at one time than at another. If your “stock” as a Super goes down then your attractiveness will drop (and your bankroll as well re: endorsements). This risks your wife leaving you if she is ultra-hypergamous and thinks she can find greener/fresher pastures elsewhere.
Besides all of the regular problems with divorce, any Supervillain foes you might have could possibly use that ex-wife as a source of info. She might blab all kinds of secrets that you don’t want out. Whether that is any kind of weakness (like kryponite), or merely something embarrassing, it could really hinder your heroics. Even if she didn’t leave you, she would be an obvious target for seduction. And lets face it, if anyone could pull off “Game”, it would be a Supervillain.
Heck, even if she doesn’t leave you, you might still need to constantly “game” her if she is “needy.” Since super-heroism is probably pretty demanding all the time, is that really worth it? I would say not.
Given all of this, a secret identity makes perfect sense. Setting aside all the other benefits, it means you can woo women without the danger they are marrying you just because of your powers. It also makes her less likely to blab your secrets, and reduces the potential of her being targeted for seduction by a foe.
Now on to women…
As a female Super, you would have a number of things to worry about as well. One thing worth mentioning is that the status of being a Super won’t be a boost to your attractiveness like it is with men. Since female attractiveness/beauty is nearly all physical, unless your powers affect your looks, it is a wash- at best.
The first issue that I can think of is that some male Super would marry you just to have super-powered children. That assumes it is genetic, of course. But if it is, then you risk being used as a breeder. Maybe it isn’t so malevolent, but still, there is always the possibility that he marries you just to marry a female super. Perhaps it is a family dynasty thing, like race can be.
Another issue is the concern over being perceived as an Alpha Widow. An open female Super who dated male Supers in the past will have trouble with non-Super men. And I mean trouble aside from her own hypergamy. The problem is that non-Super men might worry (reasonably, I might add) that they would have trouble competing with a male Super, either in terms of memories or future faithfulness.
A secret identity would protect against both problems. Men looking for genetic mothers of super-powered kids would skip you by. At the same time female Supers would be mostly insulated from the association of uber-Alphaness with male Supers and being able to compete.
I am sure there are more reasons to use a secret identity for both male and female super-heroes, so if my readers think of any feel free to add them below. Also feel free to critique my thoughts to your heart’s desire.