Dutton stigmatises CEOs as no better than women. Wow.

20 Mar



Immigration Minister Peter Dutton inexplicably stepped out of his portfolio last week to make commentary on CEOs with an opinion on marriage equality that does not coincide with his own.

Dutton singled out Qantas CEO Alan Joyce for particular attention, presumably because Mr Joyce is gay.

In a final flourish, Dutton advised CEOs to “stick with their knitting” and in so doing revealed the putrid depths of his masculinist contempt not only for gay men and marriage equality advocates, but also for women.

Knitting is largely (though not entirely) a female occupation. It has long been the practice of hegemonic masculinity to “feminise” and therefore devalue gay men through the conflation of homosexuality with effeminacy.

Heterosexual masculinists such as Dutton work to denigrate homosexuals and their CEO supporters as undesirably  “female” by suggesting that their expertise is not in the world of business, opinion and commentary, but rather in a confined domestic environment where they are powerless, voiceless, and, knitting.

The denigration works only if Dutton (and heterosexual masculinists of both genders who agree with his point of view) believes women are inferior, and uses the recommendation to “stick to your knitting” as a profoundly unpleasant, homophobic and sexist insult.

The Minister is actually saying: you have no place and no power in the world of “real” men like me, because if you are a man who supports marriage equality you are inevitably effeminate.

Dutton devalues the male CEOs by attributing to them the “feminine” activity of knitting, and simultaneously devalues women. Our real place is not, in his opinion, in the public space advocating marriage equality, but in a domestic life removed from concerns best left to masculinist politicians.

In Dutton’s view, gay men and male supporters lack masculinity, evidenced by their subversive refusal to unquestioningly support the hegemonic masculinity Dutton represents.

Indeed, Dutton’s masculinity is, like the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton, defined by his heterosexuality. I recall Shelton’s plaintive tweet that if we allow marriage equality, no one will know he is straight.

Feminising gay men and supporters, stigmatising them as no better and no more relevant in the world than women, is an abject attempt to differentiate the heterosexual masculinist from his greatest perceived threat: a man who loves another man and in so doing becomes, oh dear god no, feminised.

In the world of heterosexual masculinists opposites attract, therefore, if you’re a man who loves a man, you must be a woman.

That this is employed as an insult by Dutton should give us significant pause.

Knitting is generally regarded as a harmless occupation, however, Dutton should note that knitters are not necessarily quite so bland. Madame Defarge, for example, knits contentedly on through the Revolution as the despised ruling heads of France fall one by one into the basket under the guillotine, their names stitched into her patterns.

Dutton has managed, in one short phrase, to cast a thoroughly offensive slur upon gay men and all women. Actually, there aren’t many human beings Dutton likes. This nasty piece of work does not belong in our government. Let’s hope his electorate see it that way.



23 Responses to “Dutton stigmatises CEOs as no better than women. Wow.”

  1. havanaliedown March 20, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    Dutton is preparing for an onslaught of knitted pussy-hatted protesters. He won’t know what hit him. It’s funny how the Offenderati can be whipped into a frenzy by innocuous words such as “pussy” and “knitting”, or even a glance at a wristwatch or a sly wink at John Faine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 20, 2017 at 10:37 am #

      It is a measure of your ignorance, Havana, that you so pitifully underestimate the power of language and discourse.


    • 8 Degrees of Latitude March 23, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

      Nice quip. But on your point of substance, which seems to ignore the broad sweep of significant and beneficial societal change in the Anglo-sphere over the last several decades, have another lie-down,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Barry Waters March 20, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    Thank you for pointing out the homophobic slur in Dutton’s comment about Alan Joyce. This a disgraceful put down, designed to humiliate and offend, called on to win an argument that Dutton cannot win by fair means. This gives us a glimpse into the mind of the man who can determine the fate of asylum seekers. It is not pretty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson March 20, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      No, Barry, Dutton’s mind swarms with hate and prejudice against difference of all kinds.
      He’s a very, very little man.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sam Jandwich March 20, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    He might think of himself as a hegemonic masculinist, but to the majority of Australians I would think he is coming across as an insecure and self-limiting little man, whose place in the world is looking very much like an ice shelf that his polluting ways are causing to melt.

    Admittedly I never did learn to knit, but I’m thinking a nice blue knitted beanie with the word “dunce” in yellow across the front might be just the thing for the upcoming Canberra winter…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. helvityni March 20, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    Sorry Dutton, I will not knit with horrid gaudy coloured POLYESTER knitting yarns….

    That’s all what’s left for Aussie male or female knitters, as our best Merino fleeces have been shipped to the more agile and innovative countries to profit from.

    Not enough natural gas for our domestic use, oh dear, that too is being sold to foreign lands…. and it has not benefited Oz population…..the Norwegians have been more clever, no poverty over there…..

    No worries, The Mal from Snowy Hydro has a Plan, as our Annabel writes…

    We have to be patient and wait, few more years of candles, that’s all…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      That Snowy Hydro plan relies entirely on coal for a few decades, I think I read…


  5. 8 Degrees of Latitude March 20, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    I don’t knit, either; though I know people who do. The unfortunately fictional Madame Defarge has often illuminated my musings too, especially when I’m thinking of the benefits of a precipitous Jacquerie, as I do increasingly these days. Dutton seems to be believe that he has a proto-fascist field marshal’s baton in his knapsack. This is but one of his tiresome delusions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. EricG March 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    It was such an obvious slur along with pointed jibes at Alan Joyce but complete silence from the media as if it was ok to be homophobic and sexist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 21, 2017 at 7:28 am #

      The media is, on the whole, utterly useless and an ongoing disappointment. IMO 😠


      • paul walter. March 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

        Would you laugh if I said it has me a bit freaked at the moment?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson March 22, 2017 at 7:06 am #

          No, because I think we’re right to be a bit freaked. The idiots at The Drum tweeted last night that perhaps Gillard taking over from Kennett at Beyond Blue might be a bad thing as “so many people don’t like her” (their words)
          I replied “You are stupid shits” and many people agreed with me.


          • EricG March 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

            You just bragged about your own slur in response to theirs. Didn’t you have something of substance to say rather than condescending to their low level of dismissive comment?


            • doug quixote March 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

              140 characters don’t allow for deep analysis, EricG.

              Better advice to Jennifer would be “if Trump gets off by tweeting, it’s past time to get out of twitter.”

              As for Gillard, her talents are rich and deep and she has much to offer.

              Liked by 1 person

  7. paul walter. March 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Madame Defarge?

    Thought it was Bronwyn Bishop…tsk.

    That is Michaelia Cash sitting with her?

    Joyce does have crimes to account for, but not the ones a crank like Dutton would care to mention. Ask the former Qantas workers what these are.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. doug quixote March 21, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    Dutton has a brain capable of thought?

    A doubtful proposition.

    He must have parroted the phrase from a RWNJ website, no doubt monitored by a staffer.

    Casual sexist and homophobic slurs are his faction’s watchwords.

    Throw them all out next chance we get.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. paul walter. March 24, 2017 at 7:37 am #


    esp last para, “änti social media management”.


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