The Austin Chronicle

How Not to Talk About Single-Sex Schools

By Brandon Watson, February 4, 2014, 2:45pm, Newsdesk

The right-wing bluster of KLBJ’s "Todd and Don Show" might not always be grounded in reality, but at least one thing is true. The blurb above the podcast listings reads ‘beware...this is a dangerous place.” Last Friday’s first hour broadcast was a case in point.

The subject of the hour was schools. After a brief interlude about Leander ISD’s decision to make up snow days on Memorial Day, the conversation shifted to AISD’s new single-sex middle schools. Don Pryor went on an extended riff on why he didn’t think the concept would work. That’s when bombast morphed from annoying to offensive.

Co-host Todd Jeffries argued, “You don’t have to be sold on it, it’s happening. There’s going to be an all boys middle school and an all girls middle school. This is going to be the issue that some of the school boards say will end to prison pipeline. It will eliminate all the distractions so that the boys can focus on their core subjects and not that split tail sitting next to them.”

It was unfortunate that the production staff didn’t have a record scratch in their library of sound effects. Although largely out of use, split tail is derogatory military slang for women. It’s the sort of word usually reserved for construction site wolf-whistles, offensive when used to describe adult women. But Jeffries was not talking about adult women; he was talking about 11 to 13-year-old girls.

It didn’t take long for listener to call them out, but that interaction quickly went sour too. A woman identifying herself as Karen chimed in, “I object to Todd Jeffries referencing women in any condescending terms...such as he used the word ‘S Tail.' Women should not be referred to as tail or the word ‘C’ or anything else.”

To Pryor, this was a joke, but also a chance for misdirection. “Why did you use the ‘C’ word earlier,” ribbed Pryor. That gave Jeffries the chance to defend himself. “I did not use the ‘C’ word,” he said, “No profanity was used.” In the background, Karen could be heard arguing that Jeffries used a word just as offensive as the example at hand. Pryor quickly dismissed her, saying “Thank you for calling in with your disinformation and lies.”

There you have it, female KLBJ listeners. Todd and Don may like certain parts of a woman's anatomy, but the mouth is not one of them. We just hope they won’t mind when we refer to them as “dicks.”

Full audio available on the January 31 podcast. Discussion starts at 33:58.

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