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Early in September 2012, commentator Alan Jones, responding to a comment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, said: ‘[Gillard] 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.’ The twitterverse exploded with passionate, disbelieving an Early in September 2012, commentator Alan Jones, responding to a comment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, said: ‘[Gillard] 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.’ The twitterverse exploded with passionate, disbelieving and hilarious responses, and now here in Destroying the Joint women reply to his comment and the broader issues of sexism and misogyny in our culture. With Jane Caro editing, this entertaining and thought-provoking collection consists of essays, analysis, memoir, fiction and more, from some of our best and brightest.


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Early in September 2012, commentator Alan Jones, responding to a comment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, said: ‘[Gillard] 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.’ The twitterverse exploded with passionate, disbelieving an Early in September 2012, commentator Alan Jones, responding to a comment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, said: ‘[Gillard] 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.’ The twitterverse exploded with passionate, disbelieving and hilarious responses, and now here in Destroying the Joint women reply to his comment and the broader issues of sexism and misogyny in our culture. With Jane Caro editing, this entertaining and thought-provoking collection consists of essays, analysis, memoir, fiction and more, from some of our best and brightest.

30 review for Destroying the Joint: Why Women Have to Change the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    Sensational. An inspiring collection of essays that came out of Alan Jone's contention that women in power in Australia are 'destroying the joint'. Some of the essays were inspiring, others were just plain depressing, highlighting in no uncertain terms exactly how far women in Australia have to go before we can truly say we're 'equal'. The 'Leaky Womb' essay was a particularly powerful case in point. I finished the book loving the fact that Jones probably hates the overt display of female intell Sensational. An inspiring collection of essays that came out of Alan Jone's contention that women in power in Australia are 'destroying the joint'. Some of the essays were inspiring, others were just plain depressing, highlighting in no uncertain terms exactly how far women in Australia have to go before we can truly say we're 'equal'. The 'Leaky Womb' essay was a particularly powerful case in point. I finished the book loving the fact that Jones probably hates the overt display of female intelligence and strength- then again, I doubt he could ever bring himself to read it - and more's the pity.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

    I never thought I'd read a transcript of a political speech, but this book inspires you to research more, to look further, to open your eyes wider. I loved it and yet feel sad and disheartened by much of the message within. However, it is also incredibly inspiring and a must-read for every woman and man in Australia. I never thought I'd read a transcript of a political speech, but this book inspires you to research more, to look further, to open your eyes wider. I loved it and yet feel sad and disheartened by much of the message within. However, it is also incredibly inspiring and a must-read for every woman and man in Australia.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

    This book was significant. It is most relevant to Australian readers, but many of the writers in it speak generally enough, or intentionally look wider than our national borders so that it may also be of interest to some overseas readers. It is written in a popular, easy to access style in some ways forgoing depth (but generally giving ideas where the opinions are coming from if people want to learn more). There is a lot of diversity of voice and many different issues are covered in the book. Som This book was significant. It is most relevant to Australian readers, but many of the writers in it speak generally enough, or intentionally look wider than our national borders so that it may also be of interest to some overseas readers. It is written in a popular, easy to access style in some ways forgoing depth (but generally giving ideas where the opinions are coming from if people want to learn more). There is a lot of diversity of voice and many different issues are covered in the book. Some writers have an obvious bias, but the editors' intention was to put together many different voices and sides of politics to show how widespread the problem of the trivialisation of women really is (still). Not all of the book was fun to read but it was well structured in short sections. I found the diversity of genre both interesting and a little bit disorienting. I felt it was a mistake to end with a fiction piece on one topic (however salient to the whole). It would have been better if the editors had added some afterword, not to try to contain the voices but to bring them together and re-open up the breadth of the scope covered across the chapters. Anyway even if I like more detailed nerd writing I did enjoy this book and heartily recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    4ZZZ Book Club

    We were joined by Jane Caro to talk about Destroying the Joint, the book and the broader idea. Originally broadcast on 25/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com What began as a Twitter hashtag has become a movement. At the end of August, 2012, in response to an announcement by Prime Minister Gillard that Australia would donate $300 million to train women in the Pacific region in leadership, radio host Alan Jones declared that women were doing enough harm already and signaled out two We were joined by Jane Caro to talk about Destroying the Joint, the book and the broader idea. Originally broadcast on 25/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com What began as a Twitter hashtag has become a movement. At the end of August, 2012, in response to an announcement by Prime Minister Gillard that Australia would donate $300 million to train women in the Pacific region in leadership, radio host Alan Jones declared that women were doing enough harm already and signaled out two – Ex-Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon and Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore – as examples, saying that female leaders were destroying the joint. Jane Caro, author, lecturer, communications consultant and regular on The Gruen Transfer responded with a tweet “Got time on my hands tonight so thought I’d come up with new ways to destroy the joint, being a woman and all. Ideas welcome.” The response was enormous, and once the hashtag #destroythejoint was added, it became an organising point and rallying cry. Now, in addition to the twitter tag and facebook group, there is a book to add to the conversation. Jane Caro has edited and curated a new collection of essays and stories from the likes of Leslie Cannold, Penny Wong, Christine Milne and Melissa Lucashenko, called Destroying The Joint: Why Women Have to Change the World.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This collection of essays inspired by a throwaway comment by alan jones, and a tweet by Jane Caro is fine and all, but it grows tiresome. Some are great (Celeste Liddle, Clementine Ford, Stella Young). Some miss the mark and I ended up skipping over them(Corrine Grant for me, and it pains me to say that). I was frustrated by the lack of inclusivity in the book as a whole. A token essay on Indigenous women, a token essay on disability, a token essay on racism, and a whole lot of cis white female p This collection of essays inspired by a throwaway comment by alan jones, and a tweet by Jane Caro is fine and all, but it grows tiresome. Some are great (Celeste Liddle, Clementine Ford, Stella Young). Some miss the mark and I ended up skipping over them(Corrine Grant for me, and it pains me to say that). I was frustrated by the lack of inclusivity in the book as a whole. A token essay on Indigenous women, a token essay on disability, a token essay on racism, and a whole lot of cis white female privilege. That said, it was refreshing to read Australian Centric feminism. To read essays by Christine Milne, and Peggy Wong. To read essays that addressed the Australian experience with statistics relative to us, and words spelled correctly. But it was frustrating to know the people who SHOULD be reading it would not be. It frustrated me that the book would largely be preaching to the proverbial choir. It felt aimed at an age group older than my own - a criticism I feel often when I read anything by Jane Caro. I love the woman, but her feminism is ostensibly second wave. Overall I liked it, but I walked away thinking more about what was lacking, than what I enjoyed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ~*kath*~

    Mostly middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied cis white lady feminism. Some really suspect "feminists" included in the list. Lots of nice, polite "feminism". The standout piece was that by Stella Young, which said a few home truths and made me question my own privilege. Krissy Kneen's piece was refreshingly confronting, but not my cup of tea, so to speak. Not sure the world is going to be changed by many of these pieces. Mostly middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied cis white lady feminism. Some really suspect "feminists" included in the list. Lots of nice, polite "feminism". The standout piece was that by Stella Young, which said a few home truths and made me question my own privilege. Krissy Kneen's piece was refreshingly confronting, but not my cup of tea, so to speak. Not sure the world is going to be changed by many of these pieces.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mathew Walls

    Really hit and miss. Some of the contributions are good, some seem very dated (even just four years later), some seem like they were probably written for other purposes and then hastily edited for inclusion here, some are just not very well written or interesting. I will say that there were a few pieces that I really liked, but not enough to recommend the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Interesting collection of writing by an interesting group of women. Highlights are Penny Wong, Stella Young.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Purdie

    What a fantastic collection of essays! I often wonder if Alan Jones regrets uttering those words - women are destroying the joint. A comment that was meant to put us firmly back in our place instead encouraged us to speak out, stand up and call out misogynistic crap that all too often comes out of the mouths of Jones and his contemporaries. A wide range of women contributed to this collection - young, old, new feminists, old feminists, abled bodied, disabled, privileged, disadvantaged - a whole What a fantastic collection of essays! I often wonder if Alan Jones regrets uttering those words - women are destroying the joint. A comment that was meant to put us firmly back in our place instead encouraged us to speak out, stand up and call out misogynistic crap that all too often comes out of the mouths of Jones and his contemporaries. A wide range of women contributed to this collection - young, old, new feminists, old feminists, abled bodied, disabled, privileged, disadvantaged - a whole range with one thing in common. As with any collection of essays, there were some I liked more than others, but on the whole I read them with interest and just the occasional YES! - which may or may not have been followed by a fist pump. For me the reality is parts of the joint need to be destroyed. They are old, decaying and very, very ugly. These are the parts that people like Jones would like to keep. Equality for women still has a long way to go. It has even further to go for women with disabilities or disadvantaged backgrounds. How we get there is not agreed upon but one thing is for sure, we will keep going until we are there.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    An engaging, relevant and diverse read - personal messages of resistance against society's pigeon-holing of young girls' femininity, a call-to-arms in support of our country's environment, an in-depth revelation of the toxic relationship between politics and the media, etc. This is the kind of text that all girls and women should read. Obviously some contributions I found more interesting than others, and that has everything to do with personal preferences and not at all to do with their relevan An engaging, relevant and diverse read - personal messages of resistance against society's pigeon-holing of young girls' femininity, a call-to-arms in support of our country's environment, an in-depth revelation of the toxic relationship between politics and the media, etc. This is the kind of text that all girls and women should read. Obviously some contributions I found more interesting than others, and that has everything to do with personal preferences and not at all to do with their relevance. In particular, the pieces that spoke of, or interwove, personal experiences I found more profound or touching, as in their personal touch did I see the small lives of women, similar to mine, influenced by, or influence, the feminism that is spoken of throughout this text. This is a book filled to the brim with intelligence, compassion, conviction and passion - all the things I would wish myself and the women around me to possess.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Disclaimer: I won this book from Goodreads. Wow! To be honest I wasn't sure I would enjoy this collection of essays. But I did. Very much. I loved the very different perspectives presented. I must be one of the few people in Australia that didn't hear about the 'Destroy the Joint' furore, so I wasn't prepared for the depth of feeling connected with this topic. It is heartfelt and genuine. Some chapters were more enjoyable than others, but all were valuable in creating a comprehensive picture of w Disclaimer: I won this book from Goodreads. Wow! To be honest I wasn't sure I would enjoy this collection of essays. But I did. Very much. I loved the very different perspectives presented. I must be one of the few people in Australia that didn't hear about the 'Destroy the Joint' furore, so I wasn't prepared for the depth of feeling connected with this topic. It is heartfelt and genuine. Some chapters were more enjoyable than others, but all were valuable in creating a comprehensive picture of what it is like to be a woman/girl in this country (and others), some I had never considered. It made me think and it made me question. A job well done I would suggest.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    This book was written prior to the Abbott Government. I wonder what the writers must now think. Australia has taken a mighty step backwards so I hope social media does have the power indicated in this book. Some of the essays talks about the actual DtJ movement. Others relate the challenges of being female and disabled, or a female in the media, or being aboriginal and a female. Mainly it is about the privileged world of the White Australian Man and how they react to when the long term status quo This book was written prior to the Abbott Government. I wonder what the writers must now think. Australia has taken a mighty step backwards so I hope social media does have the power indicated in this book. Some of the essays talks about the actual DtJ movement. Others relate the challenges of being female and disabled, or a female in the media, or being aboriginal and a female. Mainly it is about the privileged world of the White Australian Man and how they react to when the long term status quo is threatened. I appreciated the sharing of the stories and the resilience of these women. I was heartened by the young writers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Edwards

    This powerful collection of women's views on how we have / can destroy the joint was written before the current government. How far have we come in the last few years? Despite the high number of women represented at this year's Australian of the year, I think we've got a LONG way to go. I have passed this book onto my 15 year old daughter who is making fast tracks as a young feminist. I hope she will set an example to her younger two sisters who too can help destroy the joint when they grow a li This powerful collection of women's views on how we have / can destroy the joint was written before the current government. How far have we come in the last few years? Despite the high number of women represented at this year's Australian of the year, I think we've got a LONG way to go. I have passed this book onto my 15 year old daughter who is making fast tracks as a young feminist. I hope she will set an example to her younger two sisters who too can help destroy the joint when they grow a little older.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    Very brief short chapters written by a host of different Australian women, from politicians, to journalists, to writers, activists and comedians. The book's subtitle is misleading, 'Why women have to change the world'. Unfortunately, the book does not delve into this point, and instead the chapters are filled with fluffy and often repetitive criticisms of radio host Alan Jones. Would only recommend a select few chapters. Very elementary book, would not recommend to those familiar with feminist w Very brief short chapters written by a host of different Australian women, from politicians, to journalists, to writers, activists and comedians. The book's subtitle is misleading, 'Why women have to change the world'. Unfortunately, the book does not delve into this point, and instead the chapters are filled with fluffy and often repetitive criticisms of radio host Alan Jones. Would only recommend a select few chapters. Very elementary book, would not recommend to those familiar with feminist writing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A decent summary of mainstream, contemporary Australian feminist thinking, particularly for the uninitiated. The standout pieces were by women of more diverse backgrounds (particularly Stella Young and Michelle Law) and had the anthology included more of these views, it might have presented a more novel and challenging approach to the issues discussed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marie b

    Interesting range of women writing in response to shock jock, Alan Jones's whinge "women are destroying the joint...honestly". Following-on from Anne Summer's book, The Mysogyny Factor, it presents a range of feminist perspectives and is very timely, particularly since Kevin Rudd's coup. Interesting range of women writing in response to shock jock, Alan Jones's whinge "women are destroying the joint...honestly". Following-on from Anne Summer's book, The Mysogyny Factor, it presents a range of feminist perspectives and is very timely, particularly since Kevin Rudd's coup.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margot McGovern

    Loved this. When I finished I wrote my own mini 'Destroy the Joint' essay about inequality in the world of bike riding. You can read it here: http://margotmcgovern.wordpress.com/2... Loved this. When I finished I wrote my own mini 'Destroy the Joint' essay about inequality in the world of bike riding. You can read it here: http://margotmcgovern.wordpress.com/2...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    Interesting and diverse reflections about 'destroying the joint' from a range of Australian women in the aftermath of a radio shock jock's foolish comments and the subsequent initiation of a continuing movement to ensure women are heard and recognised. Interesting and diverse reflections about 'destroying the joint' from a range of Australian women in the aftermath of a radio shock jock's foolish comments and the subsequent initiation of a continuing movement to ensure women are heard and recognised.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Oh Alan. Just another dim-witted diatribe that unleashed a campaign even you began to be afraid of. An impressive and inspirational collection of essays that emboldens all women to well and truly #destroythejoint.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ann Tonks

    A collection of responses to the comment of a radio broadcaster who said that women were "destroying the joint". It's a wildly uneven selection of articles but interesting nevertheless. A usueful reminder of why it's important to keep fighting for women's rights. A collection of responses to the comment of a radio broadcaster who said that women were "destroying the joint". It's a wildly uneven selection of articles but interesting nevertheless. A usueful reminder of why it's important to keep fighting for women's rights.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samone Black

    Some inspiring stories. Took me a while to read, but only due to competing priorities. It was a good read with stories from women from all walks of life. Some stories were funny, some were sad. Overall I enjoyed it, though it is a slow read from time to time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Douglas

    Interesting collection of responses to Alan Jones' infamous comment last year that women were "destroying the joint". Interesting collection of responses to Alan Jones' infamous comment last year that women were "destroying the joint".

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Really great collection of relevant essays, I highly recommend reading this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Insightful essays by Melissa Lucashenko, Michelle Law, Penny Wong and Stella Young.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nisha-Anne

    Excellent informative witty and valuable stuff. So glad I was lent this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kirby Taylor

    Interesting. Engaging. Inspiring. A thoroughly engaging collection of essays that I know I will always be able to re-read for inspiration to go one better in life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thea

    Aussie feminist essays, just what the doctor ordered in this bizarre world we live in.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maha

    A great compilation of essays written by women regarding Alan Jones' statement that "women are destroying the joint" made on his radio show regarding Julia Gillard and her misogyny speech in 2012. A great compilation of essays written by women regarding Alan Jones' statement that "women are destroying the joint" made on his radio show regarding Julia Gillard and her misogyny speech in 2012.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nella

    This book was so eye opening. I thought I knew feminism when I sat down to read this, but there were so many things I didn't know. This is truly a great read. This book was so eye opening. I thought I knew feminism when I sat down to read this, but there were so many things I didn't know. This is truly a great read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lucinda

    Brillant and clever, this collection of essays, short stories and satire makes you think about contemporary feminist issues in a variety of ways.

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