I am an avid CBC listener. I have it on in the car and in my office all day. When there is programming I am not fond of I listen to other CBC programs via podcast. Generally speaking, CBC programming is excellent and non-offensive. Lately there seems to be a change.
I was listening to On The Coast, the afternoon show from 3-6 every day. On September 13, Belle Purie was interviewing Grant Lawrence who is the host of a CBC Radio 3 podcast that focuses on new music. He was talking about a band called Said the Whale who sing a song called “On the Banks of English Bay.” He then went on to say that whales don’t beach themselves on English Bay unless you count his ex-girlfriend.
Being the feminist I am, I took great offense to this and fired off an email to the CBC decrying this blatant misogyny on the CBC. I received an email back from producer Karen Burgess promising to listen to the clip. I then advised her that while she was listening to clips she might also want to listen to the “google trends” piece that aired the next day as the misogynistic crap continued. I still have not heard back from Ms. Burgess.
Yesterday, Grant Lawrence was at it again. In a clip discussing Rufus Wainwright (I am still unclear how he was able to insult women given his topic) he said that Rufus was going to give them some ‘fabulous fall fashion tips.’ He should have stopped there. He goes on to add that Jenna Chow can do it for the girls. Now, unless Jenna Chow has become a fashion consultant for pre-pubescent females I have no idea to which group he was referring.
Representations of people in media are crucial. The CBC, as Canada’s publicly funded broadcaster, has an extra responsibility to ensure that all groups it discusses are represented accurately. Then there are the blatant misogynistic comments that we cannot let slide. I am unclear why the CBC seems to think this is alright. Perhaps they think they are appealing to younger, more hip audience and that somehow it is ok to sacrifice women. We need to let them know that this is not alright with us.