So I've just read two books in a row that have referred to characters as alpha and beta males. Soulless included a werewolf who was the alpha for his pack and had a beta buddy who made the top dog more tolerable to be around. So Punk Rock was written from the point of view of a character who considered himself a beta buddy to an alpha.
Now, the alpha in Soulless is a romantic figure, if you don't mind all the yelling and the occasional ripping people to shreds. The alpha in So Punk Rock is a shallow self-centered babe magnet.
It was interesting reading one book right after the other because while one alpha was more attractive than the other, we're only talking a matter of degree here. My own feeling has always been that alpha males are figures to avoid, and these two books didn't do a whole lot to convince me otherwise.
However, they also didn't discourage me from my new ambition to become an alpha female, myself. I may be up for third dan at the ol' dojang later this year, something I was not feeling a lot of enthusiasm for because of the testing involved. But if I consider third dan an objective toward my alpha female goal, it doesn't seem so grim.
Though if you're going to be an alpha, I suppose you should be able to do grim.