Fundamentalist sexual propaganda dominates at the ABC’s Drum

1 Mar
Masturbation by Klimt, drawing 1913

Gustav Klimt 1913. Masturbation. via Wikimedia

Lately The Drum seems to have been co-opted as an advocate for right wing fundamentalist Christian propaganda about the “pornification” and “sexification” of women.

Commentator Melinda Tankard Reist, sometimes supported by observations from journalist and researcher Nina Funnell, has published three pieces in the last three weeks, peddling her views on the “proper” expression and representation of female sexuality in the media and popular culture.

Given that some of her opinions can only be read as extremist (her war on Victoria’s Secret underwear, for example; her unrelenting insistence that women are doomed to be the hapless victims of men) it is astonishing that the Drum hasn’t come up with anything that directly contests these views, and gives voice to the opinions and feelings of the millions of women who find Victoria’s Secret fun to wear, and consider ourselves anything but victims.

If this right wing agenda manifested in any other subject area on the Drum, we would all be astonished, and a challenge would immediately be published. But not when it’s about controlling how women express our sexuality, apparently.

Tankard Reist’s grim visions of the inevitable baseness of men, the fear of and contempt for female sexuality revealed in her propaganda, continue to dominate the Drum’s pages.

It’s left to a handful of determined commenters to take her on.

Perhaps the Drum doesn’t consider the representation and expression of female sexuality a topic worthy of defense, even on the eve of International Women’s Day.

This is not on, our  ABC. There’s no balance here. You should be putting up articles that celebrate female sexuality, and support a woman’s right to decide how she’ll express it. Centuries of patriarchy have tried to control our sexuality, and now we’ve got the Christians at it again. Enough, already.

Why are you assisting the fundamentalists in this project, Jonathan Green, and why aren’t you giving a voice to women who love their sexuality, don’t see any reason to hide it and have no quarrel with underwear companies and stupid songs?

Women who revel in taking responsibility for ourselves, and don’t need MTR and Nina Funnell to do it for us, thanks all the same.

For those of you dissatisfied with the Drum’s promotion (by omission) of a right wing sexual agenda, On Line Opinion will fight back on Friday.

At least there’s still someplace where a woman can say she doesn’t mind a lacy thong and cleavage.

10 Responses to “Fundamentalist sexual propaganda dominates at the ABC’s Drum”

  1. gerard oosterman March 2, 2011 at 1:14 am #


    Have you sent this to Jonathan Green? Catherine Tayler is often much braver in the ABC Drum/Unleashed team!


  2. Jennifer Wilson March 2, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    I have to take all this back because Jonathan has invited me to do a piece.

    Onya, ABC Drum!!


  3. gerard oosterman March 2, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    Good news, hoorah.

    And I thank you for those items that you sent me
    The monkey and the plywood violin
    I practiced every night, now I’m ready
    First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
    L Cohen


    • Jennifer Wilson March 2, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      I’ve put a photo of Cohen taken at the concert last year in a frame on a bookshelf in the sitting room, and he’s up there looking like a family member.

      Then there’s the shrine in my office …..


  4. Matthew March 2, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Jennifer, I don’t know if it’s appropriate, but please mention the background of the lovely hyphenated one on your Drum article. All she ever does is deny, deny, deny. To a large degree I think she gets away with a lot, especially on the Morning Show, and is hardly ever challenged about anything she says. Though I think a lot of people can see through her nonsense. Honestly I thought she would have given up after the 1000+ posts on the Kanye video piece.

    Er, maybe I stirred you up by mentioning the Glee/Cosmo thing on MTR’s blog…


    • Jennifer Wilson March 2, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      You were a brilliant inspiration, Matthew! I trotted right over to the blog and got thoroughly worked up. It was fun, I love a good stoush.

      Have you been reading the latest nonsense on the McFadden song on the Drum?


  5. PAUL WALTER March 2, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    In praise of horny women!
    The the thread starter is actually along the lines of much material starting to surface that expresses a deep frustration at the media and tabloid presses response to the internet and its recent retrieval of cognitve commons for a civil society. Quiggin is running threads critical of the Australian and MW has launched an attack on tabloid radio for persisting with shock jock radio in the face of the discrediting of Jones, Laws and the like.
    and in the comments column we see theusual scepticismconcerning tabloid tv .
    They have lost control of content, so their response has been to set up blogsites disguised as “indie”, in order to starve the indies of their audience or readership. Then these panicky mass media merchants can return to what they describe as “balanced” media- eg media shorn of content and substance, reinforcing rather than question cultural norms (bewdy, Norm!).


  6. Beste March 8, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I just found this site today. I think another part is of the problem is that they get to claim the moral highground with their so-called concern for child rights


  7. PAUL WALTER March 8, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    Thats the nail on the head, Beste.



  1. Debating the religious right « No Place For Sheep - March 9, 2011

    […] Fundamentalist sexual propaganda dominates at the ABC’s Drum […]


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