Make Room For The Stuttering

His Stories – Should I?

Posted on: May 13, 2011

I have received comments and emails since starting the women’s podcast last year from men, asking why men are “left out”. One reader commented, “I wish someone would create a podcast for us men.”  

Of course, men have stories too, that are just as compelling and inspiring as the women’s stories. I went with the women’s niche since we are the minority within a minority, and nowhere else do women have the chance to share in a unique space just for us. (The other US podcast interviews both genders, but is more geared toward famous people who stutter or SLP’s or researchers).

I cannot have a male on the show “Women Who Stutter: Our Stories”. That would be just too confusing. I’ve been asked by a few men if I would make an exception and allow an “honorary woman” once in a while. I don’t feel comfortable with that either.

But I am thinking we could have a male guest once per month and make it distinct from our Women’s Stories. I have even toyed with a unique title. And I have the first male guest already lined up. But I want some feedback.

What do you think? Would there be interest? Should I “branch out?”  And should it follow basically the same format? A conversation about stuttering between two people who stutter, one who happens to be female and the other who happens to be male? Let me know your thoughts.

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26 Responses to "His Stories – Should I?"

Hi Pam,
I’m sorry to discriminate against any man who stutters (hey, I married one!), but no, please don’t branch out. I truly feel your idea and work with your podcast are absolutely unique and fill a niche that hasn’t been thought of before. Male “guests” would be just about it. The fact that women who stutter are statistically rare makes their presence even harder to highlight, so sharing the virtual stage with anything else would diminish that. Peace.

I’m with Debbie on this one. I understand the men wanting a space to explore their emotions, in fact I think that is healthy and warranted. Maybe you can be co-creater of another space for men and their stories with a male blogger giving his perspective. Just a thought.

Yes it sounds pretty neat….

It’s your podcast. Do what YOU want to do. Further, if men approached YOU to go on YOUR podcast, it means they like your show that much that they are willing to appear on a women only podcast. Anyone who’s not up for listening simply don’t have to.

Just what I am looking for – some spirited feedback on a topic that is very near and dear to me!

In fact, the women’s podcast is destined for more of a spotlight; greater things a-coming.

You have done so much for the women no wonder the guys want a turn. I would be fine with his side once a month. Really it’s up to you. I will keep listening whatever you do. Maybe some of the guys who don’t make it on your podcast could give Daniele a call?

I think featuring some men would add unique value. Despite some rumors to the contrary, men are people too. 😉 It doesn’t take anything away from women who stutter to talk to a man who does, as well. If you’re trying to build awareness, seems silly to exclude a large segment of our population.

Hi, Pam! I love that you do Women Who Stutter. I’m sure there is a man who stutters who could start up a “Men Who Stutter”, however I think you do an excellent job at the podcasting. When we did ours it was like we were chatting over cof…fee. One thing that I have learned over the years is everyone, not just people who stutter, want to be heard. They want to share and have people listen. I think whatever you decide to do would be great. Everyone has a story.

Yes, everyone has a story, and stories are usually there, just waiting to be told.
My recent experience opf participating in a formal story-telling circle has really struck home the point that we need to share our stories with each other, verbally, not just in writing or virtually. Hearing our words leaves impact!

I’m with Stacey. There’s nothing to stop one or more men from starting a Men Who Stutter podcast.

From a branding perspective, do you really want to leave the door open for a man who stutters to start Men Who Stutter? Are do you want to “the” person who runs “that stuttering podcast”?

Men who stutter probably don’t need or want one only for men. There is rarely a market trying to focus on a show titles at just the majority. If there is a true need one of us boys will make it but frankly I cannot see a need for one aimed solely at men.

Ahh, good points. Thats why I am thinking about this, as just a monthly piece, separate and unique from the women’s podcast, more like an addition to the blog part. I agree with Bobby, men prob don’t need or want something just geared towards them, the majority – but I have the question (which is quite flattering) of some men who have specifically asked to be part of “my” conversations. Loving all this feedback

While I am not one of those who have asked to be on the show I can guess that the desire to be one may come from wanting to provide a male perspective on the topics being discussed.
If that is the case I would say it has a place on the show but only very rarely. The safe place for the minority needs to be preserved but there is value to be added by listening to those of another mindset.

I like the idea of hearing a guy’s perspective.

It’s been my experience that women are all for all-women stuff but if a guy would come along with all-men stuff (like “men who stutter”) the roof would fly off. Men can’t even have a baseball team in my neck of the woods here in Texas with…out women insisting on justice and fairness (meaning they want to be included.) Generally men don’t give a rip about being included in women’s stuff. So I doubt if men are going to give Pam a bad time about “women who stutter”. I thought the reason Pam named it that was because 4 out of 5 people who stutter are men….so she’s giving this l in 5 a voice. Or not.

As many of the women-centric blogging and tech conferences are now finding, the more you keep a minority separate, the more you isolate them from the core and perpetuate the idea that they’re NOT the majority or the norm. Open it up. It’s better for the podcast, better for listeners and gives Pam a greater opportunity to be heard.

Pam,
You’ve definitely created a “brand” with “Women Who Stutter.” And yes, it is up to you what you do the that brand.

I have a response to the men who want to get in on your popular podcast: “Start your own podcast for men.” I don’t mean to be flip; but it seems that others are trying to mess with your “brand.”

Now, as others have said, once in a while or monthly (regularly) it might be nice to have someone of the male persuasion on your “channel.” but maybe the “Women Who Stutter” name would have to be changed. (And I don’t think you want to do that.) So, as someone else (was it you?) may have suggested, do a podcast; but just include it in your blog.

Just my tuppence.
Michele Z.

Hi Pam,
I think there is no wrong answer. I actually lean towards keeping it an all women podcast. There is something very special about what you are doing… but… there would be nothing wrong with having a guy on now and then, too… so, completely unhelpful advice 🙂

hi Pam. No no no no no don’t do it! Sorry guys. If a man wants to be on a man’s podcast, they should create one. I would probably listen. But I think it would dilute your podcast to include men’s stories, even just once a month. Sorry again guys. I married one too. Leave it alone is my view.

Whoa – what a diversity of replies. So now what? 🙂
Should I or shouldn’t I? I have my first conversation with a male scheduled for today. Obviously going to do it, maybe gear some of the conversation towards what a guy who stutters thinks about women who stutter having their own unique space.
And also what men who stutter think about gender differences in stuttering. Oh, I don’t know . . . . but I am sure looking forward to my first chat with “the men from Mars”.
Signed Pam, ” a woman from Venus”

It seems to me that women have a greater ability than men to cope emotionally with a stutter and so they tend to be much more successful in living life with a speech impediment. In the absence of another podcast featuring ‘ordinary’ people, I think that it would be great for a man to be occasionally interviewed here – perhaps someone who has struggled to cope but has somehow managed to do OK in life. It would just serve to give some of us hope.

Pam, I like what you do. No, not like – I love it. And I totally trust your ability to blend occasional man in and still keep it “women who stutter” podcast. It just a matter of how to do it. If you feel you shouldn’t do it, I trust your feeling too. You are doing such a wonderful job – such delicate, respectful, inspirational interviews – you sure can be trusted with knowing what is best for you and your blog. You once decided to start stuttering openly and turned out that you were right – now you will also make the best decision. I remain your loyal fan.
Anna

I have become a huge fan of this podcast over the past several months (hi Pam, its Gina, we met briefy at last year’s conference in Cleveland at a lunchtime networking event) and take so much inspiration from the stories. I think that many times, the key to success for an idea like this is specificity…and you’ve certainly found your niche and made it your own. While I am all for inclusion, I think that you should stick to what you do best and continue to find innovative ways to keep the original idea “fresh.” You mentioned that you already have some ideas in the works for this and I have no doubt they will be effective. And, like others have already pointed out, if someone else wants to do a male-only podcast, more power to them. You can’t do it all, but you can keep doing an excellent job and continue to cultivate what you’ve already created.

You know, Gina, I think you may be right! Thanks for commenting and letting me know you like the women’s stories. I am kind of having a hard time getting other guys to commit to the idea. Lots chimed in, saying they want to, but a few I’ve asked have been noncommital, or said no. So, that may be telling. I always said I wouldn’t continue with this if it became work, and getting men to share their stories, even just once a month, may become too much like work.
I got a lot of feedback on the one male episode I did, but I think it may have been due to that guy’s popularity in the international stuttering community and perhaps the novelty.
I may try one more episode, and then decide. Ultimately, i may need to stick to what I have really come to love!
Hope to see you in Texas!

Pam – if you decide to do a podcast focussed on men, I’m certain a lot of men (and women) will listen to it because of how well produced your shows are. But since you asked for feedback here’s mine: simply from a branding perspective I’d recommend that you stick to the valuable name that you’ve already built up. While it may seem easier to keep it separate from an organisational perspective, unless the men focussed podcasts are of a radically different format, it may make sense to just have the occasional male guest. These are just my thoughts tho, and I’m certain whatever you do will be successful.

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