I don’t think I’ve ever really done this before. Normally I like to experience things first hand before I really voice my opinion (flaming rant) on it. I don’t listen to Boom Champions 94.1FM. I never really had a good reason for that (until now anyway). My dial stays tuned to RED96.7FM on most occasions but tonight I’ll be listening to Boom. Why? Well I want to experience first hand the rumoured idiocy, asininity and ignorance of one Mr. Smooth, a radio personality who, if accounts are to be believed, has the most crass and decidedly un-smooth interpretation of gender issues, reproductive health and relationship dynamics, all of which he seems to enjoy discussing on his programme.
Let me preface this by saying that I place immense responsibility on the shoulders of any one who works in the media. I place particular responsibility on the shoulders of those who work on the radio because my feeling is that radio is still considered to be the vox populi…the voice of the people. It’s a medium that is more accessible than television and the internet (especially if you’re on bMobile’s network) and it’s ubiquitous: anyone who commutes: travelling or driving or hopping a drop is exposed to it at some point or the other. I think these urban stations have a wide listenership, comprised in large part I’m sure by young people. Your responsibility as a radio personality is to be informed before you start word vomiting your opinions all over the airwaves. You cannot educate anyone unless you are educated yourself…and I’m not talking ‘sit down in a class room and read a book’ kind of educated. I am talking about the most basic ‘before you make a jackass assertion, google that shit’ kind of education (cause I wouldn’t want to make it too difficult).
I was put on to this Mr. Smooth character through the rants of a co-worker, who also blogs, about the blatant misogyny, chauvinism and sexism being perpetuated on his call in segment called ‘Make Up or Break Up’ in which he and his co-announcer asked callers to state what their number of sexual partners was. I’ll post an excerpt from her blog here:
Listeners were encouraged to call in and disclose their numbers. Fair enough. What was NOT okay was the way in which the female callers were treated after having done so. There was a CLEAR and BIASED dichotomy between the way the men and women were treated and frankly, it was disgusting.
The men had a nice time of it. They called in their numbers, (some bragging upwards of 900 women, I kid thee not) collected their virtual fist-bumps and went on their way.
But the women who called with higher numbers (varying from between 15 to 35 if I remember correctly were essentially told that no man would ever want to marry them, (because ZOMG WHAT IS A WOMAN WITHOUT A WEDDING RING?!?!?!?) allusions to loose vaginas included, and those with low numbers (usually 3 to 5) were told that they MUST be lying, and to not call in and lie to them.
– Read the entire post here on BattyMamzelle
She goes into a lot more detail in the rest of the post but the end summation was clear to anyone with a brain: the man is a total chauvinist.
Then last night, I log onto Facebook to see yet ANOTHER rant from her about Mr. Smooth’s (that’s a stupid name btw) latest shenanigans. This time it involved him telling a female caller that the morning after pill causes abortions. WHAT?!
Whatever your stance on abortions may be, I think we can all agree that the general stigma is not a positive one. Whether this should be changed…I’ll leave for another blog post, but for now, let’s consider this: a radio personality, with access to umpteens of listeners, many of whom one can assume are young, impressionable, generally not-too-sure about all these different methods of contraception (worst case scenario), tells those listeners that the morning after pill…is essentially the abortion pill. Catherine went on to tell me that he told the female listener to ‘Google it’. Well I wish he had googled it himself, because I did, just to be sure, and the first page of results had many hits detailing the various ways in which the morning after pill IS NOT an abortion pill. Back to the problem with this statement: what he is doing is essentially misleading the public on the issue of reproductive health. Contraception is not a joke and it’s not to be taken lightly. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut up. My experience has shown me that most men, outside of your good old latex condoms, know NOTHING about contraception. Nada. Zilch. I mean…nothing. And that’s not ok in itself, but what is worse is when such a man (cause Mr. Smooth obviously doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to contraception) then is allowed to go on the RADIO and proclaim to the PUBLIC what his misguided, erroneous and ignorant interpretation of said contraception is. This has serious implications, not only on a personal level for those naive enough to take his word for it, but also for the country as a whole.
I’m done for now. There’ll be more on this later, I just had to write this down because it’s been haunting me since last night. Let’s hope this doesn’t have to turn into a full out campaign to get this moron off the radio. Boom Champions…check your people.