Author Topic: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military  (Read 56136 times)

Patti L.

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #135 on: May 10, 2011, 09:31:50 am »
Try the "Female werewolves" thread on the subject.  Theoretically, though, yes.
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Marroksoul

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #136 on: May 10, 2011, 09:35:12 am »
I'm using someting that has limited word space What exactly does the Alpha do for her/ do to her? does this really belong here

Patti L.

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #137 on: May 10, 2011, 09:39:27 am »
Maybe look it over later when you've got greater access then?
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Patti L.

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #138 on: July 17, 2011, 02:35:42 pm »
This is in belated response to Crazedcrusader's question about how the mate of a male omega would rank in a pack.
It's an interesting question, one we could have a lot of fun discussing our opinions on.

So here's mine - currently.   :D
I'm thinking that it might be good to think of the fact that an omega is a "zen alpha", and thus put the ranking quite high.  Besides the fact that the wife (just using this as a shorthand term here) might (we don't know) be able to pull on some of the omega qualities of her mate, it would be less likely she'd be bullied, making the omega have to spend less time and effort smoothing the waters at home and among the women & female weres who might have their noses put out of joint.
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little gray wolf

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #139 on: July 17, 2011, 02:54:03 pm »
It is a good question, maybe the wolf would be considered out of the ranking too?
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Patti L.

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #140 on: July 17, 2011, 03:38:29 pm »
I just re-read this whole thread, and kept coming up with more "yeah, but" or "wait a minute, you're assuming" thoughts on various things.
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DandelionWine

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #141 on: July 17, 2011, 07:37:31 pm »
Wow, this thread just popped back up and I got to thinking about all of this again and there’s a LOT of different things brought up here, though the questions have sort of evolved too.

It seems to me that a beyond the strictest standards that Bran enforces, a lot of things probably differ to some degree from pack to pack.  Bran has certain standards that he holds his Alphas to, but also lives within those standards himself but beyond that, he doesn’t seem to micromanage.

He allowed leeway for Adam (and by extension in theory, other Alphas too) to run his (their) pack, as evidenced for one thing by his willingness to allow for Adam to make the decisions about Samuel up to a point at least since the situation was within Adam’s territory.  There were a few other examples too, he got to decide what to do, but he would have to pay the price if he was wrong about things.

Leo didn’t fit that category because he went too far beyond what was acceptable, and darn well knew it. AND he had to pay the price.

I feel like it’s important that the pack have confidence in their Alpha… and not just in his physical strength, though that doesn’t hurt either.   Really though, is there such a thing as a physically weak werewolf?

Oh, on submissive wolves, someone said it earlier that they are as strong as any wolf and often good fighters (as are Ben and Peter), just that they need a good reason to fight, and some don’t feel like fighting for pack position is all that important.  Plenty of people like that, there’s type A, type B, probably some other types then there’s reallllly laid back like Peter, though I agree that in Ben’s case it’s more that he’s scarred by his past and so easily kept ‘in his place’.   I have some thoughts about that too, but it’d be a long term thing for Ben to heal and gain enough confidence to rise in the ranks, and like Adam said, he’s got a lot of time for that.

I submit to you all that plenty of fairly dominant wolves may be able to fight their way up the ranks, but to make a good Alpha, they have that extra need to protect the pack members… all of them.  Still, Adam has had to let some fights go forward, for one thing though, weres heal quickly so it’s probably pretty rare that it’s a true fight to the death, especially if they stay in human form.

Dominant wolves may have a need to dominate others, control them in fact, but from what I’ve seen, those who are either Alpha, or near enough to it, also have that driving need to protect the members of the pack lower than themselves, and the submissives are always lower.  They control the mid range wolves who may or may not share that need to protect as strongly, so that in turn protects the submissives.  (my theory there, though most of this is)  Remember in “Hunting Ground”, someone described Chastel as an ‘anti-dominant’ (? I think?) because he was so very dominant in many ways but had no desire to protect anyone more submissive than himself.   It seems to me that in a well run pack, the submissives aren’t at all mistreated, in fact well protected.   In a poorly run or un-healthy pack like Leo’s, yeah, quite likely a bad situation to put it mildly.

I’m not going to go into the topic of how unmated females are treated by the pack Alpha, except to say that THAT probably differs from pack to pack.  Adam seems to treat them both with respect and like either his daughter or possibly a younger sister… there's been at least two instances where the pack has been spoken of as the 'children' of the Alpha...  other packs may well be very different, but don’t forget, any wolf can petition the Marrok to leave any pack, it seems to me that if an Alpha wanted to keep females within a pack, he’d need to consider things pretty carefully in this day and age.  Some may put up with a lot of things, but not all and maybe not for long.
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Patti L.

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #142 on: July 17, 2011, 07:46:48 pm »
Ah, you reminded me of one of the things I'd thought of but let go earlier.  The ability to petition to leave the pack, and Leo.
First, he didn't let Anna know that was possible, and probably many of the other newer pack members. 
Second, remember that Boyd couldn't call Bran because Leo had ordered him not to?  Lots of the issues in a bad pack would be messed up under exactly the same pack magic.  It was all Boyd could do in defiance of Leo to give Bran's phone number to Anna; he couldn't even hint to her that she should call him right away.  It took the Mac crisis to get her to use it, more than a year later, if I recall correctly.
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Kyria

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #143 on: July 17, 2011, 08:22:00 pm »
I seem to remember long ago reading some research done on wolves where they measured different indicators of stress in wolves at different positions in a pack hierarchy, when they were alone and when they were with another wolf.  I don't remember which direction the stress levels moved for which wolves, but I started thinking about dominance hierarchy and the fluidity inherent in the system, which Mercy (I think) says is stabilized within the pack structure. 

In most situations, if you give a submissive individual (of any species; this goes for humans, too!) a position of power, they're going to have elevated stress response.  However, there are situations in which a normally submissive individual is capable of taking the lead and functioning as a dominant; take for instance Peter asking Mercy to override Adam's order so that he could chase that one fae (Don't remember his name.  Fideal maybe?)  because he knew how to use a sword.  He took the initiative.  But he doesn't want to keep it! 

Take a dominant individual, on the other hand.  Being in charge is stressful.  Being a natural leader forced to operate under the direction of someone who is not, is excruciating.  It really doesn't happen often, if at all.  A naturally submissive person may take initiative if it looks like they have the better tools to handle a situation, but they'll defer to the leader. 

Of course, very few are going to be naturally dominant in all situations.  Very few will be submissive all the time (and as a reminder, I'm not using submissive as a synonym for being a coward or a pushover).  Ideally, the overall leader or "Alpha" of any group will be aware of not only where people fall in the hierarchy that forms, but also when to defer to someone who is in the lower ranks. 

What fascinates me is that fluidity in the system.  It makes Patty's werewolves more three-dimensional because you can see the fluidity at work in her ranks.  Adam isn't JUST the Alpha.  He's an alpha who knows where each of his wolves' strengths lie and is willing to listen to them when they have a point.  Bran may not always like doing it, but he does it too.  Even Leo did it somewhat, when he was using Justin to control Anna, because Justin was the only one who could enjoy hurting her... because it's natural.  It's instinctive.  Humans do it, too, and it's fascinating to watch.

DandelionWine

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #144 on: July 17, 2011, 08:30:53 pm »
True, and that's the cost in part of NOT micromanaging.  Possibly there will be more checks put in place now?  Though  that could get into territorial issues.  Yes, I know it's the Marrok, but he still seems to allow the Alpha's the respect due their position, at least to a degree and this is the states so it's innocent till proven guilty in the minds of US werewolves at least! 

Also, remember that most people seemed to think Leo was a good alpha, it was his mate's going age crazy which drove him over the edge.  (way over of course)  I think Leo slipped past the checks and balances already in place due to a mixture of circumstances, but don't see it happening frequently.
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victorymon

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #145 on: July 17, 2011, 08:46:32 pm »
its really interesting to read all this. all inspired by books.

I think, no I know that its just like the human society. when somemon is in charge he would do everything possible to let it look good for outsiders. even if that means using brute force (as they did with Anna).
when you want to be dominant you cant show a weakspot to others, they would use it against you.
and even when you know somebody for a long time, deep inside even a wolf got that special spot. give them a chance and they cant resist.
its all a thing of  cause and effect
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little gray wolf

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #146 on: July 18, 2011, 03:33:58 am »
nicely put
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DandelionWine

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #147 on: July 18, 2011, 04:48:31 am »
Somewhat true victorymon, and though humans have social standards and laws to control exactly how far they can or will go to keep power as you say, wolves have the pack structure, custom and well, laws and social standards too.  Don't forget they also have pack magic, which we don't know everything, probably very little actually, about, I mean, it's magic right?

I actually could see some wolves shuffling their standing fairly peacefully if it makes sense to do so.  Warren and Darryl are already out of place and they both know it.  Darryl isn't comfortable with it and it only works because Warren is willing to let it work.  I'm wondering how much of his discomfort is because he wants to hold his spot, and how much is because of the need to acknowledge the dominance of warren's wolf vs the need to hold his spot.  They all care about the pack though so they're dealing with it!  It isn't all about power, there's a lot of responsibility involved too.   In the dominance fight in Silver Born, the wolves admitted where Mary Jo was in the structure without arguing overly much after all. (not I said Mary Jo's position, outside of the thing with Paul and Henry and Adam)  It seems there's a kind of comfort in knowing where you belong in there... some jockeying and shoulder bumping aside I'm sure, but still not pure battle because that's just going to eat a pack from the inside out.

Bran can and does enforce a lot of things, but like governments, cant be everywhere all the time, nor should he really.  Leo went farther than was acceptable, and paid the price eventually.  He and his mate tried to control everything they could but eventually they ran afoul of the "law" (bran and of course charles) but the downfall was because eventually some of the pack figured out a way to get word out against all odds.  That's what happens when criminals get too far out of control and it was criminal even by werewolf standards.

A boss in a company (if we think about a pack as a powerful private company with the Alpha being the CEO,) has a lot of power, hire, fire, etc, but he/she still has social and legal strictures.  Packs have them too, but on the extreme end, instead of firing, an alpha can kill... take that too far though, and the company (pack) falters if you fire (kill) too many employees (pack members)!  ...or cause other disruptions that destroy morale and company (pack) cohesion.  It may be hard for an employee (pack member) to change companies (packs), but not as impossible as Leo tried to make it, and too many pack members leaving a pack would reflect very badly on an alpha too.

In the were world, I'd be willing to bet that word gets around about how various alphas treat their pack, so while no alpha can afford to be weak, Adam has already had an impact on whether or not gay wolves are allowed in packs by having Warren there, and since he gives female pack members respect, he and others like him provide influence on that subject too.  One Leo doesn't mean all alphas are insane... well, not totally insane. 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 04:50:52 am by DandelionWine »
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little gray wolf

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #148 on: July 22, 2011, 03:21:53 pm »
remember how many Bran said a little girl would be safe with, though? (BB) Can't remember the number.
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DandelionWine

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Re: Rank, dominance, Alphas, & the military
« Reply #149 on: July 22, 2011, 04:18:58 pm »
Just a vague recollection but it seems to me it was 16?  ... it might have been 19 but I'm pretty sure it was either one of those.
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