This post relies heavily on the sources that it cites as it develops its reasoning. Should any source be found to be discredited, then any conclusions drawn therefrom should be regarded as questionable. Readers are invited to approach this post in that light.
This post examines a selection of articles published under the name of Melinda Tankard Reist. It goes on to perform a critical analysis of those posts, and to invite readers to consider how Melinda Tankard Reist could be affecting the lives of her compatriots.
Melinda Tankard Reist’s “About” Page
Melinda Tankard Reist’s “about” page on her web site can be found at http://melindatankardreist.com/about/. It includes the words “advocate for women and girls”. This contrasts with Global Education’s (http://www.globaleducation.edna.edu.au/globaled/go/pid/517) view of gender equality which includes the words “Men, too, can suffer from gender inequalities. In some countries these include increasing male mortality rates, suicide rates that far surpass those of women, increasing social isolation, and problems related to alcohol, drugs and other substance abuse.”. This prompts the following question: “Is Melinda Tankard Reist covertly pursuing a misandrist agenda?”. I leave it to readers to find any words from Melinda Tankard Reist in support of men’s rights.
“An (un)informed choice”
The link to the piece “An (un)informed choice” at the time of writing is http://www.abortionconcern.org/dialogue/an-uninformed-choice.php. The piece includes the words “Abortion has fostered a eugenic-inspired belief that only certain people should have babies, and only when the timing and circumstances are perfect.”. The piece does not cite any research to support this statement. The piece then draws a number of questionable conclusions from this assertion, including, inter alia, “It restores a woman’s slim and youthful figure to its pre-pregnancy, socially desirable state; a uterine stapling to correct an out-of-control body and prevent unnecessary weight gain.”. Given the lack of falsifiable evidence from the un-cited research, the conclusions drawn from the initial premis must be regarded as invalid.
Melinda Tankard Reist’s Posts
At the time of writing, the most recent four articles at http://melindatankardreist.com/ all address the issue of teenagers’ sexual behaviour, and three of them mention pornography. One of the articles is a guest post. What is noticeable is that none of them appears to cite sources for the social assertions made (such as ‘Only one in four hear that “experimenting with sexualities and pleasure is OK”’). This makes it it impossible to check the validity of such statements, and renders them on a par with “The Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world in six days.”.
Melinda Tankard Reist’s Grand Œuvre: “Giving Sorrow Words”
Melinda Tankard Reist’s book “Giving Sorrow Words” (ISBN 1 875989 67 6) gave rise to this comment “What is not disclosed in the book is that recruitment for the interviewees for the book was done through anti-abortion networks throughout the country.” at http://directaction.org.au/issue5/anti-abortion_movement_feminist_fakers. That link then goes on to explore the potential reaction of women are perfectly happy with their abortions, and then encounter the book: they are at risk of having the same guilt complex experienced by Catholic women who use contraceptive devices against the edict of the Pope.
It cannot be claimed that the book gives a balanced overview of the issues confronting women before an abortion.
“Another day, another fresh wave of e.hate”
The article to which the above heading is a title can be found at http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/another-day-another-fresh-wave-of-ehate-20120121-1qbgj.html. The article includes the words “This can be summarised as ”MTR really needs a good f—”.”. It is perhaps worthwhile mentioning that not everybody has the same facility with words as does Melinda Tankard Reist herself. Moreover, there are people whose command of their mother tongue is very poor. (I write from personal experience, and I will not cite the evidence on which I base this claim, as to do so would be to violate my students’ privacy.) It can be argued that there are people for whom that is the only way in which they can express their outrage at Melinda Tankard Reist’s words. The article cited appears not to take this factor into account.
(Astute readers will notice that this post is my equivalent of the responses which caused the “f—” quote above.)
Readers are entitled to ask why I have posted this piece anonymously. The reason is simple. I live as part of a family unit, and I have a responsibility to members of that unit. I also have a responsibility fellow Australians, which responsibility I seek to discharge as best I can.
Before going any further, I must take a detour to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Reading the preamble makes it obvious that the Declaration lays duties upon governments. Reading the articles of the Declaration make this even more obvious.
We can now look at a letter sent by Melinda Tankard Reist’s lawyer to Jennifer Wilson (twitter: @NoPlaceforSheep, blog: http://noplaceforsheep.com/). That letter cites Article 12 of the Declaration, and then goes on to state, inter alia, “Australian law protects Ms Tankard Reist against your breach of her rights …”.
I have no desire to expose other members of my family unit to this sort of treatment.
It would seem that Melinda Tankard Reist has a not inconsiderable following. There is the link above to the Sydney Morning Herald. She also appears to be a public speaker. As such, she has influence over a significant number of people.
Having laid the groundwork, I can now invite readers to ponder the following question: “What is the morality of her writings?”.