September
1st 2012
Great Men and Famous Deeds, plus trucknutz.

Posted under: book reviews, childhood, Gender, the body, women's history

Mancraft

The title of this post (and the image at left) is a Childcraft classic whose influence has been tragically overlooked on modern American historiography!

Have you ever seen those nasty trucknutz that some d00ds hang underneath their trailer hitches?  Yes, that’s right:  some men believe that the smelliest and most unattractive of their body parts are so awesome that they hang replicas of them outside of their cars and trucks!

So here’s what I’ve been thinking, after writing a blog post that I claimed was smeared with menstrual blood and would pollute everyone who clicked on itwhat if women started putting irregular smears of red paint right underneath the license plates on their cars?  Because I’m thinking that if men menstruated, it would be something they would shove in our faces the way some of them use trucknutz to brag about their nasty, smelly balls.  They don’t bind their balls up with tape, or squeeze-n-hop into something like Spanx every morning to pass as a body without balls.  But because women menstruate instead, menstrual blood is viewed as utter pollution, something scrupulously to be denied. As Sharra L. Vostral’s Under Wraps:  A History of Menstrual Hygiene Technology (2008)  has argued, women are induced to  pass as non-menstruating bodies.  The entire modern sanitary napkin and tampon industry was built around concealing menstruation and making sure it’s utterly invisible to anyone.

Balls to that!  Smear away, ladies.

27 Comments »

27 Responses to “Great Men and Famous Deeds, plus trucknutz.”

  1. Comradde PhysioProffe on 01 Sep 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    This blogge oppresses balls!

  2. LadyProf on 01 Sep 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    But because women menstruate instead, menstrual blood is viewed as utter pollution, something scrupulously to be denied.

    Also not mentioned in, say, the classroom. Mustn’t spill the shameful dirty secret. So I try to speak the word or advert to the topic in class at least once a year.

  3. Indyanna on 01 Sep 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Some lout had a pair of trucknutz on his 4X4 just up the street from me (together with its cognate insignia, like NRA stickers, beer labels, NFL and NASCAR stuff), that was distinctly unpleasant to pass, even if it was not designed to be explicitly a tool or marker of *my* oppression. It was gratifying to return to campus after the summer–a year ago now it must be–to find the whole house leveled and turned into a grassed-in patch for the adjacent church, which apparently had owned the tract.

  4. Historiann on 01 Sep 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    A-Hahahaha! Too bad for Mr. Trucknutz.

    LadyProf: I was just talking about amenorhhea and anovular women yesterday in class! And menstrual seclusion came up the other day in class, too.

    I don’t know what you teach, but it comes up a LOT when you teach about Native American women and enslaved African American women, unhappily.

  5. koshembos on 01 Sep 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Men have problems. It takes the average men 200 years to grow up, while it takes women only 50 years. There are exceptions. In Judaism women’s menstrual period triggers temporary outcasting (relationship wise) and the period is termed “outcast.”

  6. Indyanna on 01 Sep 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Umm, this will probably not display as a clickable link, but at least one state is apparently cracking down on this phenomenon. Apparently there *are* *some* limits.

    This is from gawker:

    Woman’s ‘Obscene’ Truck Nutz Land Her in Courtgawker.com/5825297/womans-obscene-truck-nutz-land-her-in-courtCached
    You +1′d this publicly. Undo
    Jul 27, 2011 – In the Real-American stronghold of South Carolina, of all places, a 65-year-old woman has been accused of violating the state obscenity law by …

  7. squadratomagico on 01 Sep 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    I have never seen “trucknutz,” so forgive my ignorance, but…

    are they meant to suggest that the owner’s truck is *male*? And has a big pair?

    I’m actually kind of fascinated by the implied anthropomophism of the vehicle.

  8. J. Otto Pohl on 02 Sep 2012 at 4:04 am #

    This is slightly off topic. But, I noticed that Judith Butler has come under fire from a number of Zionist organizations recently after receiving the Adorno award. She came out in favor of BDS against Israel which surprised me because people like the “Tenured Racical” have strongly opposed BDS against Israel. My experience is that most self described “liberals,” “leftists” and “socialists” in American academia including Walzer, Dershowitz, and others have been strongly pro-Israeli. So I was surprised to see Butler coming out in favor of BDS. Is Butler going against all of her fellow colleagues on this issue?

  9. Historiann on 02 Sep 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Squadrato: yes, they make the rear end of your car look like the backside of an unneutered male dog. Check out the url that Indyanna left in the comment above. I find it notable that a woman was ticketed for having trucknutz. Maybe the local constabulary was offended by her FTM transcar?

    I’ve noticed that people who actually use their trucks in their work rarely have these. It’s the people who use their trucks for picking up groceries and regular commuting who have these. Also: it’s not just trucks, but muscle cars like late model mustangs and camaros who have the trucknutz.

  10. Comradde PhysioProffe on 02 Sep 2012 at 9:43 am #

    She came out in favor of BDS against Israel which surprised me because people like the “Tenured Racical” have strongly opposed BDS against Israel.

    What the fucke is “BDS”?

  11. squadratomagico on 02 Sep 2012 at 9:53 am #

    “FTM Transcar” —!!
    Historiann, you made me choke on my salad dressing. Best comment ever!!!

  12. J. Otto Pohl on 02 Sep 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I meant “Tenured Radical.” BDS is Boycott, Divest, and Sanction. It is an international movement called for by Palestinian civil society based upon the similar call made by South African civil society during the apartheid era.

  13. Tenured Radical on 02 Sep 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Butler is part of what seems to be the new consensus among queer studies and post colonial scholars that Israel should not only be sanctioned for its actions in Gaza and the West Bank, but that US-based intellectuals should boycott Israeli academics, scientists and intellectuals in Israel as part of this.

    I admire many (most) of the people holding this position for many of their accomplishments and principles, but I find intellectual boycotts and ending scientific exchange incomprehensible, particularly when it isolates an already beleaguered Israeli left.

    The anti-apartheid boycotts of S. Africa, on which this movement models itself, never chose this tactic. This made it possible for progressive S. Africans of all races to come to the United States and speak freely.

    As to trucknutz, many thanks, Historiann — I have been puzzled about this for years.

  14. J. Otto Pohl on 02 Sep 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Dr. Potter you are simply wrong. The PACBI boycott does not apply to any individuals it only applies to institutions the exact same as the boycott against South Africa. There is absolutely no difference what so ever in this aspect between the two boycotts. They both asked Western academics to boycott the institutions that provide the intellectual and technological infrastructure supporting apartheid. PACBI has never asked that ties with individual Israeli scholars be severed. Go look at the various discussions including an article by Butler herself on Mondoweiss .(mondoweiss.net)

  15. Contingent Cassandra on 02 Sep 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    In the picture of the truck, they look to me like a couple of pingpong balls in an onion sack, but presumably that’s partly a function of the picture quality. Still, if one were truly anthropomorphizing the truck (and, of course, exaggerating a bit), I’d think you’d need something more like two basketballs in one of those mesh ball sacks (the PG-rated ones you see in gyms and on sports fields).

    As for the female version, maybe my car, which has been known to dribble or, on occasion, pour reddish transmission fluid behind/beneath it (though not at present, thank goodness), is doing something equivalent? One could presumably set up a dispenser not actually associated with the transmission, but the stuff isn’t good for local bodies of water when washed off the street, so maybe colored water or vegetable oil would be better.

    P.S. Though I suppose it’s still “hiding” technology, I’ve found I really like using a menstrual cup, which I only wish I’d discovered earlier in my reproductive/menstrual years. Mostly I find it more comfortable and (in the long run) cheaper than the alternatives (with no chance of running out at the wrong moment), but from the point of view of being in touch with the process, there’s also the advantage that you’re actually collecting and dumping the blood, without absorbing it into something first. The smell is noticeably different — much more metallic (iron, I guess), and less “smelly” in the conventional sense (the smell of a used pad, I suspect, is actually the smell of bacteria and other critters beginning to decompose the blood, not of the blood itself). It’s more “messy” in some ways (greater chance of blood on the fingers), less so in others. At the very least, it’s interesting to think about the differences, and about how the technology we use to cope with menstruation shapes our perception of the experience.

  16. Historiann on 02 Sep 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Threadjack much, Otto? I’m sorry you don’t want to talk about gender, but it makes me wonder: why do you comment here?

    Contingent Cassandra: I think maybe letting the ball sack drag on the asphalt is actually more anatomically accurate.

  17. J. Otto Pohl on 02 Sep 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    I thought Judith Butler was an important figure in gender studies? Am I wrong?

  18. Historiann on 02 Sep 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    When did I mention Judith Butler in this post? Was it the FTM transcar line that made you think of her? Neither she nor her politics are the subject of this post. Palestinian-Israeli politics and the stance of U.S. intellectuals towards the conflict is not the subject of this post.

  19. Western Dave on 02 Sep 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Hey, I’m all for smearing that menstrual blood. See here: http://hnn.us/blogs/2/authors/206.html It’s the first one called “summer reading.”

  20. Lady Historian on 03 Sep 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Threadjacking is like hanging your trucknutz out in cyberspace. No one wants to see them; most people are distracted at best, disgusted at worst by them; and if you really want to show ‘em off, start your own damn blog.

  21. Historiann on 03 Sep 2012 at 8:21 am #

    A-hahaahaha! Lady Historian FTW!

  22. Notorious Ph.D. on 03 Sep 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I’m thankful for trucknutz, as they are a clear indication that I should stay away from this person. If only everybody sent such unambiguous symbols.

  23. Historiann on 03 Sep 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Good point. Imagine being picked up by a date in a trucknutz equipped ride! Date FAIL.

  24. Comradde PhysioProffe on 03 Sep 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    I betcha that olde tyme vessel on the cover of the book had Shipnutz.

  25. Historiann on 03 Sep 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Ha-ha. Just google “boat nutz” to see that you are not the first person to dream up that image. (They don’t tend to hang so low on boats, however; they’re mounted somewhat awkwardly ABOVE the motor.)

  26. Northern Barbarian on 03 Sep 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    I was at a store this summer that sold little bags to hold your golfballs that looked like ~ guess what ~ scrotums! I stared at the display for quite a while in pure astonishment. Why do men feel so profoundly insecure aboutb their genitals? I’ve never known women to be so obsessed with theirs. Does anyone else remember the old Kathy and Mo routine about men menstruating and boasting abouy how many “pons” they needed?

  27. Too many d00dly nutsacks: I want out. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 04 Sep 2012 at 11:17 am #

    [...] those of you who just can’t bear a pure “fluff” post with a pretty young woman instead of a smelly ballsack or a contaminating application of menstrual blood, here’s some food for thought.  Via reader [...]

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