Former MP guilty of sex offences receives suspended sentence
Today I am thinking about a 15-year-old Tasmanian girl and what she thinks of the Australian justice system. I’m wondering if she is questioning if it was worth taking her harrowing ordeal to the courts to find no justice at the end of the process.
At a mere 12-years-old, this girl was prostituted by adults and used by at least 120 men. Only one of them was charged. And yesterday he was released.
Former Tasmanian MP Terry Martin, who had been found guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person and of producing child exploitation material in 2009 – he took photos of the girl which were added to his stash of hundreds of pornographic images including of children as young as eight -walked free from court with a suspended sentence.
Handing down his ruling in Hobart’s Supreme Court, judge David Porter said Martin’s medication for Parkinson’s disease caused him to do what he did.
According to The Australian “The judge said the condition caused by the medication had impaired Martin’s ability to make moral judgments and therefore ‘his moral culpability is reduced’.
How did the drugs influence the fact that he took images of what he did? Did they cause him to pick up a camera and start filming? When the Judge says Martin’s offences would not have occurred, it is as if they just happened like that.
Was it just an incredible coincidence that Martin already had a child porn collection? And what does this suggest about other men who are on the same medication? Should they be watched with eagle eyes around children? If this drug causes men to solicit girls and use them for sexual gratification, shouldn’t it be immediately withdrawn from market?
Late last year I published a piece on the girl’s case by Professor Caroline S Taylor. It gives important background and detail on the case, so I think it is worth reprinting today.
Meanwhile, I hope the young girl, so mistreated and violated and now denied justice, knows that there are many who do care for her and are angered and saddened at what passes for justice.
Post by Professor S. Caroline Taylor, Foundation Chair in Social Justice and Head of the Social Justice Research Centre at Edith Cowan University. Professor Taylor is also the Founder and Chair of Children of Phoenix Organisation, a charity that provides scholarships and mentoring support to children, adolescents and adults affected by childhood sexual abuse.
Last week, the Tasmanian Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Tim Ellis, released an eight page Memorandum of Advice to the Tasmania police which instructed that at least 120 men who had paid to ‘have sex with’ a 12-year-old ward of the state will not be charged with breaking the law.
On October 1, on Stateline Tasmania, Mr Ellis dismissed broad community and expert concern about the case as nothing more than a symptom of “wicked” media sensationalism. He added the gratuitous comment that the law rests with a “reasonable jury, not a lynch mob”.
In effect Mr Ellis framed the numerous and profound media and expert critiques of the social justice issues that this case clearly raises as nothing more than an hysterical media driven moral panic about child sexual abuse.
It’s a puerile argument, as stupid as it is offensive to public sensibilities. This tactic reduces the complex reasons behind the critique of his decision with an underhanded accusation that such critiques are not “reasonable”. This is echoed in the Attorney-General Lara Giddings comment: “I understand their anger”. Reducing the profound ethical critiques of this case to a single reactionary emotion – anger – infantilises public concern in order to dismiss such concerns.
Our legal system is premised on the notion that police lay charges where there is evidence that a crime has been committed according to the rules of the law. Yet in this case the DPP has determined that not one, not two, not three, not four, but a series of men charged with paying to sexually abuse a child all really believed that a 12-year-old ward of the state was an adult. To be clear, the Director of Public Prosecution has used his discretion to void all charges on the grounds that he found every one of their arguments “convincing”. I wonder how many “arguments” they actually had? Or did they amount to the one generic excuse: they could not tell the difference between a primary school age child and a female aged 18.Read more
A UK survey, commissioned by UK charity YWCA Central, has found half of all girls and a third of boys are obsessed with body image.
According to a report in the Daily Mail this week, children are willing to take extreme measures to get a perfect body or reach an ideal weight. The survey of 810 children aged 11 to 16 found a majority compared their bodies to what they saw on TV. A quarter were willing to have cosmetic surgery.
Rosi Prescott, chief executive of Central YMCA, said: ‘Young people appear to be increasingly insecure about their appearance and body image.
‘There is a growing trend to resort to quick fixes, which are damaging to health and often unfulfilling.
‘It is also interesting that what used to be seen as a problem affecting young girls has now spread to young men.
‘The root cause of this problem is the pressure on young people to conform to an unattainable and unrealistic body image ideal.’
A UK Parliamentary inquiry into the issue opened yesterday in the UK.
When are we going to see some real action on the issue in Australia?
Adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and I were asked our thoughts on Channel 7’s Sunrise program this morning.
First, we want to thank you for your stated commitment to ending men’s violence against women and children. We waited a long time for men to come on board and join us in this fight for real equality and justice, and you have pledged to do just that. We thank you for talking the talk. We write today to plead with you now to walk the walk in more obvious ways.
Right from Day One of this year, 1 January 2011, media reports reminded us that the slaughter of women and children is continuing unabated.
On New Year’s Day, in Canley Vale in Sydney’s west, a 32-year-old man was arrested and placed under police guard at Liverpool hospital. When police arrived at the block of units, they found a 24-year-old woman with stab wounds to her stomach and shoulder on the stairwell. Her partner had barricaded himself in the unit with their 2-year-old daughter. The police broke in and arrested the man and found the 2-year-old unconscious. She later died of stab wounds at the Westmead Children’s Hospital.
Also on New Year’s Day, in what the media called a murder/suicide, a man in the Northern Territory shot his wife with a crossbow and then set the house on fire. The bodies of the victim and the perpetrator were later found in the burnt-out houses.
As the year proceeded, there were many more reports of men’s hideous violence against their partners. On 19 September, NRL player Robert Lui pushed his partner Taleah Rae Backo in the chest, causing her to fall backwards. He pulled her hair so hard that some of it came out in his hand. While she was on the ground, he kicked her repeatedly in the head causing bruising and swelling to the left temple. Lui was subsequently charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and released on bail. And that was not the first time Robert Lui had been charged with violence against his partner.
We recognise that, as White Ribbon Ambassadors, your role in stopping men’s violence is crucial, so we are pleading with you today to do more to stop the slaughter of women and children. It’s one thing to wear a white ribbon, to stand up on White Ribbon Day and declare that you are men who abhor the violence of other men, but it’s quite another thing to take practical and determined steps to stop it. We know it’s a difficult task, but we’re depending on you, because we know that violent men are much more likely to listen to you than to us.
In 2008, the Federal Government under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd funded the White Ribbon Foundation to the tune of $1 million for four years to expand into rural and regional areas. In light of the continuing slaughter of women and children both in the city and the bush, we are seriously wondering how that money is being spent. If government funding doesn’t result in fewer murders and less violence by men against women and children, then surely the Australian White Ribbon movement must be called to account.
We, feminists with decades of experience in research and activism in the area, stand ready to work with you, and would welcome any request from you to work in partnership. We know you will agree with us that, with men’s violence against women and children escalating year-by-year, the matter is extremely urgent.
This week radio host Karl Sandilands called a female journalist who had written a piece about his poorly rating TV show a ‘fat slag’, ‘piece of shit’, with ‘not enough titty’ who should ‘watch her mouth’ or he would ‘hunt her down’. The words are distressing enough to read. But hearing him speak his vilifications and threats live to air is even more chilling (Jackie O provides the laugh track):
Sandiland’s on-air attack, in which he spewed forth his intimidation and threats against the News Limited journalist, were perfectly timed for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against women and White Ribbon Day. Sandilands probably hadn’t heard of either. Not that it would have made any difference to his behavior.
How is it that Austereo continues to employ a man who has made a direct threat to a woman (after a long history of disgusting behaviour, recall the 14-year-old rape survivor and the lie detector test). What more does Sandilands have to do to lose his positions with 2DayFM and Fox, which provide him platforms of significant influence?
Here’s what I said on Melbourne’s 3AW yesterday afternoon. (click on image)
Yesterday Holden announced it would no longer sponsor the program. Vodaphone pulled some ads. Then the Good Guys recognised Sandilands wasn’t one and dropped its sponsorship. This morning Blackmores also decided threats against women weren’t consistent with its corporate values and pulled the plug on the show as well. Mazda and Telstra also pulled advertising today.
But other sponsors appear to be holding out. Fantastic Furniture appears to think Kyle is fantastic. Adrenaline gets a rush whenever it hears his voice. And has there ever been a greater mismatch in the history of corporate sponsorship than the Aeroplane Jelly and Kylie Sandilands love in?
As White Ribbon Day comes around again (Nov 25), I’m wondering what it actually does to address a culture that celebrates – indeed eroticises – violence against women.
Sure, men buy white ribbons. They attend events where they eat sausages and swear not to hurt women. They raise money (none of which goes into services supporting survivors of violence).
Of course it’s good that men stand up and pledge not to be violent and put white ribbons on their shirt collars. We need men to be engaged in the issue. But since the inception of White Ribbon Day, violence against women and children has continued unabated. And the culture that helps to makes violence against women permissible, even something to be celebrated, remains unaddressed.
Moreover, the cultural messages that eroticices violence against women and make it appear sexy, is the same culture in which survivors of sexual assault have to survive. What happened to them is made into something others call art and fashion.
Media, advertising and popular culture reflect values. Any reading of the social landscape tells us that women are really only good for one thing: to be used sexually.
The proliferation and globalization of sexual imagery, often overlaid with violence, is a cause of distress for sexual assault survivors, those who care for them and those working to end violence against women. Is it also a cause of distress for White Ribbon Day ambassadors?
Colonising the public space with images that approve and perhaps even incite sexual violence, creates and shapes attitudes. Yet government and regulatory bodies for the most part allow it to go on.
How can violence against women be addressed effectively if the advertising, marketing, music, clothing, and gaming industries continue to treat it as chic fashion and fun, like something that is just so hot right now? I’d like to hear a White Ribbon Day ambassador publicly condemn these permission-giving artefacts of violence.
Rape-proud t.shirts collapse rape into a punch line, adorned with slogans: “It’s not rape, it’s surprise sex” and “It’s not rape if you yell surprise.” The text promoting the second reads:
“Remember to yell! Now we know this is a little controversial, but you know you’re laughing. Just remember to let them know before you go for it. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the effort.”
Other t.shirts feature images of women gagged and half naked, sold by Roger David. Porn-inspired ‘T.I.T.S’ t.shirts are sold in youth skate stores, including this charmer, ‘Relax it’s just sex’, depicting the bound body of a naked woman spattered in blood. City Beach has a t-shirt with a woman with a black eye, crying. The slogan reads: ‘It’s only illegal if you get caught’. ‘Bitches get stiches’ is another title on t.shirts in youth stores.
A woman drenched in blood – her body entirely red – featured on the SBS film website. She was kneeing beside a toilet in a pool of thick blood. Her lower limbs appeared mangled.
How can it be OK to use sexual violence as a marketing tool? When did gang rape stop being abhorrent and become “sexy”? When did gang rape get minimized to “group sex”? … if our boys and men are watching and masturbating to endless scenes of women being sexually tortured by groups of men… we can hardly be surprised that our daughters are less safe from this type of sexual crime now than ever before…
I have sat in counseling with many women – often very young – and therefore just beginning to define what they would like their lives to be – who have experienced the terror and unrelenting horror of rape and gang rape. It’s a struggle that goes on and on through years of rebuilding a sense of self, a world view and working out a way of being part of a society again that not only allows the vast majority of rapes to never be punished but allows constant in your face debasement and trivialization of their trauma in billboards like this.
I cannot escape one simple fact: that if we continue to subject future generations of young men to great barrages of aggressive, misogynist, over-sexualized and violent imagery in pornography, movies, computer games and advertising, we will continue to see the rates of sexual violence against women and children that continue unabated today. Or worse.
There are many Facebook sites promoting violence against women: ‘Cleaning foundation off your sword after a hard day of hunting sluts’, ‘Dragging slut’s into you’re room unconscious in a sack’, ‘Kicking sluts in the vagina because its funny watching your foot disappear’, ‘You know she’s playing hard to get when she takes out a restraining order’, ‘I like my women how I like my Scotch, 10 years old and locked in my basement’, ‘What’s 10 inches and gets girls to have sex with me? My knife’, ‘I know a silly little b–ch that needs a good slap’.
A Pippa Middleton Ass appreciation Society page on Facebook was set up in honour of the sister and bridesmaid of Kate Middleton, attracting tens of thousands of members. Men described all the things they wanted to do to the 29 year old, including injuring her so much she would need ‘straw and a wheelchair’.
So, Brian McFadden, do you think this is something to poke fun at? Does my story deserve its own catchy tune and rounds of laughter and applause because you were so clever to come up with something witty that ultimately diminishes the trauma of my experience and belittles my feelings about it?
I’m really ever so glad that we live in a society where cretins like you can influence a whole new generation of young boys and men to sexually assault women and girls and then have a big old laugh about it later on…
Alison Grundy described the lyrics as “one more open demonstration of the contempt shown to women’s human rights and the fundamental legislation that is place to protect them”.
Amazon came under fire for selling a book titled The pedophile’s guide to love and pleasure: a code of conduct for child lovers. This child rape manual was eventually withdrawn from sale on the site, after much resistance from Amazon.
My Best Friend’s Ex has a song out called ‘Bitch shut your mouth’. This instruction to be silent depicts large-breasted women with their mouths taped shut. Women are to be silent and be the receptacles of whatever treatment men want to enact on their bodies.
But many women are rising up against this landscape of abuse.
If policewomen have the same ‘power, confidence and authority’ as policemen, why can’t they be dressed like them?
This is a sculpture that Melbourne artist Frank Malerba wants The City of Port Phillip to install outside a hotel in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.The sculptural pieces are each 2.4 metres high and depict three policewomen. Titled ‘Under Arrest’, they are created by local artist Frank Malerba.
Says Frank Malerba of his sculpture: “In this work I aimed to create a cool iconic edgy sculpture which depicts the women behind the uniform…depicting how women have the same power, confidence and authority as their male counterparts but with a touch of glamour. Behind the uniform there is a softer more obviously feminine aspect of the contemporary female.”
Malerba depicts the women behind the uniform alright: as the stuff of dominatrix and bondage fantasy. Fishnets, stilletoed leather boots, breasts revealed, the one piece leather ‘uniform’ and the tools of policing, such as the gun, baton and handcuffs, represented as part of S&M fantasy.
Female police officers are reduced to sexual playthings, which mocks the position of authority they hold. ‘Getting arrested’ becomes the equivalent of getting off. This sculpture has the potential to contribute or even increase the sexual harassment of female police officers.
If policewomen have the same ‘power, confidence and authority’ as their male counterparts, then why can’t they be dressed like them? Would we see a proposed sculpture of male officers depicted the same way? I doubt it.
The authority of policewomen – and their ability to uphold the law – is diminished by this sculpture. Their office is reduced to male fantasy about women in uniform.
According to its website, “Council recognises the value of public art that enhances public space, has aesthetic appeal, reflects community values, and is supported by the local community”.
On these grounds, approval should be denied.
The size and colour give a “sense of fun” to the sculpture and to Fitzroy Street, says Malerba.
If by fun you mean objectifying female policing and potentially increasing their sexual harassment.
Policing authorities and unions should speak out against the proposed artwork. Council should not allow it to go ahead.
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when companies ramp up their advertising in order to compete for your Christmas dollar. There is nowhere you can go without companies placing their product and logo in your face.
Now is the time to recall which companies used sexploitation to sell and promote their products over this past year. You can make a difference by voting with your dollar against sexploitation this holiday season.
Following the positive response to our inaugural ‘Crossed off’ list of 2010, we have compiled an updated list of corporate offenders, who we have selected for specialising in sexism, objectification and sex industry themes in 2011. These companies do not respect women and they have not responded to complaints nor changed their ways, so they do not deserve your patronage.
Beside each logo you’ll find a link to more information about why we encourage you to boycott this company. And don’t forget to let them know why you won’t be buying from them – we’ve included their contact details as well.
For pimping Playboy porno chic to girls and women. Our Change.org petition – currently over 7000 signatures – was recently hand delivered to Diva stores. Some staff refused to accept it, saying they had been instructed not to. Diva is owned by BB Retail Capital, which also owns Adairs and Bras N Things, where the signature brand of the porn industry gets centre spread in linen and underwear, and where women are told to ‘Be a Bunny.’
Contact Diva: email@example.com. Sign the petition here.
Bras n Things
Bras n Things sells and proudly advertises the major brand of the porn industry, Playboy. We’ve written about this here and here. Bras n Things also sexualises girls. For example, the Teacher’s Pet ’dress up’ outfit is advertised with the words ‘This school girl needs to be taught a lesson!’
For sexualised ad campaigns aimed at young girls. Supre advertised using an image of a topless young woman on the back of buses and trams and on their website. A television ad featured a young woman gyrating around her bedroom before falling onto a bed. Supre has a long history of sexploitation with their slogan t-shirts including ‘Santa’s Bitch’, ‘Pussy Power’ and ‘High Beams’ to name a few.
Unilever claimed to care about ‘real’ beauty and the worth of women through its Dove label while using demeaning advertising promoting women as sexual recreation through ‘Lynx.’ Lynx’s most recent offering was banned by the ASB. Unilever once again defended its sexist ads. Unilever owns a variety of different brands, but there is no need to try and remember them all. Just look on the back label of personal care, food and cleaning products for this blue ‘U’ logo. If you see the ‘U’ put the item back and choose another one.
General Pants uses objectification and sex industry themes to sell and promote their products. Large posters of topless women – with only tape covering their breasts – were used to advertise a new fashion line called ‘Sex‘ in shop front windows. Young staff at General Pants were required to wear badges that said ‘I love sex.’ Other promotions have featured topless models and live pole dance shows in their shop front windows. Change rooms at General Pants have featured floor to ceiling ads for prostitution and strip club venues.
City Beach continues to sell pornographic themed t-shirts to a young market. Collective Shout supporter Caitlin Roper challenged City Beach directly through the Equal Opportunities Commission. City Beach were uncooperative and continue to sell items like this.
Other logos for stores, which stock ranges of t-shirts depicting women in porn-themed poses and subjected to eroticised violence are shown below. Sixty high-profile people put their names to an open letter calling for removal of these t-shirts for normalising violence against women and exposing children to sexualised images. Click on each logo for contact details of each store.
Rivers began objectifying women on the front cover of their catalogues. They then used an image of a dead woman on the front cover of their catalogue ’10 Deadly deals’, which attracted complaints and significant media attention. Rivers remains unrepentant.
Contact Rivers by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
In a clear reference to the sex industry Nando’s used a burlesque/stripper model in the ‘Little Hotties’ campaign. Nando’s marketing director Kim Russell described the ad as “sassy not sleazy”. We disagreed. Stop off somewhere else for take away these holidays.
Not the place for your holiday fuel stop, selling extreme porn titles promoting rape, incest and sex with young girls. While BP, Shell/Coles Express and Mobil withdrew these titles after a campaign led by Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, McDonalds/Fuelzone and Caltex have remained intransigent.
Contact Mcdonalds here (regarding Mcdonalds co-brand with Fuelzone).
Now it’s over to you. Are there any other brands that should be included on this list? Are there alternatives to these brands that others might like to know about? Please share your suggestions below.
Crossed Off in the media
SEX SELLS AND ASB CAN’T STOP IT CAMPAIGNERS WARN
By Madeleine Ross on 15 November
Grassroots campaigners Collective Shout have lashed out at a fistful of brands for sexploitation in advertising and lamented the lateness of the standards watchdog in dealing with demeaning material .
The advocacy group, which encourages individuals to boycott brands which sexualise females in advertising, yesterday released a list of offending brands which included Lynx, Diva and Nandos.
The collective has called on consumers to boycott the brands this Christmas and accused them of using sexism, objectification and sex industry themes to sell products. Read more
Porn identity puts Diva on top of list of shops to drop
November 16, 2011
TWEEN jewellery store Diva tops the list of brands targeted by a campaign calling on shoppers to boycott brands that use sexual exploitation in their marketing.
Lobby group Collective Shout says that as brands step up their advertising in the lead-up to Christmas, consumers should vote with their wallets by avoiding those brands that use ”sexism, objectification and sex industry themes” Read more
Collective Shout reveals list of ‘sexploitative’ brands to boycott this Christmas
An Australian organisation has called on the public to boycott brands this Christmas that it believes sexualise and objectify women and girls.
According to Collective Shout, the companies on its list have been the worst at objectifying and sexualising women and girls through advertising and marketing in 2011. Read more.
My friend and colleague Nicole Jamison has launched a petition through Change.orgcalling on the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen to investigate Prospective Spouse Visas for underage girls. The petition reads:
More than 200 17-year-old girls have been granted Prospective Spouse visas over the past five years. Most are young women from the Middle East or Southeast Asia. Under the conditions of this visa, girls must marry their sponsor within nine months of arrival in Australia. According to news reports, one 17-year-old Thai girl was sponsored by a 57-year-old man, and one Iraqi teenager was sponsored by a 50-year-old man.
Australian laws allow minors to marry only under strict conditions, and with court approval. Many of the girls who have been granted visas come from countries where arranged child marriage is practiced, or where the trafficking of girls and women is prevalent. Yet the Immigration Department has defended the program.
The government must launch an inquiry into these shocking figures, in order to ensure the visa process is transparent and that the safety of these girls can be ensured.
Please sign and share the petition as a matter of urgency.
If the market wants young, petite, fresh Asian women for sexual use then that’s what it’ll get
Pimps won’t be surprised that bidding has reached $15,000 for a 19-year-old ‘virgin’ Chinese woman currently up for auction for four days of sex.
Pimps know what men will pay for, and they know the business of prostitution. Everyone in the sex industry knows punters will pay good money for women who are young, petite, ‘fresh’, and available for booking on a ‘no restrictions’ outcall basis, preferably away from their minders. The Australian escort agency manager who put the Chinese woman up for sale exercised good business logic in recruiting her. Her vulnerability just makes it easier. On her own, most likely with little support, in a foreign country, learning a new language, struggling with debt…And after those four days with the stranger who has purchased her, how likely is it she will speak out about her treatment?
There’s hardly any limit on the money that can be made from selling other people for sex in Australia. In most states, prostitution is a business endorsed by government just like car yards and real estate agents. Brothels and escort agencies can legally operate as legitimate businesses. Pimps might have to pay licensing fees to government, but that’s about it. Like any other business owners, they are free to go ahead and run their affairs in any way they choose. The government can’t stop pimps selling women who are on student or working holiday visas, and no-one checks to see whether their recruits speak English, or how they came to end up on the books of a brothel.
Running the business of the sex industry is left largely in the hands of pimps who do the same things other businessmen do—market research, promotions and publicity, and staff recruitment. We expect car yard salesmen to do their market research, and stock vehicles that earn them the most profit at the lowest input cost. We expect them to respond to the market and offer cars that consumers want, and will pay top dollar for. Why would we expect legal pimps to act any differently? Why wouldn’t pimps sell women that fetch a high price on the market? This is how good businesses are run. The more that pimps, like other entrepreneurs, do their homework, the more money they make.
The sex industry does its market research by keeping an eye on pornography sales. The titles that are selling well tell them the types of women, and the types of sex acts, that are likely to also sell well out of the brothel. Five minutes research on Adult Video News tells us that anal penetration of young and petite women is a consumer favourite at the moment. Another five minutes on consumer review sites for Australian brothels tells us that Asian women are hot property in the local sex trade.
We only have to think like pimps to understand why there is currently a young Chinese student up for sexual sale in Australia. Why wouldn’t she be? We’ve got a large and legal sex industry operating in the country, and plenty of men who want to spend money on it. We’ve got Sexpo, the industry’s trade expo, touring the country again this month. The Western Australian government is just about to legalise prostitution in that state now, so they can start having women up on the auction block, too.
Australia is going to have four states with legalised prostitution giving traffickers a nice open market.
We’ve almost reached national consensus among Australian governments that prostitution is a welcome business in our society. We’ve had legalised prostitution for more than twenty years now, so policymakers can’t claim ignorance of the business practices of the industry.
The industry has already given us a clear picture of how it rolls: underage girls in legal brothels, violence against women in brothels, murders of prostituted women by pimps and punters, trafficking into legal brothels, suicides of prostituted women, and a girl who died of a drug overdose in a legal brothel.
Policymakers can’t feign ignorance about all these industry conventions – they’ve been going on for a long time now.
No government official in Australia should dare express any shock that we’ve now got a Chinese woman up for sexual sale. This is exactly what they condoned when they permitted the sex industry to operate legally in this country. There are not two different sex industries—one that we might encourage as nice and respectable, and one that we might shun. There’s only one type of pimp. Like any other entrepreneur, he runs his business according to the cold, hard logic of the market. If the market wants young, petite, Asian women available for sexual use for days on end, then that’s what it’ll get.
The governments of Victoria, NSW, the ACT, and Queensland may live to regret the day they allowed an industry to develop on the basis of capital raised from the sexual trading of women and children. There are large numbers of women from South Korea and China in the Australian sex industry now, their treatment can be seen as Australian government sponsored human rights violations against women from these and other countries.
Australia has a lot to say about human rights violations in China, but while we’ve got one of their nationals up for sexual sale, are we in any position to take the moral high ground?
Caroline Norma is a lecturer in the School of Global Studies, Social Science, and Planning at RMIT University, and a member of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA).
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