Friendlyjordies’ face Jordan Shanks has been widely accused of sexism, following allegations made in parliament by outgoing Liberal MP for Boothby, Nicolle Flint. Jordan had previously used language generally considered sexist against Flint, calling her “a whiney little bitch.”
Jordan then published a response video to her speech, doubling down on the slur. His actions were denounced by prominent ALP MP Tanya Plibersek, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese (in response to a question on Adelaide radio), and ABC journalists Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales.
The Australian is pressuring Labor to “cut off ties” with Jordan, but though Jordan was a guest speaker at an ALP conference in 2016, it is not clear that there are any formal ties to cut. However, with his brand of populist-Peronist rhetoric and disdain for both the LNP, the Greens and inner-city progressive journalists, Jordan is one Gen-Y’s most popular and outspoken channels of support for the ALP.
The Sexism Allegations
The tone here is nothing new for Friendlyjordies. Shanks also said that Gina Rinehart looks like a pig and has previously mocked former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro as Super Barilaro Bruz based on his Italian heritage.
Clearly, Jordan has long been perfectly ready to relentlessly insult anyone he deems to be on the side of the rich and powerful.
So how did Nicolle Flint find herself a target? Flint announced her resignation (effective as of the next election) during the furore over the Brittany Higgins revelations, saying political campaigns against her are driven by sexism.
Flint’s electoral office was reportedly spray-painted with the words “skank” and “prostitute.” However, Flint then sought to blame GetUp, Plibersek and ALP Senator Penny Wong, saying that they were “creat[ing] the environment in which hate could flourish.” Wong publicly repudiated Flint’s claims on Tuesday.
Jordan’s argument, as he details at length in his response video, is that Flint has voted unwaveringly with the LNP in federal parliament. This included eliminating funding for domestic violence hotlines, as well as obstructing action on climate change and casuals’ penalty rates, both of which disproportionately affect women.
Jordan continues to walk a fine line, sticking to almost entirely political content, but enjoying the special privileges reserved for comedians to say (almost) whatever they want. But he also invokes a basic principle, whether we’re discussing sexism, racism, or life in general: it’s less important what you say than what you do.
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