This week I find myself in the odious position of wanting to criticise some people who are criticising Alan Jones. This is not because I personally support his commentary on any issue, nor do have any wish to stifle people’s freedom of expression. My beef is with the number of comments that have criticised Jones by, basically, calling him a fag.
Somewhat disturbingly, I have seen my own facebook feed, one filled with gays and lesbians, queer community organisations, and generally fairly socially progressive content, light up with comments saying just that. To suggest that I was surprised by this would be an understatement.
Just this weekend a number of my friends reposted Mike Carlton’s opinion piece on Jones, and I was stunned when he poked fun an Alan Jones’s pink ties and hankies. I have seen comments from people for whom I have great respect that left me bewildered as to what they might hope to achieve by making such a comment. It is not cool.
All credit to Destroy the Joint who has done such a comprehensive job harnessing the anger felt by many towards the divisive tone of Jones commentary. I have not seen any homophobic commentary coming from them.
The gay and lesbian community has the right to seek redress when we experience homophobic vilification. Referring to a persons sexuality or lack of conformance to a gender stereotype, in order to add further weight to your argument that they generally suck, is homophobic bullying.
It seems to me that the only possible outcome of our community having a jibe at someone based on their sexuality is that we send a message to the broader community that it’s ok to continue saying “that’s so gay” and other similar derisive comments. And it’s not ok.
We ask that our sexuality is considered irrelevant to the job that we do, and that our privacy be respected in our workplace. There is a clear hypocrisy with the gay and lesbian community if we then do not apply those standards to everyone, including Alan Jones. We can criticise Alan Jones for his comments without having to resort to making stereotyped comments about his private life.
We, of all people, should know better.
By: LAINIE ARNOLD, NSW GLRL