A strong spiritual woman is tamed in Zoo
I had this piece published on the ABC Drum Unleashed site this afternoon.
Zoo magazine’s pornification of Mary MacKillop shows they consider no woman exempt from pornographic exploitation in pursuit of profit.
Australia’s first saint, Mary Mackillop, was a woman who devoted her life to the poor and speaking out against injustice. Known as a progressive woman of action, her canonisation has just been celebrated in Rome.
“The life and times of St Mary in lingerie”
“The newly canonised cans of St Mary”
“St Mary Mac and her holy rack”
“Mary’s heavenly hooters blessed by Pope”
She’s presented as on her knees and “begging for it”.
I know a number of religious sisters. They felt called to a different way of living. They rejected the usual life trajectories for women. They wanted to give their whole selves in service to others. They wanted to support each other in all-women communities. While difficult for many to understand, their actions are radically counter-cultural. It’s a radical act to turn your back on all the world offers and give yourself in service to others.
That’s what Mary Mackillop did.
But Zoo’s editors don’t understand things like higher callings and devotion to others. It’s beyond them to comprehend that there are women who really aren’t interested in conforming to the Zoo version of pornified womanhood.
Their main concern is finding more fodder for the sexual gratification of their hungry male readers. More ‘hot’ women for men to ogle. More women to dissect piece by sexual piece. Pages and pages of female flesh for consumption.
So, even a woman like Mary Mackillop has to be brought under the control of male pornographers.
Catholics are understandably outraged and distressed by the ACP-owned Zoo spread.
But you don’t need to be a Catholic to be affronted. The treatment of Mary MacKillop is an insult to all women. Zoo has made a statement that no woman deserves special treatment. All women exist to provide masturbatory material. All women exist to be served up, made-up, made-over as male sexual fantasy. And they should be flattered.
“We think Mary would be thrilled and flattered at her portrayal,” editor Paul Merrill said.
Paul Merrill, your own portrayal is as a man beneath contempt.