Radio Peeves

The two major rock stations in Milwaukee, FM102.1, and 102.9 The Hog, both have practices that I find completely disturbing.  FM 102.1 is less disturbing to me, for the most part, because they’re not named “The Hog” and they actually play music I like (along with some crap, but less crap than other stations).

My peeves with FM 102.1 are their advertising.  They commonly run ads for strip clubs (mostly for Silk Exotic) and for porn shops.  This makes for listening in certain company uncomfortable if there happens to be a lull in the conversation at the wrong (right?) time. 

My peeves with 102.9 The Hog are extensive.  First off, they have The Hogettes.  I can’t believe any woman would want to be referred to in that manner.  Eeew.  And, personally, I think Milwaukee’s got lots of women that look better than these girls.  Then they’ve got The Hog Rock Girl.  And I’m sorry, but I think that most of that biographical information is stuff that should remain private.  One more thing: there’s the Hog Hottie of the Day.  You are suposed to be 18 or older to see the contents.  And I can’t find a picture that actually shows anything other than lingerie.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s offensive enough for a radio station.  I thought that radio stations were supposed to deal with music and that which pertains to music.  More stuff bothers me, too!  They often have giveaways like this one.  The details of that contest:

“The HOG and Miller Lite can put you behind the wheel of a new Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4×4!

Register at one of our next Miller Lite Jeep Stops listed below (the stops listed in bold will be staffed by our super-qualified RoadHOGs…in case you break their balls a little).

And, listen to The Gasman weekday afternoons on THE HOG to play Roll Out the Barrel for even MORE chances to win!Yyou’ll have to choose – a barell of The Gasman’s gasoline…or a barrel of Miller Lite. Either way you’ll be qualified to win the Miller Lite Summer Jeep!”

The parts of the contest that bother me are that they promote using a gas-guzzling vehicle (sometimes the contests even involve Hummers), and they encourage the guzzling of gas directly through winning gas. 

The big problems I have with the Hog’s girlie-pages and promotion of them is that (a) there are so many of them (isn’t one good enough? Does the Hog have to be the starting point for all its male listeners masturbatory needs?) and (b) there’s nothing equivalent for the ladies to gawk at. 

I wrote a letter to the station manager about this years ago and got a reply (I know, that part’s amazing enough) that spoke about the fact that everything they do is controlled/approved/initiated at the corporate level.  The station manager basically shirked any responsibility for his station’s behavior.  He wasn’t convinced that other women in the area shared my concerns.  I know that many of them do.  However, they will not speak up.  That’s part of a woman’s socialization.  Many young women who listen to this kind of music share my thoughts but will not speak up for fear of being labeled “feminists” (as if that’s a dirty word) or too sensitive.  Fuck it – I’m a feminist and I like to rock, so there should be a station that respects me.  All I’m asking for is to have a male “Hottie of the Day”, “Hog Rock Guy”, and troop of “Hogs”.  You know, beefcakes with tattoos and piercings that look like they could rock the stage hardcore.  But no.  The station will not objectify men in the same manner that they are willing to use to objectify women.  Result: I NEVER listen to the Hog. 

I am still upset about the ads for porn shops and strip clubs, but that’s not really a big deal – just a bit embarrassing in some situations.  My last big beef with the radio stations is that they sometimes have contests in which you can win gift cards to the porn shops or free admission to the strip club.  The only thing that upsets me about that is that many women just don’t care about those things.  They are not going to pick up the phone to try to win that.  Also, it’s irrelevant to the business of running a radio station.  How do porn and strip clubs relate to music? 

I’ve got an idea.  Let’s keep our radio stations focused on music.  That’s what these particular radio stations have to offer us, so that’s what they should focus on.  For other things, we should be turning to other businesses.  This seems obvious and simple, but it must be too complicated for many people to understand or they would be doing it. 

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