How about it, white guys--are you feeling a loss of power? Is your self-confidence slipping, along with the sense of entitlement that people like you used to be able to count on?
Over at AskMen.com, they're dispensing advice on how to boost your confidence. But then, who do they choose for the article's accompanying photo of supremely self-confident masculine success? A black guy!
As the guys at AskMen.com know, it's important to not only feel confident, but also to project confidence. It needs to radiate from you, like musk, and if it doesn't, you've gotta find ways to pump it up:
Even if you're reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a little mental strengthening every once in a while. It feels good to be self-confident, which perpetuates more confidence, impresses people and brings you success.
A difficulty here is that you not only have to project confidence, you should feel it too. And for American white guys, who get bombarded more and more with Sarah Palins, Barack Obamas, Tiger Woodses and Nancy Pelosis, and then get represented themselves mostly by clowns and losers like Joe the Plumber, Jay Leno and Timothy Geithner--well, it's hard sometimes to keep feeling that confidence that you're nevertheless supposed to project.
So what's a white guy on his way up supposed to do these days? How about . . . design a new business card! Or maybe, make money by convincing other, less confident guys to redesign their business cards. . . and act very, very confident while doing so . . .
Actually, the guy in this video is a motivational speaker named Joel Bauer. He's also the author of a book with this charming title: How To Persuade People Who Don't Want To Be Persuaded: Get What You Want--Every Time! Videos of Joel Bauer selling various sorts of manly advice are popping up all over the Internets. He's getting lots of laughs, in ways he probably wouldn't appreciate.
Here's another one that's making the rounds. In this clip, Bauer (who identifies himself here as "a real person") promotes a self-defense boot camp, with the help of his understandably sullen daughter.
What I'm wondering about this latest Internet sensation of sorts is--as people laugh at the "douchebaggery" of Joel Bauer, are they also laughing at a certain kind of white guy, the assertive, entitled, hyper-masculine white guy? If so, does that laughter also register this kind of guy's declining power these days?
As scholars and philosophers and such tell us, socially constructed modes of identity are really all just performances. Society presents us with various scripted roles, and we reject or adopt them as we sit fit (or sometimes, as we feel pressured).
Maybe this kind of white American masculinity, which Joel Bauer performs and promotes with such clueless sincerity, is being laughed right off center stage. Let's hope so.