Bob is a M.W.M. better known as a Mediocre White Man.
Bob doesn’t believe that he is mediocre. In fact, Bob believes that he is the Master of the Universe.
When Bob wakes up in the morning, Bob doesn’t think about being bloated from eating three slices of pizza and drinking two glasses of wine the night before. Bob knows that he has earned the right to eat and drink whatever he wants, and his body is the epitome of perfection! In fact, he has the highly coveted “Dad Bod.” Bob doesn’t spend hours obsessing over what he will wear into the office. Bob knows whatever he wears, the world will just accept it, and he will look incredible.
Today, Bob is going to ask for raise. He doesn’t question if he is asking for too much money. He doesn’t call his other mediocre friends and have endless conversations with them about why he deserves a raise and how much others are getting paid in the office. Bob knows his worth as a Mediocre White Man and will ask for a salary that far exceeds the recommendations. However, Bob knows he deserves it! Bob doesn’t tie his salary to doing all the little extras like picking up the boss’ kids from school or staying late to plan the going-away party for an employee. In fact, Bob doesn’t do any of that. Bob just does his job and, for Bob, that is more than enough. Bob doesn’t wonder if he is qualified for any position. In fact, Bob knows that he is overqualified, and any employer is blessed to have him as an asset on the team.
The day Bob was born, the world made space just for him, and he freely takes up all the space, walking in the middle of the sidewalk with no concern in the world! Bob knows crowds will split for him like the Red Sea. He walks with his head held high, with a massive sense of belonging. On the train ride to work, Bob doesn’t minimize himself in spaces. Bob is here, and he knows that he belongs in all spaces.
In meetings, Bob has the best ideas! He doesn’t preface his comments with, “I know this is stupid but…” Bob freely shares his thoughts and opinions because he understands nothing he says is stupid. In fact, he knows he would be silly not to share.
Bob doesn’t allow other people to steal his ideas in meetings. If someone attempts to take credit for his work, Bob speaks up and says, “Excuse me. That was my idea.”
Bob doesn’t allow people to interrupt him in meetings. If someone attempts to interrupt him, Bob doesn’t worry what others will think about him when he says, “Excuse me, John, I didn’t finish my point.”
Bob reflects the same assertiveness online as he does in person. If something comes across his social media feed that bothers him, Bob doesn’t ignore it and continue scrolling. Bob understands that his thoughts and opinions are essential and can add value to the world, and he shares them freely. People need to hear what he has to say.
Bob doesn’t write and rewrite an email several times before sending it. Bob states his needs and expectations without wondering if the email sounds “angry.” Bob doesn’t add emojis or place “lol” in his email to soften anything he has to say. He is direct and firm, allowing his words to speak for themselves. Bob does not say things like, “I think we need to … ,” instead, Bob confidently says, “We need to … ,” or “It would be best if we …” Bob doesn’t write his emails in such a way that downplays his power.
Bob speaks with authority. He isn’t concerned about being perceived as “mad” or “threatening.” He knows that he is not angry, but he is assertive, and that will drive him far in life. If anyone can’t deal with his confidence, that is simply their problem.
Bob doesn’t minimize his achievements. As mediocre as Bob may be, Bob makes sure to highlight everything that he has accomplished in life. Third place finish, highlighted. Dead last in a race, highlighted. Runner up for homecoming king, highlighted. Bob is confident that anything he has done in life, he will lift up for others to admire.
That’s Bob! And as mediocre as men like Bob are, men like Bob rule the world! (Literally!)
So, to my fellow women, particularly black women and women of color, the next time you are thinking about minimizing yourself, doubting yourself or thinking you are not qualified, stop! I challenge you to ask yourself, “What Would Bob Do?” Don’t doubt yourself! Wake up every morning and Be Like Bob — your average, run-of-the-mill, mediocre white man! Who knows, you just may end up running the company or being the president of The United States one day!
I hope this column has made you laugh but also think. Many white men go throughout the course of the day with no knowledge that they are mediocre because that thought never enters their minds. They enter the world as if they are doing the world a favor, while many women enter the world apologizing for merely existing. Many women, particularly black women and women of color, are far beyond mediocre. We have talents and ideas that can change the course of this nation. Yet, often we are too afraid to believe in ourselves. We have been conditioned to think we aren’t qualified, we don’t have the skill set, we aren’t worth the money, we don’t belong at the table, etc.
But you do belong at the table! You are worthy to ask for anything you desire!
Playing small never serves anyone except people like Bob. The Bobs of the world benefit from our failure to walk in our greatness.
I challenge you for 24 hours to Be Like Bob. If you catch yourself apologizing for nothing whatsoever, ask yourself, “What would Bob do?” If you want to call your statement stupid before you say it, ask yourself, “What would Bob say?” When someone attempts to steal your idea in a meeting, think, “What would Bob do?”
Be Like Bob! Or better yet, be like you in all your magnificence! •
Hannah L. Drake is an author, poet and spoken word artist. Follow her at writesomeshit.com and on Twitter at hannahdrake628.