Wednesday, July 30, 2008

North Dakota nice

(For back story on this post click here)

There's a common phrase in my part of the world about people being "Minnesota nice." Essentially it means that when Midwesterns are pissed off and angry, they tend to be nice about it-- or at the least passive aggresive about it. Now, I could have been all pissy this morning. But that would just be exhausting and who has the energy for that?

Instead I wrote (what I hope) what a nice letter to Troy from Y94 and I'm pretty pleased with the dialogue we had.

My facebook message:

I was the gal who called in and jokingly referred to herself as the “token angry feminist” this morning.

Did I like today’s radio topic? No. Did that make me hate you as a person? Of course not. Just wanted to throw that out there. I worked in radio for four year and I know getting crabby callers isn't fun. Just to maybe I could explain it better....

When I hear “jokes” about “what girl’s can’t do” I always want to say SOMETHING. In this instance it was all “in good fun” but women tend to hear all too often (in serious conversations) what they aren’t equipped to do --- I was told (quite seriously) while I worked in radio that I probably wouldn't be around for much longer after they updated all the equipment because "girls can't figure out new technology." So you see, it’s not such a unique, fun topic for some of us … I realize other women may not mind, but I just wanted to voice my opinion that, “Hey, do we have to phrase it this way?” Couldn’t the same basic discussion happen differently?

I mean the way it was “Girls can’t do -----“ just leaves you open for A) tired sexist stereotypes—like the random caller who thought the “answer” was “throw a ball” or B) people like me, who just get frustrated by the question in the first place.

Furthermore, just wanted to say that you won’t pacify many feminists with the “what men can’t do” question. I’m a feminist, not a man hater, Troy! :) Please don’t confuse the two.

I don’t have a radio show, so take anything I say with a grain of salt, but I think you’d get way more interesting answers if you’d ask callers about stereotypes re: men and women. Look at common stereotypes in pop culture –like why on sitcoms is the hot wife always married to the neurotic schlubby guy?

Just wanted to say no hard feelings on my part, if you were feeling like an angry feminist was out to get you. That’s just my two cents on the matter. I’m glad you give the listeners as opportunity to contact you and let you know. It sounds like you and Megan are friends so I realize you weren’t being malicious at all --- just a message from a listener out here that I hope next time you change it up a bit. And don’t let anyone be too hard on the guys tomorrow— that’s no fun either.

He responded:

Tobes, believe me I understand your point. If you were in radio for years, I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with some chauvinist. Let me tell you about a lesson I learned at a radio convention once... a very wise programmer named Tom Joyner gave us a lecture that made the point "Know how to get to your listeners emotions".

In other words, make them mad and they'll call. Make them sad and they'll call. Make them happy and they'll call. We do all of that on any given day, and that's how we're able to get the phones to ring.

That was the purpose of our topic this morning. If you've been in radio then you probably know, Megan and I agreed to do this topic before we went on the show. I didn't just spring it on her. Matter of fact, we had a meeting yesterday and decided on it then. Megan understands I didn't mean anything I said this morning. We are friends.

BTW, we've done the "hot girls dating fat/ugly guys" topic before. You must have missed it.

I understand you have a probelm with our topic this morning. Making some woman mad and gettting them to call was the idea. So I guess we got you huh?

I don't know what you do for a living, but if you'd ever be interested in getting back into radio, we're always looking for interns, and we have a hard time finding ones that are opinionated like yourself.

No hard feelings here either. I just think you were taking our topic a little too seriously. You were the only one who called with a serious objection to the topic. The rest of the women who took issue, called and took a shot at me (in a fun way). Your call on the other hand was a little too serious, so we didn't air it.

Hey, not bad. Not bad at all. I feel like I've been heard and I wasn't called a psycho or a bitch. You know -- that's seriously saying something! Often times when you identify as a feminist and are critical of a man, that's what you get. I appreciate this guy's honesty. Radio is about ratings and we all know they could say far worse or shocking things. Plus, I like to think if I was censored for being too serious, they wouldn't air a caller who was too sexist.

Hopefully, we can all poke a little fun at ourselves and if someone raises a critical question, we can respond graciously.

That's all I ask.

Thanks Troy.

PS: Just an aside--- This is not the first time I've been cranky with local radio stations.

1 comment:

Ouyangdan said...

I just wanted to thank you for that video on facebook.

I posted it at my place...and your name is all over it!