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All about Destroying The Joint

by Twitchy on September 4, 2012

Since the start of the weekend it’s been my honour and joy to witness and participate in the recent social media equality movement #destroythejoint. It’s been sparked off by yet another high profile, older, White, right-wing person of the male persuasion, 2GB radio jock, Alan Jones. But enough of the flattery. It’s the gift he’s given us that I want to talk about.

Alan Jones gave Prime Minister Julia Gillard a serve last week for her decision to allocate funds and support to Pacific Islander women to raise their political status. (You know, so they may have a hand in improving their wellbeing and physical safety for themselves and their daughters, in the face of shocking domestic violence in their communities.) What a waste of money and time that would be! Perhaps they should just sit back down and appreciate this culture of violence some of their men have put so much time and effort into?

Alan Jones said: “Women are destroying the joint – Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here. Honestly.”

By Friday night the hashtag #destroythejoint had materialised and began to take on a vigorous life of its own. Sometimes to great humorous effect. Jones’ station should be feeling the pinch from advertisers pretty soon.

Jane Caro (Sydney ad woman, author, social commentator and public education advocate) who coined the tag, explains the scenario herself here.

Surgeon and social media activist Jill Tomlinson is a strong voice in the campaign too. She blogged here.

Today, Jenna Price brought this to the Canberra times on men’s language around women. “Post patriarchy”…interesting idea.

Julia May talked about Social Media ‘Reverse Trolling’ in Daily Life.

My Twitter and bloggy friend @mamabook wrote this about the power of social media and it got retweeted by her idol Margaret Attwood, no less.

Another Twitter friend @YvetteVignando arranged for fundraising items to be made available, inspired by @CatherineDeveny and her involvement in the second series of “Go Back To Where You Came From”. (#gobackSBS)

Purchase items here to support Asylum Seekers (you know, those entitled, queue jumping “boat” people).

By now the hashtag has broken borders and come to mean so much more to so many people. With great positive and empowering energy behind it, #DestroyTheJoint has clearly tapped in to a well of frustration at the right time. For the most part the activism is spreading responsibly and with glorious intention, men included. I am pleased to see the ISSUES are taking centre stage rather than useless and distracting slinging.

Not everyone is happy about it though. There are still other 50+ white males prepared to squeak up and miss the main point: Gerard Henderson whines “Feminist Jane Caro was banging on from Sydney about just how sexist Aussie blokes really are.” Are you saying they’re not, Gerard?

You can’t expect everyone to be joyous about the “cows” speaking up. After all, the sexist/ racist/ homophobic white male somehow still defies extinction with hot air in his bellows to expel. Just like many of the men in authority positions I’ve worked with (a few examples following), perhaps Jane Caro might recognise them:

  • My boss who used to always say “I’ll get my girl to call your girl and fix something up”.
    He thought that was perfectly fine of course. One day I’d had it, strode my dangerously righteous twenty-one-year-old self into his office andtold him plainly I didn’t like it. That I wasn’t paid to be ‘his girl’. (Unless he wanted me to start calling him Dad.) In the days pre HR departments, standing up for yourself like that was skating on very thin ice. Luckily it was taken on board. That time.
  • Special points go to the Creative Director who, seeing me emerge from the stairwell loudly queried across the open-plan floor: HEY, [overly-familiar nickname] WHEN DID YOU GROW TITS?!
  • Taking the cake was the high profile media guy with a staff of numerous young females who was routinely slapped with harassment suits. The company simply paid them out like parking tickets, because it was easier to get rid of the complainants, than set the man at fault straight, right?

Why are you chicks so uptight? we may be asked. If not asked, it was inferred. Women in the office saw (and turned the other cheek to) this sort of thing daily. Would these men have been horrified if their wives and daughters were treated this way? This is management setting the tone I’m talking about, not teenage boys. We can do a whole lot better than the sort of decision makers who seem to have no moral compass when their stars are performing. This seems particularly prevalent media and associated fields.

Naturally not every male co-worker was like this- far from it- but off-colour behaviour was commonplace. As was homophobia and racism: (at the time of the devastating Tsunami) “The water speed record was just broken by a Japanese boy on a coffee table! Hahahaha!!)

To the lumbering older policeman taking my witness statement who asked my occupation and heard “part time student and stay at home mum” then wrote “Housewife”- guess what? I can be a global Keyboard Warrior and can do ALL this while still married to my house!!

It’s not about hating, it’s about equality, awareness and respect. Social media and social activism at its best.

Destroy The Joint Facebook Page here.
Barely a few days old and about to pass 3,000 Likes.
Twitter hashtags: #destroythejoint and #destroyingthejoint

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carli September 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

Here here Twitchy! I worked in banking and finance for ten years and I have a plethora of examples similar to yours. I’m so sick of hearing these bloated misogynistic statements. How anyone gets to call a highly respected female journalist a cow and then spew out a non-apology and get away with it makes my skin crawl. Great post x

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