Speaking truth to power : sexism, outrage and the public consciousness

McDonald, Paula K. & Cathcart, Abby (2013) Speaking truth to power : sexism, outrage and the public consciousness. In Caro, Jane (Ed.) Destroying the Joint : Why Women Have to Change the World. University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, pp. 182-188.


Alan Jones's now infamous comment that women are destroying the joint' sparked a flurry of observations and interpretations in the national and international media and in the blogosphere about the motivations and meanings of such a statement. The overriding tone of this commentary was outrage - how dare an influential figure like Jones state with such blatant and provocative hostility that women are at best unsuitable for leadership and at worst, damaging our public and private institutions? The answers, as we have seen, are likely to be complex, but an alternative question could also be posed. Why the outrage? Public male figures have, throughout history, made derogatory, demeaning and sexist remarks about women, and the material effects of gender inequality continue to be felt- consider the gender pay gap and glass ceiling phenomenon for starters. So why did this particular comment ignite such widespread indignation and anger?

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 59599
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Power, Sexism, Public Consciousness, Public Figures
ISBN: 9780702249907
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 03 May 2013 02:50
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2014 15:01

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