Campaigner Melinda Tankard Reist to speak out against adland sexualisation of kids at Mumbrella360

Melinda tankard reistOutspoken anti sexploitation campaigner Melinda Tankard Reist is to speak at Mumbrella360 in a bid to persuade the audience that too much advertising crosses the line.

Tankard Reist – who co-founded the Collective Shout for a World Free of Sexploitation organisation – wrote one of the most commented Mumbrella has ever published when she argued that advertisers were sexualising kids and objectifying women.

Tankard Reist’s books have included Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls, and Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry.

She is also a columnist for the Sunday Herald Sun and a regular media commentator.

mUmBRELLA360logo 2012Mumbrella360 takes place on June 6 and 7. Earlybird tickets are available on the conference website until the end of next week.

Comments


  1. Abe
    18 Apr 12
    2:28 pm

  2. I have followed Melinda’s work for quite some time and she always nails it with really credible backup for her ideas.
    Looking forward to hearing her speak at 360.

  3. Matt
    18 Apr 12
    4:35 pm

  4. Oh no, not Tankard Reist who is perpetually ‘outraged’.

    She may have some good points re the sexualisation of kids, but she goes over the top and her loopy band of fellow perpetually outraged followers who love to comment here on Mumbrella drive me crazy!

  5. Courtney
    18 Apr 12
    5:11 pm

  6. Oh to be in the audience of an intelligent and necessary champion of women and children today. A lot of love for MTR.

  7. Abe
    18 Apr 12
    5:47 pm

  8. Over the top? The issues she is ‘outraged’ about are serious enough to go over the top for, if that’s what it is. Overly sexualised ads are just plain lazy creative and do more harm then good, IMHO.

  9. AdGrunt
    18 Apr 12
    10:02 pm

  10. Here we go again.

    *** Paging Matthew ***

  11. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    6:53 am

  12. Abe, hand wringing over a few obscure adverts and products is not serious enough to warrant anyone’s attention. Especially when she’s a self described “advocate for women and girls” yet ignores the actual issues that women are concerned about. She thinks the solution to every social problem is censorship. With her it’s all about fear of sexuality, with a focus on public depictions of women’s sexuality and also their reproductive choice. She doesn’t have a lick of evidence for most of her claims. For example a recent post on her blog claims that company Lorna Jane has “aligned itself with the pro-anorexia movement” due to one single image while ignoring the rest of the campaign. Is Mumbrella getting anyone else to speak so there’s a little bit of balance (or sanity)?

  13. anon_coward
    19 Apr 12
    9:33 am

  14. Not sure too many want to speak for the sexualisation of children in the media, but hey you never know!

  15. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    10:00 am

  16. anon_coward, there’s no evidence that “sexualisation of children in the media” is even happening as such. The onus is MTR to provide evidence that a) sexualisation of children in the media is deliberate and widespread, b) that it affects children negatively, c) that censorship is the answer. So far she has provided no evidence on all three. And as for the definition of “children”, is that a five year old or a teenager?

  17. Abe
    19 Apr 12
    10:26 am

  18. Matthew, do you have kids? I do, and since having a little girl, it has heightened my awareness of this issue. Before I had her, I didn’t even think about it to be honest.

    This article from the AMA may be of interest. http://ama.com.au/node/7672

    As for obscure, I’m not sure that’s quite right. It’s a mainstream issue.

    As for evidence, there’s plenty around. I’m not saying that clever creative should be banned, (and in my line of work I see loads of it, every day) but what I’m suggesting is that blatant ads using sexual themes to sell products, especially when they are in the public arena, should have a level of censorship.

    4 year old girls don’t need to grow up thinking to be someone they have to be ‘sexy’. Little girls should be able to be little girls. I’m not sure anyone could really argue with that?

    Ok, that is all :)

  19. Ricki
    19 Apr 12
    10:32 am

  20. Matthew,

    MTRs concern about the Lorna Jane campaign is not the image. I know this because I read her post on it. Its the language used in the headline which is alarmingly close to a well known pro-anorexia slogan, used on many pro-anorexia websites. You don’t have to do a lot of research to find the connection.

    I’m interested to hear what MTR has to say but I wouldn’t say I am either pro or con at this stage. On some issues I think she has a point (btw, sexualisation in advertising doesn’t have to be ‘deliberate’ to exist), and on other issues I remain unconvinced.

    Lets hear what she has to say. In the meantime, lets not cloud the issue by making erroneous claims as to what she represents. Its not helpful and makes you look biased.

  21. Ricki
    19 Apr 12
    10:39 am

  22. Further…I remember my 4 or 5 year old nephew asking me “Why are all the ladies in this magazine naked?”. He was holding up a copy of Who magazine. I asked him to show me. He went through and pointed out ads for moisturiser, underwear, makeup. work out equipment etc. where the women in the ad were wearing not much at all.

    I was aghast because in my eyes these ads weren’t remotely problematic. In his mind, these women were ‘naked’. It reconfirmed for me that I cannot presume to know how someone else is affected, by something I’m inured to after years working in advertising.

  23. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    10:55 am

  24. The issue of whether I have or do not have children is irrelevant. Evidence for the sexualisation of children will not magically appear if I have offspring. There’s been a dozen inquiries into the so called sexualisation of children in the US, UK and Australia all of them lack any evidence to say it’s happening. Why do we need another? The only one of any substance is the “Sexualised goods aimed at children: a report to the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee” report from a couple of years back. I wrote this in the other MTR article, but I’ll repeat it again;

    “[The Scottish report] considers the drawbacks of the [American Psychological Association report (2007)] and [the Australia Institute’s “Corporate Paedophilia”] reviews. “[T]here is no indication [in the APA report] that the media might contain any positive images about human relationships, or that children might critically evaluate what they see.”

    “The Scottish review also notes that “[s]uch accounts often present the sexualisation of children as a relatively recent development, but it is by no means a new issue … While the public visibility of the issue, and the terms in which it is defined, may have changed, sexualised representations of children cannot be seen merely as a consequence of contemporary consumerism.” It also notes that previous coverage “rests on moral assumptions … that are not adequately explained or justified.”

    Note that last line. I agree that “little girls should be able to be little girls”, but some self appointed judge of morality and her cohorts shouldn’t be able dictate to an entire nation what products or advertising should be banned. No one has the right not to be offended.

  25. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    11:14 am

  26. Ricki, you will note on Melinda’s facebook page that many people completely disagree with her interpretation of the language used in the Lorna Jane advert. MTR has a blog, written several books, appears regularly on Sunrise and he Moring Show, has a semi regular column in a widely read Sunday tabloid and speaks frequently at various places. She has more than enough opportunity to get her ideas across. Am I not allowed to criticise her what she says, especially when she provides little to no evidence to back up her claims?

  27. Ricki
    19 Apr 12
    11:49 am

  28. Matthew, of course thats your prerogative, as it is the prerogative of others to disagree with her. Didn’t suggest you don’t have that right. Was pointing out that the issue was not the image (as you mentioned previously) but the language used by Lorna Jane. Your comment was misleading and if we are going to have a rational debate about these things, the detail matters.

    For the record I don’t believe there was any deliberate intent on the part of Lorna Jane to allude to the pro-anorexia slogan. But I think thats one of the points MTR is making….these things are out there and perhaps we need to be more aware of them.

  29. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    12:17 pm

  30. Oh the irony of you calling my language “misleading” when we’re talking about MTR… When MTR writes the following on her blog; “Sarah McMahon of BodyMatters Australasia says Lorna Jane has aligned itself with the pro-anorexia movement”, well what do you call that exactly? Where’s the evidence for that statement (and isn’t it rather defamatory to Lorna Jane)? If we’re talking details, how about MTR comes up with the evidence to prove her outlandish claims?

    You say that MTR brings things like this to more people’s attention, but isn’t that counterproductive? Most of what she complains about is obscure and most people never see this stuff. If what she is saying is true, isn’t she causing more harm by exposing this material to a wider audience than originally intended?

  31. Ricki
    19 Apr 12
    12:30 pm

  32. Matthew I think thats the point of listening to what she was to say. To hear the evidence (or not) so we can see if there is anything in it.

    Its not ironic to say you were misleading in your previous comment. Its a fact. Own that. If MTR is making false or erroneous statements that doesn’t make yours any more accurate.

    As to “You say that MTR…”. I didn’t say that at all. See above. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  33. Courtney
    19 Apr 12
    12:48 pm

  34. @Matthew As well as a speaker, MTR is also an author. Perhaps your ignorance to this fact contributes to your belief that she has no evidence to back up her claims. The fact is, this woman’s got evidence and research and lots of it. I strongly recommend 2 of her books; Getting Real, and Big Porn Inc.

    “Most of what she complains about is obscure and most people never see this stuff. If what she is saying is true, isn’t she causing more harm by exposing this material to a wider audience than originally intended?”

    ^ Wow. I suggest you advise the ad companies that you and ‘most people’ never see advertisements and marketing.
    And no, ‘exposing this material’ does not cause ‘more harm’. It instead introduces and encourages critical and analytical thinking when it comes to the media we are swamped by. Perhaps you’re yet to be enlightened by this type of thinking…?

  35. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    2:39 pm

  36. Courtney, in my post @ 11:14 am, I said “MTR has a blog, written several books[...]”. I am quite aware of her books and read two of them. Just because she has written books about abortion, “sexualisation” and pornography doesn’t mean she’s an expert in any of those fields. It also doesn’t mean there is any evidence in any of those books to back up any of her claims (and there isn’t and evidence in her books). I keep asking for evidence (i.e. names of peer reviewed scientific papers), but all I getting back is statements like “there’s lots of evidence”. Just stating there is evidence without citing what it is, ISN’T evidence.

    Also not all advertising is marketed at a mainstream audience. Some is targeted to a specific. Obviously I’m not in the demographic the advertising MTR complains about, because I hardly see those ads. As for encouraging critical and analytical thinking, well I don’t accept things at face value, especially by people claiming that images in advertising “harm” women and children. Especially when that harm is not explicitly defined nor is there any evidence to show that there is a link between them. I also question why conflation between women and children and MTR’s implying that they are unable to think critically. One can only ask why MTR and her supporters are unharmed by such material while the rest of us plebs will have deep psychological scars by just viewing it. Therefore if MTR is correct, isn’t irresponsible to continue to keep republishing these images on her website?

    Ricki, I’ll quote what you said; “But I think thats one of the points MTR is making….these things are out there and perhaps we need to be more aware of them”. So MTR is making people aware of these ads by republishing them and commenting on them, isn’t she? And is she not bringing these adverts to a larger audience?

  37. AdGrunt
    19 Apr 12
    3:00 pm

  38. Keep going, kids.

    If those in favour of MTR could define a quantifiable measure of success, that would really help. This will of course require a quatifiable picture of current “failure”.

    If you could also explain the apparent “Third Person effect” which shield(ed) us here from becoming paedophiles, prostitutes and pornographers, yet compels those women and children of a more feeble nature to do so, then that would be great. I’d really appreciate you explaining that abject lack of correlation or causality between the advent of mass media and sexual crime.

    As you were.

  39. Abe
    19 Apr 12
    3:10 pm

  40. Does anyone where even wonder why we are even debating this?

    What barrows are being pushed? I just want to look after and shelter my 20 month old daughter from stuff she shouldn’t be exposed to. That’s my barrow.

    Over and out.

  41. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    3:30 pm

  42. Abe, I’m sure MTR knows exactly what barrow’s she’s pushing, even if she denies it and attempts to cover it up. As for looking after your daughter, you’re the parent, it’s your job. Do you plan on hiding every bit of exposed flesh in the media from her and forms of female sexuality until she’s 18? How about educating her about the media at appropriate stages rather than trying the change the world to fit your standards and morals?

  43. Courtney
    19 Apr 12
    3:31 pm

  44. Advertising and media is by large a reflection of our society and has always been. Take advertising of cleaning and cooking products in the 1950s for example. Today, we scoff at their obvious portrayal of sexism and gender stereotyping, yet in their time little would have been said to oppose them. Today we are presented with ads in a larger concentrate than ever before. Their power and presence is undeniable. And increasingly these ads depict women and girls as sexual objects. THAT is why people like MTR do what they do. Sexualised images of women and girls tell the audience that this is what women were made for, this is what they do, this is what a woman should be – EXACTLY as they did in the 1950s – and equally untrue. Being a man is no reason for you to not realise the power of advertising and what it is doing not only to women but men as well.

    Just putting it out there.. I wonder what the ideal woman of today’s man is like? What are her qualities? Is she permanently half-naked with perfect makeup, open legs, a come-hither gaze,pumped up breasts and 24/7 sexual availability? Because that’s the girl I, as a 17yo, is presented with as Hot, Sexy, Wanted, Desired, Popular, Normal; and therefore if I don’t achieve imitation of her I am less of a woman or I am not ‘woman enough’ or I’m a prude or the boys won’t want me ra ra ra. Now, obviously I don’t believe that. But why not? With the HELP and WORK of the intelligent, concerned, aware, analytical, academic woman that is MTR I can see that my value and worth as a woman and as a human being lies far deeper. Of course I myself have these qualities and am not as easily led astray by the media as I may be implying, but remove Melinda/Collective Shout and the similar organisations and I, and girls like me, would feel unworthy and unrepresented, and as teens and young impressionable girls who are trying to fit in and find a place – we feel abnormal and weird. We’d be left to compete with the aforementioned ‘ideal woman’ because where is the truth in media that says women are not made for men’s sexual gratification and that our worth is not based on our attractiveness or sexual ability? Where in advertising is an alternative represented? I can’t even turn to so-called women’s magazines because what I said before is echoed.

    Whether you believe it or not, MTR is an advocate for Me. In my opinion that is evidence enough of her credibility and of the need for her fight for a world free of sexploitation.

    (Ps Abe, I salute you and the women in your life will too.)

  45. Ricki
    19 Apr 12
    3:32 pm

  46. Matthew, you’re taking my quote out of context and then adding ideas to it that are not material to my point.

    I was referring to awareness of the pro-anorexia slogan, not the ad. I certainly wasn’t aware of the pro-anorexia slogan before this debate. I’m sure if Lorna Jane had been aware of it they might have reconsidered their use of language. I don’t see it as a bad thing that marketers are made more aware of how certain things can be co-opted or perceived by different groups, regardless of how niche or invalid someone else may find them. If the marketer has full understanding of the potential issue, they can then make a calculated decision to proceed as planned, or not.

  47. no-one important
    19 Apr 12
    3:34 pm

  48. Oh not her again. The arrogant smugness of this self-righteous overexposed opinionated man hating advertising hating woman and her everyone is wrong except me and the people who agree with me is astounding.

    Do Melinda and her band of moral outrage associates go after the child beauty pageant sect or just the advertising industry and ads they deem – and therefore so should the rest of the world – inappropriate?

    Some questions:
    Do they go after the reprehensible Kim Kardashian’s and Paris Hilton’s of the world that have far more negative influence on young women than any ad campaign?

    Do they go after the Women’s magazines (New Idea, Woman’s Day, Women’s Weekly etc.) with bikini clad celebrities on the cover at supermarket counters?

    Do they go after Disney where you have to marry a Prince to be happy ever after?

    Did they go and talk to the screaming, crying girls holding placards with inappropriate sexualised messages to One Direction?

    Did they come to the defence of the Nova receptionist who was threatened by One Direction fans and their mothers? Quite possibly the same mothers who are outraged by the sexualisation of women in advertising.

    Do they go after the music industry or TV networks who show music clips with adult content on Saturday and Sunday mornings?

    Do they set up centres for young women who are blind drunk at 3 in the morning and talk to them about how that is not appropriate behaviour?

    Or is it just the advertising industry because it’s an easy to rally outrage target.
    I for one am sick to death of people sitting on their moral high-horse ramming their opinions down my throat with the ‘I’m always right and if you don’t agree you’re wrong’ attitude. Talk about narcissistic.

  49. Ricki
    19 Apr 12
    3:47 pm

  50. @Matthew @Adgrunt

    I’m keen to see the discussion and listen to the debate. I’m assuming you have no objections to people hearing ideas and research and then deciding whether or not they agree with them speaker. That being the case, perhaps you could offer yourselves to Mumbrella to provide the counterpoint within the 360 environment, so the audience can hear your thoughts and evidence to the contrary?

  51. Courtney
    19 Apr 12
    3:53 pm

  52. @ no-one important, you have just brainstormed 7 potential campaigns based on 7 issues evident to you that are affecting women. 7! And you’re not even siding with MTR! Tell me this is a wake up call that something is not right!?

  53. Courtney
    19 Apr 12
    4:01 pm

  54. @Matthew, your suggested method of ‘educating her about the media at appropriate stages rather than trying [to] change the world to fit your standards and morals’ is a method that, may I suggest, will have an affect… yet exemplify a passive and have-a-chat approach about issues. Are we raising earholes or hands and feet? Earholes are susceptible. Hands and feet make change.

  55. Abe
    19 Apr 12
    4:03 pm

  56. No-one important ( hey, how about we know who we’re talking to here – I’m out and proud:)…

    In answer to your points, from my understanding of CS….

    Do they go after the reprehensible Kim Kardashian’s and Paris Hilton’s of the world that have far more negative influence on young women than any ad campaign?

    Yes. More the machine BEHIND the girls rather then the girls themselves….

    Do they go after the Women’s magazines (New Idea, Woman’s Day, Women’s Weekly etc.) with bikini clad celebrities on the cover at supermarket counters?

    Not sure, ask MTR.

    Do they go after Disney where you have to marry a Prince to be happy ever after?

    That’s just silly. Come on:)

    Did they go and talk to the screaming, crying girls holding placards with inappropriate sexualised messages to One Direction?

    Yes, they talked to every girl individually.

    Did they come to the defence of the Nova receptionist who was threatened by One
    Direction fans and their mothers? Quite possibly the same mothers who are outraged by the sexualisation of women in advertising.

    I’m sure they would have, if resources permitted.

    Do they go after the music industry or TV networks who show music clips with adult content on Saturday and Sunday mornings?

    Yes. Example: Kanye West’s monster clip that was removed from MTV because it feature Kanye holding the dismembered head of a women.

    Do they set up centres for young women who are blind drunk at 3 in the morning and talk to them about how that is not appropriate behaviour?

    Yes, not quite the ‘blind drunk at 3 in the morning’ kinda centres tho, but similar supported living….

    Or is it just the advertising industry because it’s an easy to rally outrage target.

    The ad industry has a pretty big responsibility, really. It puts work in the public forum, so said work must meet certain standards of decency. Again, how can this even be argued?

  57. Matthew
    19 Apr 12
    5:46 pm

  58. Ricki; “I certainly wasn’t aware of the pro-anorexia slogan before this debate. I’m sure if Lorna Jane had been aware of it they might have reconsidered their use of language. I don’t see it as a bad thing that marketers are made more aware of how certain things can be co-opted or perceived by different groups, regardless of how niche or invalid someone else may find them. If the marketer has full understanding of the potential issue, they can then make a calculated decision to proceed as planned, or not”.

    If advertisers had to modify their language so every bloody niche group wasn’t offended or interpreted the message in way that wasn’t intended, then no one would say anything. How it seems your interpretation of what Melinda finds problematic with the ad isn’t what she actually finds problematic;

    “However these messages aren’t just dangerous for a clinical population, they send the message to anyone that it is OK not to eat and contributes to our existing confusion about what “health” actually is”.

    So Melinda and her cohorts think that women who have never even heard of the term will become anorexic? It’s utter nonsense.

    Ricki; “I’m assuming you have no objections to people hearing ideas and research and then deciding whether or not they agree with them speaker. That being the case, perhaps you could offer yourselves to Mumbrella to provide the counterpoint within the 360 environment, so the audience can hear your thoughts and evidence to the contrary?”

    I’m not a public speaker, but I’m sure Leslie Cannold would be more than happy to debate MTR. But I think we all know that MTR has absolutely no desire to debate anyone on these issues. Only Jane Hutcheon on ABC24’s One Plus One has actually asked her critical questions of her work, which MTR later described the interview on Twitter as an “interrogation”. I think that speaks volumes. Second there is no evidence to provide. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Courtney; “your suggested method of ‘educating her about the media at appropriate stages rather than trying [to] change the world to fit your standards and morals’ is a method that, may I suggest, will have an affect”.

    Absolutely. Also the media is not created, and does not exist inside a vacuum. MTR and co seems to think that the media has magic power over people and somehow parents, peers and society etc becomes irrelevant or no longer has any influence.

    Abe; “Yes. Example: Kanye West’s monster clip that was removed from MTV because it feature Kanye holding the dismembered head of a women”

    It also featured two zombie women eating a dead male and second scene with one woman in stilettos dragging a dead white male. In the next scene implants her heal into his stomach. And what about Nicki Minaj’s contribution to the song/video? She’s not exactly a shrinking violet. Funny how Melinda omitted all of this in her description of the video. Plus way more people saw the video because she kicked up such a fuss. Def Jam and Kanye must be happy for the free promotion. The video is still avalible for people to watch 24/7 on the web, so her campaign do nothing but bring attention to the clip.

    Abe; “The ad industry has a pretty big responsibility, really. It puts work in the public forum, so said work must meet certain standards of decency. Again, how can this even be argued?”

    Well, who determines what is “decent”? You? Melinda? What makes you think your morals are superior to others?

  59. Grant
    19 Apr 12
    9:32 pm

  60. I’m glad Matt has made the effort to write a detailed counterposition.
    I think MTR is a nutjob, but really can’t be bothered engaging with her lemmings… Thankfully Matt is doing so on my behalf

  61. Ricki
    20 Apr 12
    10:39 am

  62. Matthew…”But I think we all know that MTR has absolutely no desire to debate anyone on these issues”

    Someone better let MTR know then that she’s likely to find herself in a debate given she’s agreed to stand up and talk in front of a room of the very people she criticises. Or will they only allow all those industry shrinking violets in the room? And Tim’s never been known to ask a controversial questions so I guess she’ll be allowed to just sit there unchallenged. Gee, gunna be boring.

  63. Matthew
    20 Apr 12
    12:22 pm

  64. Ricki, taking questions from the audience is not a debate.

  65. mumbrella
    20 Apr 12
    12:41 pm

  66. The logical conclusion of that point Matthew is that MTR should never be allowed to give a presentation, but only be allowed to take part in a formal “debate”.

    If I follow, one of your problems with her is that you feel she follows a censorship agenda. Being proscriptive about the places and formats in which you feel she should be allowed to speak does seem to weaken your argument a little.

    Cheers,

    Tim – Mumbrella

  67. fleshpeddler
    20 Apr 12
    1:03 pm

  68. please tell me Matthew, Courtney and Ricki et al aren’t independent Mumbrella readers spending all of their time debating this.

    Is it possible the female names represent MTR and Matthew represents a pressure group/commercial interest against her?

    otherwise I’d hate to think what your timesheets look like this week

    much love xx

  69. Matthew
    20 Apr 12
    1:06 pm

  70. Tim, she can do whatever she likes. When did I say she can only present her message in certain ways? The point I am making is that she seems to always go unchallenged (especially by the mainstream media who uncritically present her views) and makes very little effort to debate her critics. She never engages with or even attempts to answer their very valid questions about herself, her work and her various claims. I think it would be far more interesting to have someone like Leslie Cannold debating her, but his won’t happen because MTR wouldn’t agree to it. But it’s your show, you can run it how you like. No one is forcing you to do anything.

  71. Abe
    20 Apr 12
    1:15 pm

  72. Hey Fleshpeddler.

    I’m Abe, I’m a bloke, and I’m commenting in between producing voiceovers (Don’t tell the boss!) I don’t represent MTR, but I’m glad someone has the balls to say publicly what privately many think. And they do.

    Even more love xx

  73. Ricki
    20 Apr 12
    3:11 pm

  74. I don’t represent MTR either and if you read my posts my position isn’t Pro-MTR or Anti-MTR. I’m Pro-lets hear what she has to say.

    I’m not required to do timesheets :)

  75. Courtney
    20 Apr 12
    4:07 pm

  76. @Matthew. Assuming you’re past your teen years it may help to recall them and understand that you were naïve, impressionable, and susceptible to being molded by society – just like teens today. Media and advertising prey on that vulnerability with not a care for individual wellbeing, all in the name of money. We are day-in day-out told and sold lies and perhaps these lies have worked so well that you are unconvinced of their existence. Parents, peers and society have influence. But will/do teens listen to parents over peers? And will listening to peers and society (both shaped by advertising and media) really prove to be positively influential? It’s obvious that what parents, peers, and society are supposed to be saying SHOULD be mirrored in what we consume daily through media – not the other way around. Also, if “she can do whatever she likes.” why all the opposition, Matthew? You clearly have an issue with her.

    @Grant. If MTR is nuts, I’d hate to see your list of credible advocates for women and girls in this day and age.

    @fleshpeddler. If I were to spend all my time debating this, there would be a much higher volume of commentary on my behalf. By reading what has been said it is quite clear where each opinion lies, however to quench your curiosity the only person I represent is my seventeen year old self (therefore time sheets are not currently an issue.) Love back to you.

  77. Matthew
    20 Apr 12
    5:34 pm

  78. Courtney, you really have a rather condescending and low opinion of teenagers don’t you? As I mentioned before, the “Sexualised goods aimed at children: a report to the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee” report, which actually talked to teenagers, found them to be rather savvy about marketing. Stop treating children, teenagers and women as some sort of mindless automations. They have the intellectual capacity to make their own choices. I cannot see how taking choice away from people helps them.

    “It’s obvious that what parents, peers, and society are supposed to be saying SHOULD be mirrored in what we consume daily through media – not the other way around”

    Holy hell, you really want to micromanage pop culture that far? You want everyone to consume a squeaky clean image of the world? I couldn’t think of anything worse. And who determines what “parents, peers, and society are supposed to be saying”? You? Melinda? Me? Whose standards do we conform to and why?

    “Also, if “she can do whatever she likes.” why all the opposition, Matthew? You clearly have an issue with her”.

    I said to Tim she can present her talk at Mumbrella360 in any format she likes. Stop taking my comments out of context. I take issue with Melinda being self-appointed judge of how women should be portrayed in the media and what reproductive choices should be available to them. I take issue with her reducing psychological disorders such as anorexia, depression etc. to a matter of censorship of media rather than asking her followers to lobby politicians to fund mental health services (which are critically underfunded). She is treating the symptoms rather than the cause and this is extremely short sighted. But she doesn’t give a crap, just as long as that “filthy” female sexually disappears from view.

  79. Nigella
    20 Apr 12
    6:20 pm

  80. @ #11 Ricki – well don’t take your kid to the beach lest he ask why women are wearing bikinis..

  81. Courtney
    20 Apr 12
    11:27 pm

  82. @Matthew.

    “Stop treating children, teenagers and women as some sort of mindless automations.” …hmm it appears the media has taken that job already!

    Alas, there seems to be no changing the fact that you and I are differently convinced. Thanks for the debate regardless, and for the record my opinion remains unchanged.

  83. AdGrunt
    21 Apr 12
    9:43 am

  84. Courtney, does it strike your critical mind as paradoxical that you support MTR?

    You’re a seventeen year old who is subject to all these apparently irresistible evil influences like the rest of us. Yet somehow (I presume) you haven’t lost all sense of esteem, nor flung yourself into the white slave trade, nor become a pimp, prostitute or rapist.

    So what saved you from that fate? Why are you different? What is befalling your peers, who I presume are currently performing paid sex acts due to their feeble-mindedness?

    Just wondering.