Browsing at Dalrock’s, I came across an intriguing comment by Phillyastro,
I just saw a truck commercial showing two photos to a panel of women. One photo had a guy in front of a large pickup truck and the other had a guy in front of a dependable sedan. Of course, all the women said they’d rather be with the guy in front of the pickup truck. The last woman’s quote was, “The first guy (sedan) looks like the guy who your Mom wants you to marry. The second guy is the one you leave him for (pickup truck).” Also, they superimposed a picture of the same guy in each photo.
If I read this correctly, then Madison Avenue has dispensed with the pretense and gone right for the jugular. And why not, they are in the business of selling stuff, But one wonders if, now that the cat is out of the bag, if the magic will still work.
And what exactly was the secret that was revealed? That women prefer rugged manly-man types; and that a good marker (or something they have a knee-jerk reaction to) of this is the pickup-truck. For those not familiar with American advertising, there is one place where television commercials appeal almost exclusively to men; that would be during sporting events. There are two primary products advertised, that of beer and that of trucks. The beer commercials often imply that if you drink Beer X you will be surrounded by hot chicks. The truck commercials are usually a bit more subtle, talking about toughness, payload capacity, “low end torque”, or pulling power. These trucks are almost always shown in the context of construction sites or cowboys, with burly men doing real man activities. Normally the voice-over announcer has a very deep voice. What these commercials are selling is man-hood, and they are selling it to both genders.
That got me thinking. The rise of feminism, and the freedom that it allowed women to select men as they please (that is, not via any rational decision) can be measured with the truck index. This is an economic statistic that measures what percentage of men own trucks, especially when they do not have a real justifiable work related reason to. When I was a child growing up in the countryside, only farmers and building contractors had trucks. That was it. It would seem silly for anybody who did not need a truck to have one, as they were big and expensive , and you carried around lots of usually unneeded functionality. Over the years, the situation changed. Now, the countryside is full of trucks. The majority of men out there drive a truck. Most have no real need. I have a young nephew who works a menial job, but had a $40,000 truck. It was repossessed. Other fellas are perhaps a bit wiser, as there is the market niche of the “redneck truck”. Used trucks from the city are imported and sold to the country men. The trucks do not have to be in good shape, they just need to move. And surely, there will be no fixes to the exhaust system, as “the louder, the better”.
I have seen the anecdotal evidence over the years. The guys who have the trucks seem to do better with the chicks. Probably, it happened one fella at a time. A man sees his buddy who has a truck have some success with women; and often with not explicitly thinking about it, he at least partly attributes it to the truck. So off he goes to buy his own.
In the city where I now live, there are many men who drive very expensive trucks; ones that are kept in immaculate condition, much as one might expect a luxury sedan to be treated (the shine is so very evident). It is likely that the truck will go through its entire “city life” without carrying a single piece of cargo in its bed. When this truck has become old, it might be exported to the less wealthy countryside as suggested above.
In short, the truck index (percentage of men driving trucks) has shot up dramatically in the last thirty years. This can be interpreted as a lagging indicator of women having more power in the sexual market place. And that men are trying to compensate. It is all so silly.
And the American automotive companies love it, as they are very strong in the pick-up truck market. And country boys buy American. So city men by American also, for resale value if nothing else.
A somewhat related semi-amusing anecdote follows. I visited my Mom in the countryside a few years back. Through an odd set of circumstances, I needed to go into the village to do the laundry. This was right after my divorce, so I still had my mini-van (not so manly, I know). I was dressed nicely and was reading a non-typical book when four disheveled fellas came in. We started talking. When asked what I did for a living I stated that I was a professional from the city, and that I was recently divorced. Then it clicked to these guys almost all at once. “That minivan by the front door is yours, and you are living out of it”.