A woman’s response to authentic feminism.

30 Jan

The ABC invited me to respond to an article by Melinda Tankard Reist’s publishers, Susan Hawthorne and Renate Klein, on the ABC Religion and Ethics website. Their article was titled The authentic feminism of Melinda Tankard Reist.

Here’s my response

I haven’t entered into discussions as to Melinda Tankard Reist’s eligibility to be identified as a “feminist,” let alone an “authentic” one as defined for us by her publishers, self-described radical feminists Susan Hawthorne and Renate Klein.

I believe this straw-woman argument has diverted attention away from the more important issues of free speech and bullying that are inevitably raised by threats of defamation action. These issues affect many more people than does the somewhat narcissistic obsession with whether or not someone is a feminist.

I’m slightly taken aback at the authors’ vigilante assessment of my legal situation, expressed in their claim that I posted “defamatory statements.” They disagree with my comments, therefore my comments are defamatory. They apparently have no need to wait until a case is argued in court. (There is a very comprehensive analysis of the situation thus far written by a UK lawyer.)

Faced with the authentic radical feminist determination to take possession of the narrative before it has hardly begun, I am quite glad of the law.

Hawthorne and Klein point out that “misinformation, falsehoods and rumours” about Tankard Reist’s religious affiliations have been around for some time (since 2007 in some instances) and that they have been concerned about this “over many years.” (I’ll go into this at some length, as it is the heart of the matter.)

I’m not aware of Tankard Reist taking steps to correct this claimed misinformation? That would have prevented it being re-published by people such as myself. Had there been denials, I certainly would have included them in anything I wrote.

The most recent information available when I wrote the offending blog was a November 2011 television interview with ABC journalist Jane Hutcheon, in which Tankard Reist claimed when asked that she did not wish to discuss her religious beliefs as she feared such discussion would distract from her work. She did not say how or why.

Tankard Reist didn’t take the opportunity to counter years of what she claims is misinformation when Hutcheon invited her to clarify her religious views, and their effect if any on her work.

Neither did she avail herself of the chance to set the record straight in her interview with journalist Rachel Hills in January 2012.

We now know Tankard Reist is a Christian, and there is no doubt that she did work for Catholic Brian Harradine for twelve years as his bioethics advisor. During this time the former Tasmanian senator used his power to prevent aid agency AusAID from supplying reproductive education, abortion services and birth control to women in underdeveloped recipient countries (with serious repercussions for women who wished to have access to these denied services).

All this information is published on the blogs Unbelief.org (now inactive) and that of Leslie Cannold, along with a brief history of Reist’s career and early life, and her long association with a variety of conservative Christian groups. This latter is verifiable through conservative Christian sources such as Salt Shakers, evangelical Christian Bill Muehlenberg, the Australian Christian Lobby, the anti-choice lobby group Women’s Forum Australia (of whom Reist was a founding director) other sources on the web and in State Public Libraries.

There is no “misinformation” in the biography on Cannold’s blog. There are no rumours. There are no falsehoods. What, then, are these “falsehoods, rumours, and misinformation” that so trouble Reist and her publishers?

The first time I learned anything was amiss was when I received a letter of demand from Tankard Reist’s lawyer on 14 January 2012, stating that his client is not a Baptist.

I am of the opinion that if someone is aware of misinformation circulating for years, is repeatedly questioned about it and does absolutely nothing to contest it, then they really have no grounds for complaint if others believe it to be true. So I was rather surprised to receive this letter.

I was even more surprised to receive a second letter reiterating the threat, and referring to “false claims” made by other bloggers. The only “false claim” identified by the lawyers as a source of grievance is our statement that their client is a Baptist.

Is the identifier Baptist defamatory? Was she a Baptist when the biography was published? If we had all simply said “Christian” would none of this happened? Are you confused? Does anybody care, other than Baptists, perhaps, who might take umbrage at their faith being perceived as potentially defamatory material by another Christian.

Then there is the considerable amount of material that has nothing to do with either Unbelief.org or Cannold’s blog, material that documents her conservative Christian associations over a period of years. This includes the articles written by her for, among other groups, the Endeavour Forum.

The Forum began life as “Women Who Want to be Women” and its mission statement reads: “Endeavour Forum was set up to counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family. (‘A feminist is an evolutionary anachronism, a Darwinian blind alley.’)” Now there’s a friendly environment for an authentic feminist!

None of this need matter much. What matters is transparency and credibility, both absolutely vital for a person claiming the moral authority to exert influence over society’s sexual behaviours and values. And Tankard Reist most certainly claims moral authority.

On the question of abortion, when reading Hawthorne and Klein’s arguments we see their inclination to conflate: because some abortions are traumatic, all abortion is suspect. In the case of Tankard Reist, because a very small number of women she interviewed had a stressful emotional reaction post the procedure, all abortion is bad for all women and will inevitably lead to mental health problems.

A hard decision is also a choice. Women have to resist the maternalistic efforts of radical and authentic feminists to prevent us from exercising our right to make hard decisions and choices about abortion. Women must resist any efforts by these feminists to deny us sovereignty over our bodies. Women have the right to fully live our lives, and that must include learning to live with regret, or living unconcerned, or sometimes being on a continuum between the two.

I also take issue with the authors’ description of males as “men who are ‘free’ to act whenever they are ‘unable to control’ their sexual urges and must have the latest hit of porn.”

This is a profoundly disturbing statement, and gives insight into the contempt the authors apparently feel towards men, whom they seem to perceive as a dangerously unruly, abusive and sexually crazed homogenous mass.

We should demand that Hawthorne and Klein clarify exactly who are they talking about? To which demographic do they refer? My sons? Men I love? Men who are my friends? Men I respect as colleagues?

This gender prejudice appears again when they claim in reference to abortion: “sex is often coercive.” There are likely very many women who find themselves in need of an abortion not after “coercive” sex, but after loving consensual sex. What evidence do the authors have that abortion is often the result of men “coercing” women to have sex?

Sometimes some men coerce some women. It might be more useful to speak of these things truthfully, instead of using the stereotyping and dehumanizing rhetoric of extremism and polarization.

Tankard Reist could have at any time approached me about the problems she has with anything I’ve written. She has a public platform much larger than mine, where she could also have voiced her objections. Instead, she has gone first to the law as a means of silencing a woman who has questioned her publicly for over two years without ever receiving a response.

We may or may not have an authentic feminist here, but we most certainly have an authentic feminist issue.

It’s also worth noting that I have a very small blog and I am not a public figure. Threatening legal action to force me to remove the post has resulted in the content being plastered all over the media, in Australia and overseas. Literally thousands of people have visited the blog and read the post, only because legal action was threatened.

Hundreds of blog posts have been written on the threatened action from any number of perspectives, because it touches on a variety of deep and globally shared concerns.

Dialogue, had Tankard Reist been willing to enter into it, would have been a better, more honest and more discreet way to address the situation. Dialogue would have protected Tankard Reist from the unpleasant exposure she’s currently experiencing. That scrutiny will intensify if the matter proceeds to court.

Perhaps Tankard Reist believed I would be intimidated into cowering compliance by legal threats and that I would maintain a frightened, obedient silence. If this is the case, that belief alone speaks volumes.

This is a cautionary tale for those who would threaten anyone who is a member of an online community. Perhaps Reist and her lawyers naively assumed I wouldn’t tell my cyber community what was happening to me.

Within seconds, the story was tweeted around the globe. This immediately resulted in the so-called “Streisand” effect in which the information someone has sought to restrict becomes even more available, entirely as a consequence of the action taken to restrict it.

With the explosion of social media, it’s no longer as easy for those with a public profile and access to money to safely issue legal threats designed to intimidate an unknown and entirely un-influential blogger into silence.

Canberra Times journalist Crispin Hull looks at the costs of such actions, and supports my apprehension that I will be financially ruined if I defend an action.

Is Tankard Reist an “authentic feminist” as Hawthorne and Klein claim? I will leave this to others to decide, if they consider the effort worth their while.

80 Responses to “A woman’s response to authentic feminism.”

  1. Elisabeth January 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    A full and appropriate response and very well worded, if you ask me.


  2. Hypocritophobe January 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    I echo Elisabeth’s comment entirely.

    More later.


  3. Gruffbutt January 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Touché, Jennifer.

    The Streisand fans are working on their redundant angles of attack as we speak.


  4. Lola January 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Well written, now time for some self care!


  5. Hypocritophobe January 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Who was on on the TV Drum tonight and what did they have to say?

    Missed it.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 31, 2012 at 5:37 am #

      My article is up on the Religions and Ethics site – wait for the comments, should keep detectives busy!


  6. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    For those of you ‘anal’ enough to copy/paste/save stuff, if you have any MTR related stuff from the pre-law suit internet please hang onto it,because a copy of what has not been cyber-shredded may come in handy.

    Although ‘if’ MTR is truly aspiring to be a born again politician (please,please, please,please….) I think she may just have become Tony Abbotts future political baggage by way of said threatened law suit.

    It’s only a matter of time before some bright journo pops the big Q to Tone about MTR.

    The way it’s looking it could yet be Mal V Kev, and if so I doubt Mal will want hand me downs like that.


    • Matthew January 31, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      There’s always the internet archive. Once it’s on the web, it never really goes away. The spin from Melinda’s supporters is doing my head in. I can’t believe they tried to argue that right wing Christian organisations will stick anyone’s names on their documents without asking them. They’re upset with Jenifer for calling “Meryl” Tankard Reist deceptive and duplicitous, while publicly asking Leslie Cannold to remove the Unbelief articles from her blog and trying to rewrite MTR’s history.

      I’m really hoping that MTR gives up. The absurdity of the last couple of weeks has sort of left me speechless. From my perspective it always seemed to be all about control for MTR, and at the moment it’s pretty much all out of hand and she hates it. It does amuse me that besides one single article she seems unable to defend herself and is using others to defend her. This may be due to legal advice from her lawyer, but I think it makes her look rather weak and unable to respond to criticism.


      • Jennifer Wilson January 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

        It hasn’t left me speechless ( hardly anything does!) but I am gobsmacked! At least Cathy Sherry seems to have stopped leaving cyber graffiti about how illogical I am.


  7. paul walter January 31, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Hypo, am glad you’ve made mention of an Orwellian slant to the current era’s predilection to revisionism.
    As Urquhart, from “House of Cards” says, “You may think that, I couldn’t possibly comment”.
    But the sound of shredders IS suggestive.


  8. paul walter January 31, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    It’s a good reply, but then Jennifer Wilson didn’t have much to overcome. I once would have given Hawthorne more credit but to see her associated with the ABC piece is a bit disappointing. What must the market make of the publicity?
    And I can’t still cant see how trying to obscure or deny affiliations within a public forum involved in debate on issues that affect other people, by a public figure, particularly in the wake of a slapsuit, is anything but duplicitous.
    How can a true Christian deny Christ, I ask myself.
    I have to say that personally, I have found Wilson’s persecution by the morals police, just a bit bordering on despicable.
    The one bone I’d pick is in the description of religious conservatives, as “rad feminists”- a completely different species, apart from these sometimes sharing the conservatives distaste for or prejudice against, male sexuality, as some thing somehow “unnatural” or “beastly” and only deserving of blanket condemnation prior to even the most desultory investigation.


  9. Doug Quixote January 31, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Excellent article Jennifer. As I blogged elsewhere, it is as plain as day whose is the voice of reason here.


  10. Moz January 31, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Forget the “she’s a Baptist” charge – the real (legal) issue in all this is whether or not the imputation that MTR is ‘deceptive and/or duplicitous’ is substantially true. It is probably carried to the ordinary reasonable reader. There may also be a qualified privilege defence including one based upon the implied freedom of speech on political and government matters in the Constitution – who knows?
    So, as I understand it, the justification defence is that MTR makes a conscious effort to hide her religious affiliations and background such as working for Harradine. That may or may not be all that needs to be proven for the defence to be made out but I think to be shown as ‘deceptive and/or duplicitous’, a motive may also need to be shown – and not to a particularly high standard. Simply that she believes that knowledge will ‘distract’ peoples’ views on her writings may suffice. Her answer to the ABC journo may or may not already amount to as much.
    For mind, I would be hugely influenced by knowing the alleged background of MTR if reading her musings on pretty much any subject and the more so if the subject involved ‘sex’. And hence I would want to know the background irrespective of the arguments ability to stand on its own without the author’s possible motivation.


  11. paul walter January 31, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Close to a final word, I’d reckon, Moz


  12. Jo-Ann Whalley January 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi Jennifer

    I am constantly seeing the accusation that Melinda is being subjected to horrible, vicious personal attacks…yet after having read blog after blog, article after article (and all associated comments) on this issue for over two weeks now, these so called attacks fail to appear… I can only assume that MTR and her supporters, keep making this unsupported claim against anyone who disagrees with their views in order to paint Melinda as the victim rather than the one who called in the Lawyers.

    Disagreement with MTR and her world views does not constitute a personal attack – it is simply a debate, albiet a robust, lively and passionate one. I’m sorry if MTR has received some direct nastiness on her Twitter account, as has been claimed, however I have not seen these or anything like them anywhere else. And she has certainly claimed in the past that her work exposes her to this sort of attack regularly– well before this particular issue began.

    Quite frankly the nastiest comment I have seen has been when I lost my temper and called someone an idiot – a lapse I subsequently apologised for and the blogger/tweep and I continue to hold occasional polite and respectful discussions.

    Melinda may well be receiving horrible comments – her article certainly makes this claim. But then I am used to Melinda making claims that she fails to back up with research (credible) or proof. However the blogospehere, media sites and twitter are full of these claims by her supporters that she and they are being subjected to horrible personal attacks..and quite frankly, as someone who has been reading widely everything I can find, this claim is just not supported by what is out there..

    Apart from the Coffee cup and t-shirt “claim” I have seen very little that I would consider personal and abusive..as in nasty personal attacks.

    For example, on this site alone http://verbalinsanity.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/opinions-are-like/#comment-330 the following completely unsupported claims are made: (This is a small sample btw if you read them all you will see similar claims made over and over and not just on this blog)

    nastiness or belittlement
    personal attacks.
    hear her attacked so violently and crudely
    pure vitriol spewing out of mouths
    personal nasty attacks

    I keep asking her supporters to show me real links to these so-called horrible vicious personal attacks upon MTR or themselves and they consistently fail to do so. Personally I think its a bit rich of MTR to claim to be the bullied one given her attack upon you and the rights of writers and bloggers everywhere to free speech and a contrary opinion.

    People are disagreeing yes, but I see little actual abuse. Occasionally someone loses their temper, as I did, and uses a mild ‘idiot” or “foolish” but nowhere am I seeing the vitriol and abuse that is constantly being written about, and not just in the comments sections – MTR has been given an entire article to make claims that she is being subjected to on-line venom (again largely unsubstantiated) as have her publishers in their own separate article.. It’s baffling quite frankly.. I think this abuse exists only in the minds of MTR and her suppprters who seek to lay this mantle on the shoulders of anyone who disagrees with them. I could make the claim that I too have been subjected to horrible personal attacks but if I did, I should, quite rightly, be asked to provide proof before the mainstream media and the general public accept my version of events and the convenient label of victim.

    I personally am extremely grateful to be participating in a lively discussion about the nature of feminism in 2012 Australia (I can’t speak for other countries) and the threat to free speech that this issue has raised, although i am sorry that is has put you under such stress and duress.

    I am doubly grateful that this debate continues to expose the poorly constructed, badly researched, religiously driven, anti-choice work of MTR. For too long she was able to ride the wave of well-meaning anxiety about child- sexualisation and porn to promote her hidden agenda of removing reproductive choices from women (both here in the West now and more insidiously and horribly from developing countries in the past through her advisory work with Harradine). This debate continues to shine a bright light on her past, her methods and her (hidden) agendas.

    One question I wish MTR would answer – for someone who is so vocal about their defense of girls and women why has she never made any comment about the systemic and endemic abuse of children within the Catholic Church? Surely this is equally as important as the sale of porn tshirts or push-up bras for 6 year olds??
    Oh ..and if I am wrong and Melinda HAS come out in condemnation of the abuse of children by (ANY) Religious institutions – I am happy to apologise and retract – all I ask is a link to where she has done this important and necessary work..???


    • Ray (novelactivist) January 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm #


      Well spotted – MTR has been remarkably silent about child abuse within the Church, and remarkably silent about a number of quite relevant and important matters. She doesn’t say much about gay marriage or lesbian girls. Nor does she say much about gender stereotyping or how corporations reinforce gender roles. And she certainly doesn’t say much about how capitalism objectifies everything. It’s all reduced to ‘sexualisation’ and ‘pornification’. Nor does she say much about boys and how they grow up with the attitudes they do – gender stereotyping again.


      • Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

        I notice Holly Brennans name pop up a lot with MTR.
        I’m sure she works in that field.(Child abuse)
        They seem to do school tours together.

        There’s a ‘Holly’ on ABC Religion a lot,too.
        And often defending one, MTR.


    • David February 3, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      This seems to be a trend of the, for want of a better word, right. An article in today’s SMH claims that Gina Rinehart has been ‘vilified’ in repect of her attempt to buy Fairfax shares. Vilified? Isn’t that just a touch over the top for words of disagreement? One would assume she is buying shares for a reason, but speculation on what that reason might be amounts to vilification? The same with MTR – surely her supporters are being a bit precious to complain about unspecified vicious attacks – although I agree that I would be mortally offended if anyone described me as a Baptist.

      By the way, in JW’s article – is not the statement by MTR and supporters, in advance of any court case, that Jennifer has engaged in defamatory actions itself defamatory? Sue ’em, JW.


      • Jo-Ann Whalley February 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

        I’ve been having a bit of fun with dear “Holly (Christ within) over at the Drum recently. She used the term Cut through the chaste – and when I questioned this (quite light heartedly) – she came back with a claim about the phrase’s etymological basis. The stupid thing is – her facts were quite wrong and I actually found the web-site she obviously cut and pasted her info from – and even on that website the whole thing was debunked quite resoundingly. She’s gone rather quiet – other than one post to say that she is “satisfied with her research”! Hysterical!

        If anyone is interested it’s right at the end of the comments section at the moment – the order of comments is a little mixed up as she responded to one of my comments but not a slighter later one where I busted her lies/or plagiarism – http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/01/25/3415534.htm

        A bit of light-hearted fun for a Friday morning!


      • Jo-Ann Whalley February 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        Oh and my name over there is Aulieude – although I do refer to myself as jo-Annj in one of the comments – i started commenting over there before I discovered logging int hrough facebook – so used my Twitter name instead.


  13. Lola January 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Well said Jo-Ann.
    Yes, I am seeing the same thing – support me or you are an evil trojan horse for BIGPORNINC. Or is that big porcinis? Mmmmm, risotto with porcinis.

    MTR is to feminism as Jimmy Bakker is to religion. I think I may go and drag my old screen printing frames out of the garage.

    Jennifer, again, I say thank you for waking from the genteel world of quilting, knitting and sewing, which I, as an older woman, had relegated my mind. I am enjoying this debate, and I offer my support – emotional, financial and spiritual – to you.
    Cheers Lola.


    • Lola January 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Waking ME that should say – I did not mean to infer that you are a quilter, a knitter or a sewer Jennifer. Oh, please do not sue me!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😛


  14. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    (Not sure if my last post uploaded,If so please delete this one)

    This is personal abuse : (See below line)
    and typical of the comments directed at JW over at the Drum/Unleashed in her own articles as well as others she participated (responded/commented) in. Many times(most)under her own name, while her detractors did not allow the same courtesy..
    If the topic had the word woman in it,she was repeatedly attacked.
    If the word ‘man’ was involved the ad homs quadrupled.

    It seems all feminists are fake if they communicate with men, and not with God.

    (Check them out,but be quick before the shredder accidently goes off.)

    It will be interesting to see if the Sydney debate discusses whether misandry has a role to play in feminism and the broader community.


    kellsy | January 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply

    ‘Of course, having the threat of legal action hanging above you 24/7 must be terrible.’

    My heart bleeds for her … not. I’m more concerned about how terrible it’s been for MTR to be the target of Ms Wilson’s vitriolic, personalised campaign of attack for well over a year. I’m sure you don’t see it as such, because I know you are one of her devoted supporters.

    ‘MTR has had plenty of opportunity to debate her beliefs…’

    She has debated her beliefs many times – just not with Ms Wilson. And get real. When someone is so obssessed with you as to write vitriolic articles about you over and over again, for well over a year, and to constantly imply that you are hiding sordid details about your past, and that you have psychological problems, and yada yada, there is no scope for a reasonable, rationale exchange of ideas.
    kellsy | January 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply

    You’ve censored two of my posts, and now you throw me an empty question designed to provoke more than enlighten. You’re really determined to get me off this thread, aren’t you? All I can say is that if you are ignorant enough to ask a question like that, you obviously haven’t read anywhere near as much of MTR’s work as you claim to – in fact, I suspect may not have read any at all. If you did, you would know that the cultural sexualisation of female children and young women form the backbone much of MTR’s work, a little fact that gets routinely overlooked in all the vitriol thrown at her.

    And, BTW, guilty as charged on an earlier accusation that I am anti-Wilson. Indeed, I am very, very anti-Wilson. But not because of her treatment of MTR. I don’t like her because she is a fake feminist of the Christina Hoff Sommers school. She pretends to be a feminist in order to slag feminism as ‘an insider’. Her sanctimonious garbage about pornography and abortion are just fronts for her to continually attack feminism and suck up to the men’s movement.

    So, you have your wish. I’m outta here. With the exception of LInda Radfem excellent comment above, this has been a very sad and ignorant thread.

    Apologies to Jennifer if this is hard to read,but if MTR lawyers are watching over your shoulder they should also get a look from the other point of view for a change.


    • Julia February 1, 2012 at 12:31 am #

      Would that be the cultural sexualisation of female children and young women that comes with the so-called “Traditional Family” which Holly (Christ conceived before the wedding) wants us all to defend?


    • Beste February 1, 2012 at 2:22 am #

      “fake feminist of the Christina Hoff Sommers school’

      lol. Now there’s someone who has routinely been dismissed as a tool of right wing and NOT A FEMINIST!!. Funny how neither radical feminists & mainstream feminists bother defending Christina Hoff Sommers right to identify herself as a feminist.


      • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2012 at 7:12 am #

        Hello, Beste, glad to see you again. What a stupid situation and argument this is!


    • Doug Quixote February 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      kellsy says “suck up to the mens movement” LOL !!!

      on at least three levels that is hilarious!

      If such is the quality of the “very, very anti Wilson” claque there is little to fear.


  15. paul walter January 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Jo Ann Whalley, great post; great linx. An educated mind makes mince of the overly-conditioned, once again.


  16. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm #


    Please compare this :


    (The ‘respond’ at the end of the original link will take you to the bottom of the page)

    to the latest blog at the Drum

    (JW can you delete the other (first) to avoid confusion please?


  17. Jo-Ann Whalley January 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I posted a comment over there after reading the comment – you might find it interesting:

    Can I suggest this document might clarify MTR’s views on banning RU486 – in her own words and, as I understand, dated whilst she was Harradine’s Bioethics Advisor.. I think this speaks for itself and anyone pretending she didn’t fully support his views and, I believe, provide the arguements he used should read the Hansard debates surrounding this issue and compare the words.

    Click to access 0603%20RU486%20trials.pdf


    • Jennifer Wilson January 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

      Your comment isn’t up – maybe tomorrow, otherwise Hypocritophobe will give them a blasting.


  18. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    The question is this.
    Did the document and contents ever ever get peer reviewed?
    Did it influence policy?
    Will MTR deny her contribution to it?
    What’s the next stage?
    (You can here it rumbling in the background like the black 2 door coupe on Mad Max)

    And is this document like to vanish in a puff of smoke?
    I suggest someone puts it in a safe place.(Time and date stamped)


  19. Helvi January 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm #


    My post on the ABC responding to your article is there, but not the one on Bongiorno’s story…


  20. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm #


    Click to access BR%20defiant%20birth%20SE%201804.pdf


  21. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 7:04 pm #



  22. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm #



  23. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    At the bottom of the page on the last one

    * Melinda Tankard Reist is author of Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief After Abortion (Duffy and Snellgrove 2000/2002) She also advises Senator Brian Harradine on bioethical and human rights issues.

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    * Melinda Tankard Reist is author of Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief After Abortion (Duffy and Snellgrove 2000/2002) She also advises Senator Brian Harradine on bioethical and human rights issues.

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    • Jennifer Wilson January 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      I’m enjoying all your research Hypocritophobe. Thank you very much for doing all this.


  24. lola January 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm #



    Was this really you Jennifer????

    Jennifer Wilson :
    31 Jan 2012 3:23:16pm
    So now it is “troubling” when one woman challenges another?
    How much more precious are we all going to get about this?

    Reist worked for 12 years for a man who managed to deny reproductive education, birth control and abortion to women in underdeveloped countries solely because of his religious views, and in exchange for telephones in Tasmania. If Reist disagreed with him, how did she stay on in the job as his bio ethics advisor for so long, and why?

    Apart from all that, this schoolyard fight about who can and can’t be called a feminist is a symptom of a first world feminism that apparently has nothing better with which to occupy itself. Who the bloody hell cares?

    I’m a woman. And none of you squabbling harpies speak for me.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 31, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      I do believe that’s me having a tantrum. I just lost it at another article fighting about who has the right to call themselves a feminist.

      I thought the squabbling harpies bit was pretty good. Everyone is taking themselves way too seriously and putting other women down by saying they can’t be a feminist. It’s become a term of abuse, the way it’s being used.


      • lola February 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

        I love a good tantie! That was pretty good. I love the word harpies – it conjures up a MacBethian gaggle. I also love crone, hag, slut and tart.

        I guess my concern about who calls themselves what is about MTRs actions, which speak much louder than her words.

        Her actions are scary, as you well know.

        Again, self care! A long hot bath, a good massage, etc etc etc. 😛


        • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

          I’m about to have a few days away with my family and my 4 month old grandson. This is heaven for me! Ill return nourished, relaxed and charming as ever LOL. Thank you for your good thoughts! 🙂


  25. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Note my basket was empty.
    Story of my life

    Now, anyone a Facebook friend of……



  26. Hypocritophobe January 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Yes apologies for my saturation posting everyone,it’s just that when I have that many windows open I have to put the stuff somewhere or lose track,etc.

    I can tell you now that things with certain reference ‘names’, keywords, are getting very hard to find.

    It looks like someone’s been spring cleaning??

    That’s why I mentioned to hang onto anything you found on the web in times gone by, and also why a visit to the facebook link I put up may provide you with a hint or two, and what you may do during idles minutes/hours you have.

    Talk about spent conviction…..

    The answer to your recently asked Q JW is yes.



  27. paul walter February 1, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    It can be more appropriate for the term “harpy” to exclusively come from one woman to another, from a man it is usually an invitation to a death-sentence, generally by death-stare..


    • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      I’m very fond of that word. I also like hag, crone, and witch


      • Hypocritophobe February 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

        Mole’s quite harsh.And slag.

        I think the term ‘slapper’ hits hard from woman to woman,man to woman.

        Of course the term could be used for those who implement SLAPP law suits.



        • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

          LOL. I like that.


        • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

          Russell :
          01 Feb 2012 10:44:51am
          Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) is the tool of an oppressor. Frivolous or vexatious threats of defamation action have been used for the same purpose, to oppress. What are the motives and intent of such tactics?

          This just appeared on the Drum piece.


  28. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) February 1, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Is this just a perhaps embarrassing typo in this paragraph from an ABC Drum piece by Richard Stanton, or has there also been a Cathy Shelly participating in the public debate that has flown of at a tangent from the continuing Twitter ‘MTRsues’ hashtag conversation that engendered it in the first place?

    “Polar opposition filled with vitriolic,
    unsupported statements has become normative,
    as Cathy Shelly argued recently citing
    feminists acting like schoolgirl bullies when
    they don’t agree with an alternative opinion.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3803426.html . Paragraph 13.

    I am thinking that it may have been Cathy Sherry that may have been meant. If that was so, it makes me wonder whether Richard Stanton has actually followed the hashtag discussion himself, or simply relied upon other, and possibly misrepresentative, opinion as to the conversation urging him into print. I am thinking that a study of the tweets archived by Tweet Reports since the outset will likely contradict claims as to vitriolic unsupported statements constituting the bulk of that hashtag conversation.

    There seems to exist an overpowering orchestration of peripheral observers to fill the available commentary space so as to cloud the fact that the issue is the taking of resort to defamation action in an attempt to silence a person having a name, Jennifer Wilson, seeking disclosure with respect to MTR, not that of some dispute as to who can be ‘authentically’ feminist. Why is it so seemingly important to derail the real discussion?

    Of course, if there has been a prominent Cathy Shelly opinionating, I have just shown my ignorance, and apologise for wasting viewers’ time with, in that circumstance, my irrelevant remarks.


  29. rubiginosa February 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Hints of emerging discussion over at the Opera House

    I have more topics:

    1. How radical lesbian feminism and patriarchal religious structures are reconciled.
    2. The role defamation law plays in intimidating and silencing critics.
    3. To what extent do those who are coy about criminalising abortion need to disclose their views?
    4. Where is the healthy, positive debate about expressions of female sexuality?
    5. When will people cease to misuse ‘ad hominem’ in online arguments?


    • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Excellent questions. I hope a few more people leave suggestions on the site.


  30. Hypocritophobe February 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    6. The use of pseudonyms by high profile feminists to protect their brand when commenting on their adversaries articles, on the ABC .

    7. The level of influence of oppressive conservative ideals on public policy, and more importantly educational institutions.

    8 Is their a Trojan horse factor in question 7?


  31. Hypocritophobe February 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Feel free to Tweet the SLAPPER term.As long as you use capitals,it can be associated with any name as long as that person is the instigator of said SLAPP.

    That is of course only MHO.

    Maybe there is/could be, a site where SLAPPERS are named?


    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) February 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      As in, for example, ‘SLAPP happy #MTRsues’, Hypocritophobe? Is that correct usage?

      For those not well versed in Acronymian, SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.


      Interestingly, the word ‘slapp’ in Swedish means ‘lax’. Sweden appears to have been very lax with respect to attention to the jurisprudential proprieties required of it in the matter of the seeking of the extradition of Julian Assange from the UK to Sweden. One would have to say the pursuit of that extradition, with Sweden in the role of proxy for the US, is an ultimate form of SLAPP suit. Remember Harry Harbord Morant, one of the last two Australian soldiers to ever be subject to a death penalty for an offence under Military Law. Will the UK High Court Appeal make long overdue amends to Australia as a circuit breaker in Assange’s case?



  32. Hypocritophobe February 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    ‘SLAPPER demands apology.’

    ..seems to reflect this, and other similar, SLAPP situations.

    Although nitpickers may say the correct version may be SLAPPer


  33. Hypocritophobe February 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Just thought I’d let people know that if you head to the (ACL) Australian Christian Lobby Site,you may get a warning from your security program.
    Mine showed up an email tracker warning.It blocked the site.

    Be warned.

    Now why would that be?



  34. lola February 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Check out the silly sock puppets! I wonder who Warrior Mumma is?

    I am turning into a cyber stalker. I need help.
    Off to buy some fabric for my next quilt 😛


    • Hypocritophobe February 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

      Hey Lola
      Nice work


  35. Hypocritophobe February 2, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Film: ‘Drop dead Gorgeous’

    (I think it’s a bit Mel Brooks or something?
    Flying High-esque.)
    There’s lots of girls/women so I’m gonna call it Chick Flick(even if it is the USA kind)

    A difficult one to watch.
    What got me though was the character played by Denise Richards.
    If you get time to struggle through this flick,consider her treacle-like caricature during the stage performances each student does.

    There’s something uncannily familiar there………..

    (There;s always the F FWD button too, to lighten the load)

    Recommended viewing for JW on her days off.


  36. Hypocritophobe February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I find some of MTRs claims about sexual assault challenging, but I’ll out this up for discussion and analysys

    At a talk given to “Almost 2,000 students from 21 schools across the three dioceses in the greater Sydney area gathered at Olympic Park at Homebush Bay to spend the day with three inspirational speakers who were keen to help steer them through the toughest of the teenage years.

    The event, organised by the Catholic Education Office Sydney’s Religious Education and Evangelisation team, brought the Year 10 and 11 students together for the 2011 ‘Sexuality and Relationships Day’. ”

    Circa June 2011

    Link http://www.ceosyd.catholic.edu.au/News/Pages/ab-t2-11-teen.aspx

    She claimed :”One-in-three girls in this country are sexually assaulted … and everything I am showing you puts girls at risk,” she said.

    Yet when I checked with the ABS,

    Sexual assault, 79.5 victims per 100,000 persons
    was found here:

    A further press release elaborated.


    Can someone check to see if my maths is right?
    Over 30% of girls sexually assaulted?By what data does she claim this?


  37. Hypocritophobe February 2, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Another way to exploit children,using emotive means.

    “If I aborted you,you’d be dead”

    They sure do stoop low these femmochristopiles



  38. Hypocritophobe February 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Due to a certain public broadcasters dog eating certain versions of peoples homework. I feel the need to respond to the MTR drive by skulkers.

    This is a message for Paul Smith aka all the other spineless pseudonyms she uses.
    Take time to note (date and time) which comments here you consider to be disturbing and bullying, and make a comment yourself.It won’t matter which name you use,we’ll recognise you anyway.Either way you should put up or shut up.(Thats a challenge by the way-not a bullying display)

    Go check out the nice things your ‘friend’ Kellsy had to say,over at the ABC or in her hour of glory at newswithnipples.
    You may also want to read Bongionos diatribe which followed at the Drum.

    I’ll give you some mathematical symbols to play with

    + =




    • Jo-Ann Whalley February 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

      Hey in the interests of research (or possibly Paranoia) Marchoness on various sites… likes to use a certain word that MTR has bandied about for years (I have several examples from her old papers) “Lamenting” hmmm whaddaya reckon MTR in disguise?


      • Doug Quixote February 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

        I’ve pointed that out to Jennifer elsewhere :

        (Jan 29 at 6.13 pm on ‘Belconnen’ thread)

        “Good day Jennifer.

        I’ve spent an idle half hour looking at the article and comments under The authentic feminism of Melinda Tankard Reist. Particularly I draw your attention to an exchange between you and “Marchoness” on 26 and 27 January.

        My forensic legal skills suggest to me that you were in fact debating directly with MTR in the guise of ‘Marchoness’. She may use other pseudonyms, but those posts had the ring of authenticity to me. One particular clue is the way she takes issue with being called an “ill-informed commentator” and another is the very name itself : “Melinda Tankard Reist / Marchoness”

        There is more I’d rather not detail, but read the comments carefully and see her mind for yourself.

        Best wishes,


        So your suspicions are correct in my view. They are sneaky, and their tactics are coordinated.


  39. Hypocritophobe February 3, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    A discussion, the nuances of which, best left for behind closed doors I’d say,Jo-Ann.

    What other sites Jo Ann?
    I’ll take a peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.
    If I have some feeeeeeeeeeedback I’ll get it to you.Wink Wink.

    But MTR would never do that ‘post under a pseudonym’ thing.She plays it straight.; )
    She is the most upstanding woman around, since Mary M herself.
    She knows if she got sprung under a falsey saying unGodly things about folk,she’d be toast.
    Credibilty gone.She’d never risk that.Way too smart.

    Subject Segue:
    Did I mention that I drive heaps better when I’m really pissed?
    Or that MTR is NOT lining up a plum job for the coalition in Canberra?
    And that Tony Abbott would never ban abortions if voted in?


  40. Hypocritophobe February 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    The puritans from the Holly(we know who she is) camp are dropping in here to gawk anyway.
    So They will easily connect your different IDs.
    Not that it matters in the context of things.
    What does matter is where is Melinda?
    Why is she silent?
    Will Warriormum save her?
    Or will Worriermum,Holly and MTR all show up at the same place same time?

    Where;s Nicole?
    Where’s Marchoness?
    Where’s Kellsy?
    Where’s Claire Bongiorno (the sold out MTR apologist/non-free thinker/ ex labor supposedly socialist union/Get Up supporting anti choice campaigner?

    So many questions.
    The silence is deafening.


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