Ronn Owens has been a respected radio host on KGO Radio in San Francisco for 40 years, from 10am to Noon 5 days a week talking about “everything from local politics and pop culture to current events, personal issues, or just pain gossip…” so when his producer got in touch with me about coming on his show it was a total no-brainer to say yes and get it on the calendar for Equal Pay Day. Talking about feminism and how sexism impacts womens’ professional (and personal) lives is kinda my thing* so it was the perfect occasion.
Ronn is a really great host and his whole team made me feel totally at ease. We started by talking about whether sexism in the workplace is a “new issue” (surprise, it’s not!) and why it seems like there’s more and more stories about harassment coming out. We also talked about the subtleties of consent and bias and how men and women experience both differently. The ‘Elephant in the Valley‘ survey, which was the first of it’s kind to “profile the experiences of anonymous female executives in Silicon Valley,” also came up a few times during our chat.
Later in the segment we have a pretty combative sounding caller who wants to know “as a chauvinistic man-hater, when do you do think it will stop being trendy to bash men?” – which is not an uncommon response to women trying to address inequalities in the work place. It’s one of the things that prevents women from speaking up because it can be really uncomfortable (and down-right dangerous) to deal with the anger some men feel toward women talking about these topics.
My response starts with the compassion I feel for men who have to deal with their own stereotypes and cultural limitations placed on them. I also mention how I hope my work around the Bitch Stigma helps more women move past those fears of judgement.
We moved on to talk about whether protests and surveys really impact progress and whether corporations can actually “be feminist” and not just appropriate feminism.
psst…if you’re part of a company that wants to put their feminism into action, contact me about sponsoring my new hackathon ‘Hack the Patriarchy‘ which I’m launching in San Jose, CA in October!
Thanks to Ronn and Sandra for inviting me on, I look forward to coming back in a few months. In the meantime, if you’re in the San Francisco area, listen to Ronn every weekday morning on KG0-810.