What’s the word for a Monstrous Misogynist? Monstrogynist?
We seem to have a tendency to use the wrong words lately, don’t we? I’m not talking about mispronunciations like PM Julia Gillard’s recent phoneticising of “Hyperbowl” or idiotic invented words like “Stick-to-it-iveness” (the word for that is “tenacity”). I’m talking about understatements and our ability to use the entirely wrong word. Like “tolerance” (how about “acceptance”?) Or “gay” marriage (just leave out the word “gay”). Or like how we call Kyle Sandilands a “misogynist”.
Make no mistake, we created this monster. Remember when he was a judge on that talent show? That’s where it started. His ability to think up new and ever-more-demeaning insults for the hapless people who dared to audition was one of the reasons the show was popular. It’s similar to the reason that Charlie Sheen’s character on Two And A Half Men was popular. It involved a lot of insulting people weaker than him. Kyle was able to do this without rebuttal, which the public lapped up. Here we are, asking one of the least talented people in memory to judge talent? And not just to judge, but to slaughter mercilessly for the sake of ratings?This went unchecked for a long time. It set a precedent that he could say whatever he wanted, to ridicule and belittle other people without retribution.
“Bully” is a word that hasn’t been used enough to describe Sandilands. His reaction to the factual reportage of his show’s statistics was textbook bully behaviour. Mock, belittle, insult, threaten. We discourage this behaviour everywhere else, so why has his employer been so quiet about it? When do they discipline their “star”? If this was a normal workplace, it would be considered to be some pretty extreme workplace bullying. Is it irony that Austereo is being anything but “Austere” toward this disgraceful behaviour? Kyle has proven yet again that his un-likeability can generate publicity but this time it’s to the detrimental extreme. Its not because he’s “talented” or “funny” or “thought-provoking” – he’s none of those. Social media this week went ballistic, becoming the driving force behind advertisers’ decisions to withdraw support, proving that there is indeed such a thing as bad publicity. Even so, Austereo look unlikely to discipline their very own Frankenstein’s Monster in any real way and until they do, I support a boycott. Boycott the station. Boycott any remaining sponsors. Its time for press to ensure he gets the arse from his current station and then to ignore him. Sandilands’ 15 minutes has been 14 minutes too long.
“Weak” is another understatement, but this time it applies to Jackie O. Where was she when Kyle spewed forth with such vitriol? She offered what may be the understatement of the year with a feeble, “you should learn to take criticism better”. Could she not recognise the extremely unwarranted nature of the attack? It may be understandable for her not to have said anything, for fear of coming under attack herself. Maybe she is afraid what would happen if she stood up to him? Just the way a bully would like it.
It would be an understatement to say that an apology might be warranted. Firstly, Kyle needs to learn the definition of apology. Saying “I’m sorry you took offence” is not an apology. But if Kyle doesn’t think he did anything wrong, don’t expect one. In typical Sandilands fashion, he knows what he has done was wrong. He very rarely does anything right but he is still manipulating the press by refusing to apologise. How he plays it now will be his choosing, but rest assured; it will be all about him. My bet is that the press will keep up the coverage, questioning him as to why he wont apologise, which means the spotlight stays on him – exactly what he wants – until eventually one of the outlets (if it’s a women’s mag, I’ll laugh) pays him to tell “his side of the story”. He might call it “media savvy”. I call it “crafty” and “sly”. It’s important that he was in the press this week so that the message gets through that what he did was not right. Next week we need to drop it, stop letting this colossal tool have any influence and forget all about him.