Some readers will be familiar with the hate speech of Alan Jones, from my Cronulla Riots post (still the most viewed post on High Dudgeon). In 2007, Jones was found guilty of inciting the violence of the Cronulla Riots with his openly racist hate speech. However, the same governing body cleared him of any serious wrong-doing for his ideation of violence against women, when he called for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to be “put in a chaff bag and thrown out to sea”. Last week Jones won an Ernie Award for his statement about women with access to political power structures:
‘Women are destroying the joint, Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here. Honestly. There’s no chaff bag big enough for these people.’
This morning we woke up to the news that Jones has made yet another misogynist attack on the Prime Minister. This time at some elitist dinner for Young Liberals, where he referenced the Prime Minister’s father, who died earlier this month, stating that John Gillard died of shame:
“Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he has a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament.”
The callous misogyny of such a statement makes you want to hurl.
But I want to go back to the earlier statement about women destroying the joint. You might recall this earlier post about men and their fear of women having any kind of perceived power. I think Jones’ comment about women he perceives as having power/not conforming to gender roles etc. is linked in with that fear. It’s Patriarchal Reversal Syndrome in action because women are not in fact destroying the joint. Men are destroying the joint:
Men’s greed and aggressive obsession with acquiring land, power, wealth and resources, has pretty much destroyed the joint. It’s Jones who is a liar.
I disagree with the Australian Communications & Media Authority that Jones’ comments were not seriously inciting hate and violence against women. Commentary from malestream media, which we are all saturated in, is not benign or unintentional. It has a sociological purpose, to preserve the status quo, and that means that violence and the threat of violence used against women, to keep women down, is the norm. The hateful discursive bile that spews out at us from Jones and all the other talkback radio pie holes like Hadley and Price, along with other discursive forces like film and television, porn and print media, contributes to the maintenance of social attitudes which have direct implications for the lived experiences of women, every day. It gives permission for men to openly hate, abuse, violate and exploit us. I’ve discussed before my suspicion around the fact that the horrific murder-rapes of Anita Cobby and Janine Balding in the 1980s occured in a social context where women had recently made substantial political and legislative gains. I have heard my American sisters refer to the fact that at least two abortion doctors have been murdered immediately after the election of a perceived-to-be soft-on-abortion-law, Democratic President, first after Clinton, then Obama. Has the misogynist shitstorm that has been simmering within the malestream media since the election of our first woman Prime Minister, begun to seep over into the community again? This week women everywhere were subdued by the heart-breaking news of the murder-rape of Jill Meagher, who was abducted by a patriarchal enemy sniper whilst on her way home, raped and killed. This type of violence embodies many principles of hate crime; it happened because she was a woman. I’m not convinced that Jones’ hands are completely free of blood here.