One tweet has grown into a wide and influential women’s network

AN ONLINE group formed to fight sexism is expected to rank highly when Australia’s most influential female voices are announced on Tuesday.

Destroy the Joint was created in September after comments by the radio presenter Alan Jones. In conversation with the Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce, Jones said Australian women were “destroying the joint”.

A Twitter hashtag was started by the media commentator Jane Caro with the tweet, “Got time on my hands tonight so thought I’d spend it coming up with new ways of ‘destroying the joint’ being a woman and all. Ideas welcome.” Soon hundreds of women were humorously sharing how they, too, were #destroyingthejoint.

A Facebook group quickly followed. Launched by the Sydney academic Jenna Price, the social media collective now has more than 20,000 members.

It played a key role in lobbying more than 70 advertisers to abandon advertising on Jones’s program for six days after he said the father of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, had “died of shame”. The Fairfax website Daily Life, which announces the top 20 influencers, said Destroy the Joint has had a profound effect on many women and was rating well.

More recently, Destroy the Joint rallied its members to take on the Melbourne radio station FOX Fm when it ran a “Guess the Celebrity Boobs” photo gallery on its website. The group flooded the station with emails saying the images were offensive and inappropriate and, within a few hours, FOX had removed them.

It’s proved an important year for Australian women. It is the year the RU846 drug became widely available; when 5000 people marched in a Reclaim the Night rally after the murder of a Melbourne woman, Jill Meagher; and when Ms Gillard’s speech on misogyny became a global news story.

That speech was a watershed moment for women nominating contenders for Australia’s Most Influential Female Voices. Many said it made it more acceptable to identify sexism in their lives and breathed new life into the feminist movement.

The full list of Australia’s Most Influential Female Voices will be published by Daily Life on Tuesday.

Sarah Oakes is the editor of Daily Life.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.


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