Sex culture has set women back by 50yrs, says Oz Feminist

August 2nd, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by ANI  

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Wellington, Aug 2 (ANI): A leading Australian feminist has
said that ‘Raunch culture’ has set back women in Western societies more than 50
years.

Melinda Tankard Reist, a founder of a group called
Collective Shout which names and shames companies using sexual images of girls,
said we are raising children in a “pornographic landscape.”

Reist is controversial figure in Australian feminism because
of her opposition to abortion.

“I think we have gone backwards,” the New Zealand
Herald quoted Reist as saying.

“Raunch culture has taken us back. It’s an absolute
tragedy. These were issues being raised by feminists in the 1950s and 60s,” she
said.

“We have seen the proliferation and globalization of
sexual imagery.

“[Women's] liberation has now come to be seen as the
ability to wrap your legs around a pole, or flash your breasts in public, or
send a sexual image of yourself to your boyfriend so he can pass it around his
mates. Girls think that empowerment lies in their ability to be hot and
sexy,” said Reist.

Reist said children were learning sexual behaviours from
advertising on billboards and in the media.

“We’ve had boys in primary school request sexual
favours [of] girls because of the impact of sexualizing imagery and the view
that that is what girls are there for - male sexual gratification.

“I work with sexual assault counsellors and they are
seeing a spate of 12- and 13-year-old girls being anally sexually assaulted by
groups of boys who film it and pass it around,” she said.

Reist said the media culture distorted healthy sexuality.

“It’s trading on and exploiting what should be a
healthy desire and turning it into a tool of capitalism to make money. And it’s
primarily the bodies of women and girls that are used to do that,” she said.

Reist has written two books about abortion, including one
profiling mothers who refused to abort babies that were likely to have
deformities. (ANI)

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