Greetings friends, happy Friday. On this fine day, I come to you with a brand new TikTok challenge that’s gone absolutely VIRAL. It’s called the Alan Jones STFU challenge, and it goes like this.
Alan Belford Jones, known shit-stirrer, is only just narrowly more tolerable than his shit-stirring friend Andrew Bolt. Nevertheless, they’re both champions of shitty opinions, and when one seems to go quiet on an issue, the other rears their ugly head out.
Cue Jones’ brand new opinion piece published in the Daily Telegraph titled “Tough Times For Men,” with an alt title of “Parents worried about sons as they walk on eggshells.”
I’ve never opened my mouth in shock more when reading through a piece of writing. The article, which is absolutely not a parody but reads like one, argues that never before has there been a more dangerous time for young men. In a world of free opinion, sure, that wouldn’t be too wild, but it’s the points Jones uses to fuel this argument that are just absolutely mindless.
[nationwide reckoning on sexual assault, misogyny and sexism; women across the country and the world share their horrific stories of abuse; political and business leaders admit urgent change is needed]— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) April 22, 2021
Alan Jones: pic.twitter.com/GMtrhy2EGa
Firstly, Jones continually calls upon the issue of ‘sexual consent’, and yes he uses quotation marks just like that, as if consent is some strange abstract alien gifted to Earth, which is slowly uprooting traditional ideas of manhood.
And it’s the constant referring to this idea as an ‘issue’ that tells you everything you need to know about Jones’ stance on rape culture and toxic masculinity.
To him, the issue isn’t the fact that countless numbers of women are coming forward with stories of rape, sexual assault and sexual coercion (even from within Parliament House), but that we have to ask people if it’s okay to have sexual interactions with them. Men are apparently being trapped by the confines of having conversations before sex (scary!), and this idea makes Jones uncomfortable.
Jones quotes author Bettina Arndt in the article too, who believes that men’s lives are being made “unliveable”, and that “modern feminists” have been seen to “ostracise, sedate and punish men” unfairly.
Sir just because the author of these statements is a woman, doesn’t mean you, or her, are any more justified in what you are saying. Men’s lives are far from unliveable, especially if you are a white man with an incredibly strong platform like Jones is.
Women are being raped and assaulted. Indigenous peoples are dying in custody. People of colour in this country still face disproportionate amounts of racism and unfair treatment. A man has nothing to fear but losing all of the innate privileges he was born with, and those benefits can only be stripped of him, if he is outed as a rapist (and even then, not always).
Jones does not fear that men are walking on eggshells, he fears that men will start being held accountable for what they’ve done. Men he likely sits in rooms with. Men he likely grew up with. Men who sit in powerful positions as he does.
“Statistics show that it is not true that women aren’t safe walking at night,” Jones writes.
He writes this so flippantly and without any evidence linked to back up his claim, that it truly makes you wonder why somebody would pride themselves in turning an issue that disproportionately affects women, and somehow make men the victim.
Men are victims of assault and violence too, yes, but to lessen the lived experiences of all women to prove a point is not a good way to make an argument, especially when you’ve never had to consider how dangerous walking at night actually is.
We are not experiencing an “anti-male crisis” as Jones thinks, and it is concerning that he has such a wide-reaching platform to send his message out to so many Australians that will agree with him. This isn’t a period of time that is anti-male, but it is more and more becoming a time that is anti-rapist.
Jones’ real concern here, is that these two ideas are almost one and the same, and the truth of this makes him visibly uncomfortable.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.