DESTROYING THE JOINT

31 Aug

This morning, Alan Jones, a shock jock from Sydney, on one of his usual rants about Julia Gillard, apparently really wound himself up into a lather until he got to ‘Women are destroying the joint.’ He was referring to the Prime Minister, and apparently mentioned Clover Moore, who is the Sydney Lord Mayor and the ex Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon.

Early on Twitter, I saw some react with anger, seeing this as yet another in a growing diatribe of misogynistic abuse being hurled at women who are both powerful or public. Some of the misogyny cannot and should not be ignored, but, when I read the actual comment by Jones, because I do not and could not listen to the likes of him, I burst out laughing.

I tweeted my reaction and got a few replies agreeing what a silly, outrageously funny thing he said. After all, it really demonstrates his irrelevance in this day and age. It’s not as if we are going to return to an era where women are no longer in politics.

Don’t get me wrong, Mr Jones wasn’t intending to be funny. He doesn’t do funny. He does angry, very angry. And he states that people he doesn’t like should be put into chaff bags and dumped at sea, including the Prime Minister. He started a trend of right wing nutters calling Julia Gillard Juliar. He dared tell the PM off, on air, for being ten minutes late to an interview with him, as though his abuse is far more important than anything a little woman might have to take care of, such as running the Country. He is a despicable, weak minded little man with an ego and a following full of hate and expresses it with nasty name calling and general verbal abuse.

There is nothing defensible about the man.

But, to expect to be taken seriously when he says something as idiotic as ‘Women are destroying the joint’ is truly laughable. In fact, I have been laughing on and off throughout the day.

At 71, Alan Jones comes from a different era and harkens back to it: an era when men were men and women were both utilities and decorations and kept well and truly under the thumb, literally if that’s what it took. The man’s age, and the age of the majority of men expressing their anger in misogynistic abuse in recent times, is part of the problem, really. They are fast recognising that their time is almost over and the world is a new place. They don’t like it. I’m not far behind in age, less than a decade to Jones, but I developed feminist tendencies at an early age, as did so many women from my era. We didn’t think we’d still be fighting the good fight this long, but it’s also not a surprise in some ways either.

Back to my reaction to women destroying the joint – the joint? – that in itself is rather a funny term to use because it’s actually American slang although it took off here for a time back in the 1960s due to American television and film – as I said earlier, I laughed. I had a monthly lunch out with some very special girlfriends and we laughed, about many things. When I came home, I settled into my home office to do some work. Then I made a quick stir fry, which my 28 year old son devoured so there goes my easy lunch tomorrow (!), drank some wine, told him about the comment, we laughed, drank some more wine and watched a film. Later, I returned to my office to have a quick look at Twitter and laughed some more.

To my delight, there is a meme trending, a couple actually, thanks to the delightful Jane Caro. One is #destroyingthejoint and the other is #destroythejoint where women, mostly, and men are having a wonderful time lampooning the whole silly idea of women destroying the joint.

It’s actually deliciously delightful to see this happening. It makes me proud of being a woman. It makes me proud to be alive to see such a day. And I’m very happy to see that Alan Jones is being taken the way he should be, as a silly and rather pathetic dill. Sorry if that destroys your joint, Alan – no, actually, I’m not, but thanks for a day of laughter.

31 August, 2012

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