Tankard Reist, motherhood, and men.

4 Sep

Of course we would all love men to come to their senses and begin to lead decent lives like women have managed to for hundreds of years, but at this point in history there’s no indication they’re collectively deciding to do that.

So writes RMIT academic Dr Caroline Norma on Melinda Tankard Reist’s website, in her post titled “The disparaging and belittling of mothers: on mother shaming in the sexualisation debate.”

Her statement wouldn’t get past me in a first year essay.

If there was ever any doubt that Tankard Reist runs a website that promotes contempt of men, this observation certainly does away with it. You’d have to go a long way to see a more outstanding example of gender bias and bigotry.

Then there’s this: On a daily basis mothers are going about their lives with children’s wellbeing and welfare as their top priority, so we could learn from their example.

Really? My mother didn’t. I’ve heard the stories of many adult children whose mothers didn’t. Some mothers do. Some mothers don’t. Some mothers do sometimes.

And who exactly is this “we” who could learn from a mother’s example?

Here we have yet another George W Bush moment of good versus evil: all good women versus all evil men. All men lead indecent lives while all women are virtuous. Dr Norma reduces humans to one dimensional beings governed entirely by our biology. Penis: bad. Vagina: good, and especially good if you have a child.

If you are a woman and you have a child you have much to teach everyone, just because you have a child. If you’re  man with a child, shut up and learn from a decent woman. Your life isn’t decent and never will be  ‘cos penis.

Are we entering a new era of the glorification of motherhood?

And these are the people we are supposed to take seriously about the “sexualisation” of children.



44 Responses to “Tankard Reist, motherhood, and men.”

  1. paul walter September 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Wow, that lead in is real Cupcake and gruesomely cheezy. I can’t imagine a an educated realist feminist coming up with 1950’s/Brady Bunch guff like that .
    Had better read the rest, as Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy wafts soothingly through in the background, before I asshat myself again.


    • Jennifer Wilson September 6, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      Well here’s an interesting little anecdote:

      Apparently Collective Shout organised a fundraiser and everyone was asked to dress up as a “sex worker/bratz doll/slut.” It was supposed to be a satirical and ironic evening.

      Dr Freud, anyone?


      • Poirot September 6, 2012 at 9:38 am #

        Reminds me of the priest in the book/film “Chocolat” who was found in a stupor at the end, having gormandized himself eating the window display.


      • Hypocritophobe September 6, 2012 at 10:12 am #

        Did the dish run away with the spoon?


  2. Hypocritophobe September 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    I guess God has the key to the chastity belt,and no other knob has access.
    Lucky God (NOT!)

    Somebody call the medic.The girls need help.


  3. paul walter September 5, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Just done a Cook’s Tour of the various links offered, included a visit to Tankard Reist and found this is carrying a Jocelynne Scutt epic featured also at OLP.
    Offered a brief comment there, (the comment thread is of a better standard than usual) but because of a massive hay fever problem induced by spring may avoid further computer screen until later.
    Will say, there must be a lull in the news cycle for this to be getting the epidemic prominence it is.
    Don’t they usually keep this stuff for Christmas New Year silly season, or is it because parliament isn’t sitting?
    Oh btw, as a man, I cant think of anything less sexually interesting than a nine yo in a BoutiqueTarget top and pair of shorts.. I mean, really?


  4. Leftymatt September 5, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    Dear me. Is there a more professional victim than MTR at work in Australia today?


  5. Paul September 5, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I think what really betrays the ideology of MTR devotees is a wonderfully uplifting comment posted to that article by Ms Jennifer Drew, who states (as part of a longer, yet equally vitriolic diatribe) :
    “Children is gender neutral language and Male Supremacist System constantly seeks Children is gender neutral language and Male Supremacist System constantly seeks to hide which sex is doing what to which sex. I do not see boys portrayed as ‘sexualised objects whose sole reason for existence is to sexually service/sexually titilate men, rather it is girls and now even female babies are being portrayed as men’s disposable sexual service stations”
    There are very few times in my life I have been left speechless.. Reading that comment was one of them.
    Need I say more?


    • Jennifer Wilson September 5, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      Oh, Jennifer Drew. The Valerie Solanas of the new millenium, without the talent.


    • Matthew September 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Drew is Poe’s law in motion. Check back through MTR’s archives; no matter what the topic, Drew will insert the phrase “men’s disposable sexual service stations”. Apparently she’s a real person; http://thefemilist.wordpress.com/the-list/jennifer-drew/

      I still can’t fathom why MTR has seemingly joined forces with radical feminists. Her core base of supporters either doesn’t mind or care.


      • Ray (novelactivist) September 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

        To gain credibility


        • Matthew September 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

          With the general public, her supporters or with feminists (radical or moderate)? One would think that associating yourself with radical feminists (or the religious right for that matter) would turn off many of the general public. She may get her head on TV more often, but is anyone really listening to her? I really think the majority of the public don’t listen to her message, just her faithful supporters. The amount of Collective Shout members have only risen a couple hundred in the last couple of years.


          • Ray September 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

            Sorry, I missed where you said ‘radical’ feminists. As I understand it she has only been able to be published by Spinifex Press – an anti-abortion feminist press. In order to please her publishers she is attempting to shift her base from the RR to a conservative feminist base. I would assume that appearing too closely associated with the RR became increasingly awkward. But I wouldn’t describe her as a radical feminist.


            • Hypocritophobe September 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

              Perhaps they meant ridiculed misandrist ?


  6. Ray (novelactivist) September 5, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Sigh, Norma… Here’s what I had to say about her.



  7. ItsBouquet September 5, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    I think I cam across someone very like Jennifer Drew last night on OLO. There were certainly references in “Ebony’s” post to “male supremacist system” and “sexual service stations”. If any of you care to look, it’s on Jocelynne Scutt’s latest thread on the Target issue. I was reasonably scathing – don’t know if you’ll agree with my take on things, but I certainly didn’t agree with hers – (I’m Poirot)


  8. helvityni September 5, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Thank you Dr Caroline Norma, you have given me ammunition I’ll use next time hubby and I have an argument….is Caroline an American, she’s very very sweet 🙂


    • paul walter September 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      The Scutt comment thread is at a far better level than I’ve been used to at OLP at its worst. The wowsers have not the faintest concept of what the species is and how and why it operates as it does, within the environment it finds itself intentioned.


  9. Hypocritophobe September 5, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Music: Hall/Oates
    Lyrics: Hall/Oates/S. Allen

    She’ll only come out at night
    The lean and hungry type
    Nothing is new, I’ve seen her here before
    Watching and waiting
    She’s sitting with you but her eyes are on the door
    So many have paid to see
    What you think you’re getting for free
    The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar
    Money’s the matter
    If you’re in it for love you ain’t gonna get too far

    Oh here she comes
    Watch out boy she’ll chew you up
    Oh here she comes
    She’s a maneater
    Oh here she comes
    Watch out boy she’ll chew you up
    Oh here she comes
    She’s a maneater

    I wouldn’t if I were you
    I know what she can do
    She’s deadly man, and she could really rip your world apart
    Mind over matter
    The beauty is there but a beast is in the heart

    Oh here she comes
    Watch out boy she’ll chew you up
    Oh here she comes
    She’s a maneater


    • paul walter September 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      True Hypo, women face, from the cradle, an incredible amount of cultural pressure in their shaping, as they adjust to the role assigned them within culture. Shopping at Kmart is but one of a million subceptional cultural exercises they face in the reproduction of mothering.
      The wonder is, not more of you turn out to be passive/aggressive ‘bots rather than normal.
      Its a process requiring of understanding. The pass-aggs who have misappropriated the wider conversation, see it as an aesthetic issue, to do with the transgressing/reinforcement of “femininity”, rather than a deeper issue to do with an attack on person-hood, which must be crunched like a size ten foot into a size six shoe regardless of damage done to the person commodified into an object seen as appropriate for patriarchy and
      Their false consciousness moralising is pointless and based on a false premise; it’s culture that needs to studied and understood, rather than just unquestionlngly accepted as “normal” with the requirement and focus then being that everyone has the humanity crushed out them to fit an unconsidered version of it.


      • ItsBouquet September 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm #


        Great comment!
        I find it disturbing that with all the advancement Western civilisation has delivered, the one thing that capitalist/consumer society demands is that all of us be as unquestioning and unthinking as it can manage.
        Surely the real test of any level of civilisation should be examined beyond the riches and technology that is delivered. Culture is a work in progress and, for the life of me, I can’t see any move to instill any ethic beyond the fulfillment of material desire. Civilisation and culture should mean more than that. Maybe we’re going backwards?


        • paul walter September 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

          It’s difficult to see it all, being what we are.
          I just noticed a poem put up by tigtog at Hoyden on the subject of “not noticing”. You can try as hard as you like but if you are human isn’t it likely that some where, some how, some thing so miniscule as defeat even the keenest senses of the most vigilant person, is missed? And if that is the very tiny piece that makes the jigsaw comprehensible, how significant can it be?
          The universe and we humans might exist for totally different to reasons to the ones we think we understand. How often does a person have to go back to the beginning and trace some thing from its source because despite identifying “everything” in a situation, something is not quite right in the answer.
          That against a backdrop of contingency and relativity, any way Is it what I’m looking at that’s wrong, or me?
          Am glad to have met Poirot though, Poirot invariably speaks common sense when commenting, imho.


          • ItsBouquet September 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

            I probably should have maintained my Poirot identity here (maybe I’ll change it), but back earlier this year I had a month’s ban from OLO (slight contretemps with Graham) and so I trundled over here. I decided on ItsBouquet just for something different. The other thing was that while I was on hiatus from OLO, the MTR controversy blew up, so I was quite fascinated by the machinations therein. I’m sorry that it impacted Jennifer’s life, but the timing couldn’t have been better for me.


            • helvityni September 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

              Its Bouquet, what is OLO?


              • paul walter September 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

                I’ll answer, since I know the answer. “On Line Opinion”, a blog site like this for current affairs, maybe a little more conservative.
                It’s always worth a look.
                The thread we’ve talking of is a piece by Jocelynne Scutt, the Tasmanian feminist and academic.


            • Jennifer Wilson September 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

              Poirot I loved your posts on OLO. Sorry to hear you had a bit of a fracas with Graham. Very glad you are here though.


              • Poirot September 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

                Thank you, Jennifer. I’m a fan of your articles and input on OLO also. Regarding Graham, I just got a little carried away in concert with a couple of others – all sorted now. i usually get along okay with Graham.
                Hope you don’t mind if I change into Poirot here – Shazam!!


                • Hypocritophobe September 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm #


                  What a Herculean costume change!


                  • Poirot September 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

                    The actual costume change isn’t such a problem. Applying the pomade to my magnificent moustache (Poirot joke) is more of a challenge – it’s all in the symmetry you know.


  10. hudsongodfrey September 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Apart from anything else I read the article that Jennifer linked to, and I have a few questions.

    “The articles last week in New Matilda (Trixie Wellington), Crikey (Helen Razer) and ABC Unleashed (Lauren Rosewarne) were so nasty and hurtful to mothers who are legitimately doing their best to make sure their daughters don’t come to any harm from men.”

    In the very first paragraph, apart from attacking notable feminist writers, is she actually inferring that some mothers don’t want to protect their children? Or is it just that all harm comes from men?

    “What about mothers who are survivors who might feel like they worry too much about child sexualisation stuff? (which I don’t think is possible). It’s just feeding into their self-doubt, and disempowering them from taking proper action to try and protect their kids better than they were protected.”

    The second paragraph concerns itself with the common or garden version of conflation. Worrying to much about sexualisation of children disempowers mothers from protecting their children from inferred abuse. The problem with this argument is simply that the assumed links between sexualisation and abuse are tenuous at best, probably way in the background to far more pertinent factors and as such more frequently than not driven more by the objection to sexualisation than any genuine well-founded concern for actual abuse.

    That was about it for me. The piece was mercifully short, and she goes on to conflate feminism with protecting women in a typically sexist way, and then children’s rights with those of their parents to raise them in a certain way in a typically sexually conservative mould.

    As problematic pieces of writing go I think its real failure is mostly that it preaches to the converted. There’s a form of group solipsism here that needs challenging far beyond our just wanting to decry any sexism towards men that comes out as a result of it. This is something more offensive than mere misandry, its a form of intellectual dishonesty in dire need of deconstruction by somebody better qualified than I…. but I’ll give it a bit of a go.

    If you’re a feminist and you happen to be male as well then you’re entitled to be as confused as I am about this, because men who believe in equality of the sexes want for the most part to be talked to and persuaded of what is best in some kind of meaningful dialogue with their penilely challenged counterparts. We know that the genders are different and that motherhood forms a common bond between many women who experience it. But just getting together and conflating shared experience with other obvious biases as these writers on the MTR site seem to be doing places all the emphasis on building what in popular cliché would be known as a false dichotomy. It perpetuates divisiveness and persuades nobody else to a better way of thinking about any of the problems they’re concerned with because it fails to include anyone in the dialogue who doesn’t accept a set of assumptions that are quite simply based on a set of shared likes and dislikes and not upon cause and effect.

    Beyond those criticisms I think it is also true to say that their way of thinking and confirming a shared set of biases excludes them from being challenged to themselves find better ways of thinking about things. What they’re effectively asserting is, If it is our way and it comes from us, then it must be right and no further examination of the issues need be entertained.

    It is as Jennifer says as if the subject of their ire who happens to be outside the mothers’ club has any objections, then rule 1 of mothers’ club is that his views don’t count.

    The obvious parallel to this kind of belief system is a certain kind of political or religious ideology whereupon when it comes to public policy I think it is hardly surprising that a majority of people would rightly regard this kind of incursion into how they go about child rearing and enjoying freedoms of expression as unwarranted interference in matters of personal choice.

    If on the other hand, to go with the religious analogy, they want to drink the Kool Aid…. Then I’d urge people just don’t….


    • paul walter September 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      It’s commodifying, isn’t it?
      Like wolves splitting off sheep.
      Puts them in an isolated, defensive and untrusting frame of mind, creates the combination of righteousness and siege mentality that conservatism so adores.
      Dangerous to let others do one’s thinking for one…too tempting a cop out.


      • hudsongodfrey September 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

        Well as I see it the real danger is in that people will heavily identify with something on that basis that they think it connects with something specific and innate in them, whereas at the point where they’ve stopped thinking and started taking on other people’s ideas about this thing they don’t even realise they’re being manipulated.

        In this case we start with the phenomena known as the sexualisation of children. Something that given a few extreme examples of many people would find has little to recommend it. So finding a target that is easy not to like and conflating with a target that is really easy to hate, child abuse, allows anyone gullible enough not to question the link that is asserted between the two to get quite heated about the whole thing. Next thing you know they’ve called it feminism even while using it to wind back the clock to before the sexual revolution.

        Kind of a neat thick in a way, but the results suck!


  11. doug quixote September 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Not sure whether to thank you or not Jennifer – I could really have done without reading the arrant nonsense brayed by the fringe feminists.

    As for Reist, she doesn’t seem too fussy who or what she allies herself with, so long as the common enemy – (male) sexuality – is fulsomely attacked.

    The bacwas have been on the back foot lately, and deservedly so.


  12. samjandwich September 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    You guys are great. I honestly can’t be bothered today.

    What I do find concerning however is the rampant sexualisation of service stations. Why, in the interests of refuelling our cars, must we be reduced to performing an insertive and ejaculatory act? The length of the probiscus and the quantity of fluid involved I find quite confronting – it damages my self-esteem and forces me to call my manhood into question, thereby causing me to doubt the value of my own perspective on this issue.


    • hudsongodfrey September 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      This is a reference to the joke about the aliens and the petrol pump…right?


    • Ray (novelactivist) September 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      I always thought that because the hole was at the back that it was all rather gay, or kinky.


      • ItsBouquet September 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

        Having worked as a petrol station hand during my teens (1970’s) I can tell you that trying to pump petrol into the hole under the rear number plate of those Kingswoods was more trouble than it was worth. : )


        • Sam Jandwich September 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

          Ah, see, it was so much more satisfying having someone else do the pumping for you!

          It’s not really a reference to aliens – in fact HG I’d love to know what that joke is – but more the women as sexual service stations thing. Honestly where do these people get their ideas from? I couldn’t come up with anything quite so novelly depraved if my life depended on it.

          I’ve always thought that by positing women as being in such a position people like Mlle Drew are essentially creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, where they project this conceptualisation onto men and then set about justifying it to themselves – thereby advancing the argument that it is actually feasible to think of women in such outlandish terms. Leaving aside the fact that it is a thoroughly bizarre misinterpretation of “what men think”, it also I would argue perpetuates a propensity for feminism to influence women to keep thinking of themselves in this way.


  13. 8 Degrees of Latitude September 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m late into the argument again! These time zones and work schedules are a pest. 🙂

    But I do have to say I’m amazed that anyone could write such crap. It’s way past time some people got a life.


  14. gerard oosterman September 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    The only way to prevent pre-pubescent males falling in the clutches of carnal temptation is to sprinkle holy water over their bed-sheets, sew up their trouser’s pockets and make them think of Tony Abbott slicing a flat head just before the crack of Dawn.


    • paul walter September 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm #



  15. hudsongodfrey September 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Hey I noticed the picture with the caption, “God could not be everywhere therefore he made Mothers.”

    And of course when I put Jesus and Mothers into a search engine, guess what I came up with….




  1. Everything that is wrong with everything. Ever. | I Totally Have A Blog - September 5, 2012

    […] Dr Jennifer Wilson (@noplaceforsheep) tweeted a link to a blog post she’d written, titled Tankard Reist, motherhood and men. In the post, she takes condescending academic Dr Caroline Nora to task for her recent piece, […]


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