The questions Rachel Hills didn’t ask Melinda Tankard Reist

10 Jan

I just left this comment on Rachel Hills’ article “Who’s afraid of Melinda Tankard Reist?” published in Sunday Life, 8 January 2012.

I’m surprised that you didn’t mention Tankard Reist’s religious affiliations. She’s a fundamentalist Christian. As feminists we learn to always ask anyone who is publicly morally prescriptive  where they are coming from. Yet you don’t ask that question.

Tankard Reist’s critique of sexuality is based on the moral values of fundamentalist Christianity. She is of the religious right and a member of a church that preaches the second coming of Christ, the end time, and evangelism.

If we can tell Tony Abbott to get his rosaries off our ovaries because of his Catholic beliefs, why aren’t we telling Tankard Reist the same thing? And why are journalists such as yourself concealing her religious affiliations?

Like other commentators, Hills focuses on Tankard Reist’s pro life feminism. There’s been a lot of twitter chatter over the last few days about who is and isn’t a feminist, and there’s plenty of women who don’t believe that anyone who is anti abortion can also be a feminist.

That’s not the argument I’m going to have here, because for me what is far more important than whether or not Tankard Reist is a feminist (whatever that word means, very little I sometimes fear) are her religious beliefs, and the way in which they determine her beliefs about human sexuality.

Tankard Reist is a Baptist. Their belief system includes the second coming of Christ, end times, evangelism, and the belief most relevant to this post and a central tenet of the Baptist faith: the Virgin Birth.

Tankard Reist believes that the woman chosen to bring the boy god Jesus into the world was a virgin. Mary did not conceive the baby Jesus through sexual intercourse. The boy god required a fresh, unsullied virgin to inhabit throughout his gestation.

Why? Because the followers of the doctrine of the virgin birth believe that sex filthies the human female, and renders her impure. The inherent impurity of female sexuality can be tempered by the sacrament of Christian marriage, wherein sex is a means of reproduction, and offers relief for the male. It is better to marry than to burn, advised St Paul, demonstrating how little he thought of female sexuality.

The boy god needed a pure vessel, unfilthied by sexual experience. In this sense Mary was the most famous objectified woman in the history of the world, for to dehumanize a woman to the extent that you perceive her sexuality as filthy is objectifying indeed.

The Virgin Mary was in fact co-opted as a dehumanized life support system for a  foetus.

It is from this fundamental position that Melinda Tankard Reist advises women and girls on sexual matters.

While I don’t like seeing little girls dressed as sexy adults anymore than MTR, what concerns me is that in campaigning as she does against the “sexualisation” and “pornification” of women she’s preaching her religion’s belief that there is something inherently wrong with female sexual expression.

I am also suspicious of her conflation of girls and women, when the two situations are entirely different and should be treated as such. Exploiting the sexuality of children (and children are sexual beings) is a whole other matter from the so-called epidemic of “sexualisation” and “pornification” of adults. I would like to see a journalist question Tankard Reist on her persistent conflation of the two. I believe it is deliberate.

We are sexual beings. Many of us, male and female, like to express our sexuality. It’s a big part of our identity. The ways in which we’ve chosen to do this have varied according to the style of the time. The ways some of us choose to do it in 2012 are, I would argue, no more or less scandalous than at other periods of human history. Yet a new sexual dysfunction called “sexualization” has entered the social discourse, driven initially in this country by Tankard Reist. She then gathered around her a motley crew of radical feminists and middle class moralists who tacitly ignore their considerable differences in the interests of the greater goal of fighting the twin evils they claim are destroying our society: sexualization and pornification.

I am unaware how many of her supporters are religious, but I would argue that they have in common an inclination towards zealotry, and an ethic of purity, both of which are to be found in non believers.

Are Tankard Reist and her supporters in reality pathologizing all expressions of female sexuality? Genuine sexualization we may well get upset about, as a particular form of dehumanization, but are they using that word to obliterate the perfectly normal concept of female sexiness?

Does Tankard Reist believe that being sexy and feeling sexy is pathological behaviour outside of the marital bedchamber? And why does nobody ask her this question?

“Sexualization” and “pornification” are done to women, according to Reist. Women don’t choose to dress, work and play in ways that fit these pathological categories. They’ve been forced into them by men for male gratification. If you think you choose to wear high heels and a short skirt and learn pole dancing, you’re wrong. The patriarchy made you do it. If you think you like to show off your legs and breasts because it feels like sexy fun to do that, you didn’t make that choice, you know. You are actually so brainwashed that the whole concept of choice passed you by long ago. You are a victim.

If you want to look sexy because you’d like to have sex, if you earn your living as a sex worker or perform in porn, in short, if you express your sexuality in any way at all outside of marriage, you are dysfunctional, immoral or both.

Somebody needs to ask Tankard Reist just what she considers an acceptable public expression of female sexuality. I suspect the reality is, she doesn’t have one. For religious fundamentalists, there is no such thing. A woman must be modest and pure, but definitely not sexy and enjoying it.

What kind of a lesson is this to teach our girls about their sexuality?

Having thus far failed to take control of the sexy and eradicate it’s expression through the invocation of morality, defining it as a pathological disorder is the next step in the reactionary battle for control of female sexuality.

Tankard Reist is very accomplished in deflecting questions about her religious faith. In an interview with Jane Hutcheon for ABC TV’s One on One, Reist coyly states that she “tries to follow the teachings of Jesus” and then insists that her work must stand on its merits and her belief system is irrelevant.

But if your religion teaches you that women must be “pure”, that sex must be heterosexual and occur only within the sanctity of marriage, and that its primary purpose is reproduction, how can this not affect your perceptions of sexuality as expressed in the world around you?

When you choose to make your life’s work campaigning against the ways in which women sexually represent ourselves, do you have the right to withhold your beliefs about female sexuality from the public you seek to influence?

There’s no doubt women are objectified in some media and by some men, and this can be detrimental to everyone. However, it seems to me that the last person we want making judgments about how to best address these issues is a fundamentalist Christian, anymore than we want Tony Abbott in control of our abortion choices.We need to think very carefully about where this religious-based approach to sexual issues is going to take us.

I don’t care if Melinda Tankard Reist is defined as a feminist or not. She is anti abortion. She is deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs and she does not declare herself. When asked why not, she counters that people would not hear her message if her religious beliefs became a distracting focus. She does not believe in any public expression of female sexuality, in other words she is repressive and dehumanizes women.

So, Ms Hills, how come you didn’t tell your readers all of this?

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110 Responses to “The questions Rachel Hills didn’t ask Melinda Tankard Reist”

  1. Rachel @ Musings of an Inappropriate Woman January 10, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Hi Jennifer,

    You’re right, I didn’t ask MTR about her religious beliefs, and perhaps that was misplaced of me. I suppose the reason I didn’t was because it seemed so obvious to me that it wasn’t worth asking – have you ever met anyone who identified as pro-life who wasn’t religiously motivated? But fair point: it was an omission, and I should have mentioned it at least in passing.

    For the record, I did ask Melinda what she thought healthy female sexuality looked like, if she thought women had a role to play in regulating men’s sexuality, and to articulate how she defined “sexualisation” and why it was of concern to her. Some of those answers didn’t make the final story (I wrote it from 45-pages of transcripts and background material – there was a lot of info that didn’t make the cut), but I don’t think you could say that the story repeated her POV uncritically.

    I point to research showing that child-on-child sexual assault is not caused by pornography, and that the APA’s report on “sexualisation” seems more concerned with body image issues than with sexual imagery. I quote Alan McKee on how porn is not turning men into misogynists, and Eva Cox on exactly the point you make: that Melinda’s politics appear to be about protecting women from perceived harm rather than about the abolition of gender roles.

    I figured the people reading would be smart enough to come to their own conclusions based on the facts I provided, and from the feedback I’ve received, that seems to be the case. Those who share her beliefs about gender, sexuality and, yes, religion, think she’s great. Those who hold a more liberal view come to much the same conclusions you have.

    Oh, and you have every right to tell anti-choice activists to get off your ovaries!

    cheers

    Rachel

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      I would love to know MTR’s answers to those questions that didn’t make the cut! I guess from my POV they are the most significant. I think that if someone is going to make a career out of criticizing sexual expression and representation, they need to offer an alternative to what they deem offensive. They also need to declare where they are coming from.

      I don’t think your piece was uncritical, not at all. It was well-balanced in the ways you point out, with other POV.

      But I can’t agree with you that the religious aspect should be left out, and I continue to wonder why. Jane Hutcheon broaches it in her One on One interview and it is sidestepped as irrelevant. Why doesn’t MTR want to talk about the most important aspect of her life, on which she builds her whole existence? (Rhetorical!)

      We will have to agree to differ.
      Thanks very much for responding. Cheers, Jennifer.

      • Rachel @ Musings of an Inappropriate Woman January 10, 2012 at 9:57 am #

        Oh, I concede that you’re right – I should have mentioned Melinda’s religion, at least in passing. It just wasn’t what sprung to mind when I was coming up with the long list of things I wanted to ask her about.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      I forgot to answer your question about pro life and religious motivation. There’s a strong feminist “pro life” anti-abortion faction that doesn’t come out of the religious right, or any religious movement. I think their position is founded in the desire to create a society in which women are far more supported to have babies, so that abortion doesn’t have to be an option. Cheers.

  2. Ray January 10, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Melinda’s religious views are absolutely critical. They are the foundation of her beliefs. To ignore them is the miss the major point. This should have been the focus of the article, not something to be mentioned in ‘passing’.

  3. paul walter January 10, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Yes, its been edited to represent a position favourable to Abbott, against the back drop of an eventual election. I suspect much journalism is of this sort- the original product is commissioned and then “mediated” to emphasise the media hierarchy viewpoint, even if this comes at the expense of the writers intended viewpoint. A good broadsheet will tend to allow for right of reply, turn the process into an exploration; this was the style of the old “Age” at its best.
    But the New Journalism spurns objectivity, the likes of Imre Salusinsky triumphantly spout “contingency” for the avoidance of any attempt at it- Rachel’s last comment is a good example of the cynicism that now pervades that industry, in the wake..
    “The author is dead”

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that MTR is being groomed for federal politics

      • Anonymous January 17, 2012 at 9:26 am #

        I find that concept possible and terrifying.

  4. David Horton January 10, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    The ultimate expression of the implication of MTR’s views I guess is to be seen in the control Afghan men exert on the women of Afghanistan to make them completely invisible.

  5. Ray January 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    I think two points on going through your response to Rachel’s article on MTR. As a result of critiquing MTR and co on my blog http://www.novelactivist.com I’ve received interesting feedback from key players to indicate that they were not initially aware of Melinda’s religious background. Indeed, were not even certain she was pro-life. One such person was Abigail Bray who responded to my article http://novelactivist.com/8700/colonising-porn-and-other-nonsense/ (see comments).

    It seems to both Melinda and Spinifex are doing a very good job of conning contributing feminists, who all seem to have been rather naive in participating in both ‘Getting Real’ and ‘Big Porn Inc.’ Some of whom now realise their error and are backing away.

    The core problem is this: the religious right are using feminism as a Trojan horse to take over the sexualisation debate. Pity that some feminists become ‘useful idiots’ in this tactic by lending their name. Thus in Britain the most recent report into sexualisation was headed by the chairman of a conservative Christian charity, the Mother’s Union. Not surprisingly MTR has spoken in favour of its findings.

    This is why Melinda’s religious beliefs are critical and why, like so many, Rachel has been fooled.

    On a side note – and for its salacious irony – the virgin Mary likely had Jesus when she was around 12. Whilst the gospels do not mention an age, it is well known that both the Roman and Jewish age of marriage was 12 and Catholic canon law followed suit (only changing it in 1918). However, a non-canonic text, the Protoevangelium of James, which tells the story of the virgin Mary, explicitly states that Mary was married to Joseph when she was 12. It also mentions that he was a widower with adult children. So when the gospel of Matthew says that Mary fell pregnant with Jesus ‘before’ she and Joseph could come together, it means she likely fell pregnant ‘before’ she was 12. And in Luke she has a conversation with the barren Elizabeth who says that ‘with god all things are possible’ – meaning that the menopausal Elizabeth is telling the pre-pubescent Mary that god can make infertile women pregnant.

    I’m not sure how religious conservatives like Melinda get to ignore the fact that Christianity does not actually condemn marrying off 12 year-olds. Not to forget either, that one of the Church’s more notable theologians, St Augustine, was set to marry a 12 year-old bride until he decided to be a celibate.

    It took until the enlightenment and the secular notion of human rights before people began to think that girls might not consent to being married off so young.

    I think we call that an inconvenient truth.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks for that info and I totally agree with you about the Trojan horse.
      Somewhere on this blog, I think it’s in the comments to an Andrew Bolt article, there’s a huge amount of commentary from A. Bray. Will find it and link as you might be interested.

    • Matthew January 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      I really find it hard to swallow Abigail Bray’s ignorance on this matter. Spinifex published Melinda’s book “Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics”. Publisher and founder of Spinifex Press, Renate Klein, is most certainly an anti-abortionist (hence the reason why Tankard Reist probably ignores her sexuality and is quite on homosexuality) and according to one site she is/was a member of the Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering. Add in the fact sticking MTR’s name in Google will bring up Brian Baxter’s very detailed dossier on her (and his article on Women’s Forum Australia). I really find it incredible that she claims to know nothing of MTR’s history on the subject, especially since they’ve been collaborating together for a number of years (Bray also contributed to MTR’s “Getting Real” book).

  6. Not mentioning Tankard Reist’s religious bias when interviewing her is like not mentioning the public health warning issued against the Australian [anti] Vaccination Network when interviewing Meryl Dorey. A great article, well argued.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Thank you, and I say right back at you for the Meryl Dorey anti vac work you’ve been doing.

  7. James January 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Just a quick comment. The bible doesn’t teach that sex ‘filthies the human female’. The Virgin Birth was theologically required because the sin nature that all humans have is passed through the man. It had nothing to do with sex or females being filthy and everything to do with Christ not having the sinful nature of all humankind. Christ had a godly nature because he wasn’t a descendant of man. Its incorrect to ascribe a negative view of sex from the bible as it is encouraged and to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage. Thanks for your blog.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      I’m not sure what the difference is. If there had to be a virgin birth to avoid the transmission of sin through the human, aren’t you saying the human female is inherently sinful, a carrier and transmitter of sin, ie impure, ie filthy?

      I don’t dispute that sex is approved of within marriage – But that is the only circumstance in which the bible allows that enjoyment, all other sex is a sin, therefore impure, therefore filthy?

  8. James January 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    According to the bible all men and women are sinful in nature and that is passed through the man. So technically man would be, as you put it, the ‘inherently sinful carrier and transmitter of sin :)

    Jesus wasn’t inherently sinful because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary, hence not a descendant (biologically speaking) of man. There is no suggestion that women are more sinful than man at all. According to the bible we are all equal in the sin that condemns us and the love that God has for us. Hence the death of Christ for men and women.

    On the sex part though, yes, the bible teaches that all sex outside of marriage is sinful Sin means ‘missing the mark’ more than it does ‘filthy’ although it would be accurate to say sex outside of marriage is ‘impure’ as it is not holy. In a lot of ways I think you could argue that this really makes sex all the more exalted because it is reserved as something special and only to be properly experienced in the intimacy, love and equality of two people completely committed to each other. In this way the bible glorifies sex as holy rather than denigrating it as filthy.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      Well it cheers me up considerably to know we are all in the sin bin together and there is no gender bias

      • James January 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        lol, glad you can see the bright side :)

      • Mindy January 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

        Or, alternatively Mary was just a vessel and receptacle for the holy sperm. Why didn’t the angels just deliver the baby, stork like?

        “makes sex all the more exalted because it is reserved as something special and only to be properly experienced in the intimacy, love and equality of two people completely committed to each other. In this way the bible glorifies sex as holy rather than denigrating it as filthy.” unless you happen to be a same sex couple.

  9. Ray January 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    James, the bible teaches whatever people want it to teach. You can make it say whatever you want it to. Therefore what is important is what theologians have said and a number have certainly said women are variations of filthy, sinful, contaminated, tricky, lustful, etc.

    ‘You are the devil’s gateway…’ Tertullian

    Augustine argued that original sin is passed through semen and was therefore linked to sex. He chose to be celibate. And for your information, a number of early theologians argued that Christians should be celibate and that married Christians were the lesser for having been tempted. But even some who accepted the necessity of marriage argued that sex was a duty and should not be enjoyed.

    ‘Our ideal is not to experience desire at all… a man who marries for the sake of begetting children must practice continence so that it is not desire he feels for his wife… ‘ Clement of Alexandria

    • James January 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      Hi Ray,

      People can claim the bible says whatever they want. The theologians you’re quoting had some great insights into God and the bible but they were far from perfect and on the issue of women they had some clearly unbibilical ideas that were much more a product of their culture rather than Scripture. There is nothing in the bible that says that women are filthy or that sex makes them so.

      James

      • Ray January 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

        James,

        It is actually irrelevant if it is in the bible or not. What matters is what Christians say Christianity is. You may argue they are wrong but that is a zero sum game. They will argue you are wrong and cite scripture to prove their point.

        My parents grew up with the idea that sex was dirty, embarrassing, disgusting, secret, taboo and various combinations thereof. As a result they were profoundly ignorant about their own bodies and human sexuality. My mother did not know what a clitoris was until she was in her 30′s. She has never had an orgasm and my father was, by his own admission, a lousy lover.

        How did this situation arise?

        The answer is Christian teaching, irrespective of scriptural support.

        In any case, I don’t care what the bible says. It’s mostly fiction that is poorly written, contradictory and the absolutely last place one would go to for advice for anything, let alone sex.

        • Ryan February 1, 2013 at 3:32 am #

          Ray, as somebody who was a former atheist and the such, and who is now a follower of Jesus, I have some not-as-biased knowledge on the topic of Biblical teachings. It seems as though you have never read the Bible (or maybe only small portions of it), and your view of Christianity is a view of great prejudice with unsubstantiated claims. One important thing to realize is that Christian people are not perfect, nor do we think that we are perfect. Since we are human and still imperfect, people are going to interject their own personal beliefs into what Scripture teaches. God designed sex for the obvious purpose of reproduction, but also as a way for husband and wife to come together and love each other in a powerful way. The Bible says that after sex “the two will become one flesh,” as in sex brings us so close to the other person, that after sex and marriage, we will become one. Having sex outside of marriage, though, will still unite the two together in spirit. Marriage is supposed to be the ultimate representation of the coming together of Christ and the Church (don’t prevert what I am saying). There is only one body (the Church) and one head (Christ), and therefore only one union between man and wife. If we go around and have sex with many people, that is not a representation of the coming together of the Christ and the Church. Sex is definitely not taboo, and there is a book in the Bible called “Song of Solomon” that is all about love and sex! There are other reasons why sex is supposed to be contained to marriage, but I hope that this is a good enough explanation.

          Now you’re probably thinking that you don’t have to listen to that because the Bible is not accurate. Well, this is simply not true. If you would take the time to do your unbiased research, you would be overwhelmed by the validity of the manuscripts that are put into the Bible. If you want to have a legitimate argument about why Christians are ‘wrong’, you should really do your research and read the Bible. Luckily for us, other people have done this research for us. There is a book named “More than a Carpenter” that discusses this man’s research into the validity of Christ and the Bible. So, if you do your due diligence, I think you will be greatly surprised, as I was when I did my own.

          Check this link out for a live debate on Friday night at my University between a Christian and an Atheist: wwwsymposiachristi.com

          God Bless!

          • hudsongodfrey February 1, 2013 at 11:54 am #

            Well you’re a day late and a dollar short replying to something a year or so old, but I suppose very little has changed.

            I’ve read the whole Bible and there’s nothing I can think of that would be more certain to put me off religion. See I think the people who wrote it meant what they said when in God’s name they slew their enemies took the women and enslaved their captives then gloated about it. I know that they must have made up their creation myths because they’re completely inaccurate even on the most allegorical interpretation. And the Moses story has everyone confused because something must have prompted it, but if the Jews had have been in Egypt then Israeli scholars having a particularly keen political motive to find evidence would have done so. They say the exact opposite.

            There are many more in the old testament but you’ve really got to take a little time to look at the Gospel as well. Right from the start the whole census come house of David to Bethlehem though to the virgin birth and slaughter of innocents episode is a complete fabrication designed to position a prophet being written about up to a century after his time as the archetypical Jewish messiah. So no accuracy is not a biblical strong point….since you asked!

            And that’s a pity because if you have to believe in things than gentle Jesus meek and mild seems like a good one right up until the time when the carrot and stick concepts of heaven and hell are inserted into the narrative so that a manipulative class of religious hustlers could control people and later sell indulgences. There’s actually very little written in the scripture to justify this emphasis on something that has been egregiously used to scare innocent children ever since.

            So if it does become a matter of the emphasis and how the text became a political document especially after the council of Nicaea in 325 CE. Which leads us nicely to your main point about sex, and the notion of purity which religion promotes, again out of all proportion to what’s actually recorded in scripture. The ancients liked purity in their hereditary lines, because in that kind of system it makes a kind of political sense. But I’d argue that was overrepresented in manuscripts that in the main followed people of note whose linage mattered more in that context than in any other. There was however precious little evidence of it among religious orders much less ordinary life until much later. Even the Catholics managed to resist celibacy until well into the 12th century, not that it stopped several popes going on to sire offspring.

            What our attitude towards sexuality represents more often than not is a kind of reflection of the social order. What functioned as advice that might help improve sexual hygiene or explain the division of hard physical labour and child rearing duties within pre-scientific agrarian communities merited approval from within the only source of knowledge people had because it generally kept them happy. Thus it entered into the teachings of the ancients and changed little for a very long time nevertheless coming to rely more on the catechism than scripture itself.

            But moving forward to the modern day where we have a medical understanding of sexual hygiene and advanced research into human sexuality to better inform us, so things have changed. What once drew on the moral imperative to advance a social order that made people happier is now so far out of step with the one that our lived experience validates that it actively makes many of us quite unhappy. After all there’s not much to like about misogyny, homophobia or anti-contraception policies that have thwarted the spread of sexual hygiene throughout the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Women are happy with the choice to control their own fertility, and society grows increasingly leery of cloistered celibacy in connection with possibly selecting for child abusers.

            It’s a litany I know, for a Christian reading this taking in how wrong that the churches have been about sexuality must seem a little daunting. But there is I think a core of moral sentiment in Christians as with all people of their many faiths that I think might and probably does try and to respond positively to changing values. Theism, I know, makes it harder to credit concepts that have to do with the independent exercise of conscience leading different people to make different choices, but I don’t think it is impossible, and if you can’t go back to being an atheist then I hope you’ll at least to change some of those beliefs and attitudes that are most overdue for redress.

          • Ray (novelactivist) February 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

            I’m surprised to see this comment and was only alerted because I must have selected to be notified…

            You ask me to take the time to do my ‘unbiased’ research. I wonder, before deciding to become a Christian, you did your unbiased research and read the scriptures of other religious traditions?

            I have done my research. The bible has nothing useful to say about human sexuality.

            God did not design sex for any reason, because there is no God.

            And the Song of Solomon – oh, please.

            • Hypocritophobe February 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

              I have yet to meet a Born again Christian who has not got regret written all over their face.
              Yet to meet one who can sustain the reason.Most are broken people.Many fresh off drugs jail or worse.
              The latest I met is the most opportunistic hypocrite so far.A heavy smoking,dipsomaniac,racist gold digger.
              Sure I can’t say they are all like that, but everyone of them,without exception(and I have met hundreds0 is a narrow and bigoted selfish closet narcissist.
              They wouldn’t know a good deed if they tripped over it, unless it met their agenda/criteria.As for practising what they preach,Huh!

              Most of the people I meet who possess what is considered as Christian values are not Christians.Most are agnostic or atheist.
              Teams/patriots/barrackers make terrible incubators for humanity.

              There’s a sucker born every minute, and the day is still young.

            • hudsongodfrey February 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

              I guess that the point I was trying to make earlier was also that where you say “The bible has nothing useful to say about human sexuality”, I’d add that actually it has quite a bit less to say about the matter than Christians tend to want to impose upon us.

              Granted that there is no reason to believe in god/s, but even without discounting religion the whole “god designed sex for a reason” notion is countered by the argument that if there was a god then the design of sex is clearly more complex and has far more to do with the sharing of pleasure. It’s the, “if god didn’t want them to marry then why did he make them gay?” argument, by extension.

              I’m sure either Hitch or Dawkins may at one stage have said that the Song of Solomon was a fine piece of prose worth tearing out the Gideon’s just in case :)

              • Ray February 2, 2013 at 9:17 am #

                Hudson,

                As you know the absolutely last people I take advice from on sexuality are Christians.

                • hudsongodfrey February 2, 2013 at 9:25 am #

                  Fair point. Not that I would be so interested in advice as I would in why they presume to give it.

  10. Ray January 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Matthew,

    Abigail is about to have a book published by Spinifex. There’s your clue. Don’t bite the hand…

  11. Marilyn January 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    That makes her akin to Palin and the Tea Party. No wonder she makes me feel icky.

    I wonder though what she would think of this yarn from 1978.

    I made my 5 year old daughter a little skirt with a matching crop top to wear on a very hot day to a friends BBQ birthday party.

    Her 5 year old friend had a hissy fit because “her dress is sexier than mine” seemed to be a problem.

    We all laughed and I made her friend one as well.

    Not one person looked at them as sexualised children, we were not as dirty minded as Melinda and her tea party mob.

  12. gerard oosterman January 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Jennifer,
    Helvi left a comment for you on the Drum twitter blog leaving a simple ‘not’ out which changed the whole content. She put a correction and hopefully the mods will put it up. A genuine silly mistake she often makes.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Thanks Gerard, I knew what she meant anyway! I remember how she came to my defense more than once. Tell her thank you from me

  13. David Horton January 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    You’d think most savvy people would see “feminist” and “pro-life” linked and alarm bells would go off.

  14. gerard oosterman January 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    And we men go to Bunnings by the thousands to buy gyprock sheeting not because we feel it is sexy and makes our week-ends fulfilling. No, it is because women have given us an innate desire to erect a special free-standing plaster wall in the bedroom to practise the art of glory holes. What next, a leaf blower?

    • Rebecca S. Randall January 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      Well damned if you haven’t given me the best idea to spruce up my garage. A glory hole wall, now why didn’t I think of that?!

      Religion always leaves me feeling icky and unsure of everything. I’m very slowly pottering through The God Delusion in my spare time, and mentioned this at the breakfast table at Christmas when my uncle asked what I was up to. I was pretty surprised when he responded with saying that me not taking up Christianity was “my mother’s fault” (my mum being his younger sister). And my father, normally liking to avoid confrontation, pipes up from the end of the table “Well we like to let our kids make up their own minds on religion, Will.”

      Now, I’m a 22 year old ADULT, and it’s none of his fucking business whether or not I choose to believe in a mystical patriarchal figure in the sky. But as far as I knew, he’s NOT theistic in any way. So I still couldn’t understand his scorn! And “mum’s fault”? Well if she had any contribution to my lack of religious belief, then I certainly wouldn’t call it a fault but a blessing (OH HO see what I did there?).

  15. Priorities January 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I’m begging you, please take your many excellent rebuttals directly to Reist’s Face Book page … https://www.facebook.com/MelindaTankardReist. Let’s start with a precis of your piece here, that MTR should absolutely declare her evangelical roots. Personally, I find it distasteful that this ‘good’ Christian is focusing all her energies on ‘pornification’ instead of helping to counter ‘starvation’; while thousands of children needlessly die of disease and hunger each week, she would likely argue that there are enough people working to put an end to poverty – and that she is needed to make sure that we know that a Playboy logo on a cup promotes violence against women. While there IS still poverty, she demonstrates that in reality she doesn’t give a damn about society, life and death.

  16. gerard oosterman January 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    In the garage is alright but my wife and I decided to build one in the backyard next to the Barbecue. Don’t know if glory hole walls need council approval. Surely, with a couple of nice leylandii giving some privacy it would not unduly excite the neighbours.

    • Ray January 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

      Depends on the council I think :) They might have a safety issue if its near a barbie. You might have to have a fire extinguisher nearby for safety reasons.

      • Gruffbutt January 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

        I’m looking forward to a sighting of the Virgin Mary at the glory hole wall. That’ll confuse ‘em…

    • gerard oosterman January 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      While making the wall, my advice would be to limit the timber studs to nail the gyprock to as narrow as possible otherwise you’ll lose too much in length. You don’t want to find that the glory hole isn’t able to accomodate the smaller man.The girth doesn’t matter, you make the opening as generous as possible. Also, to give the wall a nice finish, you’ll need a couple of tubes of ‘no-gap’ to fill any nail holes. All up, the wall shouldn’t cost more than about $195.-.
      I plan to paint a seascape with rocks and a beach on it with perhaps a tumble of seaweed towards the bottom or around the hole.
      Some might think of a mountain scene. The blue mountains three sisters might give inspiration. The virgin Mary? Perhaps some celestial scene with harp playing angels?
      Hope this helps.

      • Ray January 13, 2012 at 8:30 am #

        Sounds good. I’m going for a Sistine Chapel copy with perhaps a number of outlets for party guests. I believe one can also design larger holes so women can participate.

  17. Ray January 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Just occurred to me to ask – has anyone asked MTR if she supports gay marriage and how many lesbian feminists are a part of Collective Shout?

    • gerard oosterman January 13, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Now you’re talking.Community spirit & inclusiveness. I was thinking, for the next project, to build a small bull-nosed corrugated colour-bond roof over the wall in case of inclement weather.

      • Ray January 13, 2012 at 8:48 am #

        We need one in the nearby park, perhaps decorated with a community mural. They’ve just installed new BBQ’s

    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      She doesn’t say anything about that anywhere I can find.

  18. paul walter January 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Is Hills’ piece that poor, on a re read? It’s nowhere near the insult to the intelligence that a Miranda Devine article would be. She does mention MTR’s ideological back ground.
    Btw, Mindy’s post is logically the next step from the break even point, a deconstruct of an ideological and cultural subtext revealing the “human” element involved in mediating upon the Lord’s alleged pronouncements from high.
    Almost feel a “Life of Brian” moment coming on, come to think of it.

  19. Kristen January 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    I remain unconvinced. In politics I do believe that someone’s religious beliefs should be irrelevant – no matter what they are. Its what they do and say that matters. While I find MTR’s political opinions insulting and irrelevant, I dont care greatly as to her religious convictions. Nobody asks non-Christian pollies what motivates their political opinions so I don’t see why Christians are questioned as to theirs. As far as that generally annoying group of pollies go, at least she has the courtesy to withhold from using her public profile as a forum to preach about her religious convictions. An all too rare quality. I may not agree with her but I respect her right to choose not to discuss a
    Private & personal part of her life – its not duplicitous or deceptive – its personal.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

      She doesn’t express political opinions. She expresses moral opinions. Therefore her religious beliefs are absolutely relevant. She isn’t a politician. She’s an anti porn activist and a public morals police person.

  20. paul walter January 15, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    Kristen, it seems Tankard Reist has certain propositions based on certain ideas as to how society and individuals must conduct themselves. If people are forced to situations that threaten their agency and movement, have they not a right to know the reasons why?
    If MTR and people like her want people to change their lives just to satisfy her/their ideas or tastes, should people at lest not have the decency of an explanation?
    Certainly not laws imposed by stealth, which we presume to be the modus operandi, since no explanation of this individuals plans re the resdt of us has been forth coming.
    If she wants acceptance of her ideas, when they affect other people, might she not do better to explain where she’s coming from, than shun an explanation and just say, “Do as I say” ?
    It won’t work that way!
    At least not in my case, without an explanation and response discussing implication s and implementation, it may be that I have my own interests to consider, rather than just people like MTR’s whims.

  21. Horse January 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Is Mary equally objectified b/c she resulted from an “immaculate conception” as she is b/c she was not pornified by a penis or a man with a penis? How did the “immaculate conception” happen?

    • Jennifer Wilson January 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      Well, I can’t answer that because I don’t really think it did.

      • Horse January 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

        Just had a quick look – it means Mary did not acquire “original sin” when she was conceived by her parents mating, as if “original sin” is passed on via the now dis-credited notion of Lamarckian inheritance (of acquired characteristics).

  22. gerard oosterman January 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Perhaps ‘immaculate’ was translated wrongly. Josef had been drinking water which had been turned into wine. He got a bit tipsy but became very happy and fumbled ever so ardently and lovingly with Mary. Afterwards he muttered something like, sorry Mary, I wasn’t very ‘accurate’. We all know that it doesn’t always depend on accuracy to fall pregnant.How that mis-translation survived all this time remains a mystery. It is rumoured to have been a first case of coitus interruptus. A modern analogy refers to this practise as akin to leaving the church service before communion. :)

    • Horse January 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      However, Gerard, Immaculate conception refers to Mary’s conception, not the alleged conception of the alleged Jesus.

  23. gerard oosterman January 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Yes, you are right. It is a popular misconception to confuse the two. Misconceptions are often immaculate. Either way, a true misconception is the belief in conception without a penis attached to a man. Or unattached for that matter.

    • Horse January 16, 2012 at 6:23 am #

      Haha; clever, Gerard. Though of course that applies to conception and perceptions of the reality of it before the mid-20th century. These days in vitro is a ready option

      The degree to which the “Virgin Mary” and an “Immaculate [BC] Conception” is revered might vary among the varying Christian denomination more than has been acknowledged – it certainly is a clear/firm doctrine of the Catholic church, but may not be emphasized so much in other denominations, and even then to varying degree among the adherents of those various non-Catholic denominations. That may matter little to non-Christians, but may be a point of empathy about confusing faith scenarios.

  24. Trippitako January 17, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I’m wondering if you have seen a lot of porn? I have, having worked as a receptionist in a brothel. 99.9% of it is derogatory towards women, it is abusive and misogynistic. In the porn I have seen they don’t wear condoms. Women are treated aggressively and beg like dogs while being ejaculated over their faces. The girls in it have bodies like 12 year olds, no pubic hair but with huge breasts.

    Porn is very accessible and a lot of men watch it and boys as young as 12, possibly younger, are watching it. Men want what they see in the porn. They used to come to the brothel and ask for sex without condoms frequently, anal sex and women that look like they do in the porn. Porn must be having a detrimental effect on relationships as it has had on some of mine.

    I am not a religious person. I am tired of the misogyny and sexism in our culture which porn has had a huge impact over.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 17, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      I agree that there is porn that is pretty terrible. I don’t think all porn is like that. There’s some things I agree with MTR about. I am concerned that her religious views lead her to condemn everything sexual that doesn’t fir in with them and that is a very dangerous thing for women. And men.

      Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment.

      • nataschayolanda January 23, 2012 at 9:21 am #

        “I am concerned that her religious views lead her to condemn everything sexual that doesn’t fir in with them and that is a very dangerous thing for women. And men.”

        As far as I am aware this woman is fighting for the rights of women and children, who she feels are being over sexualized in society today. And she has the view that porn contributes. Well I think that is pretty obvious, since the shear vollume that is now accessible online, of course that influences society, the internet has only been around 10 years.

        The focus on her religion, I find trully bizarre. This woman isn’t dictating for others to follow any dogma. But it seems on this blog there is a collective dogma of it’s own.
        And a paranoia when it comes to someones faith or not expressing their faith openly enough, which is within their rights of freedom.
        To decide all people who follow a religion are carbon copies of one another and that all their beliefs stem from their faith. How did you all come to this conclusion? Have you conducted a survey of all the christians in Australia?

        Australia is a democracy, so therefore, people have the right to follow any religion they choose and to express themselves also how they choose.
        As I read all the comments on your blog about MTR, it seems aimed at discrediting her, a woman who is working for the greater good for women, and your using her religious belief as the fuel to discredit her motivations or question them based off your own assumptions.

        Under the guise that she is attempting to decieve people for the ultimatium of eradicating laws that support minority groups? Is that what the main fear is on here?

        That a womans rights activist has the power to influence the entire structure of Australia and our legal system?

        Or that she is working for someone of political power, who wants to suppress the Australian public? If so whom and provide supporting documentation,

        Or that she is using her activism to decieve and therefore stop us from all enjoying porn and sex? You think that’s her motivation? Sounds ludicrous to me. Do you know what it takes to change laws on such a grand scale? It takes more than MTR.
        That I consider fear based thinking, with no conclusive evidence to support it.

        Or that she is pro life? Well I’m afraid in a democracy that one is about the right of opinion, that’s the whole point of a democratic society, freedom of views and speech for all.

        I would also advise you ask a person directly their views and motivations on all the issues you have on your mind and allow them the right to answer. We are not living in an Orwellian society yet, we still need to ask questions and not assume we know what motivates a persons actions/opinions in thier life as a public figure or private one.

        And if you’re worried about the condemming of sexualality, which seems pretty far fetched argument, I grew up in Sydney, we are super liberal compared to the rest of the world. Perhaps research into what that actually means and which public figures are dictating such notions, I have read nothing from MTR that suggests this, nor have I read anything that shows her to be the extremist that your ” concerne ” alludes to, which means your view is based off no actual facts, unless you can provide some, otherwise that is conjecture and probably stems from your disbelief in faith or religion or your fears of it, I just decided to make that connection, it’s called making assumptions, we can all do it.

        • Paul Smith February 4, 2013 at 10:26 am #

          Well stated. The motivations fueling this continued focus on MTR’s beliefs run deep in a certain few. Repeatedly crying ” She didn’t reveal she is a Christian” seems little more than a disingenuous attempt at marginalisation and religous vilification.

          • hudsongodfrey February 4, 2013 at 10:59 am #

            For a start you’re a day late and a dollar short, but if you want to cry religious vilification please know that any such claim to unfair marginalisation relies on a truth claim that religion is not vile.

            Maybe it would be unfair, and too harsh to say all religion, or all religious people are vile. But when it comes to sexuality I don’t think it is in the slightest way disingenuous to say that they’ve got all their work ahead of them to correct their approach to the subject.

            • Paul Smith February 4, 2013 at 11:13 am #

              I know we are a day late and a dollar short to convey objectivity in you but others may look beyond the bad christian stereotype to see the point.

              • hudsongodfrey February 4, 2013 at 11:34 am #

                Stereotypes exist, some come and go. Many persist for the simple reason that they contain a grain of truth. If you want to defend Christianity then my guess is that you’d be better to concede its deficiencies and work to fix them than to argue with secularists as if the faiths’ doctrinal problems with sexuality didn’t exist.

          • Hypocritophobe February 4, 2013 at 11:14 am #

            A few reminders Paul;
            If it sounds too good to be true…..
            Harradine
            Professional lobbying
            Pocket lining

            I think we are all entitled to know and question the background / motivation of all political players.Especially ones who profit from their activities.

            You are free to believe it’s a witch hunt, but it seems those voicing their moral outrage on this topic the loudest are practising Christians too.

            Porn is nowhere near as big a damaging concept as religion is.
            When all harm from religion is admitted,and eradicated then the moralistas can have the spotlight.
            Methinks Hell will freeze over when the zealots come good on that.

            Lets hope that the children who are sexually assaulted by the religious cults eventually find themselves on the agenda of those religiously inclined, purporting to give a shit.Don’t you think the absence of outrage/articles/petitions/political lobbying reinforces the reasons they reside in a the ether of mistrust?

            • Paul Smith February 4, 2013 at 11:43 am #

              Exactly what i am referring to – all old questions answered already. Smart of MTR not to waste time trying to satisfy those who will never be satisfied.

              Your bucket list should contain some of the negatives from the other side to be objective.

              • Hypocritophobe February 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

                OK
                You seem to have her back Paul.
                I have a simple question for you.Why is it her site has zero (links to any substantive content would be appreciated) about church sex abuse.
                I can see a trend towards porn and imagery outrage which looks to me to border on infatuation.

                And will you take up the challenge to speak out against the ills of religion (in your case Christianity) as indicated by HG and myself?
                Do you acknowledge a problem?
                Can you identify what you think it/they is/are?

                • Paul Smith February 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

                  And you seem to have hers Hypo.

                  1. Cannot speak for a web administrator as to what is not allegedly not there and the why’s so I cannot answer.
                  2. I already have in avenues unknown to you and indeed even here I have spoken out against priests.
                  3. Whose problem? Is it important to you that I acknowledge to some unknown person that an organisation for which I am not responsible for has a problem that I did not cause?
                  4. I can identify what problems I think there are – you may have a different opinion.

                • hudsongodfrey February 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

                  In some ways I think child abuse is the low hanging fruit when it comes to the question of religious attitudes towards human sexuality. It is readily condemned and thus provides an obvious avenue to pointing out hypocrisy.

                  What I think is more often forgotten is that the proposed remedy to it if you’re to ask religious authorities is to heap on more sexual repression rather than less. If not for some rather clotted attitudes about sexual purity I suspect that they could purge themselves of the whole need for celibacy, homophobia and attitudes towards contraception that blotted the churches’ record for some considerable time.

                  • Hypocritophobe February 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

                    Well I’d settle for a united voice emanating from all of those who purport to represent children that they are disgusted and want action.
                    not some but all.
                    But the horse has well and truly bolted.As a powerful lobby group, I think the level of non-outrage far outweighs their actions/words.
                    Collective silence rings true.
                    Why would that be?
                    I can only speculate that the reason is an allegiance to a belief system.
                    That’s the trouble with silence.

                    • hudsongodfrey February 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

                      Yes but if you scan back over the subject of the article and posts at the time then that wasn’t the real issue, and I think its a distraction from Christians ought to recognise has damaged their credibility from the very start.

    • Ray January 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      Trippitako,

      Not sure I know any 12 year-olds with huge breasts. Please do not confuse things you personally don’t like with misogyny and abuse. Furthermore misogyny and sexism predate the modern porn industry. Porn did not cause misogyny, it simply reflects pre-existing beliefs/desires/fantasies.

      • Trippitako January 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

        For a start, Ray, don’t patronise me. You obviously did not read what I wrote. I said that the women in the porn had bodies LIKE 12 year olds, e.g. no pubic hair and huge breasts which are obviously implants. I’m not confused, I know misogyny and abuse when I see it. Blind Freddy could see it. Btw, there are plenty of well endowed 12 year old girls, I was one.

        I never said that porn caused misogyny, you need to learn read properly.

  25. lola January 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Trippitako, I agree with your comments about porn. A lot of what I’ve seen is terrifyingly unsexy – all heaving pneumatic breasts, siliconed lips, hideous close-ups, dicks up bums and girls loving it. I am the mother of a twelve year old boy and it saddens me to think the garbage online may influence the way he will think about and participate in sex. However, I definitely don’t want someone of MTR’s persuasion hogging the limelight and leading the debate and representing MY views and concerns about it. I think the words “fundamentalist Christian” describe her to a tee and I find it deceptive that she is not up front about where she’s at with organised religion. So, us feminists need a new poster girl to lead the debate – and NOT someone ensconced in an ivory tower and NOT some chick with extreme views……
    I really enjoyed those expressed by Cordelia Fine in the September issue of The Monthly where she basically discussed the “major issues” surrounding the porn industry and argued that defending it is defending the indefensible….I love Emily Maguire’s work and I’m sure Kaz Cooke has some sensible ideas on it. We need to have the discussion about porn sooner rather than later, but it has to be lead by someone who has the smarts and the appeal to take this conversation away from the MTRs and put it into the mainstream and away from the clutches of the religious right.

    • Ray January 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Lola, you can’t have seen much porn if it’s all been ‘heaving pneumatic breasts and siliconed lips’. Most men don’t like fake breasts and silicon lips. Porn happens to be immensely diverse and caters to every need, including lesbian porn by and for women. As for anal sex, it might surprise you to know that some women actually do like it, including some in the lesbian community. One of the reasons porn is so threatening is that breaks taboos. In some cases this is helpful – for example, we now know that some women can ejaculate and that this need no longer be shameful. This is not to say that there is not violent, misogynist porn out there, or that some porn actresses get boob jobs.

      As for your son. Do some research and find sites that promote sex positive sexuality and depict real women enjoying real sex. And instead of being saddened, make sure you teach your son the difference between bad, exploitative sex and good, mutually pleasurable sex. In the end it is your responsibility.

      Btw I thought Cordelia Fine’s piece was deeply flawed. It still contained a moralising yuck judgment about other people’s sexual practices.

      • Trippitako January 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

        Ray: Lesbian porn and porn produced by women would probably be less than 1% of porn being produced. I’m talking about the 99.9% being produced that is disempowering and degrading of women.

    • Trippitako January 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

      I don’t know anything about MTR’s politics but someone has got to take a stand and whoever it is not going to be popular. We should be supporting her, not attacking her. All part of this misogynistic culture we’re a part of, women attacking other women. Not nice.

      The porn industry is a massive industry. I watched a documentary on the porn business. It revealed that the Catholic church actually invest in the porn industry. Some of the big hotel chains invest in porn and have porn channels in their rooms. In the UK, government departments that pay the old age pension invest in the porn industry, because the returns are so high.

      Porn is influencing our culture, you can see it in the fashion magazines and the unrealistic expectations placed on women are insane. Women are expected to look and perform like porn stars. So glad MTR has brought it out in the open so we can talk about it.

      • Horse January 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

        Yes, Trippitako, but dealing with the porn industry is a separate issue to what is being discussed here.

        Dealing with the porn industry as you have described is such a monumental task on a number of levels that one person’s railing against it is likely to be just hot air.

  26. Adrien January 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    The Virgin Birth was theologically required because the sin nature that all humans have is passed through the man. It had nothing to do with sex or females being filthy and everything to do with Christ not having the sinful nature of all humankind.

    Actually virgin births of gods go back a long way in religious history. It’s a little difficult for us to imagine but what we’d call ridiculous superstition was pervasive in antiquity even in the minds of comparatively civilized and rational people like Roman patricians. Originally it is suspected that it was the result of a pantheistic order in which the prime female sky-god appears first and then gives birth to the king of the male sky-gods. Like Adam and Eve’s children, the presents a problem that is then covered with an implausible fiction.

    The Virgin Birth may simply be a standard theological episode to justify claims that Jesus was divine.

    The disgust with sex and with women develops, I think, after Christ. The Jews had certain strict hygiene habits viz menstruation and laws that regarded sex outside marriage as sinful but the notion that sex itself was disgusting is not something that is a part of canon. Jewish law actually prescribes joyful sex and mutual consideration. Naturally there are extremists who say otherwise. One such is said to be St Paul who appeared to revile sexuality personally, pehaps aimed to kill everyone else’s pleasure. And to a large extent succeeded at least in Ireland over recent centuries.

  27. Qld January 18, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I’ve often wondered if the reasoning women dressing provcatively for men being caused by men could be extended to women causing men to expose their biceps and muscles and therefore women are coercing and objectifying men?

    The same argument but put the other way sounds possibly more ridiculous and I often wonder why that is.

    Religious conviction is extremely important in similar debates. It’s important to know if somebody’s beliefs come from a belief in universal human rights based on logic or on spiritual belief systems. The debate method for the two is completely different.

    Some tend to stick to the logical side of things while others often swap and change as they see fit to suit their argument.

    • Jennifer Wilson January 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      I don’t even know if it’s objectifying. It seems pretty normal to me that human beings are fascinated by one another’s bodies.

      • gerard oosterman January 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

        Well, I hereby state I don’t want my body to be subjectified or fascinated over by *T*. All you others, feel free, enjoy!..

      • Ray January 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

        Indeed, some degree of objectification is necessary – and of course women objectify men, in different ways.

  28. 730reportland January 22, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    As an ignorant `boy-god`, can somebody
    tell me why nobody is calling bullcrap on
    the oxy-moron `pro-life-feminist`.

    The females in my life explained to me
    that feral feminists of the far left are those
    that scream `pro-choice` at me in the street
    even though I`m not a doctor.

    And religious rat-bags of the far right scream
    `pro-life` at me in the street, even though
    I`m not a doctor.

    But the females in my life tell me both of
    these sides are extreme and I should learn
    that `their` health-care business is between
    them and `their` doctor, and nobody else,
    not church and not government.

    • Rebecca S. Randall January 22, 2012 at 8:42 am #

      Sadly it becomes the business of the government when abortion is illegal in places like QLD. And the church think it’s their business when abortion is relegalised in Victoria. Governments are supposed to look out for the health, safety and wishes of as many of their constituents as they can. Religion wants to save everybody, including the people who don’t want “to be saved”. That’s one of my biggest problems with religion, is that they’re built on concepts of meddling and converting people who AREN’T INTERESTED. I think that’s wrong. I don’t try and convert theists to atheism. I think what they believe is stupid, but in the end it’s not my job to tell them to convert. I just tell them to leave me the hell alone.

      • Jennifer Wilson January 23, 2012 at 8:15 am #

        I don’t think we are aware of how much work is being done by the anti choice people to get their agenda up. it is quite scary.

      • Rebecca S. Randall January 23, 2012 at 8:47 am #

        We need to be more aware of all lobbyists and agenda runners in my opinion. The smoke and mirrors of parliament frightens me.

  29. Hypocritophobe April 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Is that a Spam site, or just some benign, banal, religious peddling going on?

  30. Johnb32 April 29, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Thank you, I have just been searching for info about this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve found out so far. However, what about the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the supply? efgbgcfcgddd

  31. Jennifer Wilson January 20, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Everybody this is very funny and a good summation of what’s going on

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pure rubbish from Pure Poison | | Furious PurposeFurious Purpose - January 17, 2012

    [...] to (before the info appears to have been deleted, some still do) refer to her as a Baptist. Wilson originally responded to an article in a Sunday paper that meant to explore MTR’s background and how she [...]

  2. In lieu of conversation… « Technically Impartial - January 17, 2012

    [...] Read the offending post here; [...]

  3. Unleashing the Sorcerer’s Broomstick Effect – The MTR Business | The Preston Institute - January 18, 2012

    [...] who practice it.  It’s all been completely unnecessary on both sides.  I personally found Wilson’s blog to be simplistic in regards to MTRs views and how her religious beliefs supposedly feed into them. [...]

  4. Lies, Damn Lies, and Cashing in on Labels That Don’t Quite Fit « Black Dog - January 19, 2012

    [...] of Australia’s self-appointed queen of the fun harpies. Dr Jennifer Wilson asks a couple of sensible and pertinent questions of the author of said piece, who responds (maturely, and to her credit) by agreeing that she had [...]

  5. A Cosmopolitan Morality « RAW/ROAR - January 20, 2012

    [...] anti-porn work has anything to do with her religion, and find it incredibly reductive to dismiss her arguments on that basis. It is a sleight of hand (and an ad hominem one) to say ‘I disagree with her anti-porn work [...]

  6. Melinda Tankard Reist – Defamed Freelancer, Faux Feminist or Foxy Fundamentalist? « Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear - January 20, 2012

    [...] Wilson angered Ms Reist by claiming in a blog post that Tankard is ‘deceptive and duplicitous’ about the religious agenda which drives her [...]

  7. Welcome to Monday ~ 23 January 2012 | feminaust ~ for australian feminism - January 23, 2012

    [...] No Place For Sheep responds and then MTR threatens to sue them and NPFS gets even more cross! [...]

  8. Melinda Tankard Reist and the feminism debate « iDigress - January 23, 2012

    [...] Blog post at No Place for Sheep that started the fight (10 Jan) [...]

  9. Skepticlawyer » ‘Once we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws’ - January 23, 2012

    [...] Jennifer Wilson (via Russell Blackford) raises the following issues: I am also suspicious of her conflation of girls and women, when the two situations are entirely different and should be treated as such. Exploiting the sexuality of children (and children are sexual beings) is a whole other matter from the so-called epidemic of “sexualisation” and “pornification” of adults. I would like to see a journalist question Tankard Reist on her persistent conflation of the two. I believe it is deliberate. [...]

  10. Belconnen, Baptists, and the lawyer’s letter « No Place For Sheep - January 26, 2012

    [...] It seems to me that the primary “seriously defamatory” alleged offense is describing his client as a Baptist. My contested post is here. [...]

  11. Melinda Tankard Reist Unfoxified « - March 4, 2012

    [...] So-Called “Offending“ Post At No-Place-For-Sheep [...]

  12. The ad hominem fallacy & the Tankard Reist affair « No Place For Sheep - March 4, 2012

    [...] comments Melinda Tankard Reis… on The questions Rachel Hills did…Melinda Tankard Reis… on Belconnen, Baptists, and the l…Melinda Tankard Reis… [...]

  13. This is not Tu Quoque, it is not, it is not « No Place For Sheep - March 10, 2012

    [...] My post of January 10 that caused Melinda Tankard Reist to threaten defamation action has understandably been subjected to a great deal of scrutiny and commentary. A consistent criticism is that I didn’t have the “facts” on which I based my allegations about Reist’s religious influences, that I made knowledge claims without the knowledge. I’ve pointed out that I used information available uncontested in the public domain for a long time, that I watched and read interviews with Reist by journalists, and that I have sources dating back to 2006 questioning Reist’s religious motivations. [...]

  14. Melinda Tankard Reist – Sex, Drugs & Politics - May 22, 2012

    [...] [4] http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/01/10/the-questions-rachel-hills-didnt-ask-melinda-tankard-reist/ 26 February, 2012 @ 2359 Sex, Drugs and/or [...]

  15. It’s complicated | Quoth the Raivans - November 24, 2012

    [...] I think the debate about whether pr0n is OK (Yes it is! No it isn’t!), and the debate about the extent to which MTR’s views are based on religion, are distractions. We can argue all day about whether MTR wants to ban both pr0n and abortion, and [...]

  16. Out of MTR’s defamation jail! The Streisand Effect, & conduct that offends « No Place For Sheep - January 13, 2013

    [...] of defamatory posts concerning our client on the internet, set out principally under the heading “The questions Rachel Hills didn’t ask Melinda Tankard Reist” on your blog No Place for Sheep. These claims have been widely circulated, including on [...]

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