VA Castrates Truckers

VA. State Delegate tries to cut truckers’ nuts off!

Lionel Spruill - VA. State DelegateVirginia State Delegate Lionel Spruill introduced a bill Tuesday, January 15, 2008, to ban displaying replicas of human genitalia on vehicles, calling it a safety issue because it could distract other drivers.

Under Mr. Spruill’s proposed measure, displaying the ornamentation on a motor vehicle would be an offense punishable by a maximum fine of $250.

They’re offensive to some folks. It’s OK to express yourself, but citizens have the right not to be subjected to something vulgar.

— VA State Delegate Lionel Spruill

The 61 year old Spruill, a Democrat from Portsmouth, claims that the idea came from a constituent whose young daughter had spotted the facsimile sex organs dangling from the back of a truck and asked her father to explain them.

Hey! That big truck is just a facimile penis, why shouldn’t it have testicles too?

The man apparently complained that he had been left speechless when his six-year-old daughter spotted a pair and asked him what they were.

Spruill said he became concerned when he learned that the truck accessories had got larger as their popularity had increased. “How big are they going to go?” he said. “When will it stop?”

This completely cracked me up, especially since Spruill is quoted as opposing Virginia’s “Drooping Drawers” legislation with the line, “Let these kids express themselves. It will pass on.” I guess Spruill is either more offended by plastic testicles than he is by living butt cheeks, or he has some sort of inferiority complex.

Mr. Spruill, I heartily suggest that you contact BullsBalls and get yourself a pair so you don’t feel so left out. They have them in an assortment of sizes and colors, so I’m sure you can find a suitable pair without castrating American trucks to get them. LOL!

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7 Responses to “VA Castrates Truckers”

  1. Christy Says:

    I appreciate your take on this, Jonolan, but I don’t know quite where I stand on this. I can see that from a potential mother’s standpoint…I’m not sure I want my children at a young age exposed to human genitalia in a way that divorces it both from the natural human body and our sexuality as whole individuals. I’m not one to overly shield a child (not by any means), but when you divorce balls from say the male form, or any other form of sex organs, etc., you objectify them and that is not something I would want for youth as I don’t believe it is healthy.

    In the case of that father – that’s a perfect time to teach his child. The larger issue I see is the objectification of sex and body parts being separated from an individual human being and I have an issue with that, especially when that mindset is helping to shape our childrens’ worldviews.

    As for it being a safety issue – come on. That line of logic/reasoning could lead to anything being attacked. A billboard or any other manner of thing, on the side of the road or on a vehicle, could cause distraction. Good grief.

  2. jonolan Says:

    I can understand your points, Christy. I frankly didn’t put that much thought into it from that angle. I was torn between laughing at the ridiculousness of such a bill, and being mildly outraged about trying to legislate morality at the expense of freedom of expression.

    There is also a possible race angle to this as well. I’m guessing that most of the people installing rubber testicles on their vehicles are White men. Spruill is Black and claimed that the “Droopy Drawers” laws unfairly targeted Black youths. He may have an agenda beyond neutering trucks.

    On the lighter side, those customized trucks most often mounting these additions are very much surrogate penises for their owners. Shouldn’t a penis be allowed a set of balls?

  3. Christy Says:

    Hahaha (re your ending question).

    I’d have to see more evidence to convince me that there’s a race angle to this.

    Anyway, initially, my response was to laugh at the ridiculousness of the bill. However, your point about being mildly outraged about trying to legislate morality at the expense of freedom of expression is one I challenge. 🙂 Surprise, surprise. You know I believe all law, if traced to the absolute philosophical foundation, is in some way or another, legislating morality.

    Furthermore, we do not allow all forms of freedom of expression. A simplistic point to make, yes, but if I wanted to express my sexuality by walking around nude, the law has something to say about that, no matter how much I cry “freedom of expression!” Apparently, Spruill feels that this particular freedom is one that should be legislated. If these truckers want to display giant sets of balls in their homes, then they can go right ahead! 😉

    I’d need to see the Droopy Drawers laws/legislation to properly comment, but I don’t see Spruill’s stance on this issue as necessarily being inconsistent with his stance on the Droopy Drawers’ laws. Possible race issues aside, youth who choose to dress a certain way as opposed to grown adults who choose to display genitalia in the public realm seem to me to be two different categories of individuals/issues.

    Still thinking through this one…

  4. jonolan Says:

    Christy, we allow most forms of freedom of expression that do not have a reasonable chance of causing physical harm. You could walk around nude on any private property, though not on public property. You could by law walk topless – vagina must still be obscured – anywheres in NYC. You could be a stripper; this actually went to court and was decided to be protected freedom of expression.

    As for the racist angle, I’m only stating a possibility. Spruill may want some payback since the “Droopy Drawers” legislation – which he felt was racist – passed the VA State Assembly and was enacted into law – something I oppose for the same reasons I oppose Spruill’s bill.

    On Droopy Drawers: Look at the the arguments for it and look at Spruill’s objections.

  5. Christy Says:

    Thanks for the legwork. =) I appreciate it greatly.

    I quickly read the arguments for it and Spruill’s objections; both are laughable in my opinion.

    Anyway, I meant to clarify I cannot walk around nude on *public* property. That’s a line that legislation has drawn, regulating “morality.” The law simply by definition, I would argue, is there to regulate morality – even speed limits regulate morality. With each law we pass, we’re making “should” statements which automatically invokes morality.

    Yes, we’re allowed in NYC to walk around topless but not completely nude as you pointed out; we’re legislating morality by that distinction. People may differ on where that line is drawn (we should not allow women to go topless; we should allow complete nudity, etc.) but regardless of where we fall on the spectrum, we’re making a moral statement by the law we enact. We draw lines, we take stands. We argue for and against and then we vote. My main point was that all law is legislating morality – it’s why we have law in the first place.

    As for being a stripper – that’s confined within a certain venue. The argument here seems to be that Spruill does not believe that the general public, in going about every day life, should be subjected to depictions of genitalia in this manner. He wants to draw the line there. By my questioning, I’m raising the underlying philosophical and worldview questions that this hopefullyraises for me and for others, whether they realize it or not. Bringing my (hypothetical) kids to a grocery store and subjecting them to soft core porn on the magazine stands is also something I don’t necessarily wish but the general public is subjected to. So it’s curious to me why Spruill is flagging this particular issue and bringing in a child into the argument, when so many other areas (billboards that are sexually explicit or provocative and grace our freeways) could also be called into question. We must all drive so we’re all exposed to billboards whether we desire to be or not; however, I can choose to frequent or not frequent a strip club.

    And as I said, the issue of morality that this whole bill raised for me in learning about it has nothing to do with the anatomy of men or being “offended” by seeing it (good grief – I’d use it as a learning tool to teach my child if they saw that and asked! We shouldn’t be so uptight) but rather, what is it *saying* to them about their own sexuality and the sexuality of others? That our parts can be divorced from us as a whole and be objectified? (Just as I might ask what porn says to us about who we are and how it objectifies human beings and influences the ways in which we think about each other and sexaulity. Same underlying issue/question.)

    Anyway, I was not convinced to the point of being swayed that a race issue could be involved simply from reading your post; however, I’m not convinced it’s not, either, especially in reading further on the matter. Thanks for providing further information.

    And for the sake of argument, if we want to go the route of arguing physical harm, what is the definition of “physical harm”? Does emotional or mental harm fall under that?

    Thanks for always making me think, Jonolan. Your blog is a breath of fresh air.

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