My most-listened-to radio station is currently XFM. I just like most of the stuff they play and the chat isn’t excessive or overly juvenile. Usually.
On Monday morning I was walking to work with my phone tuned in and found my jaw dropping at this day’s text-in subject.
It started fairly innocuously. Paul Simon’s enjoying a bit of a come-back at the moment so the ‘50 ways to leave your lover‘ discussion was revived; I really like this song actually. In it, Simon talks about encouraging a friend to leave a relationship they’re unhappy with. Something most of us have done or at least witnessed.
In the song, Simon suggests 5 ‘ways’ to leave one’s lover:
1) Just slip out the back, Jack
2) Make a new plan, Stan
3) You don’t need to be coy, Roy
4) Hop on the bus, Gus
5) Drop off the key, Lee
So the text-in game was to come up with a further 45 ways, as long as they rhymed. Fair enough. The suggestions were as follows, and maybe you can spot why I was shocked by it:
6) Fake your own death, Geoff
7) Tell them they’re not slim, Jim
8 ) Sleep with her sister, mister
9) Push her out of a plane, Shane
10) Do a John Terry, Jerry
11) Do a Giggsy, Mr Rigsby
12) Change the locks when she goes shopping, Robin
13) Tell her you’re gay, Andre
14) Put his stuff in a skip, Pip
15) Become increasingly cold and distant, Vincent
16) Take her to see Celine Deon, Leon
17) Snowballed away, Jay
18) Kill her cat, Matt
19) Boil her bunny, honey
20) Engage the ejector seat, Pete
21) Have an affair, Claire
22) Put her out with the trash, Slash
23) Write a message in the sky, Kai
24) Get on the tube, Jude
25) Try and dodge her, Roger
26) Defriend on facebook, Brooke
27) Tell ‘em it’s gone down the pan, Fran
28) Tell him he’s smelly, Shelly
29) Get in your van, man
30) Don’t let her under the cover, brother
31) Send her a text, Rex
32) Do it by email, Dale
33) Sleep with a tranny, Fanny
34) Tell her she’s rank, Frank
35) Tell her she’s so uncool, Paul
36) Tell her she’s a dingbat, Pat
37) Toss her in front of the train, Wayne
38) Feed her to the lions, Brian
39) Bury her on Blackheath, Keith
40) Stick her head in the cooker, Mr Brooker
41) Sleep with her mum, chum
42) Push her off a cliff, Cliff
43) Tell her she’s old and grey, Ray
44) Trigger an allergy, Ramji
45) I’m with your sis, Fliss
46) Stop the sex, Becks
47) Ditch the witch, Mitch
48) Put him in the spam, Sam
49) Never wash, Josh
50) Jog her on, John
Here’s my issue. I expect there were more than 50 suggestions made and these were the ones deemed acceptable.
6-8 of them involve suggestions of killing the woman (9, 22 questionably, 37-40,42 and possibly 44). This is meant to be ways to leave someone, not murder them. Most of them are insulting, many involve some form of violence or adultery and the vast majority are men dumping women. Granted, there’s 48 (‘put him in the spam’) which is pretty ridiculous but it’d be unfair of me not to point out that there’s one such suggestion.
Yes, I’ve overreacted to something mostly harmless. I tweeted @Xfm to ask them not to applaud people who think it’s clever to allude to killing women but heard nothing back.
At the time it seemed like more were violent than there are, looking at the list now, but 7/50 is still a disturbingly high proportion, in my opinion, and the fact that the DJs read it out with apparent amusement even moreso.
Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. Any thoughts?
Edit: I notice today (May 21st 2013) that this has kind of been revived on twitter under #50morewaystoleaveyourlover.
Interestingly, here’s a snippet:
#50morewaystoleaveyourlover poison her tea , Lee
#50MoreWaysToLeaveYourLover Put salt in his tea, Lee
So already, kill a woman, slightly disgust a man. I’m sure most of this is unconscious, but it’s both interesting and worrying. There’s also plenty of transphobia in there, disappointingly.