My all-time favorite hard rock radio station has made me angry for the last time. Every once in a while, they get a wild hair and decide to do something that’s exploitative of women. Most of the DJs are male, and while I don’t know that that necessarily has anything to do with the problem, it certainly doesn’t help, because they’re not feeling the problem. And the occasional woman on staff might not feel like she can say anything for fear of retribution or ostracism.
Thing is…the year is 2016. Aren’t we a little past the point where we need to talk about Hooters’ Girls and strip clubs on the air all the time? And, even if not, we can most certainly stop the occasional ultra-exploitative incident. This time, the station recently had a contest where girls sent in their photos to be voted on. The one with the most votes becomes the winner, so you know these girls are doing their best to look sexy, provocative, and desirable. The station has done this before, just with different themes (like with tattooed women—who has the best tattoos? My question: Why just women???). I suppose the station is catering to its main demographic, which I’m guessing must be 15- to 25-year-old horny males—but it’s pissing this 40ish-year-old female right the hell off, and I am no longer listening to their station. Yes, I miss listening to the station, but I am over it. Whether or not a young woman is willing to be drooled over and voted on—solely based on her appearance—it’s time to stop.
I complained to my husband about it, and he said, “Well, in all fairness…that’s always kinda been a facet of metal”—you know, the music, the girls, the booze, the pills. I replied that, yeah, it sure has been. Back in the day, I saw more than my fair share of women flashing their boobs at the band—usually from a spot on their boyfriends’ shoulders. But that was a long time ago and we live in a different age.
And then I started questioning myself. Don’t I do something very similar? What about the half-naked cover models gracing my book covers? Does that make me a hypocrite, especially when these covers truly are meant to be drool-inducing?
One difference, though, is that the models are paid—and they are not just there to be voted on and judged by their appearance. They somehow represent the story inside the book. They are not merely what my teenage boys would call “fap” material. Ask how many people have bought my books with no plans to ever read them if you have any doubts.
I realize in terms of my ex-fave radio station that I may be the only listener who takes issue with what they’re doing…but I can no longer just sit back and listen. Look out, Pandora—here I come. It was time for me to get with the new millennium anyway—it just took a response to modern-day insensitivity to push me there.