The Brave & The Bold: Melinda Tankard-Reist.

I have a great respect for those who go against the grain, who are strong enough in their convictions to stand up for what they believe in regardless of the cost. No one makes positive changes in the world without making some enemies or facing some discouraging attacks.

About two years ago (or around about) I was going through a break up with a guy who I truly had hoped was ‘the one.’ For a number of reasons, I can see now that he was not — but I was in a deep grief over the way that this person cruelly broke up with me. I was in the middle of a blame game because the person couldn’t do me the justice of ever giving me a real reason and release my heart in a normal and humane way.

There were a number of things in my mind that I could chalk up to the reason as to why he left me. And of course, I put all of those things on myself. Did I do something wrong? Was I not enough for him? Did I not love him enough? Was I not beautiful enough? Did he leave me because I wasn’t sure I could conceive? Perhaps things would have been different, had I not received a message from an ex of his early in our relationship, assuring me that he was cheating on her with me, among other things, so regardless of how much I wanted to love him, there was no trust in the beginning. I began thinking about other situations that took place in my relationship with him, as well as previous circumstances in past relationships.

I myself, have always been like a dog with a bone in certain areas of my life, and I don’t relent on something that I believe firmly in. Most of that pertains to how I demand to be treated. I am a firm believer in the idea that you teach people how to treat you. More so, I will be blunt in how I expect any future men to treat me based on my past (and apparently limited) experiences with the opposite sex. I did not ever want to be objectified again, I did not want to accept any boyfriend trying to coerce me in to sex or making me feel like I’m lesser of a woman for saying no. I did not want someone to leave me if it turns out that I can’t conceive. I’m a woman there is more to me than a uterus. I never ever wanted to accept the feeling of fear of the opposite sex, or mistrust because of what they would/could expect from me based on their stupid flirts in strip bars or other. If I chose to wait til marriage to have sex again — what of it? As long as I don’t spring it on someone mid-way through a relationship, then why should I be made to feel like I’ve done something wrong? I don’t want someone to treat me like their conquest — I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than let a single person conjure up all of those feelings again. And what a lonely thought…

And wow, didn’t these thoughts bring out the crazy when I jumped back in to the dating game…

I started reading Melinda Tankard-Reist’s blog in the middle of 2010 and read her book Defiant Birth which closely related to my own situations dealing with conception, pregnancy and more. Through reading her blogs, following her on twitter and reading about her campaigns, I started to realise that I was not the only one who saw degredation and misogyny in the way most men view/treat and hold expectations of women. I always felt like I was the only one who felt puzzled by females who accept any of the above treatment from men, or worse, emotional or physical abuse. Sometimes, I actually resolved that I was just being a prude or that there was something flawed in my thinking. But no, what I want/desire can be summed up in to one basic word;

Respect.

Melinda’s books and her blogs certainly helped me let go of this dizzying and false notion that my ex boyfriend was actually the one and that despite how much I pined for him, he was not who or what I wanted to accept in my life. Thus, I was able to (despite the heartache that doesn’t simply turn off) move on and deal with things a lot better. I would say that Melinda’s work was instrumental in helping me realise I could have never provided what that ex would have wanted or expected from me. And I am just one person, I can only imagine how many young women she has influenced in positive ways, how many girls who have seen themselves in victims of the things she campaigns against; porn, emotional/physical abuse, misogyny and more.

I wanted to write this post mostly about Melinda and less about me, but I wanted to point out that what Melinda Tankard-Reist is doing, is showing girls and young women (like myself) how to respect themselves. This doesn’t mean she’s pushing any views about saving yourself til marriage (apparently that’s just me!! lol) or telling girls what to do with their bodies or trying to push any such agenda. She is showing others the society for what it is — a deeply misogynistic one that, if recognised for what it is, can be fought against.

She campaigns against advertisers, corporations and popular culture media when they overstep their boundaries and put children or women at risk. In the past week and more I have seen the most disgusting and offensive things written about her by women and men alike, some of whom are supposed to be professional peers. I find it disturbing and upsetting the way people can be, but it just cements my belief that someone who is doing a good thing will always be met with road blocks and bumps along the way. Because Melinda and other feminists like herself stand up for women, it gives me a confidence to also stand up and share my thoughts and ideas (as controversial as I’ve come to realise they apparently are!) and I am surprised by just how many other women feel the same but have been previously too scared to say much as it is taboo to tell men how we really feel when they treat us certain ways.

Melinda Tankard-Reist, regardless of any beliefs she may or may not hold (Christian or other), is doing an amazing job at keeping many children (possibly yours) safe and free of sexualisation one campaign (sometimes many) at a time, along with many of her other amazing peers who support causes and campaigns that reach out to people like me who have had a very long history with being treated less-than and inferior by other people.

These people who have been saying nasty things, trolling, bleeding hatred from their nasty words with anonymous screen-names or even bold professional ones, need to be concerned with themselves. Disagreeing with her ideas or opinions is one thing, but public slander and bullying, threats of sexual abuse (something I encountered myself via twitter) is just proving every point about degredation she has ever endeavoured to make.

I think Melinda Tankard-Reist is an amazing woman, admirable, articulate, brave and courageous for being able to stand up and fight for what she believes in and what is right. She stands up for her convictions even if it is going against the grain. She deserves to be given more credit and more respect than is currently being afforded.

Thank you, Melinda, for all that you do.

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63 Comments

  1. I think that Melinda may be leading you up a false trail. She, just like you, and me, and the rest of us, have out failings. The trick, I suggest, is not to try to apportion blame, but to accept that we are all human, and all therefor fallible. The fact that I regard Melinda as a complete loser in my opinion is perhaps beside the point here. Or perhaps not: she has her own needs, however odious I find them.

    The issue of sexualisation of children I regard as a diversionary tactic by MTR. She is conveniently ignoring a lot of research so that she can promote her own agenda.

    Reply
    • Dr. Aussie Chook

       /  January 28, 2012

      Dear Atheist,

      Could you please back up your opinions?

      1) Why do you regard Melinda as a complete loser?

      2) Why do you regard the issue of sexualisation of children as a diversionary tactic?

      In order to actually show that you have a serious contribution to make to the discussion, you need to provide logical reasoning for the conclusions and opinions you offer.

      Kind regards.

      Reply
      • Pretty much.
        This is what most people do, sprout off baseless statements or accusations without bothering to elaborate on any of it. I guess people get upset because there is no argument for logic.

        Reply
        • “This is what most people do, sprout off baseless statements or accusations without bothering to elaborate on any of it. I guess people get upset because there is no argument for logic.” – How do you reconcile this comment with your ridiculous reply to my request that you back up your own baseless statements in my comment at the bottom – my goodness – talk about lacking in logic!

          Reply
      • (1) She has hired lawyer to bully a blogger who has drawn arguably valid conclusions from Melinda Tankard Reist’s own behaviour.

        (2) The sexualisation of children is irrelevant (= diversionary tactic) when it comes to (presumably) adults one of whom behaves inappropriately to the other, this resulting in the appalling experience which you suffered. MTR fails to decouple the innate curiosity of children (and, yes, they do sometimes ask questions about sex as a result of such curiosity) with bullying by one person of another and using sex as their “justification”.

        You might, of course, find this line of reasoning wholly inadequate.

        Regardless of our differences, I rejoice in that you *appear* to be recovering from a trauma.

        Reply
        • My post is pointing out the good things that MTR stands for, lol. I was sharing how her work has helped ME individually. I also listed some of the other work she does that does not relate to me personally (although it did when working in my previous job with young children).

          Anyway, maybe I’m misunderstanding… but you’re telling me mentioning her campaigns against the sexualisation of children is irrelevant in THIS particular blog post? Because… if that’s the case, I truly AM baffled. This post isn’t just about me, it’s about why I admire her work thus it is completely relevant imo.

          Thanks for your say, but I find your original comment of calling someone a complete loser to be pretty nasty from the get-go…

          Reply
          • Your points are well made.

            Let me get a “nasty” point out of the way before I proceed to what I hope are better things. I regard MTR as a complete loser because of the way that she succeeds in misdirecting others from their own person goals. But to more positive matters …

            Everybody, regardless of their own personal failings (and *please* don’t ask me to list mine, it would take far too long) will from time-to-time help others. I am glad that MTR appears to have helped you in this manner.

            As to you bafflement: let me run this past you. I have had personal experience of a sexualised 8 year-old girl asking a 35 year old male in front of her peers and in front of both her own parents and her peers’ parents a question about sex. I had to confirm with her that I had understood her question. I answered (according to all the parents present) in an appropriate manner: “Yes, they do.”. There is no way in the world that that girl would bully you (or anybody else) in the way that your male partners have so far done. This for me is a paradigm of a distinction between a sexualised girl and a rapist.

            This happened to me 30 years ago. MTR appears to present the sexualisation of girls as a recent phenomenon. (Okay, I could be wrong! See the paragraph two above!)

            It is perhaps experiences such as this that put me at such odds with MTR.

            Keep smiling! 🙂

            Reply
    • Hello Atheist, I can see you are trying to sound intelligent, but you’re not doing a very good good job of it……

      Reply
    • Hi Atheist,

      While I disagree with MTR on her views on abortion, I do however agree with her entirely on child sexualisation. I have been reading MTR’s blogs for a while and I don’t see how she ever purports to be a saint or anything else other than a woman with a opinion. A passionate opinion.

      I don’t understand how sexualisation of children can be a diversionary tactic. I think it is a real concern that children as young as four are now behaving in sexualised manner in creches. Yes, read the research.

      Reply
  2. Actually I doubt that the fact that you regard her as a complete loser is beside the point — your mind is already made up. It’s almost laughable that you find her mission against the sexualisation of children as a diversionary tactic, almost.

    No part of my post did I suggest that anyone is infallible, I am making a point that her work is actually credible, it is to be respected and that if you disagree, that’s fine, but ripping her apart and bullying her with threats of violence and abuse is inexcusable. The few that do try to engage in discussion about her work usually veil their weak arguments under the justification of free speech. Which would have some merit of course if it weren’t in regards to women being degraded time and time again.

    Reply
  3. Jai

     /  January 27, 2012

    Awww, chicken! This is a very nice post.

    “Melinda’s books and her blogs certainly helped me let go of this dizzying and false notion that my ex boyfriend was actually the one and that despite how much I pined for him, he was not who or what I wanted to accept in my life.” – because you (and I) deserve better. The best, actually.

    I loff you.

    Reply
  4. I have a lot of admiration for Melinda and others who put themselves on the line to further their cause. They are brave and amazing people. The nastiness that they endure while others out there that misuse their postiions with bullying language and behaviours are excused??? So for those that don’t agree or dislike people like Melinda, you’re entitled to that, just please leave the personal nasty attacks out of it. Because by default when it’s someone I like and admire you are also attacking me and my beliefs.

    Reply
  5. Sarah Scott

     /  January 28, 2012

    What a beautiful post. I agree wholeheartedly, and I’m a young atheist arts student!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sarah for your comment 🙂 Even before I had any meek belief in God, I still felt the way that I do. Religion has nothing at all to do with any of this, and so I cant understand why it’s been turned in to the “main issue”

      Reply
    • good-on-ya Sarah! glad to see an open minded atheist tee hee!

      Reply
      • Sarah Scott

         /  January 28, 2012

        I prefer not to say open, it implies whimsicality. I try to be as reasonable and fair as possible.

        Reply
  6. Well said – and good on you for speaking out! I agree and I think Melinda is an extremely courageous woman who is doing a wonderful job. Those who ‘get nasty’ do so because their boat is being rocked. They want to go on disrespecting and objectifying women (and, yes, in some cases, children) because it suits their own selfish agendas – so they attack anyone who has a different view. I would assume “Atheist’ falls in to this category. Anyone who has a respect for women and views them as fellow humans and peers couldn’t possibly see Melinda as a ‘loser’ or even disagree.

    Reply
    • That’s pretty much what I get from it too, Helen… and the attacks aren’t even stemming from a place of an intelligent engaging of discussion, its pure vitriol spewing out of mouths in what looks like a rage. I know for instance, when I used to work with children and they would become furious; they’d start insulting and screaming and saying nasty things in the heat of the moment thus removing any logic from the situation… And that’s pretty much what this whole situation has reminded me of.

      We try to raise children not to bully anyone and that bullying is wrong; especially in the wake of all the suicides that happened in 2011 related to bullying — but those people jump on social networks masked by their anonymity and become guilty of everything we teach children not to do or become.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment 🙂

      Reply
  7. Helen

     /  January 28, 2012

    Thanks for being brave enough to write and share this. Melinda is a hero. You will most likely come in for similar abuse for your post. We know why people resort to name calling and bullying so be encouraged and keep on aiming to raise and enlighten.

    Reply
    • Hey Helen 🙂

      I dont care, people can say what they want. I’ll delete posts from anyone who is abusive and Ill block them from twitter or whatever. I am happy to know I’m not alone, nothing else can really ruin that for me 🙂

      Reply
  8. Grateful

     /  January 28, 2012

    Wow, thanks for your openness and honesty – Great article, and I agree with you even about waiting until marriage! 🙂 There are quite a few of us women out here doing the same so never think you’re the only one.

    I’ve come to believe that growing older and being single isn’t the worst thing in the world 🙂 if the alternative means ending up in a disrespectful and or abusive marriage.

    Melinda is such an inspiration and I’m so grateful for the stand she takes on issues and that through her I can also take a stand and make my voice heard.

    Bless you both.

    Reply
    • Hey ladies! I hear you……I’m now in my mid 40s and have been married 3 years to a decent guy who wanted to wait til we were married….yep! 5 years we waited……and I gotta tell you….I spent much of my youth saying bye bye to dud relationships cos I wouldn’t ‘put out’……hey, in hind sight you wont regret it…..what i do regret now are the 2 abortions I had in my foolish 20s and 30s for sleeping around and ‘taking charge of my sexuality’ as we are deceived to think we’re doing by sleeping around…..don’t buy into it….if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything…. hugz xo

      Reply
      • Hi Lisa,
        That is a beautiful story and thanks for sharing it with me and the rest of the ladies commenting here. Also; I have the greatest compassion for women who have had abortions, I know those decisions don’t come lightly and I’m sorry you went through that — but knowing what you know now and growing up certainly does show you how far you’ve come 🙂
        xo
        J

        Reply
    • Thanks Grateful 🙂

      I really, as I said, am not the kind of person who necessarily cares about what other people think with regards to my personal choices — because at the end of the day, it really has nothing to do with anyone except the person I’m in a relationship with — but it really is nice to hear that I’m not alone.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      Reply
  9. Caitlin

     /  January 28, 2012

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    I too believe that Melinda is an inspiring woman doing incredible work all while putting up with ridiculous amounts of BS from opponents.

    You deserve to be with someone who will respect you, and I am sure you will find that person : )

    Reply
    • Thank you Caitlin 🙂

      Reply
    • I thank you for saying that my view in opposing Melinda Tankard Reist amounts to bullshit. I will confess that her trademark of “advocate for women and girls” strikes me as being covert misandry.

      Nevertheless, “VerbalInsanity” (sorry, I have not been able to find your name) deserves to find a satisfactory (that word has been chosen with great care) life partner.

      Reply
      • Kate

         /  January 29, 2012

        Atheist :
        I thank you for saying that my view in opposing Melinda Tankard Reist amounts to bullshit. I will confess that her trademark of “advocate for women and girls” strikes me as being covert misandry.

        Hi Atheist,

        I don’t think that’s the case, but from what you have said it doesn’t seem like you really understand MTR’s stance on sexualisation of children. I’d encourage you to read her book ‘Getting Real: challenging the sexualisation of girls’. It’s not too long so shouldn’t take a long time to read. Disagree with it all you want – you’re entitled to, but before you disagree with her I think it’s only fair to understand what she’s saying first.

        Reply
        • Thanks. I will try to get my hands on a copy. (Disclaimer: I may have already been prejudiced against an open reading of it given MTR’s other public statements.)

          Reply
  10. verbalinsanity :Hi Lisa,That is a beautiful story and thanks for sharing it with me and the rest of the ladies commenting here. Also; I have the greatest compassion for women who have had abortions, I know those decisions don’t come lightly and I’m sorry you went through that — but knowing what you know now and growing up certainly does show you how far you’ve come xoJ

    Yes thank you for thanking me verbal insanity….I’m having a hard time working out what is what here or how to respond to this post as there was no reply link so hope it gets where it should….yes, to say the least, now that I’m 46 and married for 3 years and we are trying for kids, it hurts even more knowing that I took so lightly the creation of life back then….ironic some would say, poetic justice…retribution others who don’t know God might say….crime and punishment….oh yes i have been through it……..these past few years….but i know this….God is not punishing me for my past, thats not His nature…..the reality is that sin has consequences…..and many are reaping what they have sown….but I’m believing for His grace and mercy to bless us with a little life in our older years…..so we can declare the goodness of God when man says we’re too old or we should use IVF….we’re trusting for God’s grace to bless us…..best way to live life methinx….

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Lisa, btw. My name is Jess 🙂

      I’ll pray for God to bless you and your husband with a child. Sometimes I believe God has our destination in mind, but in order to arrive to that destination we have to go through struggles and hardships (that we may not recognise as such at the time) as a journey along the way.

      Reply
  11. Gus

     /  January 28, 2012

    First up, I’m just going to say what’s truly in my heart: I wish I could say that I’m better than other men, but let’s face it – I’m not. I’m not saying this to fish for compliments; I’m saying it because I now realise in my heart that it is true. Yes, I said “now”, meaning that I didn’t always realise it, but I can’t deny it any longer.

    I think back to my high school years, for example. I went to a predominantly male-populated school, and I’m sure there isn’t a guy who went there who could honestly deny it today – the girls were treated like crap. For example, if a girl had large breasts then no one would talk to her, or talk about her, without her “outstanding attributes” being mentioned in the same breath. It must have made her feel very uncomfortable. What did I do about it? NOTHING. Well, OK, I did speak up once or twice, and the girls did show some appreciation for it, but for the most part I just kept quiet and “minded my own business.”

    And so, for that matter, did the girls themselves. No one did anything to speak out against the constant stream of verbal abuse that they had to endure every single day. It was just something that people accepted as “the norm”. And by doing (almost) nothing, I was no better than anyone else.

    And while my mouth might have been clean, could I truly say that my thoughts were clean? NO!!! But what people don’t know won’t hurt them, right? Wrong! But that’s a whole different story that I might leave until another time.

    So thank you, Melinda, for speaking out. Yes, it is sometimes difficult for us to hear the truth, but the truth is the truth and someone had to say it. Good on you!!

    (BTW, I will blog again very soon! I’m sorry it’s been such a long time but…dang, there I go again with the excuses…)

    Reply
    • Gus-gus, my friend.

      I don’t want my post to be mistaken, I know that not every man acts as a sociopath, and in fact there are some wonderful upstanding gentlemen in my life (you included!) and I admire those men very much — those men are the ones that keep me hopeful that I too, could find someone like that who will love and serve their wife as truly as marriage vows dictate (and vice versa) …

      I guess just in my general experience with dealing with the opposite sex, it is hard to find a man who will take a woman seriously without touting her as ‘hard work’ or, ‘too much trouble’ or a prude.

      Everyone has needs and desires and ideas and impure thoughts — I think it’s human nature — but so many let it rule them and are tricked in to thinking that it is normal and appropriate behavior.

      I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself Gus, you are a good guy! Sometimes its hard to stand up for what you believe in when you are going against the grain — I know I certainly wouldn’t have during my highschool life, but we grow up and we gain courage (well some of us!) and grow the appropriate backbone to say when something isn’t right 🙂

      Bless you, buddy!

      Reply
  12. Debs

     /  January 28, 2012

    One brave woman writing about another. That makes sense to me.

    Reply
    • luv ut,,,,think i want gus to contact me….also think that the man i married might just be the man i need to support me in all that i am to be….he just needs to know it lol….

      Reply
  13. Aunty Penny

     /  January 28, 2012

    a well-written post.

    I’m a long-time supporter of Melinda Tankard-Reist and her inspiring work to stop (or at least slow) the sexualisation of children/women/the media. I did find it confronting to hear the pro-life views she holds mentioned in the press, and to hear her attacked so violently and crudely – that was unacceptable and made me very sad and angry.

    I still struggle somewhat to understand what it means to be a pro-life feminist, as I believe safe, affordable access to abortion is an important part of a woman’s choice to live an independent life, but I’ve come to the conclusion that her amazing good work shouldn’t be overshadowed by this.

    Reply
    • I suppose that’s the point I was trying to make — that it is one thing to disagree, but to completely disregard every other single thing she stands for as hogwash or BS is so silly. I don’t agree with every single thing ANY person does in my life and it doesn’t seem to spark any need for nastiness or belittlement.

      Even if you HAVE struggled with the idea of a prolife feminist, you have still managed to intelligibly come to the resolve that what she does and stands for is still worth something, I think that speaks well of you. 🙂

      And thanks for leaving a comment!

      Reply
  14. Amanda

     /  January 28, 2012

    I don’t call myself a feminist, I call myself who is looking for sexism and to insist on the breakdown of gender role conditioning. I believe having equal representaiton of men as stay home parents and home makers in the media and eventually society, is a male issue as much as a females, is a childs issue as much as an adults and everyone, all around benefits. I believe the sexualisation of women is abhorrent and seeing how young girls are behaving and basing their whole self worth on how many men find them ‘hot’ and actually competing with other girls fro ‘hottest’ is really really worrying. The media is also socially conditioning men and telling them what they should be finding beautiful………….which again is this overly sexualised, buy more stuff and massacre your body to get there imagery, just so men can put pressure on women too, by objectification and sexualisation of those female images. When we have little girls with eating disorders, dressing in sexually provocative clothes and acting in a sexual fashion, something is very very wrong.

    I say MTR needs to keep going and more women and men need to come forward, speak out as you know, getting rid of this big male/female divide, the rubbish that is told that men are this and women are that……………the social and gender conditioning of men and women (the ridiculous ideas about us as humans and genders is just mind numbingly idiotic)……….the world would be so much of a better place, there would be much less of the bad stuff going on and everyone would win.

    Except the beauty and diet industry of course 🙂

    Welll done MTR, you are an amazing human.

    Reply
    • I agree with you in pretty much everything you’ve said here, Amanda.

      I also don’t know if I’d venture to call myself a feminist either; but I suppose I am interested in women’s issues (which as you are right in saying, are also mens issues).

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Reply
  15. Okay, so I am swimming against the tide that all of you are creating. I thank you all for keeping my grey cell exercised. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Great article. Straight from the heart. I choose not to read the comments/discussion posts.

    Reply
  17. Matthew

     /  January 29, 2012

    I really don’t know how you can say Melinda isn’t “telling girls what to do with their bodies or trying to push any such agenda”. It is quite clear she has been trying make access to abortion and to a lesser degree surrogacy as difficult as possible for over a decade and a half. She’s even written books and newspaper articles about it. It can only been seen as an agenda and in many people’s eyes it is seen as telling women what they can do with their bodies.

    As for the “sexualisation” of children or women (and one has the question why conflation of the two), there is scant evidence to suggest this is happening at all. The major reports on this, the one by Linda Papadopoulos, Corporate Paedophilia and the Bailey Review have been criticised for very poor methodology. The Bailey Review even admits that there is no evidence to support its claims. To many people they see Melinda using these reports as evidence that pop culture needs to be controlled. You can see by Melinda’s actions that she is only interested in controlling how sexuality, in particular female sexuality is portrayed in the media. She seemingly has no interest in any real issues that women have to deal with, such as inequality in the workplace or the lack of affordable childcare.

    As for you claim that society is a deeply misogynistic one, it’s really hard to believe that when we have a female prime minters, a female governor general, a couple of female premiers. In my workplace about 70% of the workforce is female. Everyone above my supervisor to the department’s secretary is female. Can you understand why I find that claim to be ludicrous? Dredging up obscure products such as t-shirts or pencil cases with half naked women on them like Melinda does, doesn’t really make for rock solid case that society is deeply misogynist.

    For whatever reason Melinda and her supports can’t seem to fathom why people are angry at her. Well the main reason are she is attempting to force her values and beliefs on the rest of the country. She has scant to no evidence that banning whatever she’s upset with this week will do anything to help anyone. Due to this lack of evidence and the fact she has had clear associations with groups like the Australian Christian Lobby stretching back as far as nearly two decades, is it not reasonable for people to assume she is no different from these groups? If Melinda had peer reviewed evidence that banning some obscure pencil case with pictures of half naked women on it, that’s only sold in a small number of shops would help society as whole, more people would listen. But she doesn’t. And considering her clear and public affiliations with the religious right, we can only assume she’s no better than someone like Mary Whitehouse. We have the right to criticise her for that, especially in a secular society.

    Reply
    • Kate

       /  January 29, 2012

      Hi Matthew,

      Yes, anyone has the right to disagree and criticise the arguments, but they don’t have the right to personal attacks.

      Reply
      • Matthew

         /  January 29, 2012

        I don’t think calling someone a Baptist can be a personal attack (regardless of if the information was right or wrong). I also think it was a fair comment for Jennifer Wilson to point out that Melinda is a little cagy when it comes to questions about her links with the religious right. Melinda’s description of her “One Plus One” interview on ABC24 as an “inquisition” was rather telling I thought. As for personal attacks on Melinda, I haven’t seen any except for a couple of off colour tweets. Most have questioned her links with the religious right and her clams of harm in terms of the pop culture items she wants banned, which I think have been rather reasonable. In particular Skeptic Lawyer’s posts on her blog have been very interesting on Melinda’s work.

        Say for example a person in the media claimed that psychology was a destructive practice and should be banned. That person had links to Scientology (a religion which rejects psychology outright), but essentially didn’t discuss them. To get a full picture of the story, shouldn’t it be the public’s right to know of those links to Scientology and shouldn’t they be freely able to discuss them?

        Reply
        • I honestly don’t understand what Christianity or her beliefs have anything to do with her views. I don’t know Melinda personally, I’ve never met her so I have no idea what her religious beliefs are — I don’t really care… nor do most of my friends who have read in to her work who appreciate what she does. And if you haven’t seen personal attacks, you might want to look a little harder. I made the mistake of clicking on twitter and seeing things, that if said about me, would make me want to crawl away and hide from the world.

          “As for the “sexualisation” of children or women (and one has the question why conflation of the two), there is scant evidence to suggest this is happening at all.”

          Crap. Are you actually kidding me? Hypersexualisation is every single place you look. Are you telling me that you truly believe from the abyss of whatever that you cant SEE with your very own eyes just how society has changed as a reflection of how children and young women act (perhaps these two; “children & young women” are not related, I chose to put them in the same context; children being exposed to a sex culture, young girls living to live up to said sex culture) … if you can’t see it, you are blind… There are professionals from every which where that don’t subscribe to Melinda’s ideas but can still agree that this is real and this is happening.

          Reply
          • Matthew

             /  January 29, 2012

            “I honestly don’t understand what Christianity or her beliefs have anything to do with her views”.

            They colour her views. It’s the religious belief that forms her views. It is not based on any science or peer reviewed research. It’s her core beliefs which she wants to impose on others. Any evidence she presents is sketchy and debatable at best. People have a right to know where she is coming from in this case. If she presented strong evidence to prove her case, then her faith wouldn’t factor into any of this. Please see my example of the hypothetical Scientologist who wants to remove all psychology above.

            “Hypersexualisation is every single place you look. Are you telling me that you truly believe from the abyss of whatever that you cant SEE with your very own eyes just how society has changed as a reflection of how children and young women act”

            Really? What abyss? How has society changed for the worse exactly? I’ll say again, all of the reports produced so far, the Bailey Report etc, have been criticised for lacking evidence. Most are pretty scant on statics or peer reviewed data.

            “children being exposed to a sex culture, young girls living to live up to said sex culture) … if you can’t see it, you are blind…”

            What sex culture is this? Is there something wrong with sex?

            Reply
  18. I am constantly seeing the accusation that Melinda is being subjected to horrible, vicious personal attacks…yet after having read blog and 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 you, and other MTR supporters, keep making this unsupported claim against anyone who disagrees with your 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 regulalry – 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.

    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 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 agendas.

    Please – I challenge you to show me real links to these so-called horrible vicious personal attacks upon MTR or her supporters then perhaps I will change my mind. But for now I think its a bit rich of MTR to claim to be the bullied one given her attack upon Dr Wilson and the rights of writers and bloggers everywhere to free speech and a contrary opinion.

    One question I wish she 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??

    Reply
    • Whatever view one takes of MTR (and I will freely confess to regarding her opinions as being highly odious), I am tempted to accepted her claim that she has been subjected “horrible vicious personal attacks” (I presume via electronic means). There are, after all, people who lack the communication skills to communicate their anger and contempt by more accurately measured words.

      As a follow-on from your last paragraph, it concerns me as a male that she *appears* to be trying to establish female supremacy by back-door means. I would be far less concerned if she espoused the notion of “us”, rather than “women” and “men”.

      Reply
      • 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 Coffe 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 (above) 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

        People are disagreeing yes, but I see little actual abuse. Occasionally someone loses their temper, as I did once, 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 seperate article.. It’s baffling quite frankly.. I think this abuse exists only in the mind 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.

        Reply
        • TBH, I dont have the energy to reply in great detail and considering this was merely my personal account of why I support her through the BS abuse that’s being hurled her way, but let me just confirm that they were not just “claims” of a coffee cup or tshirt comments, I saw it myself and continued to have a back and forth with the absolute sweetheart who made that “claim”. Not only that, that wasn’t all, just the one I bothered to challenge on behalf of Melinda.

          They are not just exaggerations. I am still receiving abusive and sexually aggressive messages because of my mere support of Melinda … so please dont play it down or try to make it seem like she has exaggerated anything.

          Reply
          • Evidence? I see none before me.. As I said
            “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.”
            So until you put up – I can only conclude you are making it up…prove me wrong and spare me your Faux weariness – you have enough energy to respond (here and elsewhereI believe) – have the guts to show me where and why I am incorrect. My assertion is that this constant claim of abuse is a nonsense – and trotting out two mean unsubstantiated comments does prove the case for a Campaign of hatred and vitriol..I beleive I quoted some of your own comments above – back em up!

            Reply
            • Penelope

               /  February 1, 2012

              A Moron; Someone who goes to a personal blog site and demands research-based evidence or evidence of any kind to back-up statements that have been made in a “personal blog” which that someone has CHOSEN of their accord to read. Quite simply.

              MTR rocks! She has given a voice to many opinions and feelings and is basically trying to promote the ideology of questioning certain behaviors both personal and other. And again, Melinda Tankard-Resit expresses herself on forums of which you are not forced to participate in or comment on, but when you do it’s only ever to attack her for holding such an opinion in the first place.

              If you don’t like her opinion or her views isn’t it a waste of your time to be negatively commenting on this blog site and her blog site (or any other forum of which she expresses her views).

              I would ask you, sir, isn’t this just a colossal waste of your time? I’m even imagining that you are reading THIS comment and wasting even MORE of your time chasing after dreams that you apparently have no interest in!

              Why don’t you find Leslie Cannold articles so that you have someone’s opinion of whom you obviously agree with and can spend productive time researching all the evidence-based articles that you could possible need!

              … Just a thought.

              🙂

              Reply
              • You if I am a moron for expecting this Blog to back up the claims it made – then what is MTR for demanding (with legal menaces) exactly the same thing from Dr Wilson? methinks you don’t see the delicious irony of your statement (blind defence)…Perhaps Melinda should have CHOSEN not to read Jennifer’s personal blog..dear dear..

                Reply
  19. 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..???

    Reply
    • I don’t have to give you “evidence” of anything. I dont care if you take me at word value or if you think that I am full of it, lol. This is my BLOG this is not a close study that I’ve worked on for weeks, this was a blog of my opinions, thoughts and feelings on this situation and given my dealings with these repugnant excuses for “free speech” supporters. It’s nice that you’ve come and left your opinion, for whatever it is worth, but you understand that this is a blog and I don’t really even feel compelled to research and provide you with any such information regardless of who you are, what you think or whatever you think you know. If you’re saying that I’m a liar, that’s just fine, I can live with that.

      Happy day!

      Reply
  20. A link, a link, my kingdom for a link. Pretty sure I wasn’t asking for “research” I was asking you to back up the claims you yourself made about on-line abuse. Obviously you can’t. Well that’s me done here. I thought you were wanting to actually engage with the debate in all it’s various forms, but this is obviously just a fanclub. I shall bid you adieu and remove myself to more interesting discussions. Good luck with that hero worship – I hope the feet of clay won’t disappoint you too much.

    Reply

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