Reist, porn and sexualisation.

11 Dec

Porn-Its-Cheaper-than-dating

 

For a long time now, I’ve wondered how Melinda Tankard Reist is able to conduct her extensive and lengthy campaign against the “sexualisation” of girls, without addressing the sexual abuse of children.

I can think of no more powerfully destructive act of “sexualisation” than childhood sexual abuse, and yet Ms Reist goes nowhere near it, choosing instead to shame various outlets into withdrawing whatever product she currently believes is causing the “sexualisation” of children.

As the Royal Commission into CSA continues to demonstrate, the sexual abuse (and inevitable real sexualisation) of children was occurring long before there was an Internet, long before there was anything like the licentious climate Reist claims exists today, and long before the creation and availability of any of the clothing, toys, music clips and magazines that she currently holds responsible for “sexualisation.” What child victims wear had and has no bearing on a paedophile’s decision to molest her or him.

I continue to maintain that if an adult sees a child dressed in a “sexual” manner and assumes an invitation, there is something seriously awry with that adult’s perceptions. A dressed-up child is still a child, not a sexualised being, “sexualised” implying that the child’s purpose has become to provide sex by virtue of her appearance. Only a dangerously perverted thinker would make such an assumption.

Popular sexual culture is like the hydra: as soon as Ms Reist chops off one head another one grows. Which will, of course, guarantee her a career and an income. Popular sexual culture might be a symptom, but is never a cause, and sexuality is always a reliable source of fuel for moral indignation and the impulse to ideological control.

However, what has brought Tankard Reist to mind is her appearance on an ABC 2 program on pornography the other evening. In anticipation of the program, activist and academic Caroline Norma published a piece on ABC Ethics and Religion, castigating the ABC for giving a platform to the dirty business of pornography. You see the common motif: porn is dirty, and morally wrong like “sexualising” clothes and raunchy music videos, and shame on aunty for giving it airtime because we know how well repression, censorship and prohibition work for us.

One of the things that disturbs me about Reist’s opposition to porn is her definition of that genre. She and her followers are wont to wax eloquent about “true intimacy,” and “real loving relationships” etc, which to me suggests Reist considers she has somehow acquired the right to define what is “true” and “real” in sexual relations and is compelled to foist her definitions on the rest of us.

“True’ and “real” seem, in this context, to require marriage, or at the very least long-term commitment, with the qualifier that it only applies to heterosexuals.

Another aspect that disturbs me is Reist’s penchant for lumping together all kinds of porn, from snuff movies to amateur and everything in between, as being equally destructive and harmful to health, well-being, and intimate relationships. It’s like saying all food is harmful because Macca’s burgers don’t get the Heart Foundation tick of approval.

There must be no porn of any kind, and we must not have sex with anyone unless we are willing to commit our lives to them.

Personally, I would not enjoy being fucked to camera by some dude whose only asset worthy of note was a long schlong. The reasons why women engage in the manufacture of porn are many and varied, and how much choice or freedom is involved is as variable. I can’t for the life of me see how any of these variables can be addressed and redressed by forcing Coles to withdraw a Zoo magazine.

I have no doubt, however, that Ms Reist and her followers get a lovely warm glow when they do force the withdrawal or banning of one thing or another. While they are glowing, sex trafficking continues unabated. Child sexual abuse continues unabated. Sexual assault continues unabated. They are, as my first husband would say, pissing against the wind.

There are very real and very frightening and certainly criminal acts of sexual expression in which there is no consent, that no society ought to tolerate. If we are raising boys who believe they have the right to demand from girls sexual acts girls do not wish to perform, then we are raising misogynistic male supremacists, and Zoo magazine is an expression of that culture, not the cause. You can burn all the lads mags you want: it won’t stop those particular lads wanting to forcibly sexually subjugate girls.

“Sexualisation” and “pornification” take place within a context: the context of the inequalities of patriarchy, the demands of capitalism, and religious notions of what is and isn’t sexually moral. It’s only by tackling these impositions on humanity that we’ll ever make inroads into exploitative and non consensual sexual practices.

But hey, if it’s band aids you want, Reist’s website provides you with a long list of what not to buy for Christmas, and where not to buy it. But there are other ways to get a nice warm glow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 Responses to “Reist, porn and sexualisation.”

  1. Fiona December 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    Tankard Reist is worth as much headspace as her former employer (and no doubt mentor) Senator Harradine.

    Child sexual abuse? Meh.

    Something that ‘offends’ against church (pseudo) morality? Ooh yeah!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sam jandwich December 11, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Heh, I should think Ms Tankard Reist would also want to censor pissing against the wind. Filthy as!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson December 12, 2015 at 6:05 am #

      My first husband has lots of succinct phrases. We were together last weekend at a family thing and it all came flooding back to me

      Like

  3. paul walter December 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

    They don’t do the grimy bits in Brady Bunch world.

    Btw, its actually sad to watch various administrators hauled before the string of inquiries into child abuse. The crassness and ineptness of the replying to questions has been eye opening.

    It is terribly tempting to surmise on Tankard Reist’s own love life, but I sense a bit of a trap in getting that far into prurient speculation in working her out.

    She may well be right about suggesting some types of sex work are dangerous for women, but you never see too much about funding and existence of auxiliary services for women and girls who need to get clear of psychologically damaging situations.

    There is something odd about what she will or won’t touch. In the end, you have wonder if the honest anger of some the other scribble sistas is not preferable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • suracim December 11, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

      Just starting reading your stuff. Excellent blog. Always disliked MTR. And I can’t abide the sanctimonious b^%%$#!t she writes about most things. Totally ignoring childhood abuse indeed! The churches have a helluva lot to answer for. MTR continues to profit from others’ misery. Bye!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson December 12, 2015 at 6:04 am #

      No, PW, don’t go into her private world you may never get out!
      She is right in some of her observations about sex work.
      And yes, odd is the word. Plus she seems to me to go to great pains to use language she thinks makes her appear open-minded such as “gaping arseholes” on tv the other night which took a few ppl unawares.

      Like

  4. hudsongodfrey December 11, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Maybe we can suggest this item for her to cross off her Christmas list?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-11/george-pell-too-unwell-to-give-evidence-at-child-sex-inquiry/7021846

    No attack on actual abusers of children, and no attack on sex slavery. Those being two things that we not only know are wrong but can empirically argue are far worse that whether some young guy is waxing his carrot to Pornhub or the Victoria’s secret catalog. Their priorities are infuriating, but I’ve long since stopped trying to understand religious fervor, or for that matter defer to calling it anything but what it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hudsongodfrey December 12, 2015 at 12:33 am #

      P.S. You were right MTR appeared shambolic on that Porn panel and almost ruined the whole thing.

      Others who haven’t seen it might want to watch The Hack on iView while it lasts. It struck me as hilarious that the couple with the most enviable relationship were the two who liked to watch porn together, whereas the Christian couple had such an obviously dysfunctional relationship that it was uncomfortable to watch.

      Posted something on the ABC R&E page you linked to after I read it. I don’t know if they’ll publish it, but imagine not knowing porn actresses work under aliases!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson December 12, 2015 at 5:59 am #

        I’ll have a look.
        I was also struck by the disparity between those couples, and on whose side contentment seemed to have landed!!

        Like

    • Jennifer Wilson December 12, 2015 at 6:00 am #

      waxing his carrot – that’s a new one to me HG and I’m rather taken with it.

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey December 12, 2015 at 10:38 am #

        Stolen from a line in George Carlin’s 10 Commandments monologue.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. doug quixote December 12, 2015 at 12:50 am #

    “Ms Reist and her followers get a lovely warm glow . . . pissing against the wind.”

    Perhaps their piss is the source of the warmth. :))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson December 12, 2015 at 5:57 am #

      I’m reminded of having to pee in the snow last time I was in the mountains

      Like

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 12, 2015 at 11:04 am #

        And the old military survival exhortation ‘Don’t eat yellow snow’.

        Liked by 1 person

        • hudsongodfrey December 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

          I thought it was just Frank Zappa, “Watch out where the Huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow.”

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Hawkpeter December 12, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    MTR types had no impact on the advance of Bobby Socks and Elvis’ hips; she’ll have no impact on porn either.

    What she does do, is take oxygen from a potential modern role modelling of sexuality that understands the pluralism of it, the pride within it and responsibilities that we have to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. paul walter December 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Just woke up to the caption leading into the thread starter, “Porn- Cheaper than Dating”.
    I haven’t been able to get of the deck for ten minutes, my face is hurting from the obstinate and fixed smirk and my chest is sore.

    You really are an authentic hard boiled egg, JW.

    A bit like the last commentator at NM’s series on Ford it was, where the writer complained of men “not texting” her after a night’s naughties. This, from a doctoral candidate?

    The mellow glow I’ve basked in since Jegga’s stunning goal and our soccer win last night has turned to euphoria, even ecstacy.

    It’s intensified by the dark side humour in some of the comments in the thread and the joy is compounded as I have just come into in recall of the time Jane Hutcheon sliced up the MTR during an interview. Kohl Eyes/ Big Hair doesn’t do live tel at all well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson December 12, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      An authentic hard boiled egg – I just got up off the carpet from laughing at that PW.

      But I’m not a doctoral candidate, I’m an actual doctor. So, trust me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter December 13, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

        Yeah Oi trussya…I fink.

        Like

      • suracim December 16, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

        Enjoying your blog. Some lively peeps here. Do you have prescribing rights too, as a doctor, I mean can you give folks a script for living a better life (bugger the drugs, not my thing)? I find the world is such a wearisome, sad and sorry place to be at times, esp with the likes of MTR, Miranda Devine and so on telling us how to live blah blah blah.
        I love the sound of your family gatherings (I just read the post about the name days). Beautiful children. You clearly get much joy from your extended family. That is a wonderful thing. Bye!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson December 17, 2015 at 6:31 am #

          Thanks suracim, no I don’t have any prescriptions other than to do the best I can, which is frequently inadequate but what the hell, I’m here to learn.
          And stay away from fuckwits who make me feel bad whenever possible….but sometimes they seem so charming at first….
          🙂

          Like

        • paul walter December 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

          Suracim, am offering up the following not because it is especially profound, but the writer’s sentiments tend to follow your own and it may have you feel a bit better to see someone writing an ABC op ed who is also a bit sceptical as to how things are turning out: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/bradley-humankind-went-backwards-in-2015/7036016

          Liked by 1 person

  8. townsvilleblog December 13, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    In my mind you can’t discuss one without the other, I have a good friend (female) who was sexually abused by her grandfather, she is 48 years old now, but she is still screwed up emotionally and has trouble with mental illness bipolar she is a lovely person and it is extremely sad to watch her go through life with a mind poisoned from the age of 6.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter December 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      Yes..unfortunately there is the reality…I think it is a good comment.

      But society seems pretty much homogenised and heterogenised and my despair is that even if many atomised people abhor what you describe, how to you get through to Bogan culture, as we’ve seen on enviro and refugees/Muslims to name just two examples, every attempt at reason is met with a sort of Murdochian smirk from the stringpullers and the implicit message, “hands off, they’re mine”.

      Think of the USA, the place could lead us out of the Dark Ages. Their bogans take the form of a huge, informal and armed militia ready to strike at anything approaching even a change to the ambience of things let alone changes that could be made that would substantially benefit most people (including the oligarchs themselves, if they only could realise it)..

      Instead, what we get is consent manufacture, dumbing down, the Death of the University, education and discourse in general and non stop sense and sensibility jarring infotainment throughout media and press.

      Like

  9. Stephen March 8, 2017 at 12:17 am #

    That ‘warm glow’ you say Reist feels when something is withdrawn from sale is the same ‘warm glow’ a police officer feels when they see the breathalyser needle hit 0.05%. It’s power – whether over a person’s immediate liberty or over their ability to buy things you feel are ‘bad’.

    (It also tells us that we are selecting the wrong people to uphold the law – but that is a much lengthier discussion.)

    Like

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