How women are ruining everything
Tirade … broadcaster Alan Jones let rip against women. Photo: Andrew Meares
What a month it has been if you are a man. Honestly, for the vast majority of you, I feel nothing but sympathy; how horribly embarrassing it must be for you to see your normally rather pleasant and decorative gender being represented by such a pack of loudmouthed fools. Particularly as no sooner than the more intelligent of you must have hoped the latest media storm had blown over, than another testosterone soaked idiot opened his mouth and made it all worse.
The horror for intelligent men began in the US. Republican hopeful Todd Akin claimed last month that in cases of "legitimate rape", women's bodies miraculously shut down and repelled the rapist's sperm. In other words, if you claim to have been raped and then get up the duff, clearly - despite any other evidence to the contrary, like bruises, abrasions, even, perhaps, the odd knife wound - you really wanted it.
Then, not to be outdone, it was Australia's turn. 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. Perhaps they'd been talking to Akin.
Fuss ... Leigh Sales whom Grahame Morris called a "cow".
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. Sorry guys, how you must have blushed for him.
Then NSW Liberal MP Peter Phelps tweeted a paean of praise to Bungendore Station by calling it "small but perfectly formed. Like (The Sydney Morning Herald journalist) @ Jo Tovey".
On a normal week, this may have passed with little more than a roll of the eyes, but such was the pitch of shame men with brains had reached by this point, he was quietly convinced by his brothers to retreat from Twitter altogether. It's an oestrogen jungle out there in cyberspace, after all.
But the final blow to the male ego came on Friday. 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''.)
Which leaves me with my own confession to make. Sorry guys but I have to admit I have been rubbing salt into the wounds. I started the hashtag #destroyingthejoint in homage to Alan and his ilk and its been trending just a little bit. Like Peter Phelps, maybe you should just let the woman in your life do the tweeting for the next few days or so until this can't-end-soon-enough period of male shame is over.
Novelist, feminist and social commentator Jane Caro is a regular panellist on ABC TV'S Gruen programs.