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September 2, 2012

Last Friday (August 31st 2012) Alan Jones took exception to Prime Minister Julia Gillard announcing foreign aid spending for South Pacific nations, to promote Pacific island women in business and politics.
He then took aim at all women in leadership roles.

“She (the Prime Minister) said that we know societies only reach their full potential if women are politically participating.  Women are destroying the joint – Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here. Honestly.”

These comments were rightly mocked and responded to with clarity and passion.  The response on twitter took hold when Jane Caro challenged others to come up with new ways of destroying the joint and the hashtag #DestroyTheJoint was coined.

These tweets (and attending Slutwalk Melbourne on Saturday 1st September 2012) inspired me to search for an image with which to make a contribution.  I started by simply searching Google image for “Australian women” and among the results was the perfect image.

With a quick edit I produced the following:

The response on twitter to this image was immediate and overwhelmingly positive.  It was shared widely on both twitter and Facebook.  I was proud to see it go viral.  It inspired similar efforts from Jill Tomlinson and others who took the idea of WWII posters further.  My favourite is “Make it a family activity“.

Others revived the idea to boycott Alan Jones.  It certainly isn’t a new idea having been raised many times previously.  Most recently over his “chaff bag” comments.  When I found a WWII poster that was the perfect fit I came up with the following:

It’s been fun to contribute to #DestroyTheJoint.  It’s been done with humour and great intentions.  I hope it continues to grow (along with Slutwalk) and that women and men continue to stand together to challenge the misogynist and sexist views of the remaining dinosaurs (thank you Leigh Sales).

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