Truck Nuts

This is a car that I took a picture of in front of Starbucks. Before this year I have never seen this before. There are so many things we can say about this phenomenon. For those of you that don’t know, there is a trend out there of people, mostly men I image, putting these plastic “balls” on the back of their trucks. Honestly, this trend seems a little ridiculous to me, why would anyone want to portray themselves as a douche-bag? After I thought about it for a minute the first concept that came to my mind was the idea of dramaturgy. If the whole worlds a stage, and everything we do is in anticipation of others, what does this say about the driver of this awful truck? The driver presents this image to every driver that follows behind him which is also another sexual metaphor. That fact that men put these balls on trucks just furthers to instill the idea that large, strong things are masculine and should have a ball sack. This also screams Mead’s “me” because who is this for but other people? Only other drivers can see these balls, not ever the owner of them.

Another lens to examine this phenomenon through is feminist theory. Its not like women slap a pair of boobs on the hood of their Miatas. Do you think a trend like this could ever catch on? Is this another image, like the “mammy” that serves to oppress and stigmatize a group of people? 

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5 thoughts on “Truck Nuts

  1. To answer the first question, I think this trend already has caught on. While the misogyny may not have fully reached the West Coast yet, it has run ramped on the East Coast. “Truck Nuts,” as their admirably called, cover the highways of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. My little brother even gifted a pair of silver Truck Nuts to my uncle when he got his new truck.

    Like many things in this class, I did not think critically about the gesture until now when I view them as yet another symbol of Adrienne Rich’s “all-conquering male sex drive.” Now, women can’t even drive down the street without being bombarded by the male anatomy. Furthermore, they are typically on jacked up trucks so they are practically at eye level for drivers of smaller cars. It stresses the differences between what is deemed appropriate for men and for women. Just as social interactionism states, humans act based on meaning which is constructed through social interaction. Thus, the driver of this truck acted under the notion that it would be considered acceptable behavior to drive around with genitalia on his car. Luckily, meanings are continuously shifting through interaction. As ideas about gender equity spread, hopefully, this gesture will be defined by interaction as inappropriate and the blatant display of male sexual power will be removed from the road.

  2. I don’t think the “truck nuts” are made to stigmatize men as the mammy stigmatizes African-Americans. In the scenario for the mammy, we have a dominant group oppressing a minority by having whites portray blacks negatively. In the case of the truck nuts, here we have a dominant group perpetuating masculitinty. I don’t think these two images can be compared. Through structuralist ideals, we use symbols to portray meaning. The United States is becoming a sexualized society and such an idea as placing a fake pair of breasts on a car is surprisingly realistic. Both men and women purchase ridiculous items that reinforce gender roles, and another way to look at this case can be through Cooley’s Looking Glass Self similar to your notion of the “me.” Why wouldn’t a man purchase a plastic pair of testacles for his car? As a male, I want to be perceived as manly. I want fellow men to idolize my masculinity. At the same time, through the eyes of a female, this item can be extremely offensive and disgusting. Society has created too much of a binary between male and female, where I’m afraid items like the “truck nuts” will continue. Similar to how “save the tatas” shirts for breast cancer awareness will be sold, “truck nuts” will be bought as an exploitation of our gender identities.

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