Destroying the joint

Jane Caro is feeling sympathetic toward men. It must be embarrassing “to see your normally rather pleasant and decorative gender being represented by such a pack of loudmouthed fools.”

Men like Todd Akin for instance. Or the Anglicans.

In what they clearly regarded as a great leap forward into the 15th century, the Sydney Anglicans triumphantly announced that they had changed the female version of their wedding vows so that women no longer promised to obey, but merely to  submit.

And the difference is…?

The next bloke to trash the male gender’s reputation was ex-Liberal Party  machine man, Grahame Morris. Asked what he thought of the ABC’s 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales’s withering interview with Tony Abbott, he remarked  that Sales could be a bit of a “cow” sometimes. (Only when confronted with a lot  of bull, perhaps, but that’s another story.) Worse, even when challenged on his use of such a term, Morris seemed unable to comprehend what the fuss was about.

Which is typical. “But bitch/cunt/twat/pussy/cow isn’t sexist at all, what is your problem, you uptight Femistasi bitch?”

Long-time broadcaster Alan Jones let rip with a tirade on 2GB against PM  Julia Gillard. This time it was about her promise of additional aid to help get  more women in the Pacific into parliament and other decision-making positions.  Gillard argued raising the status of women was the best way to reduce the  appalling domestic violence statistics in the region. Jones didn’t agree. He claimed that “Women are destroying the joint – Christine Nixon in Melbourne,  Clover Moore here. Honestly.”

He then topped it off by revisiting a remark he’d made about Gillard  previously: “There’s no chaff bag big enough for these people.” (Federal  Attorney-General Nicola Roxon responded by branding the Jones comment ”good old  fashioned sexism”.)

His previous remark was that Gillard should be put in a chaff bag and dropped in the sea.

Caro confesses shyly that she started the hashtag #destroyingthejoint in homage to Alan and his ilk and it’s been trending just a little bit. [Looks at the ceiling and whistles casually.]



  1. 'Tis Himself says

    Worse, even when challenged on his use of such a term, Morris seemed unable to comprehend what the fuss was about.

    Not only privileged but stupid.

  2. says

    From The St Jensen’s Parish Newsletter (courtesy of Mike Carlton):

    “Dear friends,

    “”Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Ephesians 5:22-24

    “What wise words these are! We would do well to remember the fate of Lot’s wife who, against her husband’s strict command, took one last look at the evil city of Sodom and was turned into a pillar of salt. We no longer advocate that sort of punishment for errant wives, of course, but it is a timely reminder of the perils of disobedience to one’s husband and to God.

    “This is why at St Jensen’s we require brides to promise to submit to their husbands in their wedding vows. The man, wiser in the ways of the world, provides leadership and guidance to the weaker sex, which is received humbly and gratefully.

    “Submission may take many forms, some of them quite simple. Seeking to please her husband, the dutiful wife will find satisfaction in homely tasks: the sparkling clean bathroom, his favourite shirt freshly ironed when he needs it, his golf shoes polished, the delicious evening meal ready on a neatly set table when hubby arrives home weary from daily toil. Why, my own dear wife Priscilla makes a point of abstaining from alcohol so that she may drive home if, by mistake, I have imbibed one cup too many of the claret punch at a parish function! Therein lies the recipe for a happy marriage.

    “Meanwhile, for your diary: our Archbishop-for-Life, Dr Nesbitt Jensen, will be our guest at Men’s Bible Study next Tuesday. The chair of our Women’s Subordination Committee, Mrs Hephzibah Jensen, will arrange supper. Ladies, she asks that you cut your sandwiches on the triangle rather than in less dainty squares, and please ensure that we avoid the embarrassment of the Archbishop’s last visit, when his favourite sandwich filling of fishpaste was not provided. Rosters for kitchen duties are on the church hall noticeboard. Let’s make the evening a success for our Menfolk.

    “Yours in Jesus,

    “The Rev Obadiah Jensen-Slope, Curate.”

    Wise words. But will they be heeded?

  3. GordonWillis says

    Love her humour. Hilarious. But she pulls no punches: the bitter part is having to take these imbeciles seriously — other people do, after all. And are they imbeciles, or are they cynical manipulative power-seekers? Maybe both. Moral imbeciles because they cannot question — it doesn’t occur to them to question — their sense of personal authority: how things look to their self-satisfied conditioned brains is obviously right, even if they have to make things up to prove it. Frightening.

  4. GordonWillis says

    Love the description of men as a “pleasant and decorative gender”.

    Ah yes! Alas! If only… But then we wouldn’t be able to RULE THE WORLD HA HA HA COUGH i mean cough, i mean…

  5. says

    What we might call the Conquistador Model has its problems. I think a reasonable case can be made that sex roles are the result of a conspiracy on the part of both sexes, thrown periodically into crisis by technological change.

    It would appear that we are in the middle of one such period of readjustment. Worldwide.

  6. GordonWillis says

    @ Ian

    Hmm hmm. What if slaves collude with their masters, because it limits the damage? I have this thing about slave mentality. It seems to make sense of a lot of odd things. It would take care of the idea of some sort of conspiracy between the owners and the owned (for which motive would seem to be lacking). Slaves protect themselves by obedience, and they protect their integrity by an ethic of obedience, humility, servitude, as taught by religion which values humility for all the wrong reasons. If men wished to control their access to women’s bodies, they would naturally insist that women should submit to their desires. Recently we had an example of some man saying that he felt he had a perfect right to proposition some odd women he just happened to see and be attracted to.

    Why should he feel that he had such a right? Why should he assume that any woman he approached in this way should regard his proposal as reasonable? Master and slave? Worth thinking about.

  7. Brian says

    I read Jensen’s op-ed in the smage last week. I was hoping it would come to your attention. (I didn’t want to post a link on a thread, as last time I did that, I deservedly got told not to.)

    Talk about privileged nuff-nuffs. Jenson bangs on about how difficult it is for him this marriage thing, what with him having to suffer all the manly onerosities, whilst dainty women just have to submit to hubby. ‘Cause all men are big, rough, brutes, and women dainty, soft, petals as god intended. I feel for Jenson, what with wearing those cossacks, it must be hard to be manly.

  8. Brian says

    Alan Jones is a tool. A demagogue who helped incite a riot a few years back, then pretended butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. The way he tried to bully Gillard when she had the temerity to be a minute or two late for an interview with him was the height of farce. She’s the PM, she has important duties. Her job isn’t just to be fodder for that raving shock-jocks reactionary rants and abuses. And she told him that too. I don’t like all the policies of Gillard’s government, but I admire her ability to calmly make deals, and have a successful minority government, and take the most appalling crap that no man ever endured when PM. Unfortunately, it looks like Murdoch and his press-hounds will give us the PM we deserve at the next election. The mad monk, Tony Abbot. Muscular, medieval Catholicism, here we come…

  9. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    Jane Caro is awesome. I had a great conversation with her after the dinner at the GAC in Melbourne earlier this year.

  10. mandrellian says

    Alan Jones – there really isn’t a wagon-rut too low enough for his venomous little snake’s arse. But the obvious problem is that he’s popular enough to be indispensable to his radio station. No matter how over his hateful schtick the station ever gets, they know that if they sack him someone else will pick him up and he’ll take the advertisers and ratings with him. This odious little fucker is a man who had the ear of the former PM for a decade, don’t forget. Jones will always have the ear of the Liberal (hardly) Party too, for he speaks directly to the redneck inside everybody – that selfish, nasty, bigoted little voice that tells you to turn back leaking boats full of refugees, kill marriage equality, ban reproductive choice, racially profile anyone darker than a sheet of A4 and stop taxing billionaires. What’s more, Jones doesn’t have to speak in code because he’s “just a DJ” and not an official Liberal Party spokesman. Yeah, just like the Tea Party aren’t Republicans.

  11. says

    Brian – eh? Who told you not to post a link on a thread? I don’t object to links – I find stuff that way. Please post them.

    (I mean, there are limits. 18 links to dog shows or something, no. But stuff of interest, yes.)

  12. Brian says

    Um, well, I posted a link about something related to a post you’d done a few weeks before, and was mildly asked why I did that by another commenter or 3 and so thought fair enough. I didn’t mean to derail. 🙂
    Anyhoo, I’m derailing again.

    Mandrellian: This odious little fucker
    Yep, that’s Alan Jones to a t.

  13. says

    Gordon: Hmm hmm likewise.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but what I hear you saying is that modern marriage and domesticity can be likened to the plantation economies of the antebellum South of the USA or North Queensland in the late 19th C. Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

    I did know a man who treated his wife like a drudge and a slave right up until the day he died, and she stayed with him, for God knows what reason. But at the same time I think it is true that more women choose to abandon relationships and marriages these days when they find them disagreeable than do men. Certainly, in my experience they do.

    Nobody has proprietary right the way the massas had it.

  14. rq says

    “Women’s Subordination Committee”…? Excuse me?
    And squares are less dainty than triangles? I’ll be sure to correct that immediately, right after I finish polishing my husband’s golf shoes. And his bowling shoes, for good measure. Because he does both with abandon all weekend, leaving me once again alone with the children and some spiffy ideas for late Sunday lunch. 😛

    I’d like to see him try.

  15. Orlando says

    The #destroythejoint idea is turning into a thing of beauty, with pictures and a facebook page, and lashings of ginger beer for all (I made up that last bit). I hope I’m not being premature in feeling a shift I’ve been waiting for a long time. Even the MSM is starting to publish critiques of sexist statements that actually call them sexist. Death to shut-up-and-take-it culture, wheee!

  16. GordonWillis says

    @ Ian #16

    I don’t know much about the plantations etc. I think that the dynamics of that manifestation of slavery are relevant, however. I was thinking more along the lines of a way of thinking that accepts a situation that is deemed hopeless. Although in the West we have ideas about marriage as a partnership, it still remains true that women generally take a lower position than men, and there is a surprisingly large number of men who tend to behave as though they had a right to expect certain sorts of behaviour from women without feeling that they had any duty to reciprocate in kind.
    I say this because it has become clear very recently that even among people who consider themselves enlightened there is a strong resistance to accepting women who implicitly declare their independence when they ask men to restrain their own behaviour. The problem is that this attitude is very widespread, despite the ideals that people avow. And furthermore, there are many women that endorse it. So I am led to conclude, not that there is a tacit conspiracy (which seems plausible, except that I am not sure how this would work except on a one-to-one level) but that there is a prevailing ethos in which it is assumed that women should take the inferior position in society, and this maps in with the tendency to talk about service and humility and difference.
    So I think that there is a master-slave-mentality involved, both on the part of men expecting certain forms of behaviour from women (e.g., by demanding that women accommodate their desire to approach women for sex when they happen to feel like it) and on the part of women who either defend it or find themselves in conflict when they try to resist it.
    I think that a theory of conspiracy would only work if there were a general consensus, in which case it wouldn’t be a conspiracy so much as an ethos, which is what I think we have (though it is being eroded, perhaps partly on the lines which you suggest, though I think more so under direct assault). A true conspiracy can certainly exist on the level of transaction between two people. I think that this is the level at which GirlWritesWhat is working, or at least thinking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *