Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sexism is ok when funny, right Jon?

My running chum Tracy wrote about Jon Gugala's sexist remarks in his Twitter Feed from yesterday's Boston Marathon.  But the strange thing was that when he was called on it by a fellow journalist and my other running chum Sara, he replied with an ill fated attempt at humor and more sexist commentary.

Here are some choice tid bits:




Today Jon Gugala, who is a freelancer for "Runner's World, Running Times, Competitor, RunBlogRun, and more," [sic] according to his Twitter bio, said that Tracy, as an amateur blogger, should stay in the shallow end. The shocking assumption he makes is that he is a professional blogger, considering his extremely impressive social media presences puts his Klout score at 12 out of 100 and he has a breathtaking 218 followers on Twitter and 60 likes on Facebook (as of the writing of this post). It is even more shocking because this professional blogger had the time to engaged me in a back-and-forth on Twitter for hours about his "perceived" sexism. 

Granted I am not trying to measure up to this professional writer with my admittedly amateur blog post or more highly ranked Twitter feed.  What I want talk about is the acceptability of his sexism within sports reporting.

Some facts for Jon and others: Women make up more than 50% of the US population and have been the fastest growing segment of the running community over the past several years, according to Running USA.  My current PR will not qualify me for the Boston Marathon and I am OK with that.  I hope one day to come close but I don't see it happening. However, I do not believe my current pace per mile has anything to do with my ability to identify sexism. 

Most of the people I follow in the running world are women.  My coach is a woman.  My teammates are women (and men).  Some of the best running bloggers out there are women.  As I point out above, women make up most of the current running community and therefore it could be safe to assume they buy many of the publications that Jon relies upon for his income.

What I don't understand is why Jon didn't just say, "Sorry, didn't mean it that way, my bad" and move on.  This would have been the professional thing to do, but he didn't do that. Instead he has spent his day belittling me and my friends online.  I am a no one with a blog readership of three people.  But more importantly, my livelihood isn't tied up in my blogging and tweeting about running. You would think a guy who needs to get paid for his writing by magazines that cover issues of a community made up of more than 50% women would try to put something like this behind him as opposed to making it his day long obsession.

Strange.

So if you don't like Jon's point of view please send Chris Lambiase, Senior Vice President & Publishing Director for both Runner's World and Running Times, an email and tell him that Jon Gugala isn't who you want covering your sport. His email is first name DOT last name AT rodale DOT com.  You could also write David Willey Senior, Vice President & Editor in Chief for Runner's World at first name DOT last name AT rodale DOT com or to Jonathan Beverly, Editor in Chief for Running Times at first name AT runningtimes DOT com to inform them of this attitude towards their readers. 

I don't want to spam these guy, but it would be good if we sent in a few hundred emails. Say about 218.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Top header reads "sexisim" -- this is just a tip to edit the typo.

dcc said...

Thanks Anonymous.

Kevin said...

Jon Gugala's Klout score is 42 last I checked - not 12 as you mentioned. But I think it's about to get a boost from all this undeserved attention...

Anonymous said...

The most difficult form of writing is humor, especially when it comes quick. Jon is funny and his lighthearted descriptions of an event most think is boring, is refreshing. We're adults and the

dcc said...

Kevin, It was 12 when I checked it last. This might actually have helped.

Other Anonymous: Jon might be funny and lighthearted but calling another journalist a dumbass for calling into question his lack of judgement or saying using sexism as humor is simply talking about sex is shortsighted. Jon made a mistake and could have fixed it with a short apology. But he didn't. Now he deals with the impact.

Anonymous said...

the fact that jon is unwilling to just apologize combined with his mention of his own 10k time, lead me to believe that he is pretty arrogant. i won't be following him on twitter or anywhere else.

G said...

Do you think you went a little overboard with this? All Jon was really guilty of was being childish and a jerk.

This really isn't about his sexist comments. It's about the fact that he insulted you. You advised him to take the high road and apologize. You could have taken the high road and simply ignored him. Instead, you chose to go after his livelihood. Not exactly an equal and opposite reaction.

dcc said...

G- I have to admit I didn't expect this significant of a reaction in this time frame. As I noted I don't have a major reader base and it would appear that others didn't like Jon's childish and sexist tweets. If you follow our interaction, I warned him about this and he called me out further.

I hope he figures out that he can't insult his readers/consumers and expect to continue with his career.

Anonymous said...

I know Jon well as a friend and a writer. He is extremely talented and knowledgable on the sport. His humor and sarcasm are often misinterpreted. I am a female runner.

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of Jon and think this article went way overboard. Get over it that you got your feelings hurt.