Welcome to Eureka Street

back to site

Feminism, Greer and Tankard Reist


Melinda Tankard Reist has been pilloried for her stance on pornography, as a pro-life supporter and for declared Christian beliefs. There have been vociferous calls for her to surrender her feminist badge. Tankard Reist also receives daily hate emails threatening her with acts of sexual violence.

Psychoanalyst Carl Jung is reputed to have said 'I'm glad I'm Jung and not a Jungian'. The price of any definition of allegiance can be the pressure to conform to narrowly defined 'right' principles, to have acceptable, 'right' allegiances, and involves the risk of being branded an outsider.

More importantly not being admitted to the club seems to mean that arguments are not to be considered on their merits or examined with true rigor. This has been the fate of Melinda Tankard Reist who describes herself as an activist and feminist.

In an article in the Drum titled 'Tankard Reist Furore: Feminists on the attack' Claire Bongiorno also questions labelling as critique. Bongiorno reports that leading feminists such as Eva Cox and Anne Summers have specifically questioned Tankard Reist's right to call herself a feminist, thereby removing an invisible stamp of approval. But have her arguments been fully and fairly considered?

Tankard Reist has been denounced as unworthy to claim feminist credentials on at least three counts.

Firstly she is arguing that pervasive and extreme pornographic depiction of women's sexual expression is limited, degrading and a negative influence on young women and men's sexuality. She maintains that the porn industry deliberately targets boys as young as 11. She has also campaigned against the inappropriate sexualisation of children in advertising and marketing.

Secondly Tankard Reist is pro-choice, editor of a book titled Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief After Abortion. Thirdly she is criticised for having worked as an advisor to Senator Brian Harradine, a strong opponent of abortion.

Overarching all of this, she is discredited for her Christian beliefs. When asked about her Christianity informing her values, she states that she tries and mostly fails to follow the teachings of Jesus.

But why should any of this the be a cornerstone for judging her argument ?

It is playing the woman, not the ball, and more closely resembles rowdy one-eyed barrackers at a football match, opposing all about the 'other' team while applauding their own. If this sounds familiar you may be recalling Federal parliamentary debate, which commonly descends to jeers and cheers rather than forensic examination of the proposals as they relate to the common good.

The central difficulty of assumptions made by pigeon-holing a person's beliefs and values is that the argument is not heard. I am no fan of Reverend Fred Niles, especially in regard to his views on homosexuality, but he can occasionally say something I agree with.

So there may be sound rigorous arguments for concern about internet pornography or the lack of informed choice, beyond abortion, for some pregnant women, but these are howled down.

It could be argued that Tankard Reist's views do not conform to the extracted 'rules' of a previous fearless work, Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch.

Greer was arguing for the liberation of women in many areas, including sexual expression and reproductive choices. She was a breath of fresh air in a rigidly configured view of women's destiny. It was an era when women were urged to burn their bras as a symbol of release.

But times have moved on, and the new call of today could be for women to ditch their silicon implants and for the role of motherhood to be more highly valued.

Thirty years on, Greer has declared that she did not want to be a high priestess of feminism. Her views on the pressure of women to conform to a marketed cosmetically altered stereotype of a boyish body with large breasts are not out of sync with the views of Tankard Reist.

Greer's views are often intellectually complex, contrarian and difficult to pigeon hole. That is a strength. But what may have been extracted from her views and the constant evolution of the feminist movement has been diminished by being reduced to a formula such as that used in the denunciation of Tankard Reist.

We could do well to heed the words of Greer, the reluctant icon: 'Some of you may disagree with what I am saying. I am not worried about disagreement. I just want you to think about what I am saying.'

Lyn BenderLyn Bender is a Melbourne based psychologist. 

Topic tags: Lyn Bender, Melinda Tankard Reist, Germaine Greer, feminism



submit a comment

Existing comments

I can well remember as a teenager reading Greer's "The Female Eunuch" and, literally, could not stop reading. It's one of those books I'll never forget or stop thinking about. She's been quoted as saying "Women sought liberation, but settled for equality". In some areas, equality is still a dream. Far less 'liberation'. I think the uproar over Melinda Tankard Reist's views are a specific problem of the internet and blogging in particular. Views are strongly expressed, and equally strongly repudiated, sometimes with malice. And so a thin skin can be very painful.

Pam | 08 February 2012  

Do you mean pro-choice or pro-life? They seem to be the only choices we can make in the abortion debate. Polarisation and division are the only methods some activists understand. Grey areas don't stand a chance with intelligent dialogue a thing of the past in many places.

Mary-Anne Johnson | 08 February 2012  

The great contradiction of the feminist movement to me is that in the quest to achieve all that men do through "equality", the feminists have trashed through abortion and "pro-choice" the one thing which distinguishes women and which no man can ever achieve, namely, motherhood. Women, like it or not, are the only instruments of the nuture of human life but the feminists amonst them fail to recognise that even this singularly unique role cannot be achieved without men. Unhappily for the Greers, the radical feminists and the abortionists that is the way it is, or, as some would say, the way God made it. Abortion exists only because the inevitability of normal pregnancy is human life as an eventually independent social member of the human community. Such a human being is certainly not the mother's "own body' as the feminists claim. There are no intellectual options in favour of abortion (and thus no real validity in it as a matter for debate) since it always destroys such human life.

john frawley | 08 February 2012  

Reist is entitled to call herself a advocate of the rights of women and to have the rigour of her argument tested on its merits. If her religious or moral beliefs have affected her objectivity this should be established through informed public debate not abuse and threats fro some idiots who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, like drones patrolling Iran 's borders. There are ten thousand varieties of feminism! Just as there are six billion consciences and potentially seven billion paths to God. She who is not against us, is for us. I'm pretty sure Jesus said that. I believe it.

Moira Rayner | 08 February 2012  

Lyn you have just confronted what many Catholics have confronted - identity politics. If one merely suggests one is a Christian or worse, a Catholic, the mainstream feminists discount anything you say. It indicates that feminism, while it began as a legitimate movement to right injustices towards women, has been highjacked by a marxist, slogan shouting lobby whose entry requirements are that one be pro abortion and pro gay. Listening to 'others' is not really on their agenda. Like the atheists Dawkins and Dennet, they never allow for the possibility of a revealed religion, for a moral code such as the natural law or for the fact that intelligent Christians believe these things. However, the marxist pro choice [really anti choice] feminists are on the losing side of history - demographically they are losing while the religious families [Christian, orthodox Jews and Muslims]are having larger numbers of children and transmitting their beliefs on to their children. An interesting book on this demographic issue is Eric Kaufman's 'Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?'. Kaufman is not Christian but sees the orthodox of many religions becoming more numerous during the next century. The Melinda Tankard-Reists of the world and Sarah Palins for that matter are going to become more numerous in relation to the secularists who are breeding themselves out of existence. Did you realise that the United States will become a majority Latino country within 100 years? That American Catholicism will be Latino Catholicism in the main - and the Latinos tend not to be marxist feminists.

Skye | 08 February 2012  

I have thought about what Melinda Tankard Reist has been saying, and the context in which she has said it. MTR is to be commended - along with prominent American feminist academics such as Ariel Levy and Gail Dines - for her anti-porn stance, but to insist that a woman carry a pregnancy to full term, that is deny her legal and safe access to abortion, to the detriment of her own health and well-being is not pro-life. It is as anti-woman as the porn industry, in that it co-opts a woman's body and reduces her personhood to either a biological or sexualised function, the antithesis of feminism. Furthermore, the influence upon public policy of religious ideologues such as Senator Harridine and MTR results in Western humanitarian aid policies which deny funding to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for vulnerable, disempowered and poverty stricken women already subject to theocratic misogyny all over the globe, which results in abominable rates of female morbidity and mortality, as well as hunger, suffering and misery for millions of children born to mothers and fathers who cannot care for them. Comprehensive, modern health care for a woman includes access to abortion, if that is what she requires. MTR is as entitled as anyone else to call herself a feminist, but, as an influential public intellectual, she deserves serious scrutiny given her clearly contradictory stance on what constitutes female empowerment and autonomy. "Hate mail" is unacceptable, but being "pilloried", under the circumstances, is very understandable.

Michelle Goldsmith | 08 February 2012  

John, and Skye, your notions of what feminism "is" or that it is 'radical', Marxist and is being bred out by big fundy families is a teensy, weensy bit silly. I am a strong advocate of informed debate and not ad hominem or would-be authoritarian pronouncement. I have a good role model.

Moira Rayner | 08 February 2012  

It is highly concerning that you have couched this argument in terms of Tankard Reist not meeting a 'narrow' definition of feminism. A more accurate statement would be that she should hand in her feminist badge as she does not meet the most generous definition of feminism: that women deserve equality, freedom and bodily autonomy. These ideals cannot and do not sit alongside pro-life sentiments. Tankard Reist is not a feminist.

FourColouredStripes | 08 February 2012  

I thought femeinism entailed the freedom of women to be themselves without society's expectations of what women "should be" or what they "should believe". It seems that has merely changed the parameters of what women "should believe" - just as totalitarian as most revolutions, I guess, which start with liberation and then exchange one set of rigid beliefs with another and with denunciation of anyone who shows any deviation from orthodox doctrine. As a woman who greeted Greer et al with joy in the 70's, it is a great disappointment.

Cathy Cleary | 08 February 2012  

Labelling or branding makes choosing so much easier. It's behind most advertising. It reduces the need for thought or reflection. By having fidelity to a brand one feels part of a team; of having a special gift of discernment. And when one can determine the ambit of the brand eg Versace and Italian fashion, one has a captive clientele. But when one attempts to label or brand ideas or ideologies one is putting the brain into a mental straitjacket. This applies as much to Communism as to Christianity, as to Militarism as to Pacificism, as Transcendentalism as to Materialism. And with regard to the Face to Face interview with Melinda Tankard Reist how does one withdraw the label "feminist" from a woman who prefers to be called pro-life rather than anti-abortion. I trust Eva Cox and Anne Summers have impeccable ant-War credentials because they are pro-life.

Uncle Pat | 08 February 2012  

Lyn, and others, the recent publicity about Melinda T-R did not start because of her stance on pornography, but because someone questioned, somewhat ham-fistedly on their minor blog, the nature of her Christian belief, and the uncertainty about whether there was sufficient publicity its role played in her campaigning and who she might be campaigning for. There was no initial criticism of Melinda T-Rs campaigns per se. The publicity has escalated from those initial questions because the blogger - Jennifer Wilson - was sent a letter from a lawyer claiming defamation and seeking withdrawl of the blog-post, an apology, and payment for that lawyers services.

CraigM | 08 February 2012  

Moira - can you name me just half a dozen pro life feminists who are taken seriously by their mainstream feminist peers?

Skye | 08 February 2012  

I am not familiar with Melinda Tankard Reist's feminist philosophy, but if she only communicates via the internet and blogging, she is avoiding rigorous intellectual debate; most of this mode of communication is one way. I believe that pornography is nothing more than exploitation. It continues to bemuse me that discussion about the issues of feminism and abortion is almost always irrational and anti-intellectual. I do not believe that women in Australia since the 1960s have achieved either total liberation or equality. The most significant achievement for women during this time was access to the contraceptive pill. I believe that the main focus of the women's movement has been equal opportunity for upper middle class women to education and public sector jobs. I also believe that working class women, housewives and mothers have been neglected by the mainstream women's movement. I am often surprised that most young women in their 20s and 30s have not read classical feminist literature such as Germaine Greer's 'The Female Eunuch', Simone De Beauvoir's 'The Second Sex' and Jane Austen's novels.

Mark Doyle | 08 February 2012  

Surely the fact that MTR has threatened to sue feminist blogger Dr. Jennifer Wilson for defamation -- and that her lawyer has argued that Wilson has violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in allegedly doing so -- is relevant to a discussion of the recent reaction to MTR? With regards the three counts upon which MTR has been "denounced as unworthy to claim feminist credentials", while controversial, I'm unaware of anyone claiming that her critique of pornography renders her unfit for consideration as a feminist. Secondly, I can only assume that Lyn meant to write 'pro-life' rather than 'pro-choice', though MTR's precise views on abortion are not always clear. Nevertheless, on this issue, I think there are good grounds for wondering if her views can be reconciled with feminist theory and practice: women's 'reproductive freedom' is generally regarded as being a cornerstone of women's liberation from patriarchal control. Thirdly, with regards MTR's employment by Harradine, I think this is taken to be of relevance both for Harradine's own policy positions and as being in accord with MTR's political advocacy as a whole. And I don't think it's that inexplicable that some feminists should express concern over the relationship between the religious right and contemporary feminism. Finally, while Lyn draws attention to the alleged disjunction between MTR's religious views and her feminism, it is precisely the absence of this discussion in Rachel Hill's January 8 profile of MTR that prompted Jennifer Wilson to respond, and it's this response that is now subject to potential legal action by MTR.

Andy Fleming | 08 February 2012  

Dear Lyn, I think you might enjoy Germaine Greer's book Sex and Destiny: her work on abortion and such matters is a lot more complex (and interesting) than often portrayed.

Helen Pringle | 08 February 2012  

I have maintained from the start that this unedifying brawl about whether or not MTR is entitled to call herself a feminist is irrelevant, and symptomatic of an ideology in its dying days, at least in its current form. Since I received defamation threats from T-R's lawyers after my "ham-fisted" blog, the issue has clearly been about free speech, our defamation law, and the employment of this law by public and apparently moneyed figures against insignificant bloggers who ask public interest questions those figures do not wish to answer. It is also about the ethical requirement that those who attempt to influence public policy on sexual morality should disclose if they are acting from their relationship with a Christian God millions of us do not believe in, and whose religious morality is unacceptable to us. As someone who was raised in the Christian faith, I fail to understand how any Christian claims that it is detrimental to their work to acknowledge their faith. MTR states in several interviews that she does not wish her to discuss her faith because it will "colour" and "distract from" her moral campaigns.

Jennifer Wilson | 08 February 2012  

Lyn, Given your previous article (Moral madness of Melbourne abortion horror) I think it's pretty clear why you sympathise so closely with MTR. Once again I am seeing the claim that MTR is being subjected to vitriol and hate - umm where exactly? Even your link above does not go to anything that shows this at all - and if this merely an error and you meant to link to that disgracefully self-indulgent article by MTR where she makes this claim - that too has no actual proof - other than her "lamenting" that people have been mean to her.

It is the very lack of rigour in MTR's articles and writing, particularly her reliance on poor research, dodgy statistics and biased sample groups, that have led people to quite legitimately ask - if the research doesn't stack up - why does she hold these opinions? What else motivates her to claim that her ideas and ideals have primacy? In the face of this it is extremely fair that she be asked some hard questions regarding her personal moral codes and what informs them. And when she chooses to stay silent or be coy then what else is left but to examine her history and her actions.

Jo-Ann Whalley | 08 February 2012  

Having read MRT's work and heard her in person I have to say that she doesn't make a big deal about wearing a feminist 'badge'. It seems to me that her concerns, and indeed her stands and even campaigns on issues like the sexualisation of young girls, porn and even abortion don't spring so much out of her ideological standpoint, but rather her conviction that something is wrong in our society. Research, both quantitative and qualitative, seems to support this. Young people's exposure to porn is changing their perceptions about what is 'normal', what is expected in a relationship, what it means to be a man or woman, about how men and women should relate, about what can be defined as attractive or desirable... and the list goes on. Abortion statistics (80,000+ abortions in Australia annually; 40% of all pregnancies aborted) which are some of the highest in the world alert us to deeper underlying issues- effective use of contraception, taking personal responsibility for actions and choices, how we value life compared with personal freedom, etc. And certainly it is hard to argue that the media and advertising trend to sexualise young girls is a good thing, let alone 'empowering' the girls and promoting any kind of feminist agenda.

Leave the ideologies to one side and focus on the positive, practical impact that MRT's campaigns are having on people, especially young women. Surely that's what is most important?

Jeremy | 08 February 2012  

Moira, As you point out there are many aspects and varieties of feminism and as in most other "isms' there is a range of opinion and personal commitment. This range spans the luke warm to the fundamentalist to the radical. It is that 'radical" to which I referred, not feminism as a whole.My views expressed above are not personal ("ad hominem"). Like you I too have "a good role model". Mine is called Science, widely accepted around the world and based on undisputed facts of genetics and biology.

john frawley | 08 February 2012  

As a feminist and a person whose politics is deeply influenced by radicals like Germaine Greer, Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, Melinda Tankard Reist is of the few women who has been handed the feminist torch.

Reist is not one of the second wave feminist but has much more in common with the progressive, left-wing radical feminists of old.

Reist’s positions on pornography, prostitution and hyper sexualised/raunch culture and child sexualisation are not conservative and religious as her detractors would have us believe. These are like Dworkin and Greer's positions which are against the culture of commodification.

At the risk of sounding like Greer, capitalist culture has sought to sell sex and make humans into objects to be brought used and abused.

If you look at socialist societies, despite flaws, they always aimed to move people away from prostitution. Look at the example of Cuba which eradicated prostitute but saw it rise again after the fall of the USSR. Raul Castro has announced that he wanted to introduce legislation based on the Swedish model. This will likely lead to many other leftist nations introducing similar legislation which will protect some of the worlds most disadvantaged and impoverished women.

Megan Tatham | 08 February 2012  

"Debate" whether MTR is/isn't a feminist misses an opportunity for important conversation. What are we afraid of? MTR is not afraid. She is more of a radical feminist like Greer. Marie Fox in a book chapter "A women's right to choose" published in Harris and Holm (eds) "The future of human reproduction: ethics, choice and regulation" laments the choise discourse. "...even where a women does have access to abortion, charaterizing her action as one of choosing fails to capture the complexity and ambivalence of women's reponse to the experience of abortion" "Many women experience shame and guilt, even when they know abortion was the right thing to do in the circumstances. .....Space needs to be created for these women to discuss and come to terms with the impact of abortion and the violence which it involves in their lives". Indeed the author refers to Naomi Wolf as being subject to similar condemnation as that levelled against MTR. Wolf also expressed her own moral reservations about abortion. My reading of MTR's work is that she seeks to give these women a voice.

more discussion needed | 08 February 2012  

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Germain Greer, although I was never a fan in the past. So much of it was really practical thinking. Do not agree with Melinda Tankard-Reist being denounced - I have read her book Giving Sorrow Words and the stories are heart-rending. In the long run it all comes down to women being strong enough to decide for themselves that how they look, how they think, how they conduct their sexual lives, is going to be a decision that will make them happy, rather than being stereotyped into thinking they HAVE to be slim, they HAVE to have sex, they HAVE to drink alcohol - to be considered worthy of men's attention. Man will always hunt - it is up to the woman to run a bit faster until she is really ready to take on the responsibility of partnership and all that ensues from that.

Pat | 08 February 2012  

"Thirty years on, Greer has declared that she did not want to be a high priestess of feminism. Her views on the pressure of women to conform to a marketed cosmetically altered stereotype of a boyish body with large breasts are not out of sync with the views of Tankard Reist." Umm I admire Germaine's scholarship in the field of literature - particularly her work on Shakespeare. But let us not forget that this is the same woman who published what pretty much comes down to a soft-porn "David Hamilton" ode to an idealised..pseudo-grecian pre-pubescent "boy" body...My understanding is that anyone celebrating the biology/sexuality/beauty of girls of the same age is a "pornographer" according to MTR - how are these two views "not out of sync" - Hypocrisy much? Whilst I know Wikepedia is not the best reference - use it as a jumping off point - that really is its function after all - a beginning - not an end... and when you return from your journey...let me know what you think.. Especially the juxtaposition of the anger of the "cover boy" of Germaine's book - to the responses of the models that Bill Henson photographed who do not express any similar feelings of exploitation... Anyone who shrinks from strongly expressed (not abusive) opinion on a subject that thankfully can still engender passionate debate..is in my mind.. not genuine. Yes Pam - I am looking at you (and your ilk)

Aulieude | 08 February 2012  

Ahem... this whole mash up occurred because MTR got her lawyers to send nasty threatening letters to blogger, Jennifer Wilson, who mused whether MTR's religious affiliations had anything do to with her stance on various emotionally charged moral matters. As MTR positions herself as the moral police, that questioning is eminently reasonable. Bullying through threats of suing for defamation to shut someone up when a reasonable question is asked is not. What's that saying "I may not agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it" - Freedom of speech is what is at issue here folks, NOT feminism - no matter who jumps on THAT particular bandwagon

Carolyn Hastie | 08 February 2012  

Carolyn Hastie, like many who have commented on this issue, has got her facts wrong. A game of 'chinese whispers' have been going on for weeks now, and the truth has been lost along the way. Melinda Tankard Reist took exception to a comment by a little known blogger Jennifer Wilson which labelled Melinda as being: "duplicitous and deceitful" (look these words up, they mean "liar") about her religious connections. Melinda took exception to being called a 'liar'. If you were on the floor of Parliament and called someone a 'liar' you would be asked to withdraw the comment. Melinda has described herself as an 'imperfect Christian'... as are so many of us. She has not been deceitful or duplicitous. She asked for an apology from the person who used these terms - the threat of defamation being a further consequence if this were not forthcoming. It seems completely outrageous that this debate has turned into an exercise in religious vilification towards Melinda. The mud-raking and calumny and attack against Melinda can only be described as persecution. Ms Hastie refers to the right to 'freedom of speech'.... it would appear you are applying the right selectively to defend you particular position. I would defend Melinda's right to also speak freely - and to call people to account when they are inaccurate or defamatory in their speaking. We have a law for a reason - you simply cannot say anything you like with a free society. I cannot lie about you in a public way in order to destroy you. Feminists have been in apoplexy over the last few weeks about the horrid thought that a Christian could legitimately call themselves a feminist. This debate has been one of the best things that has come out of this sorry incident. Feminists are saying feminism is founded on the unlimited access to abortion... and that you cannot be pro-life. I've always suspected that feminists held such a rigid position, but I am so glad it has come into the light, and we see these feminists for who they really are.

Micah | 09 February 2012  

I believe Melinda Tankard Reist is one of the most significant people in Australia at the moment. Her bravery in challenging the porn industry and the hyper-sexualisation of children and women in our society, and her pro-woman-pro-life stance has made her the target of extreme attacks. We need to uphold her, stand with her, speak out alongside of her if we believe the things she is fighting for are important. Feminism is being put under the microscope - thank God! It needs to be.! 80,000 abortions and counting. Feminists call abortion their greatest 'freedom'.... that women's freedom must be built on it. If that is the price of freedom, I want no part of it.

Mary C. | 09 February 2012  

Micah, I am loathe to rain on your parade, but the matter has not yet come to court and it has not yet been established that any lies have been told.

In the meantime it appears that you have no compunction at all about labeling me a liar, so according to your logic, I am quite within my rights to threaten you with a defamation action.

Jennifer Wilson | 09 February 2012  

Condemnation by Eva Cox would be a guarantee of quality in a person to my mind.

Bob | 10 February 2012  

No feminists are 'pro' abortion but all are pro choice. I don't know that MRT is pro choice. I can see no public statement that she is no evidence that she supports a woman's choice to make the decision concerning her body. This an important distinction between just being anti-porn and a feminist. Note that she didn't publish a book called:"Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief After Adoption" I also don't think that any feminist minds that MRT may have religious or spiritual beliefs. She would certainly not be the first one nor the last. However, it is the secrecy that appears to be involved which creates doubts as to MRY's motives or agenda. Stalking horse comes to mind. Her affiliation with what could be considered a right wing and very socially conservative form of christianity and one closely aligned to that in US Republican politics, currently waging a war on women there, is not one that is seen often in any feminist circles given their restrictive and patriatchial role and expectations of women. I applaud and support MRT's work in the area of resisting sexual expolitation of women and children in the media and online.

Maggie | 10 February 2012  

No feminists are 'pro' abortion but all are pro choice. I don't know that MRT is pro choice. I can see no public statement that she is no evidence that she supports a woman's choice to make the decision concerning her body. This an important distinction between just being anti-porn and a feminist. Note that she didn't publish a book called:"Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief After Adoption" I also don't think that any feminist minds that MRT may have religious or spiritual beliefs. She would certainly not be the first one nor the last. However, it is the secrecy that appears to be involved which creates doubts as to MRY's motives or agenda. Stalking horse comes to mind. Her affiliation with what could be considered a right wing and very socially conservative form of christianity and one closely aligned to that in US Republican politics, currently waging a war on women there, is not one that is seen often in any feminist circles given their restrictive and patriatchial role and expectations of women. I applaud and support MRT's work in the area of resisting sexual expolitation of women and children in the media and online.

Maggie | 10 February 2012  

Mary C, the greatest 'freedom' women are still to achieve worldwide (regrettably), as I see it, is choice. This for me is what is important and often ignored in this debate - that women can choose. Your choices for your own body are yours; so you can therefore choose if you want to use contraception, have/not have an abortion, have children, etc. Thiis is the real power of a pro-choice position - and remember that choice means ONLY you can say yes or no.

Nick | 11 February 2012  

...Inspiring books about feminism ?.. I would never recommend Germane Greer's, The Female Eunuch .

Rita Levi Montalcini's, In Praise of Imperfection and Sharon Bertsch Mc Grayne's, Nobel Prize Women in Science ...
now these are TRULY inspiring.

Myra | 27 February 2012  

I'm a feminist and I'm pro-life. All this crap about poor women not being able to look after their children and having to have abortions because of health issues just leaves me cold. Abortion was originally to be used in dire straits where the woman's life was endangered - now it's used as a late contraceptive with viable babies being murdered after they're born alive. Really all these impregnating men who don't want to be responsible for the babies they've begun should be encouraged to have vascetomies. It's not that difficult these days to avoid getting pregnant. We have all this money going to produce children with IVF and all this other money going to murder them. Why can't we have that good old time solution - adoption. It's not a dirty word. It allows the child to have life where the other word - abortion - is a death sentence. I don't want to see women returning to back yard abortions either. I just want them told the truth. They're killing their babies. They need to see an ultrasound of their child before they go ahead with the 'procedure'.

Bernadette | 10 December 2012  

Similar Articles

Our racist editors

  • Geoff Davies
  • 07 February 2012

The misreporting of the Australia Day 'riot' is but one example of a growing nexus of hysteria, racism and ignorance in Australian media. It is time to rein in the increasing distortion of our social and political conversations, and require responsibility as well as freedom of speech.