Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sexist morning show hosts and the stupid things that come out of their mouths

Disclaimer: I know, I know. It's waaaay too easy to pick on people, and opinions, like the ones I'm about to rip on. But... this one touched a nerve.

I'm not sure what "morning shows" are like in other areas, but here in the Twin Cities, they tend to be comprised of a group of DJs, headed by a 30- or 40-something dude, with two or three 20-something dudes to laugh and "yeah" at the 30- or 40-year-old's diberately offensive jokes, and a token 20-something chick, to get repeatedly interrupted by the dudes, and apparently satisfy a quota of some kind. They spend 4 of the wee morning hours bantering about absolutely nothing of any relevance and spouting off opinions about any number of things that they aren't qualified to accurately analyze.

One of the morning shows I am referring to is the Dave Ryan Show at KDWB (the local Top 40 station). There's Dave, the main dude who's been hosting the show for like, a century; and Lena, the latest in revolving 20-something, quota-fulfilling chicks who appears to be second in command or something, as I tend to hear her "yeah, like, I think that [totally bigoted nonsense opinion, related in some way or another to pop culture and news headlines]" almost as often as I hear Dave say, "Seriously? I know way better than these other people because I know better than they do."

Then there's Steve-O and Crisco, whose main purposes seem to be chiming in every so often as the (still terrible and wildly offensive) Voice of Reason when Dave or Lena says something completely over the top. Oh, and their incessant paid advertisements about how they used to be fat, but as a result of spending lots of money on a manufactured diet product, now they're not!! So you should buy it.


So, I work in an office setting, where we're able to have radios at low volume or use headphones, as long as we can still hear the dreaded phone ring, so I take advantage of this and have gotten what I listen to, and when, down to a science. My favorite thing to listen to while at work is talk radio. I start by listening to the Dave Ryan show when I get in at 8, and usually switch to NPR once the boring shows end, between 9 and 10. The thing is, I understand that when they say their usual offensive crap, it's mostly exaggerated and mostly for ratings. I get that it's entertainment and not a news and serious commentary show. I expect that most people are reasonable and not hateful. I can ignore it well enough and just pay attention to the parts that are entertaining to me. But man, sometimes someone just goes over the top, and sounds way too genuine for comfort.

This morning, Dave was discussing Chris Brown's recent profanity-laced Twitter updates about how Wal-Mart was supposedly blacklisting him because they didn't have his new album in stock.* Chris Brown apparently went nuts about it, all over the internet, complete with all kinds of swear words and a plethora of other garbage for one to roll their eyes about.

Today, it was discovered that Wal-Mart does, in fact, carry the album; they were simply sold out of them at the time that Chris Brown visited their particular location.

Right, he's an idiot. Forgettable recording artist gets mad because he assumes that the reason that people don't want to buy his terrible CD is because he beat up his girlfriend at the time, Rihanna. Turns out, while he should have been right, he wasn't, and so now he looks stupid.

Dave Ryan then begins to discuss Chris Brown's dumbassery, and then further elaborates about how he feels that women's rights groups haven't adequately -- or ever -- addressed the issue of Chris Brown assaulting Rihanna, and then surmises that this could possibly be because all we feminists think Chris Brown is just so cute. What's wrong with these women? A high-profile guy beats up his high-profile girlfriend, it's all over the news, and these feminists have nothing to say about it! Must be because they think he's hot!! Also, Dave Ryan is ashamed that we aren't outside of Wal-Mart, calling for nationwide boycotts.

No, Dave Ryan, you fucking moron. You're wrong. And you clearly pay absolutely no attention whatsoever to women's rights activists or any feminist community. Know how I know this?

Or, we could be a little easier on you. Maybe the words "feminist" and "response" are too much for you to handle. Hell, we don't even have to type a complete phrase in order to find scores of relevant hits about feminist and women's rights activists responses to Chris Brown beating Rhiann.

If you go to the hugely popular feminist blog Feministing, and type "Chris Brown" into their search bar, the first page alone has 24 relevant hits.

Also, Dave Ryan, have you ever heard of that little organization called NOW? You know, the National Organization for Women, that one organization that likes to talk about silly lady stuff like gender equality and misogyny? How about the president of NOW, Terry O'Neill, whose been vocal and up-front about her history as a survivor of domestic violence? Have you heard of her? I assume you may have heard of NOW, considering the fact that you care so much about women who are victims of domestic abuse. And how much of a supporter you are of women's rights. Interesting, how, if you Google "NOW president," the fourth hit is "NOW president Terri O'Neill on Chris Brown."

Wasn't that exactly what it was you were claiming didn't exist? Because I'm pretty sure that the president of the nation's leading women's right's organization made a public statement about Chris Brown.

Also, Dave Ryan? NOW has a lot more to be concerned about than celebrities with entitlement issues. Like equal access to abortion, and other serious women's rights issues all over the news right now. Picketing local Sam Goodys? Not at the top of the priority list. But if you're so concerned, we'd be happy to cheer you on as you start a movement about something that you're so clearly passionate about.

So, Dave Ryan, and Lena Svenson, and your deliberately oblivious cohorts, could you please at least attempt to know what the fuck you're talking about before you spout off a bunch of inaccurate nonsense all over the airwaves? Women who don't give a fuck about what Chris Brown looks like will be grateful.


*I tried to find an audio clip of the segment of the morning show that I was referencing, but was unable to. Once/If I find one, I'll update the post with the link.