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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Nut Shot (Social Justice Metaphors)

Dear fellow cis dudes: 

You know how we spend a lot of time saying that women just can't comprehend how bad a really solid nut shot feels.

Duces (cis dudes) talk about how the pain is just blinding, and incapacitating (it makes you throw up and sweat uncontrollably, and probably is completely incapacitating)  and no one seems to get it until they've gone through it.

Of course other cis dudes get it. They nod and say "GOD YES!!" and there's this whole brotherhood of "You GET it!" that surrounds the nut shot.

If women try to say that something else hurts a lot (from childbirth to menstrual cramps) dudes jump in and say, "Yeah, but you barely have to TOUCH our junk for it to hurt." If they liken it to nailing a funny bone we say "No it's so much worse."

We don't even let them compare it to stepping on a Lego.

We basically inform them they can't really wrap their heads around quite how painful a full force nut shot is UNTIL/UNLESS THEY EXPERIENCE IT.

Try to remember that the next time you're dictating to a woman that street harassment is no big deal....or that sexism in the workplace shouldn't bother them that much....or that the double standard of society about her clothes isn't that big a deal......or........




  1. How does the pain of a nut shot compare to that of passing kidney stones? That is one horrendous pain experienced by members of both sexes, and many women have reported it is far worse than childbirth. Maybe we can find a common language here...

    1. There's a lot online about this. Pain is generally too subjective to be absolutely sure but kidney stones, childbirth, nut shots, and fully broken femurs (not hairline fractures) are generally among the most painful experiences humans endure.

  2. Yup. Definitely subjective, and individuals have varying degrees of pain thresholds and pain tolerances. To complicate things more, there is a fairly broad scale of difficulty/ease in childbirth, ranging from 20-hour, excruciating labor, to nearly passing the kid into the toilet. Same goes for menstrual cramping. Only thing worse than a man who thinks menstrual pain can't be that bad, is a woman who has easy periods, and believes with certainty that another woman is being a big wuss about it.

    That's why I was hoping a few individuals who have had both stones + square nut shot, or stones + difficult labor, would rank them for the rest of us. Two kinds of pain in the same person helps eliminate the threshold/tolerance variable. From there, we could begin to calibrate a scale, and get an approximation of how bad something we have not experienced is likely to feel.

    I apologize for pulling the discussion away from the point you wanted to make with your blog post, which I read to be, give the benefit of the doubt to people about their experiences, and don't be a douche. I just got interested in solving the problem of how to teach empathy about different kinds of pain.

    I have Aspergers Syndrome, and we Aspies tend to be annoying in that way - taking a keen interest in some facet of the conversation that is totally beside the point. It doesn't mean we missed the point. Often, it means we got your point, heartily agreed with it, and our busy little brains were ready to move on to discuss some other topic triggered by your writing. :)

    1. I don't think this is as off-topic as you might think. After all, how often have you heard someone go "well, my friend is [black/female/gay/whatever] and they don't mind people saying [slur], so you're clearly being unreasonable if you take offense"?

      Just because one person doesn't feel much pain in a certain situation doesn't mean nobody else could. People have different standards, thresholds, previous experiences, etc. Maybe one person doesn't mind being called [slur] because they've never had it used against them for real. Another person heard it used every day by their bullies growing up. Is it any wonder they might react differently?

      So, conclusion: Even if you have personally experienced some event, don't think that your experience is the end all be all of that event. It's possible for people to encounter the same thing, yet have different experiences. If somebody tells you that something is hurtful, take their word for it.

    2. Yes. Regarding hurtful words, sometimes, we get caught up in explaining how we meant no harm, and why we are not a bad person, and forget to acknowledge that the person's feelings were hurt, thus inadvertently invalidating that person's experience.