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I live in Milwaukee, and I like rock music. The problem I am having is that there are only two rock stations in Milwaukee, and they are both marketing themselves to a demographic that is completely male. I e-mailed both station managers and asked if there was any way I could convince them that their female listeners are just as important as their male listeners. They basically said that they are following the rules that their parent-companies have set. Their marketing techniques are offensive to me, but they could be improved by adding marketing aimed at women. Instead of just sponsoring strip clubs where girls take off their clothes, I'd like them to sponsor strip clubs where men take off their clothes, too. Also, instead of just having a "Babe of the Month" web page, I would appreciate a "Hunk of the Month" web page.

Am I expecting to much from our paternalistic society? If not, how can I raise public awareness of this (in Milwaukee) and put pressure on the radio stations to change their policies? I love rock music. Music is my entire life. Radio should not be so degrading for a woman to listen to that she has to constantly only listen to CD's.

Thank you,



Dear Jennifer,

I share your frustration with radio, both with the music they offer and the limited commentary. Radio stations simultaneously wonder why they are losing female listeners and then refuse to change their missions. You have done everything right -- you have let the stations know you are a loyal listener and what you expect from the station. However, my assumption is that the people running those stations are male and probably can't imagine the equal treatment you proposed.

What you might want to do is prove you aren't the only listener that feels this way. Plus, you should alert not only the station, but also alert their advertisers as this may potentially put pressure on the stations to change their tune. Can you circulate a petition among others in Milwaukee asking for better representation on the radio? It's important to complain about what's wrong but also offer feasible solutions on how to improve it. For example, look at what the current ratio of ads targeting men is compared to women and propose they work toward evening out this disparity. And again, make sure to let advertisers know that you don't appreciate their ads. Building a critical mass is key - if they get one complaint they might pretend they never heard it, but once they get 5 and then 5 more, they have to reevaluate.

- Amy


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