Hey, you! Yeah, you! Are you captain of industry, in touch with the world, concerned about the environment, totally cool with neon green Toms, but still brimming with machismo and faith in the unerring divinity of the capitalistic system? Do you want to stick to The Man even though, really, you are The Man? Well, you're a "Tesla Man."
"Tesla Man" (wretch) is the coke-addled construct of marketing professor Markus Giesler in a HuffPo piece entitled "Tesla's Chief Driver of Success: Masculinity".
But this ain't your dad's masculinity. No. This is a new, progressive, idealist, entrepreneurial kind of masculinity. Or wait… is it?
…men draw from a host of market-based resources like brands, movies, celebrities, and other cultural symbols to construct themselves as masculine. Like John Wayne or Ronald Reagan, every American man tries to blend opposing breadwinner and rebel values into a man-of-action-hero who is larger than the sum of his parts.
When I think of "progressive masculinity", the first two names that spring to mind aren't John Wayne and The Gipper. So it's gotta be something else. Oh! Yeah! The tired trope of Elon Musk as Tony Stark, although anyone that's met Musk or seen him speak ditches that comparison in a heartbeat.
But we need a new name for this New Masculinity. And that name is Tesla Man.
Almost like Iron Man, Tesla Man combines rugged individualism, entrepreneurial can-do spirit, and a seemingly unshakeable faith in markets and technology with a sensible care for nature, the planet, and future generations.
Absolutely! He's the new-age manly man who knows that Mother Gaia needs his help and he's going to
create fund the next photo-sharing-anonymous-messaging-hook-up-app to help pay for his real passion.
Tesla Man is mindful about the environment but without sacrificing the long-held belief in the power of American entrepreneurial capitalism. Rather than embrace overly radical positions, Tesla Man can shroud himself in the cloaks of a Techtopian Tony Stark who tackles existential problems through innovative concepts like "conscious design" or "sustainable mobility" — all without undermining existing power relationships.
Yes! He's a techno-libertarian that knows the free market will sort things out and doesn't believe in over-regulation or government intervention (oh, wait).
And whereas breadwinner men express their boring conformism through fuel-driven cars that were purchased at regular dealerships, Tesla Man boldly deviates from the status quo like a pioneer — but without having to go to war with the institutions.
Yeah, fuck those guys and their dead dino juice! They're troglodytes, unevolved knuckle-draggers that can't begin to imagine anything outside their white-collared, Panamera-driven world. And no, there are no wars going on with established institutions about Tesla Man's preferred Tesla "Dealer."
But those are just facts. They're endemic to antiquated thinking that's made him a multi-millionaire in a bubble on the cusp of bursting without him ever really, um, making anything. But who cares? He's got the bankroll to drop six figures on a luxury sedan.
Starting at $100.000, Tesla and Elon Musk invite middle- and upper-middle-class men to become mindful Man-of-Action heroes who can resolve any sense of contradiction between their corporate identities, their desire to be rugged, and their sensibility for environmental concerns.
Please, become a "Man-of-Action hero". And the way to do that is to have your purchases define you. It's not a car, it's a statement. It's not an organic kale smoothie, it's a lifestyle choice. It's not $600 running pants, it's an investment in a cultural ideal.
Tesla Man thinks his employees like him. Tesla Man is totally down with hoodies as work attire. Tesla Man knows that the government can't save humanity, but he calls Obama "bro". Tesla Man wears white blazers and refers to women as "slampieces."
Tesla Man isn't afraid to create an 800 word paean full of barely-comprehensible corporate buzzwords for the Huffington Post. Tesla Man has no shame in referring to himself as "a young b-school star professor on the rise," blissfully ignorant of the vomit such a description will no doubt induce in normal people.
Tesla Man seems secure in his insecurity, just like a marketing prof at the Schulich School of Business.