MTR plays dress-ups: come as a “prostitute, Bratz doll or slut”

9 Sep

Well, here’s telling little anecdote found buried in the comments on this article in Mamamia by Catherine Manning, who dared to challenge the usefulness and wisdom of Tankard Reist’s Collective Shout actions against the “sexualisation” of girls.

It appears that participants in a planned Collective Shout “Funraiser” were asked to dress up as “prostitutes, Bratz dolls and sluts.” When it was pointed out to the organisers that if this got out, as in, like, photos in the media, it wouldn’t look so good. Dress-ups were cancelled, at least dress-ups involving the kind of clothing and shoes that represent Collective Shout’s collective vision of prostitutes and sluts.

I’m not sure about Bratz dolls. I would have thought dolls were in an altogether different category from human beings, but there you go. Lump ‘em all in together, Melinda.

I’m gobsmacked at the utter contempt this reveals for women who earn their living as sex workers, and women this gang of self-righteous harpies perceives as “sluts.”

Looks like we have to claim that word back from a bunch of self-identified “feminists” as well.

Maybe Melinda and her salacious cronies were looking for an opportunity to let their inner “prostitute, Bratz doll and slut” out for a night. An opportunity to combine a bit of  ignorant ridicule of women they don’t approve of with the chance to strut their own stuff in gear they claim condemns the female to a life of sexual slavery. Or, as academic Dr Caroline Norma so succinctly puts it, to  life as a sexual service station where men drop by to dip their hose in the tank (the last bit’s mine, not hers).

If you really feel that strongly about “sexy” clothes, why not have a bonfire and a token burning of the corrupting rags,but wear them to a party? Taint your own body with the very clothes that destroy women’s lives and ruin our girls? How could that be fun?

It might have escaped Tankard Reist and company, but just as they wanted to wear those clothes “for fun” so do many other women. So from that I take it that it’s all right for the special ones who know the special dangers to wear the clothes, but all wrong for anybody else?

All their proposed “funraiser” was, it seems to me, is an organised slut shaming exercise. It really says everything about what they think of women who they feel are lesser beings than themselves. Madonna/whore, anyone?

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151 Responses to “MTR plays dress-ups: come as a “prostitute, Bratz doll or slut””

  1. Ray (novelactivist) September 9, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Melinda hasn’t learned her lesson and isn’t backing down, just recently she posted an opinion piece by a Dr Jocelynne Scutt who, to my disgust, equated 7 year-olds with streetwalkers.

    “Is it really ‘okay’ that what once was ‘standard streetwalker’ is sold as ‘standard seven-year-old’?”

    I have no idea what ‘standard streetwalker looks like. A quick google reveals a wide range of gear, with some streetwalkers wearing normal clothes so they won’t be identified by the police and others wearing g-strings; the streetwalkers in cold climate wear big coats.

    No matter what a girl wears, she is still clearly a girl, which ought to signal that using adult sexual concepts top describe her are inappropriate – very inappropriate.

    But here are MTR and her cohort freely using adult sexual concepts to describe children.

    It kind of makes them the problem.

    I should add (and ask any man) that very few men would dare describe a child in this way. If a ‘bloke’ dared comment on the sexual cuteness of a girl amongst a group of other ‘blokes’, well, he’d be very, very unpopular. Or have people forgotten what happens to rock spiders in prison?

    So why do these women think it’s okay, and why does MTR think it’s okay to endorse these views?

  2. doug quixote September 9, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Sexual service station, eh? Sounds like a ball. Perhaps the hoist could be used, whilst the tyres are hosed down, pumped up, freshly blacked and given a proper rotation or two.

    The undercarriage would be available for a good seeing-to as well. More than just the tank could be dipped into; the exhaust would need a thorough reaming as well.

    So much fun to be had and so little time.

    A pity they cancelled the party, it would have been interesting to see if the bacwa types actually have a sense of humour at all.

    I suspect not.

    • paul walter September 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

      Well said Doug, underneath always requires close checking.

  3. helvityni September 9, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    The Collective Shout has to elinimate poverty from this world, if they don’t want to have seven year old prostitutes….

    Start working on that rather having these silly Slut walks and Prostitute Parties…some feminists.

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 9, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      Helvi

      Collective Shout having nothing to do with Slut Walk, in fact they despise them. It is the Slut Walk feminists drawing attention to slut shaming.

      • helvityni September 9, 2012 at 9:37 am #

        I Know the( so called) feminists are organising the Slut Walks, I know CS was going to have a Bratz party, I find them both silly…

        Sorry for not being clear enough, there are better ways of being a feminist.

  4. Poirot September 9, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    I tend to agree with Helvityni here,

    Young girls are young girls and don’t really require to be costumed in sassy revealing attire. It’s not only the outfits and make-up on the faces of something like a Bratz doll, it’s the “attitude” they exude. However, the point I’ve made in prior discussions is who goes out and buys this stuff for young girls? It’s mothers who do this. Why blame men and “the sexualisation of society” on everyone but the people who facilitate the sales.

    And why do women have to march to proclaim sluthood – another collective. I’m quite proud of my womanhood, and I repudiate the MTR brigade for targeting everything but the mothers who push the whole paradigm.

    In both cases, i would encourage women to think for themselves, go a bit deeper than Western frivolity. I’m sure women could put their minds to much worthier feminist principles if they stopped squabbling amongst themselves. Women in non-Western societies get together to save seeds and ensure their societies have continuity. I think we’ve lost the plot in the West.

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 9, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      But you miss the point… ‘Sassy’ is a wholly subjective term. What you think is ‘sassy’ might not be what someone else regards as ‘sassy’. You use the term as if it has some universal, objective status, as if people would know exactly what ‘you’ mean by sassy.

      This is about people liking or not liking certain types of clothes. As it turns out, the clothes they don’t like can be called ‘sassy’, ‘trampy’ etc.

      The rule seems to be: the clothes I don’t like sexualise young girls, the clothes I like don’t.

      I also think you misunderstand the motives behind Slut Walk. It was started in Toronto after a policeman suggested that if women didn’t want to get raped they shouldn’t dress like sluts.

      The WHOLE point is that there is absolutely no causal link between what a woman or girl wears and sexual abuse/violence. None. Nada. Zilch.

      Thus what a girl/woman wears cannot be said to provoke men to view them in a sexual way.

      • helvityni September 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

        Ray, when I was in my forties I was still a what you call a good-looker(not important to me, only to illustrate what I want to convey here) I was walking with my daughter (25 years younger than me), tall and blond and good-looking and dressed to kill for a Thursday night shopping in Sydney( she worked for a film company)….every single man noticed only her, and I’m sorry but it had to do with her provocative somewhat ‘ slutty’ dressing not justwith her good looks….
        Whatever you want to think and wish, men and women are different…

        PS. A few weeks later we (daughter hubby and I) were queueing for cinema tickets in Paddington and the famous Oliver Stone rushed out to greet us, not us, the daughter…

      • Poirot September 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

        Ray,

        “Thus what a girl/woman wears cannot be said to provoke men to view them in a sexual way.”

        I disagree, although I believe that men who wish to take advantage of an innocent will do so regardless of dress.

        And I don’t need a lecture on the pros and cons of what constitutes sexual abuse. I happen to have had a similar experience to Catharine Manning at about the same age – except that I never for one moment blamed my clothing or myself.

        Nevertheless, I don’t see the need to tart up young girls – and it is mothers who do the ground work here. Nor do I see the need to march and identify as a slut to make a point to the contrary.

        • Hypocritophobe September 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

          And I don’t see a need for interfering BACWA bints to mother other peoples kids, or set the rules to parenting/fashion/pop music/marketing/eating habits/sex/religion

          • Poirot September 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

            Nor do I – but nor do I see freedom of thought and action in the consumer/capitalist paradigm, which is predicated on the inability of most fortunate Westerners to practice independent thought.

            As if all those women and mothers are practicing free choice. They are not. On the contrary, they’re merely following very “sheep-like” every trend they encounter.

            • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 9:51 am #

              Can a brain be washed?

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

          Helvi and Poirot,

          Regardless of what you say there is no clear link. This is actually complex. Were they looking at your daughter in a sexual way? How do you know what they were thinking? Maybe they thought she was beautiful? But is admiring beauty the same thing as even thinking they’d approach her with the aim of seducing her? And don’t women look at pretty young men?

          When I said looking at girls/women in a sexual way, I meant in a sexual way, with lust, with a sense of arousal. This is vastly different to admiring fleeting beauty passing in the street.

          But again, you simply cannot know what turns any given person on – and again, women can admire beauty in both men and women.

          Poirot, I wasn’t lecturing you in the least. I know Catherine’s story, she’s told me personally, plus I’ve had two good friends who were abused. I actually understand a good deal about the subject. Which is why I say, as you agree, what a child or adult weras is irrelevant.

          • helvityni September 10, 2012 at 8:03 am #

            Ray, my daughter was raped, I don’t think her way of dressing was helpful. She was naive and thought it did not matter…but sadly it does matter…

            Slut Walks is not the answer, having respect for each other is, we can start discussing issues, having conversations, start in private, then public, and maybe we can slowly change the society…respect is the key word, it all starts at home.I don’t think sexes are at ease with each other in this country, we have a long way to go…
            We might chance laws, but not the behaviour, so often the form takes over the content…

            • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 9:49 am #

              I’m sorry you think it does matter. I had a very, very close friend who was raped. She was dressed in a normal, non-provocative way.

              • helvityni September 10, 2012 at 10:08 am #

                Ray, I do NOT want it to matter, but sadly it does. I did not advise my daughter to change her way of dressing…Slut Walks are not going change this, it just another silly Americanism we are adopting. Educatng our sons to respect women is a better way…

                • Poirot September 10, 2012 at 10:25 am #

                  It is a very complex area. Clothes, attitude, conduct, alcohol, drugs, responsibility, venue, etc all have consequences in the the sexual messages between the genders…..and let’s not dismiss the reasons why we dress in a certain way at certain times. I wouldn’t wear my baggy, cat-emblazoned flannelette pajamas to an occasion where I wished to look elegant and alluring. We do dress up for the effect it creates. Why would we bother otherwise?

                  Ray,

                  This doesn’t mean to say that men have the right to rape women because they are turned on by their attire. I don’t believe that, and I’m sure
                  Helvityni doesn’t either. She’s right, that in a civilised society with all our advances, that we still have to deal with base instincts and lack of control.

                  • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 10:38 am #

                    Sexual assault (lack of respect/violence etc)is on one end of the spectrum,the BACWA campaigns are at the other.
                    Slutwalk is somewhere between the two, but closer to the rational side of things.
                    Whilst to some it seems naff/pointless and ineffectual it obviously empowers some.
                    As long as it does not just become a festival for the sake of dress ups,which engulfs the cause, I think it has a small amount of merit.
                    If it happens every year,it will just become a Nutwalk I’m afraid.

                    As for the BACWA’s it does seem ironic (perverse) that a group of ************’s would seek to dress as hookers/sex workers and claim the higher moral ground on women’s issues.

                  • Catherine Manning September 10, 2012 at 11:30 am #

                    I’m interested to hear what you think Slutwalk is. I agree that the name isn’t particularly helpful in conveying the meaning (although it’s relevant to the US policeman’s comment), but the core message IS about respecting each other.

                    My husband and kids attended Slutwalk with me, along with many other men. There was no ‘male bashing’ – quite the contrary. As I listened to all of the speakers, I wished that everyone could have been there as the message is something we should ALL be able to agree with – even those so opposed like MTR et al. Clothes are not consent. Even if a woman dresses to express her sexuality or appeal, her clothes are still no marker of her ‘availability’ or sexual history (and whatever that may or may not be, is totally irrelevant.). It’s not just men/boys who need to understand this. It’s also other women.

                    Slutwalk has helped to generate much needed discussion in private and public about slut-shaming and victim-blaming. I hope parents are using the opportunity to discuss it with their kids. Indeed that is the only way to ensure it is eventually a thing of the past.

                • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 11:16 am #

                  I understand that in one sense it does matter. So how do we change it? We begin with ourselves and our attitudes. We state clearly and ambiguously that it is always, always the predator’s fault.

                  In one sense I’ve been lucky. I’m an old hippie, a political hippie, and I’ve been in many situations where women and children went about naked or semi-clothed, and ‘played’ in mud baths, skinny-dipped, hugged and gave each other massages. It was clearly understood in those circles that this was not an invitation to pressure these women and girls for sex. It was clearly understood that the only kind of invitation was a direct and unambiguous invitation. A safe space was created for women to dance about wildly without being judged as sluts. A cuddle was understood just to be a cuddle, a shared massage was understood to be a shared massage – and not an invitation.

                  I understand that this cannot happen in the broader society, but it ought to.

                  We begin by making it clear that women and girls ought to be safe in expressing themselves and their sexuality. We begin by looking carefully at the way we, men and women, judge them and shame them.

                  We begin by stating that words describing adult sexual concepts, especially negative concepts, such as tramp, slut, sassy, etc are inappropriate words to use in describing children.

                  This is a habit that runs deep in our society and it can be very subtle.

                  It can be done because I have seen it done.

                  • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 11:16 am #

                    unambiguously

                  • Poirot September 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

                    Ray,

                    I liked your post…

                    My descriptors of “tarted up” and “sassy” weren’t meant to “describe children” – merely to describe effects.

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

          Again, would the girl or mother dressing her agree with you that she was ‘tarting’ the girl up? Does any mother intentionally tart up their daughters? A tart being of course, a synonym for slut.

          • Poirot September 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

            Ray,

            I’m rather confused by all this.

            My original protest was to MTR and crew who seek to demonise men as the instigators of all they decry. My point being that it’s women who choose this stuff for their daughters….and then daughters who choose their own stuff once they’re old enough.

            So I’m suggesting that those women who see it as a male plot, should perhaps look at the choices being made by women, and not blame men willy-nilly.

            Personally I couldn’t give two hoots what people wear – or how they dress their daughters or their sons, I think I’m caught somewhere in the middle here. Protesting at the MTR’s of this world, yet not enamoured either of women going out of their way to slutwalk.

            • Anonymous September 10, 2012 at 7:32 am #

              Poirot,

              The original flare-up was over shorts one woman called ‘trampy’. You used the words ‘sassy’ and ‘tarted-up’. Same thing.

      • Poirot September 10, 2012 at 12:31 am #

        Ray,

        I get the reaction to the Toronto policeman’s outrageous suggestion

        However, dressing up and marching on something called a Slut Walk achieves what?
        The same as prattling on incessantly about some male plot to sexualise girls and women achieves what?

        It achieves two camps of women polarised on the issue of Western sexuality, both snipping and sniping and playing a game of one-up-manship.

        We are so fortunate in the West. We have freedoms that can only be dreamed of by women in the developing world. And yet, because vistas have opened up, it seems we are having a difficult time assimilating our sexuality into our fortunate state.

        As you say, it’s complex.

        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 10, 2012 at 7:39 am #

          See, men get blamed for everything, even by the most perceptive of the Belgae:

          “… a game of one-up-manship.”

          Tell me that was inadvertent, Poirot.

          “Westering home and a song in the air. Light in the eye and its good by to care….” Blue of my coat, my own one.

          • helvityni September 10, 2012 at 8:18 am #

            Forrest Gumpp, keep your your blue coat buttoned up, do no got marching the streets in your Lycra….

            • helvityni September 10, 2012 at 8:19 am #

              go, not got

          • Poirot September 10, 2012 at 9:21 am #

            Forrest,

            You’re looking rather dapper in your blue coat – but your brain is showing.

            Yes, that was inadvertent.

        • hudsongodfrey September 10, 2012 at 10:50 am #

          Poirot,

          You ask what the Slutwalks versus sexualisation debate might be about and I think it is indeed the question that should be asked about this issue. There is indeed quite a lot of subtext amid storms in teacups and pots beckoning kettles, but in essence what it is about is who is to blame for sexual assaults on women and girls.

          While I’m sceptical about the the sentiments of Collective Shout et al , I will urge you to read if you haven’t Catherine Manning’s piece which JW links to in the opening lines of her article here. Because, quite apart from any distracting commentary, this is a brilliant exposition of her journey to realisation that it was not she but her attacker who was wholly and solely responsible for his wrongful actions.

          Others can and should speak differently for the Slutwalks’ agenda in Australia and elsewhere. But the message I’m getting from this is one of both celebration and protest. Of the fact that women can be sexual even promiscuous to the point of taking back sluttiness without inferring in any way shape or form permission to use their bodies as objects of abuse by men who are unwilling to control themselves.

          I hope I’ve got that right.

          The other aspect as I see it is that in rebuking sexualisation as a matter of what they see as a problem with a promiscuous society Collective Shout and their ilk basically take the view that women should rather avoid inviting sexual temptation. When the problem is described as that of a permissive society rather than a liberated one, or when terms like promiscuity or sexualisation are bandied about then the tone of the language they use makes it clear that their real problem is with sexual openness.

          Those are a set of values that they’re not alone in holding within our society complex as our attitudes to sexuality may be. They’re welcome to those values and any genuine honestly made expression of them.

          What I think they ought to be less welcome to is the confusing temptation no matter how blatant with the granting of permission. And here that language about a “permissive society” is really at its most misleading. Because to infer from clothing that is worn or even sold to be worn in ways they consider “inappropriate” that the victim is somehow inviting her attacker to cross a clear boundary between consent and transgression is quite simply wrong. It not only fails to put the onus where it belongs on the attackers, but it also does an egregious disservice to victims everywhere.

          • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 11:18 am #

            Nailed it.

            • Catherine Manning September 10, 2012 at 11:41 am #

              My sentiments exactly, Ray! Hudsongodfrey, yes – nailed it.

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 11:20 am #

          Why ‘western’ sexuality? In comparison to what other sexuality? Are you saying that other cultures are devoid of these attitudes? Which ones?

          • Poirot September 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

            I mention Western sexuality because that’s what we’re dealing with here. Sexuality in any culture is always girt with taboo. I agree with Camille Paglia that sex is an intersection between nature and culture.

            I don’t believe it’s an easy subject to dismiss one way or the other, especially in a society where women have a modicum of freedom. The violence of sexual assault should never be blamed on the victim, but I’m unsure of the usefulness of women adopting a confrontational and provocative – or even a promiscuous stance to push the point of sexual autonomy.

            Yes, Hudson, as I recounted briefly earlier in the thread, that I know personally some of what Catherine is talking about. I do take the point that it took her some time to realise that she wasn’t in any way to blame….the opposite of my reaction to a similar situation. Therefore, I understand her passion on this issue.

            If any consider that I believe a “…victim is somehow inviting her attacker to cross a clear boundary between consent and aggression…” by her choice of clothing, I think you’re willfully misreading my points…I’m certainly not one of the
            MTR brigade.

  5. Hypocritophobe September 9, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    The BACWAs have created a fictitious world where all men are closet predators,and they have conveniently created themselves a very profitable industry which wraps the brainwashed mothers and petrified children in cotton wool.
    The positions they promote are very rarely supported by any form of independent science or fact.Scratch the surface and you will inevitably find a church association.
    Their campaigns are baseless and cyclic.(Regurgitated)
    Same old – same old every time.
    Generally cowards who deny their religious vents.
    The BACWAs are closer to the problem,than they are to any solution,even if one were needed.
    The fact they wanted to spoof sex workers etc., confirms the contempt and judgmental streak have tried to keep a lid on.They don’t want equality they want control,including control of women,mothers and any agenda associated with it.
    Power and income,that’s all they want.In reality they seem to consider anyone outside their cliche is ‘untouchable’.
    And for some reason they are a protected species.
    And remember that these creatures are HEAVILY aligned with the likes of Wallace and the ACL.And the ACL are a package deal.

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 9, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Hypo,

      It is even more fundamental than that.

      The Judeo-Christian tradition blames women for tempting men. Thus they seek to control what women do and how they dress.

      This is wrong.

      The responsibility for arousal lies solely with the individual, both men and women.

      MTR and her cohort have bought into the idea that women need to be controlled. The only difference is that MTR thinks only women (like her) should control other women, namely sluts, wanton women, whores.

      As Jennifer says – it’s the whole Virgin/Whore thing.

      • hudsongodfrey September 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

        Well I think that the whole thing may be a bit of a silly storm in a teacup kind of deal, given that any argument about the significance of wearing certain clothes that is justified in terms of protecting women or girls from rape is a very regressive move indeed.

        And as for women tempting men, can I just put in a vote for that being the LAST thing I want to stop. Too high a price to pay by far no matter what the justification.

  6. annodyne September 9, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    my opinion has been expressed above, all three times by Ray, and more articulately than I could have. Decades ago I was disturbed by the Young Talent Time TV show having young girls gyrating with exposed abdomens. It had huge ratings though, and clothing manufacturers do not continue items which fail to sell. It comes down to Choices. Choose to watch and buy, or not. –
    ‘These definitions identify a slut as a person of low character — a person who lacks the ability or chooses not to exercise a power of discernment ‘
    (and I confess to being a slut for chocolate food and wine)

  7. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Just so everyone knows they have a likely audience re this thread. JW’s text link ‘this article’ given in the first line of the ‘MTR plays dress-ups …’ article takes the clicker to an article by Catherine Manning published on Mamamia on Saturday 1 September 2012.

    Sarah McMahon, Chair of Collective Shout, posted on September 8, 2012 at 09:12 am on that comment thread to Catherine Manning’s article, ‘What happened in that shed had nothing to do with my shorts’, the following:

    “Comments on this post have been bought to our attention

    We feel it is important to advise that the account of the
    proposed fundraiser for our organisation, posted by
    Catherine Manning above, contains significant inaccuracies.

    We do not feel it is professional to further engage on this
    matter in this forum and will not be entering into further
    correspondence.”

    The original reference to the Collective Slut ‘Funraiser’ was in a comment made on September 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm by Catherine Manning herself, the article author. It can be found approximately halfway down the web page ATM. Just thought the response interesting for what it seemingly reveals as to attitude (use of the Royal plural, etc) toward discussion of this topic, and as a heads-up for JW re implications of comment in relation to as yet unwithdrawn threats of defamation action on the part of MTR.

    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      Dear, dear! How Freudian of me. Of course that should have been ‘Shout’ in the first line of the last paragraph of my post. Now I will be accused of SHOUT-shaming!

      • doug quixote September 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

        Corrective Spout, perhaps? Connective Trout? Confected Splut?

        ??

        • Hypocritophobe September 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

          Defective Snout?

          Selective Clout?

    • Catherine Manning September 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up, Forrest Gumpp. I posted a response to point out that the comment left by Collective Shout was defamatory of me, as I have documentary evidence to support my claim, and I now see that Mamamia have removed the offending comment.

      • hudsongodfrey September 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

        Good article by the way Catherine. JW having drawn attention to it did us a great favour. Seldom have I read such clarity on matters of this kind.

        The distinction that has to be drawn between any kind of attraction we experience for one another, whether intentionally or not, and taking the opportunity to act upon it clearly revolves around the granting of permission. So clearly in fact that I am constantly surprised by the way these issues keep cropping up.

        In my view groups like Collective Shout whose view of women or girls being dressed in manners they regard to be inappropriately tempting are tantamount to Imam Hilaly’s unfortunate remarks about “uncovered meat”.

        Both run dangerously close to taking an apologetic line for men’s unconscionable behaviour. And they do so in ways that I think you made very clear to us do very little to come to victims’ aid. That’s really not good enough at all by some considerable amount for which I hope one day they’ll be moved to make amends. In the meantime keeping fighting the good fight as you see fit, I think you’ve a far better chance of making a difference than they’ll ever do.

        • Catherine Manning September 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

          I really appreciate your feedback, Hudson. Thank you.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

        Catherine Manning:

        “I posted a response …, as I have documentary evidence to support my claim …”

        I somehow thought you would have, once I saw that you, as the article author on Mamamia, were also the source of the reference to the once-proposed Collective Shout ‘Funraiser’ to which JW referred in the commendably-STFU-style abstract that would, otherwise than in the circumstances of recent days, I am confident, have itself been of article length to which this thread appends.

        Only too happy to have been of assistance.

        FWIW, my quotation of that post here was strictly ‘copy and paste’. There is no way the missing full stop at the end of the first sentence thereof would have escaped an editorial inclusion within square brackets had the reproduction of that post been a manual transcription!

        Some right-royally-plural people need to lighten up! I was a little concerned that I had, by way of unavoidable commentational necessity, done the work of the would-be-shutters-down-of-debate for them by even mentioning the post pregnant with threat against discussion that has now been taken down.

        FWIW I admired (‘liked’ is not the right word) your article. Likewise do I brevity, shortness. Any time you need any long, ponderous sentences, should you feel challenged, I’m your man.

        • Catherine Manning September 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

          I love your attention to detail, Forrest.
          Your nifty cut/paste skills and sharing of the post were timely and relevant.
          I shall keep your kind offer in mind.

          • Sam Jandwich September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

            Hi Catherine – yes I appreciated your article as well, thank you. I am often surprised at the vehemence of people’s views on this subject and I applaud you for speaking up. As someone who could perhaps be described as a “reformed conservative” on this I’d say your views are particularly interesting! Not to mention the courage it takes to speak publicly about past experiences of abuse.

            From reading the above comments I couldn’t help thinking that there is an elephant in the room here, and Catherine your article touched on this: “This is not to say that there is not a rot at the foundation of our culture that can sometimes end in heartbreaking abuse”.

            It seems to me that our lack of understanding of why people abuse children, and why others don’t, is a great source of the differences in viewpoints on this issue – one such example being that for people who have experienced abuse themselves, their understanding of how vulnerable children are, and how damaging abuse is, often leads to a heightened understanding of certain aspects, and usually a much greater sense of wanting to do something to prevent it… which I guess in the case of those who make a big deal out of children looking like “tramps” is an indication of those people’s views on what could be done to prevent abuse.

            The starting point to all of this is that we all make assumptions about what prompts people to abuse – is it that they are bad people, or do circumstances turn otherwise responsible people bad? How much do we know about the people who are attracted to children but never act on it? Do we think, as it seems MTR et al do and commentator Ray rejects out of hand, that all people have the potential to abuse if they are caused to become aroused by girls in short shorts? Is it only men who have these tendencies, or are mothers, in saying they are concerned for sassily-dressed girls, projecting their own desires, or fears, onto others?

            I don’t have the answer to this, but I’d suggest that this is at the essence of the debate.

            • Catherine Manning September 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

              Thank you, Sam Jandwich. You’re right. The ridiculous CS sideshow detracts from my original post, but I do hope that these important conversations continue about what really triggers an offender. I now know that the man who molested me wasn’t triggered by my wearing of shorts. He had also abused my friend, his daughter.

              I was recently told by an ex-police officer working in the field of child protection, that it was often not the girls with the duckface poses and exposed skin that were the target of paedophiles. They look at their eyes. If they look vulnerable/shy/polite/obliging, they are believed to be more easily groomed and manipulated. A girl showing a strong sense of self and/or sexuality, is seen as too threatening as she’s generally more likely to fight back.

            • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

              Sam,

              We actually have some clues from anthropology. The Trobriand Islands are the classic example of a sexually permissive society. They did not prohibit children from sexual play. The noted anthropologist Malinowski was concerned that such liberality might leave the children open to exploitation by adults. So he asked and the answer he got surprised him. They were shocked at the thought that such a thing were possible and said they had never head of it.

              This leads us to the notion that it is sexual repression that leads people to abuse children.

              The Trobriand Islanders also used to joke that Europeans were hopeless at sex and that European men did not know how to pleasure a woman.

              And btw, the Trobriand children played within peer groups of around 5 year gaps. IOW, the adults weren’t interested in them and they weren’t interested in adults.

              Interesting, no?

              This is backed up by other examples.

              • Sam Jandwich September 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

                Interesting – and if I search my memory I can remember those “doctors and nurses” kinds of games. Do kids still do that?? – but perhaps not entirely accurate from the children’s perspectives. Repression of sexuality I certainly agree can lead to all sorts of dysfunctional debauchery – as we see within the churches. I do also think there’s something in the argument that the cultural context within which a traumatic experience occurs contributes to/delineates the way that trauma is felt – ie, if there is some cultural norm surrounding such activity then it could very well be conceived of very differently. My partner does research on PNG, and has come across this phenomenon of ritualised homosexuality in initiation ceremonies – in which men have sex with boys who are coming of age (around 12 yrs), following an understanding that receiving a man’s semen is a way of having the group’s power and virility passed on to the next generation. But how do you possibly unpack that and say that it’s not harmful on some level? Well, I suppose some people make careers out of doing just that.

                I think the case of paedophilia amongst adults in a Western context is qualitatively different though, because (with the caveat that I’m sure there are rare exceptions) the working definition is that such activity is always rape, because a child is considered to be incapable of consent… and this is true even to the extent that if a child says “yes” in the moment because they are not considered to have the maturity to understand what they’re letting themselves in for. There is empirical evidence that children who have had these experiences later come to regret it and are significantly traumatised. This body of empirical evidence though is no doubt marinated in such lovely concepts as fear, denial, politicisation, blind panic etc etc, to the extent that we can never say that every single instance is “wrong”… but from what I understand, from hearing stories such as Jennifer’s and Catherine Manning’s, that all the instances we hear about are not just wrong and non-consensual, but are clearly deeply off the deep end in terms of acceptable behaviour.

                And I guess what I’m interested in is, what leads people to do this? is it sexuality, some sort of “deviance”, poor impulse control, an absence of empathy, or simply the knowledge that they probably won’t get caught?

                And how does what we know about this get reflected in debates about what kids should wear?

                Oh well, if I ever find out I’ll keep you posted :-)

                • hudsongodfrey September 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

                  Well Sam, that was some food for thought….

                  No doubt Ray will be all over this and will probably have something informed to say about it. This is the first I’ve heard of the rituals you describe, so off the cuff it sounds like the sort of thing that raises a good many questions quite apart from any sense of revulsion some may have which I might just for the moment refrain from indulging. I’m hesitant because I really don’t understand the context. It sounds to me like it might be a ritualised excuse to indulge in buggering boys without much more justification to it than that, given that we’ve also no way of knowing whether this is limited to the rituals or not. Nonetheless it would be jumping to conclusions that I’m not equipped to make to assume that the psychological harm in committing an act upon a victim with the intent or at least cultural narrative of imparting enhanced virility is worse than our own society’s taboos against loss of virginity, and with it innocence, leaving victims permanently tarnished by the event.

                  As for paedophilia there are claims that it is a psychological condition regarded by some akin to a form of mental illness. But whatever it is the abusers of children are not apparently affected in ways that preclude awareness of wrongdoing. So I would agree that to the extent that rape is defined as a crime then their behaviour fits that definition and they’re quite aware of that fact.

                  The part about empirical evidence of harm, which I take to mean psychological harm, does concern me slightly if only because the evidence would have to deal with subjective reporting of post traumatic events. So that if those events occur within a uniform cultural context and we’re less inclined to critique the culture itself then fully accepting that analysis may be ill advised. Not to mention that you allude to the fact that abusive environments often contain a mixture of abuses not limited to sexual assault. In many cases there is no reason to believe somebody so willing to debase and objectify their victim will refrain from using threats, manipulation and violence to have their way.

                  As for your actual question about how we wind up with misplaced attention on children’s clothing I think it is a good one that has already be answered here numerous times. I expect you really mean to ask what CS actually give and their reasons, and that like the rest of us you could be waiting for some time.

  8. paul walter September 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Just very briefly.
    They are self absorbed.They make mountains out of molehills and their stuff is laden with emotionalist, unconsidered subjective cat calling and loaded language- they are not interested in anything that challenges their viewpoint.
    Personally, I think they misunderstand human behaviour, particularly adolescent sexuality, perhaps because of the puritanist religious infeed into their thinking.
    Do they have an issue as to commodification/exploitation.
    Yes.
    Unlike some here I do think there is an issue, to do with consumerism turning kids into consumers and turning some of the girls into tarts as part of the process of turning them into good consumers. I blame consumer capitalism for this rather than counterculture and secularist thinking, however.
    Compared to other issues it is akin to comparing head colds to pneumonia.
    What is the issue of the aesthetic and abstract “problem” of a nine yo dressed in a halter-top, against genocide in the Congo or at the Horn of Africa? Or thievery on a grand scale by TNC’s.
    Or refugees.
    Some advocates are fanatical pains in the arse, whose rudeness makes opponents of people who would other wise be allies, but at least it’s a real subject for the provocation of indignation, as two series of Send Them Back Home show.

    • Marilyn September 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      Are you talking to me Paul because if you are you can pick up the phone and say so.

      If you think defending human rights is fanatical then so be it, if you get into trouble don’t ask a human rights defender to help you.

      I wonder though why MTR and her over sexed mob don’t do good things about helping to save children from prostitution and being bought by old white men in the Asian region or being sold into marriage in Afghanistan to pay drug debts.

      Why do they focus so much on what people wear?

      Kids like clothes and dress ups, where is the crime in that?

      • Hypocritophobe September 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

        Or starting a petition for a Royal Commission into church abuse.
        Could it be that are aligned with the very church/es doing the offending?
        Is standing up for ALL child abuse too much trouble compared to the imaginary kind in their heads?
        More interested in impacting on a diet org by way of spurious claims and self provided data.Cannot be impacting on the BACWA bottom line,now.
        Not a single whimper from them.Pathetic.

      • paul walter September 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        That’s right Marilyn, always misread something not there into what someone else is saying to suit yourself. Dont worry, I wont be bothering to pick up the phone.
        Weren’t you saying that that you didn’t even know of Jennifer Wilson’s personal issue till yesterday, despite her putting a thread up describing her shock at sudden bad news weeks ago?
        If I thought you were ever remotely interested in a point of view other than your own, I’d be on the phone yesterday, it’d be that quick.
        You don’t even bother to read other peoples posts.
        As it happens I may have been paying you the compliment of least least basing your protest on some thing “real world”, but even that is perverted by you into a paranoid conclusion that what was written was some how a personal attack on you and hence an excuse to misrepresent what the other person said.
        Nuts to you.

        • Marilyn September 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

          I didn’t read it until yesterday because I have been rather ill.

          And I care so little about other people I was the only friend you had when your mother died so go and fuck yourself.

          • hudsongodfrey September 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

            Marilyn, I sincerely hope you’re feeling better soon, and your illness isn’t too serious. You’re clearly passionate in your views and all of us who enjoy the vigorous exchange of them appreciate that. Maybe just dial back the Tourettes a touch though.

          • paul walter September 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

            Am I a mind reader?.
            You weren’t so ill that you couldn’t send off numerous posts rousing other people for not unconditionally agreeing with you on all of your ideas and views, or daring to question or seek clarification on them.
            Sorry if you have been ill, it would explain the strangeness of some of your recent irritable comments.

    • Please check facts September 10, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      Um, Paul, is that because you work with adolescents on a daily basis then, that you know so much about their behaviour? Well I do and fully support the work of Collective Shout. I love it when people who never actually work with kids think they have the most authority.

      • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

        Kind of like how monogamous ‘missionary position’ people, who only mix with there own kind, know so much about sex
        And how Christian bigots who have never spoken to a Muslim or read a single page of the Koran are experts about Islam?
        Kind of like how BACWAs know Soooooooooooooooo much about what goes on in everyone else’s heads/hearts/minds/bedrooms?

        Yeah I get ya.
        I also recognise you.

        • Please check facts (Belinda) September 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

          Yup – exactly like those types! Not sure how you would know so much about me though? Your comments tell me you don’t at all.

  9. paul walter September 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I’ll just add one small thing further.
    I don’t want it to be taken that I underestimate the damage done by consumer culture, as to its more vulnerable subjects. Like everyone else I get a good laugh out of shows like Kath’n Kim and AbFab that satirise the infantile traits exploited or reinforced by consumerism, creating life long dedicated followers of “fashion”.
    I don’t applaud that millions of people live a fantasy world of hot cars and alcoholism in pursuit of “image”, or the bizarre culture of Botox, weird dieting, fashion and soft furnishings.
    There is an infantile meanness and encouraged denialism and avoidance of reality that is quite tangible in many folks lives to an observer.
    The culture of waste denies resources to people in other parts of the world who roll about in agony with Cholera and Dysentry for the absence of a shot of antibiotic and starve to death for want of a cup of rice or half a loaf of bread and a few vegetables. Surely the money we are encouraged to waste would be better employed on family planning programs in some of these places, or a village water pump?
    With the likes of Brig Wallace and MTR, its just that I ponder at their thinking and wonder how well-informed; “conscious” they are.. Are they concerned with real world issues,do they understand what objectivisation/commodification actually is, or is it just some sort of gut “hit” relating to sexual repression and consequent ill-defined fear or resentment of other?
    As H L Mencken said, a Puritan is someone possessed of, “the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy”.
    Can a politics based on subjectivity,
    envy and lack of understanding of human drives including one’s own, be of any real value, against a rational cultural critique, say?

  10. Marilyn September 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Jennifer, I didn’t read the article about your husband’s stroke until yesterday, Paul accused me of having no empathy. In fact I feel terrible that I didn’t read it sooner and then I could have asked how he was doing.

    How is he, did the arrogant doctor come across with information that was useful or did you get a second opinion.

    If it helps my grandfather had 7 strokes and still managed to farm his land until he died at almost 80 and that was back in the 1960’s when strokes were less treatable than now.

    He was a lovely man, kind, generous, loving to his 24 grand children, a great and kind farmer who fed the region during the great depression, treated his farm animals with great respect, refused to use pesticides of any kind, kept planting new trees to encourage land retention and was overall one of the best people I ever knew.

    Guess that is why I started life as a greenie who hates animal cruelty and cruelty to human beings of any kind.

    My grand mother though was one of the most vile harpies ever born so go figure. She was an amazing cook though and has this vegie garden to die for. Every year she planted half an acre of peas and when they ripened there would be 4 little heads bobbing down the rows of peas taking and eating the best of them straight from the vines.

    She could grow anything in all that lovely dairy cow dung, free of chemicals and deadly stuff.

    • Jennifer Wilson September 10, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      Thanks Marilyn, I appreciate those comments. Hope you feel better soon.

      • Paul Smith September 10, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Why not title any MTR topic “I hate her and here is why….”.

        No engagement, just nit picking and labelling. calling.

        • Jennifer Wilson September 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

          Because I don’t hate her. Because MTR does not engage with anyone who holds a different view.

        • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

          Why not post under the gender you really are?
          Why not ask the BACWAs to use evidence instead of fear and insinuation?
          Why not ask why they hide their religion under a bushel?
          Why do you always start soft and eventually turn troll,
          ‘Paul’?

          • Paul Smith September 11, 2012 at 9:55 am #

            Ask yourself the same questions Hypo.

            You have repeatedly bullied new posters with unfounded accusations I have noticed. You have attempted to do it to me now on three occasions. Why is this forum a post it note for sarcasm and poison for you?

            • Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 10:15 am #

              I do have my good days, you know?
              BTW is it sarcasm and poison because YOU disagree?
              Only I seem to recall you pushing a few buttons yourself, previously.

              Perhaps you could pass my questions onto ‘Please Check Facts/Belinda’,on my behalf?
              (Should you run into her of course)

              • helvityni September 11, 2012 at 10:26 am #

                I have outed some poisonous pseudos here, but Hypo is is not one of those :)

              • Paul Smith September 11, 2012 at 10:47 am #

                I have no problem with “pushing buttons” and do so myself with my identity clear rather than from an pseudonym whilst decrying others. Substantially different!

                However we all know repeatedly alluding to posters authenticity is not pushing buttons.

                • Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 11:01 am #

                  Kudos to you for never ever using a pseudonym,and only ever posting under your real name anywhere in the universe.
                  I dips me lid,to ya.

          • helvityni September 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

            Paula and not Paul,Hypo.

            • Paul Smith September 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

              What is with all the H’s banding together? Got to be the same poster. LOL

              Something to add Helvityni?

              • samjandwich September 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

                I’m wearing my Paul Smith underpants today.

                Does that turn you on??

                Just testing…:-)

              • Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

                Paul,Is your willpower sapped,gone, deflated, bereft.

                I see you addressing the content and not the person,by example.NOT.

                • Paul Smith September 12, 2012 at 10:21 am #

                  Bad attempt there Hypo – won’t wash I am afraid.

                  • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 10:47 am #

                    So after saying this ,where are YOU engaging the debate?
                    _____________________________
                    Why not title any MTR topic “I hate her and here is why….”.

                    No engagement, just nit picking and labelling. calling.
                    ___________________________________________
                    Why is everyone you feel opposed to your view a “confrontational pseudo”? Play the post not the poster.
                    _________________________________________________________________________________

                    And do tell us why YOU only ever pop over when the topics intersect the BACWAs and MTR policy etc?

                    BTW you did confirm that you NEVER ever use a pseudonym to post under,didn’t you?

                    I am sure your loyalty is not going unnoticed.

                    • Paul Smith September 12, 2012 at 11:05 am #

                      Hypo,

                      Don’t seem to be able to let the pseudonym thing go eh?

                      Nice try on the BACWA angle however as you and I have interacted on other topics I know you are being deceitful in trying to get this angle.

                      Is today one of those good days you reckon you have? Or another snide comment, in joke with the H’s bully day?

      • Marilyn September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

        How is the new grand child, boy or girl? How is your husband going now?

        I have Crohn’s disease and won”t ever be getting better I am afraid to say.

        Now Gillard has convinced the Salvo’s to help her human trading deal and it is time to die of sheer embarrassment of this nation.

        • paul walter September 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

          She gets a 10% cut per hundred- babies double!!
          As I said elsewhere you propose a sort of Gina Rineheart situation, a profit motive… someone gleefully sitting in a corner counting ten dollar notes; cackling away..
          Again, are you sure it’s that way?

          Sorry you are ill, hope you get well, but I can’t apologise for seeking clarification from others, including yourself, when I read something that puzzles me or doesn’t seem right.

  11. Please check facts September 10, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    I think you best get your facts straight. Catherine has tried for some time to discredit Collective Shout’s work by telling half truths. She was actually going to attend that event herself until they cancelled it.

    The event in question was not organised by the Collective Shout interim board or any member of their core team. Rather, it was proposed independently by a supporter who wanted to host the event (it is common for supporters to initiate fundraising ideas for their work).

    The ‘dressing up’ was intended as satire, to point to the cultural pressures on women to adopt limited and normative cultural beauty practices, eg cosmetic surgery. The dress up ideas were deliberately over-the-top to make a point. However, the board decided that the potential of the theme to be mis-read was too great – Collective Shout’s aim is to shame corporations for sexualising and objectifying girls and women, not women girls for their sexuality. This has always been their approach.

    Collective Shout requested that the supporter drop the idea (we note Ms Manning had still intended to attend the event and unfortunately had to forfeit her airline ticket). In addition to this, the proposed event was cancelled in favour of a new and successful first birthday celebration some months later.

    I find it incredibly hypocritical that Ms Manning berated Collective Shout for so called slut-shaming, which they never did, yet, she herself engaged and used betty Grumble as the face of her Pull-the-Pin campaign last year. This, by Catherine’s definition, is a shocking way to ‘slut-shame’ the poor little pageant entrants!

    • Matthew September 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      So now we have “Please check facts” (is that you Collett Smart?) and others in MTR’s rat bag mob facing off against Catherine Manning (who was the organiser of the now seemingly dead sayno4kids.com, a petition to rid every single newsagent and corner shop of every men’s magazine from Zoo to Category 1 R18+ stuff like Penthouse and Mayfair). The battle of the sexual conservatives. Please feel free to battle each other to the death. Meanwhile the rest of us living in the real world will go on with life completely unaffected by the ‘orrible “pornification” of society.

      • Paul Smith September 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

        Great objectivity there Matthew. Set straight with information from a poster and its a “MTR rat bag” dismissive response.

      • Please check facts (Belinda) September 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

        Nup ;-) – but anyway, you go on living in your fantasy world Matthew. Your world where real women and children do not actually exist.

    • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      Wowee.Someone from (and/or supporting them) Collective Shout,insinuating that people should check facts,by way of their confrontational pseudo.
      I must say i find irony is one of the best forms of comedy after slapstick.
      Someone pass me a cream pie, I have an urge…..

      • Paul Smith September 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

        Overlooking the key point though – articles premise is false.

        Why is everyone you feel opposed to your view a “confrontational pseudo”? Play the post not the poster.

      • Please check facts (Belinda) September 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

        Much like your confrontational pseudo perhaps? Yes, the irony is hilarious.

        • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

          Don’t s’pose you know where I can get a well played copy of the Lingerie football,or a Buddy Franklin T Shirt,do you babe?

          • Paul Smith September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

            They are located in the hypocrisy bin at all good retailer’s near you.

            • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

              Paul/Belinda(hahahaha) If only you knew just how transparent you were.
              Would you like a taste of some of you previous posts under your real name?

              • Paul Smith September 11, 2012 at 9:44 am #

                C’mon Hypo – you can do better than that. The old “you are an alt” card is a tired act. I have called you on it before – contact Jennifer and verify my details. And have the courage to post your name as I do.

                • Jennifer Wilson September 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

                  I don’t have any of your details.

                  • Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

                    Oh dear.

                    • Jennifer Wilson September 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

                      I thought that was what you wanted? :-)

                    • Jennifer Wilson September 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

                      Did I man that comment for Forrest not Hypo?

                      I don’t know. I’m a prong short of a fork tonight.

                    • Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

                      JW,
                      My ‘oh dear’ was just a sigh about the whole Paul Smith blancmange thing.

    • samjandwich September 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

      Yikes talk about “play the man, not the issue”. it really is about justifying one’s ego with you people isn’t it? You just constitutively can’t think about anyone else except yourselves can you?

    • hudsongodfrey September 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Rather than getting distracted by the playground politics, in which I’ve little or no interest, I’m sure I’m not alone here in being dying to engage your side of the debate on the core issues of the matter. Things like the evidence for your claims and the fact that many of us feel quite strongly, as I’m sure do you, that it is more important to get to the bottom of stopping sexual assaults by interrogating the causes thereof and counteracting them.

      If we agree on that then the matter of what the true causes and remedies are is something that we appear to rather seriously disagree upon. As a male of the species I have no problem recognising male attitudes that are sexist with a view to continually trying to improve and correct them. And controversial as they may be clearly Slutwalks are intended to send that same clear and unequivocal message. I doubt we’ll ever agree on much else because your group are sexually conservative and I’m firmly with the progressives, but on this issue alone the logic of what Catherine and others are trying to say is clear and compelling to such an extent that I find your bickering over side issues beyond ridiculous in terms of taxing peoples resources that could better be spent getting behind her than tearing her down.

      • Paul Smith September 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

        Hudsongodfrey is correct – rather than trying to tear down MTR with guilt by association use that energy positively.

        • hudsongodfrey September 11, 2012 at 11:26 am #

          But you may also miss my point Paul, if you’re not seeing that if the criticism of Reist isn’t for her as a person so much as it is against the views she holds. It is vehemently against the tactic she employs in using media and social media to disseminate her opinions and if they’re to become some kind of received message from a voice of authority as it were, while continually refusing to debate any of their substance.

          And of course from Jennifer’s point of view. I’m sure you don’t need reminding, that the whole defamation threat issue hasn’t gone away and is an extension of that refusal to engage in debate.

          From my perspective, one I feel sure is shared here, I’d much rather be talking to Belinda about “check[ing] the facts” of whether Catherine Manning makes a valid point as I think she does.

          So I while I think you’re right to dismiss a certain amount of point scoring and infighting as a distraction from useful debate, the point is also well made I think that this is what we’re left with when parties won’t engage on any other level.

          Can I also comment without offending about allegations that get made against posters from time to time, but most usually when we’re not at one with each other’s views. We ought to cut it out because it damages the discourse in that same way that making too much of a game of dress ups might distract from Catherine’s important message. But also I have to say, as the strongest proponent here of being honestly pseudononymous, that there have been interesting side issues raised by some of the sniping as to whether it is really viable for posters to speak from another gender when tackling issues that intersect gender equality and feminism as frequently as they do here. I don’t know if what I’ve read is true nor take an overly judgemental stance on it but as with MTR I think a clarification when called for would make better sense.

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      Please check facts,

      Are you sure you have all the facts?

      Have you spoken to Catherine and heard her side of the story? Can you confidently say you are aware of every phone call, email and conversation had between Catherine and the key players?

      Are you certain that Catherine is attempting to undermine CS? Could it possibly be that Catherine is being demonised? I might add that many organisations have trouble handling dissent and that one of the sadly typical behaviours is an attempt to discredit the dissident (a form of bullying).

      Are you sure that Catherine didn’t understand that the event was ‘intended’ as satire, but that she thought it was poorly conceived satire that was likely to be easily misinterpreted? And thanks btw, for confirming that such an event was indeed planned.

      Could it be that Catherine’s disenchantment with CS and ‘others’ was about far more than just this one event? That there were other conversations, events, statements that you might not be aware of, that persuaded Catherine to question things? That the fundraiser was the least of these?

      Could it be that Catherine was disenchanted because she began to see serious flaws in CS and became aware of substantive criticism of its agenda, analysis and methods?

      For instance, that a good deal of what concerns CS is based merely on opinion and is not supported by the evidence? That the problem is broader than ‘sexualisation’ and that by focusing on ‘sexualisation’ CS misses the point? Namely that childhood is mediated by corporations at all levels, including Disney and even the Wiggles (a large entertainment business)? That by focusing on just one aspect of the commercialisation of childhood, you are a distraction from the main game? That you are in fact pushing commercially constructed concepts of childhood (the Disney/Brady Bunch child) and not ‘real’ children?

      For instance, that so much of what CS seems concerned about is based on contentious moral assumptions? That CS and ‘others’ frequently misuse the findings of the significant studies, ie the APA report?

      I suspect you will be deaf to what I say.

      It is also clear you do not understand what slut-shaming is about. It is clear that MTR does not because she very recently posted a piece by Dr Jocelynne Scutt that is classic example of slut-shaming. That you believe Betty Grumble is an example of slut-shaming is clear evidence you don’t understand the issue.

      Might it be that the reason for Catherine’s disaffection is that CS just does not get it? That your understanding of the issues is superficial, often moralistic and reinforces conservative gender stereotypes of good girls/bad girls, thus actually contributing to the problem?

      • Paul September 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

        I would say it be near impossible for anyone to answer the flurry of questions without spending the better part of the day hunched over a computer, notepad and a bunch of pencils.

        I wonder if everyone in CS are “superficial, often moralistic and reinforces conservative gender stereotypes of good girls/bad girls, thus actually contributing to the problem”?

        Some of your points I agree with, others I don’t think are relevant or don’t agree. How does that fit in with the “us and them” being used by quite a few more regular contribs?

        PS

        Jennifer,

        BTW my posts are still subject to mod. You have eventually posted everything I have written without edit.

        • Jennifer Wilson September 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

          I’ll unmod you seeing as you are being nice.

          • Paul Smith September 11, 2012 at 9:56 am #

            Thank you.

        • paul walter September 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

          And what hypocrisy when posts at MTR are moderated out, never to be published.

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 11, 2012 at 9:15 am #

          Paul,

          The questions were directed only to ‘Please check facts’. I don’t expect just ‘anyone’ to know anything about this at all. ‘Please check facts’ accuses Jennifer of not having all the facts. I am merely saying that she doesn’t have all the facts either.

          As for reinforcing conservative gender stereotypes – where are the campaigns against the pink princess phenomenon and the rigid gender stereotypes in children’s toy shops?

          • Paul Smith September 11, 2012 at 9:48 am #

            Ray,
            You totally bypassed my question regarding your stereotyping all CS members by deflection.

            • Ray (novelactivist) September 11, 2012 at 10:55 am #

              I haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary.

              However I take it for granted that not everyone in CS agrees, simply because no one in any organisation, ever, agrees on everything.

              I do not see things in B&W, but shades of complexity.

              What matters is what CS does collectively.

              • Ray (novelactivist) September 11, 2012 at 11:32 am #

                I should add that there are two issues here:

                1. CS’s agenda and tactics.

                2. The way CS, MTR et al, treat conflict and disagreement.

  12. Anonymous September 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I cant believe what a bunch of nasty bullies CS and their cronies are

    • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      Then for a better of ‘bullying’ idea visit some of Dr Wilsons Drum articles and those over at ABC religion.
      You may get a better idea of how low those with ‘different views’ can drag (seek to control all facets of) an argument.

      Here’s one I prepared earlier.
      http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45230.html

      If (for some reason) you want to witness more of this behaviour en masse, just look at JW’s other ABC content.

      • helvityni September 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

        Hypo, most of the regulars here have read and have participated in discussions on Jennifer’s articles on Unleashed, some of Jen’s ‘enemies’ pop in occasionally.

        • Hypocritophobe September 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

          I know Helvi,it’s mainly for the eaves droppers,newbies,amnesia victims and masochists.

  13. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 11, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    JW,

    Just letting you know here that I have in the last 24 hours again begun to experience degraded Twitter service which includes an inability to search some ‘@ mention’ timelines, the display of wildly inaccurate numbers of tweets pending viewing, and such like. I was wondering whether you have been experiencing like service degradation?

    Curious that this should be happening again, and at just such a time, especially in the light of observations I have made in the past as to linkages between seemingly utterly unrelated issues involving attempts at suppression of public discussion, both here on ‘Sheep’ and, in only recent days, on the ‘Assange’ topic on OLO, in which at one time or another you have been involved.

    Just as a matter of interest, is there any way a contributor to ‘Sheep’ can view their own posting history, in any way similar to what can be done on OLO? I’m afraid I am a bit slow to recognise such functionality on fora with which I am not ploddingly familiar.

    More specifically on topic, FWIW, I observed yesterday that Catherine Manning’s post to the Mamamia blog that was the source of the anecdote from which your article (this one, just to be clear as to its definitiveness) derived its titular reference had also been taken down. I don’t know whether that may be of any importance with respect to ongoing discussion that may have taken place, or may yet take place, on ‘Sheep’. Just in case you, or for that matter, Catherine Manning, did not know.

    PS The definitely articulate Dog is clearly enjoying the ongoing discussion.

    • Catherine Manning September 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      I too noticed the (somewhat aggressive) comment thread from Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, including posts from someone commenting as ‘Helen Lovejoy’, had been removed from Mamamia this morning. Thanks again for the heads up, Forrest. Again, you show impeccable attention to detail.

      The discussion is far from over.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 14, 2012 at 9:51 am #

        Catherine Manning,

        I see that you and JW between you have adopted the suggestion of republishing some of the now-taken-down posts that were originally on the Mamamia blog, the removal of which made this discussion on No Place for Sheep somewhat more difficult to follow, particularly for late entrants.

        This post is a bit tangential to the matters under discussion here and there, but as that discussion has now moved on with the publication of Jennifer’s next two articles, I’ll post it here where it will less likely serve as a red herring. It is basically about attention to detail, something which you seem to admire, your expression of which provides a convenient ‘hook’ upon which to hang this post. So don’t feel obliged to respond to it unless it tweaks your interest.

        Yesterday was, in a very small way, for me a little bit historic. For the first time that I am aware of, one of my tweets on Twitter that included ‘@NoPlaceforSheep’ as an addressee featured in the @NoPlaceforSheep ‘@ mentions’ as a ‘Top Tweet’! See: http://twitpic.com/au8psm . Now, before you fall off your chair in surprise at this overwhelmingly important development, you may need a little background information.

        I have recently put on record here on NPFS my concerns as to receiving a (perhaps selectively delivered) degraded Twitter service. See: http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/09/09/mtr-plays-dress-ups-come-as-a-prostitute-bratz-doll-or-slut/#comment-46455 . One of its manifestations is an inability, when in my own Twitter timelines, to bring up a user’s Profile Summary by clicking on the user name under which a tweet appears in any timeline. Yet I am able to bring up such Profile summaries when I am viewing another user’s @ mentions timeline. This puzzles me.

        Twitter maintains that ‘Top Tweets’ in a user’s @ mention timeline have become so because they are tweets in which other users have, between them, expressed some degree of interest. I wonder as to exactly what things they are that cause ‘interest’ in a tweet to be automatically flagged to the Twitter platform. One rather obvious cause could be re-tweeting by another user, but as I see no record of retweets in my Interactions timeline I am assuming retweets can’t have featured in the promotion of my historic tweet. Unless my account can somehow be selectively blocked from being notified of retweets, that is.

        I wonder, too, as to whether a click on a user’s name such as brings up a user’s Profile Summary might be another event of which the Twitter platform automatically takes note behind the scenes. If so, with the passing of some pre-set parameter for such events, perhaps a tweet gets elevated to Top Tweet status. All of which begs the question as to how I, as a Twitter user, can conceivably have my interest in others’ tweets recorded by the Twitter platform, and so in due course contribute to the raising of such to Top Tweet status, if I am unable to bring up Profile Summaries myself.

        FWIW, I note that the means of accessing another user’s @ mentions has changed, for me at least, in recent days. I used to be able to type a Twitter userID into the Search panel and then press Enter to bring up the default Top Tweets @ mention display for the user in question. That doesn’t work for me any more. Now I have to first click on ‘Search all people for @NoPlaceforSheep’ in the drop-down options that sometimes (but not always) displays when I type into the Search panel. That delivers me to the ‘People’ page of @NoPlaceforSheep for which the default display is ‘People’. Then I have to click ‘Tweets’, which finally delivers me to the @ mentions default ‘Top Tweets’ display. A backward step, Twitter, IMO. Is this the way an @ mention search works for other Twitter users?

        Can you see where I might be going with this?

        I know this is all very tedious, but one of the reasons I post on ‘Sheep’ is because I sense that attempts of the like as have been made, on the face of it by MTR, to effectively shut NPFS down, are but part of a much wider anti-blogger push. JW happens to post articles on a range of subjects that happens to illustrate the both the targets, and the intended beneficiaries, of this anti-free-speech agenda.

        Hence my suspicions as to the possibilities of selective degradation of service to users of the means of communication, such as blogs and Twitter, the latter of which could be regarded as a sort of abstracts journal of the blogosphere.

        Let me also make it clear that it is not Twitter per se which is in my sights, but rather those whom I suspect of being what I call its ‘Back Orificers’.

        Enough tedious detail for now.

        • Catherine Manning September 14, 2012 at 11:15 am #

          I must admit, Forrest, I’m a bit twit-illiterate! I tend to take a look, then retreat back to the comfort of Facebook.
          I’m not sure if what you’ve described is just coincidental, or if there is something else at play. I would certainly want to know for sure, too.

          As for Mamamia selectively removing comments, in light of their recent comments policy updates I understand why they chose to (or maybe were asked to?) remove Sarah McMahon Chair of Collective Shout’s post, but the others (Julie Gale & Co., including my responses) I’m not so sure.

          I wonder if the list Julie Gale provided may have been cause for concern amongst some of those she named? The ‘Helen Lovejoy’ comment accusing me of using my abuse as a ‘trump card’ was certainly offensive…maybe it was just a combination of things, including that the ‘conversation’ had veered away from the original post, and was rather aggressive. In Mamamia’s defense, they would have had no idea that I was used to these kinds of attacks from these people. Maybe they thought they were doing ‘the right thing’.

          Still, I’m with you, it does raise questions about free speech, who’s deciding that something needs to disappear, and why. I’d have thought that if they were removing comments on my behalf, unless there were legal issues, they would have contacted me about it first.

    • hudsongodfrey September 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      Okay Forrest I’ll bite, who’s the definitely articulate dog?

      Otherwise I’m moved to observe that Evelyn the modified Dog and Suzy Creamcheese haven’t been paying enough attention.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

        He, The Dog, is admittedly more of a Twitter ‘person’ality ( or should that be ‘caninality’), but is He who could not go to West Auckland (Bondi) with Jennifer during her temporary sojourn.

        The Dog and I share a telepathic connection. This is of some concern to Jennifer, but should not be, for we speak not as men speak, but have an unspoken understanding between us.

        BTW HG, it is normally The Dog who bites.

        • hudsongodfrey September 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

          Ah well Evelyn the modified dog would disagree that it is mostly the fleas that bite :)

    • Jennifer Wilson September 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      I haven’t noticed any peculiar Twitter activity, Forrest, but I haven’t looked either.

      As far as I know, the only way to view your posting history here is by trawling through the articles. Which is a tedious and time consuming thing to have to do. I’ll see if I can do a search and bring them up.

      Catherine’s entire post was taken down? Wow.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

        JW,

        Not her article, but her own post to the comment thread to her article to which you made reference in the opening paragraph of your article here on ‘Sheep’, just to be clear.

        I have no idea whether legal issues were involved for the Mamamia blog, whether it was at Catherine’s own request, or at the request of other parties, that that author’s comment was taken down.

        Perhaps Catherine has a copy of the post, and perhaps, if she and you both deemed it wise should that be the case, she could repost it on ‘Sheep’, just so latecomers to the discussion would know upon what you had initially linked in opening this discussion.

        • Catherine Manning September 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

          Good idea, Forrest. I do have it copied.

          I didn’t request the removal of any posts, although I did try to comment on ‘Sarah McMahon Chair of Collective Shout”s post to say that I found it defamatory and that I have documented evidence to support my claims, so that may have prompted Mamamia to act.

          The rest (aggressive posts from Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, ‘Helen Lovejoy’, and friends) including my comment about their proposed FUNdraiser that inspired Jennifer’s article, disappeared later without any input from me.

    • Jennifer Wilson September 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      Forrest I can pull up all your comments so if there’s something you want to revisit I can find it for you.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 12, 2012 at 7:22 am #

        Don’t put yourself to that trouble. I have copies of all but a few brief responses because I routinely compose posts in my text editor before copying and pasting into the NPFS posting pane. What has been missing from my drafts file has been a reference on each to the article on NPFS to which I posted, and a copy of a link to that post.

        I’ll modify my draft filing habits to copy and paste that back in after posting in future. I was just habituated to the availability of a posting history such as is available (to any user, in respect of any user) on OLO.

  14. lucy September 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I found my way here from a link on a friend’s Fb wall. After reading the above post I thought I’d check out Collective Shout to see what the fuss was about…. and guess what I discovered by reading their public Fb wall?
    1. The admin (is it MTR?) was very clear in their directive to members not to slut shame (my words) on the CS wall during the Target backlash.
    2. The women who posted the original Target message can be seen joining CS well after the incident.
    3. CS appears to be a group that anyone can join and post any concerns. People can act or not. Seems anyone could organise an event as a ‘member’.
    Which leads me to re-read this post here in a different light now….kinda looks personal and seems to be based on a comment from mummamia… #notbuyingit

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Lucy,

      This is about more than CS.

      The original post that asked Catherine to name specific incidents came from Julie Gale from Kids Free 2B Kids. CS was named because Julie Gale was part of the fundraiser, as was MTR.

      CS was not being singled out.

      If CS seems to be the focus now it is because of the comments of ‘please check the facts’ who accused Catherine of seeking to undermine CS.

      She wasn’t.

      Her original post on Mamamia was about her personal reaction to the ‘shorts’ controversy.

      • Ray (novelactivist) September 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        I should add that in the article Catherine doesn’t mention CS at all.

        It is some people involved with CS who have now made it about CS.

    • Catherine Manning September 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Hi Lucy,
      I’m in the process of trying to articulate a response to some of the side issues here, and appreciate your comment and your research of the CS wall, as it does bring us back to my original post.
      What is the concern about the Target shorts, if not to slut-shame? As I said, take ‘trampy’ out of the mother’s original FB comment, and you’re left with the same message. Unless I’m missing something?

      • lucy September 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

        Hi Catherine,
        I read the ‘shorts story’ and thought it was brave, insightful and very relevant…Slut shaming is not OK at any age (my daughters and I attended our local slut walk) and the posts I read on CS seemed to support that hence my comments above. The Target posts were, in part, a different matter.
        As a mother to girls, it is frustrating to move into the older kids clothing areas of stores like Target…For me it’s more about the lack of clothes for play, designed for function not just fashion. Much of the 7-12 y/old range in Target is adult styled clothing, often not practical for actual kids play…tree climbing et all…Gets super hard to find any comfortable, sun safe clothes in natural breathable fibres that girls can move freely in after age 6…And that’s in total contrast to what’s on offer at Target for both girls under 6 and to boys aged 7-12. We find ourselves in the ‘boys’ section regularly as a result.
        I’d like my daughters to be able to function freely in their clothing without self consciousness from either slut shaming or corporate marketed impractical narrow ‘fashion’ ideals which inhibit their ability to get outside, move and play. The 2 issues are separate to me, and I find it very concerning that people blur them (original Target thread for example).
        Cheers Lucy

        • helvityni September 13, 2012 at 8:29 am #

          Thank you Lucy, you are a voice of reason, what we need is nice, practical, well functioning clothes for our daughters, made from materials that breathe…maybe we finally ought get using only pink and purple colours for girls…sometime I go to the menswear section just to admire the fresh colours and the practicality of their clothes…

          • helvityni September 13, 2012 at 8:32 am #

            edit: ought to stop

            I got too excited by your sensible letter, Lucy :)

    • Jennifer Wilson September 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      It is rather disingenuous to declare that by attacking corporations for providing a certain type of clothing women buy in great numbers (apparently) one is avoiding “slut shaming” Of course CS is “slut shaming.” They are declaring the absolute “wrongness” of women who want, buy and wear these clothes, or give them to their daughters. The retailers sell them because women want to buy them. To argue they are not “slut shaming” is reprehensibly dishonest. What else are they doing? Retailer shaming?? Please.

  15. paul walter September 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Catherine Manning, it does seem a very angst- ridden, shoot first ask questions later place the Moral Majority people come from.
    Someone is a tart till proven otherwise? Very Manichean.
    I think it indicates that cultural marxian and feminist critiques involving “commodification” are subtly verified.
    Except that the ”
    commodified” might not necessarily be the kids.

    • Poirot September 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Paul Walter,

      Thought you might be interested in this article – on Vandana Shiva and eco-feminism.

      It kind of brings one down to earth to realise that feminist battles in the third world are directly linked to survival and mitigating the effects or reversing the globalised capitalist juggernaut.

      http://womenjusticeecology.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/dr-vandana-shiva-and-feminist-theory/

      • paul walter September 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

        Just about covers it all, Poirot.
        Not a palatable read, but consolation in having one’s own suspicions fleshed out a bit.
        In a hundred and twenty years, we look back to see we never really did leave the “Heart of Darkness”. A good motif for above would be “Send them Back…” .
        Reminds me of the things I agree with re Marilyn Shepherd rather the things I disagree with her on.

  16. Sam Jandwich November 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    In other news, I was perusing the “men’s interest” stand at my local newsagent just now and discovered that GQ magazine has rather thoughtfully proclaimed MTR Number 69 of the 100 sexiest women in Australia!

    So there you go, it’s not just me who thinks she just needs a good…

    • Hypocritophobe November 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      69 you say?

      Bound to go down well.
      Might create a few issues for Collective Shout though.Treating women so shabbily,eh what?
      I can smell the odour of a freshly baked wholesome petition hot off the How Dare They press.

      Maybe she will be suing GQ now?

      • samjandwich December 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

        No, I think the whole point is that she’ll be secretly flattered. Imagine, only 68 places behind Miranda Kerr!

        • Hypocritophobe December 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

          They sure must have a strange set of criteria to have those two in the same race.
          I’d like to share a beer with the judges to suss out the logic.
          Maybe they photo-shopped the candidates into nuns habits first?
          Then skimpy lingerie…………………………..
          Maybe the nominees send in photos themselves ………………..

  17. Anonymous December 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I am surprised that MTR dyes her hair black and in fact (most of the time) wears nothing but black. Isn’t this a little ironic?
    Why does she feel the need to dress all in black? Perhaps to look slimmer or promote her attractiveness. Maybe she simply likes black…

    • Hypocritophobe December 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Was she lunching with Gillard the other day?Bending her ear?

      Black you say?
      Morticia Addams would be turning in her grave.

      Mind you,the black thing is a very Catholic nun look.
      Coincidence?
      Hmmmm.

  18. Ashymay January 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Complete whores. Ppl may ask why I support Barbie over Bratz, here’s y: their face. Bratz look like ghetto chola sluts.The outfits don’t help either. If you put Barbie and a Bratz in the same “holiday gown” who looks more trashy? Bratz, by far. Her eyebrows, lips, and eyeshadow. Plus the baby Bratz wearing thongs!!!??? Ppl say dolls won’t make my daughter a whore, only tv and media, uh HELLO!!! What do you think the doll is? It’s a tv show and books too. Whore moms would be the only ones who would buy these for their daughters.

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  1. Tankard Reist threatens defamation action against former colleague « No Place For Sheep - September 13, 2012

    [...] the reaction of Collective Shout and some of their supporters to my ‘shorts’ article and your subsequent post but I’m actually a little bemused and a lot relieved.  Over the past two years, I have been [...]

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