Encourage advertisers to drop abuser and misogynist Tom Leykis

In the comments to the post below this one, a gentleman writing under the name Tom Leykis left the following:

Honey, you’re despicable ESAD for you and you fat, fugly ass and you double standards. Now, why don’t all you diesel dykes bump fat clams and celebrate you disgusting pigs.

I laughed, I will admit. The idea of the entire Feministe team and commentariat sitting in a circle bumping fat clams will probably keep me laughing for the next few days. But it turns out that the fellow who allegedly left this comment (after being sent here by Reddit’s MRA board, natch) is not just any random troll. The real Tom Leykis has a popular (and formerly nationally syndicated) radio show where he hates on women and instructs listeners to call him “Dad” (obviously no issues there). It will surprise exactly no one that this Men’s Rights Activist was charged with “felony assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime” a few years ago.

Am I sure that it was the actual Mr. Leykis who left the comment? No. After reading about him, do I think that he’s a very troubled individual who probably should not have a public platform? Yes.

Now I am not under the impression that we can get Mr. Leykis’s show off the air — after being dropped by CBS, he now produces it himself and airs it on the internet. However, he apparently hosts another show called Tasting With Tom that is syndicated on many different radio stations and supported by advertisers. I wonder if the syndication partners and the advertisers know what they’re paying for? I think we should give them a heads up. Here’s a list of who to contact, and a sample script:

Dear [Company].

I’m writing to express my concern about your [advertising on / syndicating] the Tasting With Tom radio show. Mr. Leykis has a long history of sexism that has allegedly escalated into violence (he was charged with felony assault). He uses his radio show to reveal the identity of women who press rape charges. He harasses female writers. He regularly calls women “bitches,” “dykes” and “whores.”

I hope that [Company] will reconsider using its dollars to support Mr. Leykis’ show, and attaching its brand to such an abhorrent individual. Please drop Tasting With Tom.

Thank you for your time,
[Your Name]

Cedar Companies. Contact form at the link, or call (888) 696-5855.
Lambretta, contact form at the link or email info@lambrettainternational.com
Cru Wine Company, 559-673-6372
Prudential California in Temecula, run by Joe DiLullo: 951-203-0200
Juanita’s Housecleaning, (818)825-3662 or danny@juanitashousecleaning.com
Pure Herbal, 1-888-588-2484
Ventura Limoncello Company, info@venturalimoncello.com
Duke of Bourbon, sales@dukeofbourgon.com or 800-4-FINE-WINE

_______________________
Ed note: I amended this post on Jan. 8th to reflect the fact that it came to my attention that it may have been a Tom Leykis fan or someone else imitating him who left the comment under his name. When I put up the post I believed Leykis himself left the comment; I am no longer sure if that’s true. After receiving a barrage of threats, insults and other harassment from Leykis himself and his followers, though, I would still encourage readers to reach out to Leykis’ sponsors and let them know what they are supporting.

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Domestic Violence, Media & Media Literacy. Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Encourage advertisers to drop abuser and misogynist Tom Leykis

  1. …I’m still baffled by what “diesel dykes” could possibly mean.

    Jill, would it be meaningful if people in other countries (read: me) participated in this?

    • Jill says:

      Yes, please! Any and all participants welcome.

      • TomSims says:

        I never heard of this guy but here is what I got from the Urban Dictionary

        What does Urban Dictionary say about diesel dykes?

        Search for a name:
        That name isn’t defined yet.

    • Jadey says:

      I keep thinking something along the lines of “steampunk lesbians”, followed quickly on by “yum”. I love when people try to insult me by calling me something potentially awesome.

    • Radiant Sophia says:

      Diesel being a type of fuel, maybe it’s a reference to truck driving?

      • Jill says:

        But I’m the fashion guy!

      • Radiant Sophia says:

        Where I’m from (Iowa), diesel (as pertains to heavy automotive) is often used as slang for homosexual, both to denigrate, and as reclaimed by the community. I don’t know why. We even have a leatherman motorcycle club (the cornhaulers, yes, seriously).

      • Li says:

        Ding! Diesel Dykes are a subset of Butches who drive trucks and/or ride motorbikes. Think Norma from Shameless.

      • Jadey says:

        So that just sounds even better. How is this an insult again?

        I mean, clams are delicious.

      • DouglasG says:

        I’m guessing it sort of morphed into Dykes on Bikes, but what a blast from the past! I was familiar with the term, but it was out before I was, and that is a good many Biellmann spins ago. I don’t think I ever heard the term used to refer to any real person.

        I’ve heard Mr L on the radio, though no pleasant or even neutral detail sticks in the memory. He certainly wouldn’t be any great loss. I can’t imagine that anyone who would use that term would be, though happily it seems almost equally unlikely that anyone so outdated would be at all relevant.

      • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help says:

        Sounds like the Dykes on Bikes of Sydney Mardi Gras fame. :)

  2. tomek says:

    oh very much please let us not advocate of censership.

    yes i know u will say not it is censership because censership is government doing censership. but still if you are go out of your way to prevent someone from saying there opinion and stop many people hearing it, this is censership. even if it not it is legal definition of censership. shame on you.

    expose guy for being idiot by all mean. and counter argument against him viewpoint. but do not argue for censership. also what is the fat clam is it not the sea food? how is this bumped?

    • Jill says:

      Nope. He can still produce his show all he wants. But advertisers don’t have to pay for it.

    • Donna L says:

      what is the fat clam is it not the sea food? how is this bumped?

      Are you being serious? If so, I suggest you find a slang dictionary and look up what “clam” refers to.

      Also, “diesel dyke” was a common insult at least back to the ’50’s, from things I’ve read that were written back then. I’m sure it comes up in books like Stone Butch Blues. I didn’t know that it had been reclaimed.

      • Radiant Sophia says:

        “Also, “diesel dyke” was a common insult at least back to the ’50′s”

        I did not know this.

      • William says:

        At least he stuck to his principles and, in keeping with the general MRA desire to return to some fantasy of what the 50s were (as seen on NickAtNite!), used insults from the period in which he would like to live. I mean, you can’t get more being the change you wish to see in the world than that…

      • Donna L says:

        By the way, I always thought that the “diesel” part comes from the implication that the dykes to whom it was applied were both as big and as strong as a truck. As in the old urban legend and literary trope of bars hiring giant lesbians as bouncers. Like the “Gallus Mag” story found in Herbert Asbury’s book, about the female bouncer in the 19th century who supposedly kept all the ears she bit off in a jar of alcohol behind the bar (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallus_Mag). (Too bad the name has been appropriated by one of the most notoriously anti-trans radical feminists out there.) Like similar characters in a number of 1950’s paperback originals, including in one David Goodis novel I read recently. Like a story I once heard, dating back to the 1940’s, about a dyke bouncer who supposedly beat up Errol Flynn. And so on.

        So in a way, I guess you could say that the term was used almost as a compliment sometimes.

      • Donna L says:

        (One wonders, of course, what appendage the bitten-off ears were supposed to evoke in the minds of terrified listeners to the tales of Gallus Mag.)

      • LC says:

        Yeah, I remember Diesel Dyke from growing up, but by then it had already been the project of some reclamation. I always thought that the Diesel Cafe on Davis square in Somerville was deliberately a reference to that, since it’s explicitly queer friendly.

    • EG says:

      Nope. It’s not censorship. I don’t see a bunch of advertisers giving me big bucks to be on the radio. Am I being censored? No. Nobody’s required to give me a soapbox.

    • ellid says:

      Dude, you can’t even *spell* “censorship.” Why should you expect anyone to take you seriously?

      • rain says:

        I don’t think English is tomek’s first language. Even if it was, we shouldn’t discount what someone is saying just because of how they say it. A bad speller or inarticulate person can still have a legitimate point or make a thoughtful argument. Gawd knows there’s enough to mine in tomek’s writing without having to resort to criticizing spelling or grammar, although I will say that my personal favourite was the Nice Guy (Tm) / NiceGuyTim misunderstanding. Delightful.

      • mxe354 says:

        I strongly feel that tomek is someone who used to go by a name like “Tomek Kulesza”. He, too, often expressed MRA apologetic views. I haven’t seen him since that thread about the matriarchy article (I forgot the exact title).

        I believe that he is just trying to make his English look horrible so that he can avoid being identified as Tomek Kulesza. If it is true that English is, in fact, not his first language, then I apologize profusely. But as far as I can tell, he seems to have a good understanding of basic grammatical rules and has a pretty good vocabulary for someone who apparently can’t speak English well. Also, his “unintentional” grammar and spelling mistakes seem far too reminscent of a mockery of people who can’t speak English well (i.e. what he says is very much akin to sayings like “You are go to store”, which are often used to demean many non-native English speakers). They seem rather convenient for him.

        But again, I understand that I could be wrong.

      • king ten butts says:

        i had this feeling too. i’ve talked to plenty of people whose first language was not english and have spent time at various levels of understanding in different languages and i’ve never seen this mix of ignorance and proficiency. i just never cared to comment considering there’s no way to verify.

      • rain says:

        But as far as I can tell, he seems to have a good understanding of basic grammatical rules and has a pretty good vocabulary for someone who apparently can’t speak English well

        this mix of ignorance and proficiency

        Ah. Yes. I can see that now it’s been pointed out.

      • Fishing For Insults says:

        Let’s just appreciate tomek for the ingenious comedian he is.

      • Juli says:

        That’s spoofed foreign speak, straight up.

        I just assumed the dude was trying to sound like Borat Lite.

    • Lauren says:

      No one is arguing for censorship, but companies that finance a show that promotes the degradation and violation of women should know what they’re funding. They have a right to be made aware of the incendiary and deeply offensive comments made by this host, and we have the right as consumers to educate them and encourage them to put their advertising dollars elsewhere. He can keep on talking, but he doesn’t have to be funded by advertising money.

    • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help says:

      Tomek, how is it censorship to point out to his advertisers that he’s spewing hate talk and that they should consider withdrawing their implicit support of him? How is informing them that their support will lose business censorship? Why is it always “censorship” when people take action against the racists, the misogynists, and all the other promoters of hate and violence?

  3. Angel H. says:

    No doubt Tom Leykis is a turd of the lowest order…but is he the same Tom “Leykas” that left the comment?

  4. Marni says:

    I’m having trouble parsing any of it, and I’m an English speaker. He wants us to celebrate? OK then, thanks?

  5. Alexandra says:

    “Bump fat clams” is hilarious. I am still chuckling.

  6. What the fucken hell are fat clams?? Google was no help.

  7. Pamela says:

    He’s a “shock jock”–like Howard Stern–sells “isms”: sexism, homophobia, etc:-( Read his Wikipedia site–a loser who is still on the air.

  8. DonnaFaye says:

    About 8 years ago I was stuck in Phoenix traffic and was flipping through stations and happened upon Leykis’ show. I listened for about 20 minutes in horrified fascination. He was taking calls, mostly from bitter MRA-type guys but there was a woman who called. IIRC she was asking him for relationship advice (!) from him. She mentioned that she was in her late 20s and therefore no longer at prime hotness or whatever, with a tinge of regret in her voice. Leykis agreed with that, approvingly. Clearly, this idea that women peak in their late teens/early 20s was a thing for him and this poor woman totally bought into it. Based on that memory alone, I support this effort.

  9. Mztress says:

    I had a hard time deciphering the comment, since I do not speak [redacted]. “Bump fat clams?” Seriously? What a pathetic, middle-school attempt at an insult.

  10. Kristen J. says:

    How this sack of shit even has a single remaining listener is beyond me. Although, Mr. Kristen says that if you step back into the way, way, way back machine you might know that Leykis actually had a lefty, political talk show in the late 80s/early 90s that he vaguely recalls was considered “women-friendly” in a Nice Guy(TM) sort of way. Further evidence of my thesis that if you scratch beneath the surface of a Nice Guy, regardless of political affiliation, you’ll find a raging misogynist.

  11. Nahida says:

    I just listened to this guy for five minutes whining about how women “get to decide” whether he has sex with them.

  12. Emie says:

    Um… was he drunk when he wrote that or what? His words are quite incoherent.

    • Kasabian says:

      Drunk on impotent MRA rage. It tastes like watered down Pabst and sadness.

      Which is ironic, seeing as MRA tears are fucking delicious.

  13. Ismone says:

    Oh, I remember this guy. Although I have never heard his show.

    Not only was the assault conviction a DV case brought by his then-wife, he also outed Kobe Bryant’s accuser: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/abuse-rap-dj-who-named-kobes-accuser

    And he lost in Alaska, for targeting a woman who wrote a letter asking that his show be cancelled. On appeal, her IIED claim was reinstated. It was Carpenter v. Leykis, on appeal it was State v. Carpenter.

  14. A4 says:

    I chose to express the above template on Weavver’s facebook page. Nothing like a little public discourse.

    I was picturing us all having stuffed clams like this one:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/91710313/plush-pink-clam-grey-doll-kids-toy-doll

    And then we would be a real life secret society where we bump our little plushie toys together as a secret handshake.

    I was also thinking of that song from Wicked:

    Fellow Feministians – as terrifying as an MRA is, let us put
    aside our panic for this one day, bump fat clams and celebrate!
    (sung) Oh what a celebration
    We’ll have today!

  15. anonk says:

    You’ve misspelled the email for Duke of Bourbon.

  16. Jamie says:

    Ooooooh, when is next top troll season???

  17. roro80 says:

    Y’all just made my day. *bumps fat clams*

  18. Wiley Reading says:

    Actual Diesel Dyke reporting that:

    1. “bumping fat clams” is actually making me laugh out loud at work and
    2. I sent some internet scoldings. First time ever! Hope they listen.

  19. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Dear Tom-

  20. mxe354 says:

    Honey, you’re despicable ESAD for you and you fat, fugly ass and you double standards. Now, why don’t all you diesel dykes bump fat clams and celebrate you disgusting pigs.

    I didn’t laugh at this. I just wanted to crawl into a hole after I read it.

  21. Danny says:

    The “Fat Clam Bump” is going to be Ani DiFranco’s “Gangnam Style” come summer 2013.

  22. Amelie says:

    What kinds of responses have people been getting back? I sent an email to the Duke of Bourbon last night and got back simply, “What kind of wine would you like to buy today?” Very nice.

    Limoncello responded too with a more standard one saying that they had had an interview on the show but never spent any dollars there.

    • Amelie says:

      Just an update. I responded saying “Not today, not tomorrow, not in the future, I suppose” and got the following back from Duke of Bourbon:

      “If you are not a customer, then why would we entertain your request?

      Tom Leykis is a dear friend and a great customer. Have you ever listened to his show? The Tasting Room is a show about wine, spirits and the good life. His credo is spelled out on his site. Have you taken the time to read it? The other show is a SHOW! It is meant for entertainment and only entertainment.

      Are you aware that we live in America? Freedom of speech mean anything to you? If you are offended, turn off his show. It is as simple as that.”

      I told him to have a nice day. Guess some advertisers were already aware of who he is and what he’s about.

    • Amelie says:

      Sorry, that was “None today, none tomorrow, none in the future I suppose.”

  23. Lolagirl says:

    Tsk Tsk, stop being a creeper, Jill impersonator!

    • Lolagirl says:

      Can I also say how very, very tired I am by men who think the best and quickest way to silence their feminine opponents is to engage in stalkerish and intimidating behavior? Lookie here at me, be menaced and afraid by my pathetic attempt at faux-hacking/id theft!

      Phhttttt!

  24. librarygoose says:

    I love it when the “but you’ll never post this” stuff gets posted. It makes it seem so toothless.

  25. Rob Landry says:

    Don’t give this clown the attention he craves, Jill. He’s not worth it.

  26. EJ says:

    Leykis is basically a less-successful version of Don Imus. I think that’s punishment enough.

  27. Fat Steve says:

    I must admit I’ve never heard Tom Leykis’s show, not even in tiny bits being played as examples on other programs like I have heard Limbaugh or Beck (I’ve definitely heard Limbaugh more on Rachel Maddow than on his actual radio show.)

    However, as someone who has been working in both national, local, and international radio for over 10 years, I can honestly say that the behavior described above is a drop in the bucket compared to the attitudes/behaviors of 99% of the shitheads who work in middle management and above jobs in radio. A more misogynistic money grubbing immoral load of scumbags you should not choose to meet.

  28. Juli says:

    Well I guess there will always be guys in the world who hate women because they didn’t get the fantasy girl they pined for, and aren’t satisfied with the girls they actually got. If those dudes worked on themselves instead of spending so much time hating, maybe they’d attract women they liked. Leykis himself is a perfect example – overweight and negative, desperately trying to look cool behind sunglasses. Blech.

    Pity the girls who waste time on these losers. Our time is well spent helping women identify and leave jerks like that. Don’t settle for a Leykis Loser, girls! Life’s waaaay too short for that.

  29. Scissors says:

    Tasting with Tom? publicly outing women who report rape? What a creep! He may just get rid of himself by doing something that will land him behind bars. Sometimes it’s best to just step aside and let matters resolve themselves. It doesn’t say whether he’s on probation for that felony assault. A probation violation would be one way to get rid of him.

  30. I think it is best left to the marketplace of ideas to sort out what is right and what is wrong – what people choose to think. Feminism is best served by allowing all points of view to be heard. I really am against this sort of “contact the advertisers” / put pressure on, etc., to silence those ideas that you do not approve of. The most important thing we have in the United States is the First Amendment and it should be robustly protected. My views can be aired but if you like them or don’t like them then show myself and others why I am wrong or why I am right. It is dictators and thugs that try to silence the opposition and oppress minorities, women and others. I hate to think anyone calling themselves a feminist of any stripe aligns themselves with such oppression.

  31. I would never threaten someone I don’t agree with. Go ahead – scream your foolishness at the top of your lungs – maybe someone will listen. God bless America – I do not fear what I do not agree with and neither should you…

  32. I am really sad to see people talking about the Leykis show with some kind of criticism but likewise saying they have never heard the show itself. Talk about ignorant. Also talking about his “conviction” of assault or him being on probation, etc. If you are serious about harming your opponents at least start by getting the facts straight. I do not get the impression he was ever convicted of anything and if you really want to harm his show in some way, give it a sampling so you can properly quote it and criticize it in some rational way. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/abuse-rap-dj-who-named-kobes-accuser

    1995 incident people

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