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Melinda Tankard Reist suing a femblogger for calling her a Baptist?

By johnboy - 15 January 2012 31

Skidbladnir has sent me in an interesting disturbance in the force surrounding Canberra’s very own beloved of women-who-like-to-listen-to-the-ABC-and-be-mortified-by-isolated-anecdotes, Melinda Tankard Reist.

It started with an SMH profile piece on the former staffer to Senator Brian Harradine also known as the woman who wants take all your porn away (as well as tell you how to raise your children, and that if you’re having an abortion it has to be as painfull as possible, no RU486 for you).

This prompted the No Place For Sheep Blog to claim that MTR (who’s got time for double barrelled names?) is a Baptist and that her beliefs being pushed onto wider society are driven by the pretty narrow teachings of the Baptist church.

Harmless enough one would think.

Baptists are largely unobjectionable unless you’ve seen them in large quantities in the American South where they can make it hard to get a drink.

But it appears that hasn’t stopped MTR from lawyering up:

Just got home to find a letter from the lawyers of Melinda Tankard Reist demanding I withdraw all my posts about her or very bad things will ensue.

This is pretty amusing when you read some of the things MTR writes about those she does not approve of.

She’s going to have to sue a few more blogs than just mine, because I’m not the only one who’s written that she’s a Baptist, and attends Belconnen Baptist Church. It’s well in the public domain.

And how bizarre it is that someone who is a devout Christian is so cagey about her faith and her practice? Why not be open about her religious faith? Christians usually are. What does she have to hide?

At least I know now why Rachel Hills didn’t ask those questions, or if she asked the questions, didn’t publish any answers!

“Write about my religious beliefs and I’ll sue you!” Now that’s novel.

Interestingly the Google Cache for MTR’s facebook page has this to say:

Tankard Reist has links with Australia’s Right to Life Association. and Endeavour Forum, which promotes the claim that induced abortion causes breast cancer. For instance, Tankard Reist was invited to speak at EF’s July 1997 public meeting, an event reported in the Endeavour Forum newsletter of that month on pages 1 and 12, in which the self-styled feminist is described as “Mrs” Tankard Reist. She attends the Belconnen Baptist Church, Canberra.

But the current page makes no such mention.

MTR’s Wikipedia revision history is a fascinating document. But the reference to her attendance at Belconnen Baptist Church appears to have been removed on 12 December 2011

Any response by Ms Tankard Reist will be published in full.

[Note: RiotACT has no knowledge of whether Ms Tankard Reist is in fact a Baptist or not]

melinda tankard reist

mtr facebook cache screenshot

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Melinda Tankard Reist suing a femblogger for calling her a Baptist?
Skidbladnir 10:07 pm 15 Jan 12

At this point (and without being sued, apparently) I can’t give a better summary of MRT’s history here, courtesy of the relatively sane Dr Leslie Cannold, nor can I give a better position on legal aspects than Skepticlawyer.
She’s certainly getting the various ethics lecturer circles fired up, though…

In any case, defamation cases are always fun to watch, and sometimes they need more than just an audience and spectators.
(Just watch your words when commenting, since lawyers or Ms HRT may be lurking and looking to sue bloggers. I’ll see if I can cobble together something more coherent and non-defamatory tomorrow…)

LSWCHP 8:13 pm 15 Jan 12

Jeez, Barnaby and Melinda (I’m on first name terms with both of them) go really well together in the “incoherent, imprecise, confused, poorly argued rambling” stakes.

And while I’m here, the one thing that really s***s me about Q&A is the way they allow panelists like Melinda (and lots of others) to plant their stooges in the audience in order to woodenly read such lame-brained Dorothy Dix questions.

“…what could only be described as whoreish…etc” reads the imbecile at the start, and later on Melinda invites the stooge to join her silly organisation. As if they’ve never met each other! As if they didn’t have the whole thing prearranged! How stupid do they think we are?

MWF 7:32 pm 15 Jan 12

“Tankard Reist is the founding director of Women’s Forum Australia” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melinda_Tankard_Reist

LOL! Australian Women’s Forum anyone remember that magazie?

“The female answer to Penthouse magazine Australian Womens Forum is calling it a day because of a massive drop in circulation. But its editor says fewer women are buying the magazine, not because they’ve lost their appetite for its menu of sex and titillation, but because there’s not enough of it.” http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/stories/s315489.htm

Should’ve done their research before using THAT name!

farq 6:43 pm 15 Jan 12
creative_canberran 4:09 pm 15 Jan 12

She’s a fraud, someone who masks a moral crusade under the guise of feminism. A lot of women realise this and reject her views.

At the same time I know a few (who claim to be) on the far left who for some reason adore her despite her conservatism.

It’s not entirely surprising, a recent article from the Socialist Alternative said that debt in Europe and natural disasters were golden opportunities for members to get the message out, to mask it within larger events. It’s an old trick, attach your message that many would reject on it’s own to something that sounds on the surface more palatable.

In MTR’s case, it’s feminism and anti-misogeny. What she really want’s to do is impose her own conception of what makes a moral and virtuous woman, a very conservative conception. Women though are smart enough to see this so she hides it as freeing women and empowering them. Of course that’s not the case when you’re substituting one social norm for another.

It’s because of this she gets tripped up so easily. She recently spoke out against a Kanye West song. (A song I must say I though was nasty). Problem is she used it as evidence the music industry are misogynists… except the song was co-written, performed and the video starred Nicki Minaj… a woman.

I-filed 4:03 pm 15 Jan 12

johnboy said :

I did wonder as I wrote this; if we stacked up the number of people hurt by permissive sexuality against the number hurt by religious fundamentalism where would the bigger pile of bodies be found?

Depends whether you are counting trafficked sex slaves, JB. As people trafficking is the second or third biggest sector in the world economy, after drugs and I think just before wildlife trade, you would probably find the human suffering caused by sex crime is in religious fundamentalism’s league – alas. I’m glad Tankard-Reist is standing up against the pseudo-liberalism of the Eros Foundation (“sex is fun, provided you buy sex toys”) and I think we should be given more realistic glimpses of the sewer world inhabited by Swan, Patten and Associates, rather than their glib PR around topics like “we sex-service the disabled so we are doing the community good”.

poetix 3:35 pm 15 Jan 12

fgzk said :

Take it or leave it, I don’t get the whole “piss” thing. Its good to see moral outrage from the Christians. I like how we blur the evil penis, yet leave mutilated corpses on full display. It must be a christian thing.

OK, I’ll weigh in with a ‘not all Christians are fundamentalist idiots’. You can counter by detailing the the worst excesses of fundamentalist idiots. I’ll raise you (purely in a card game sense) with something about Jesus, who was not a fundamentalist idiot. Don’t quite remember him mutilating anyone, but maybe that’s the abridged version.

Sound like a fun way to pass some time?

fgzk 2:51 pm 15 Jan 12

Take it or leave it, I don’t get the whole “piss” thing. Its good to see moral outrage from the Christians. I like how we blur the evil penis, yet leave mutilated corpses on full display. It must be a christian thing.

LSWCHP 2:32 pm 15 Jan 12

fgzk said :

JB you could try pissing on both piles and see who has the moral outrage. The “Piss take” test.

Wouldn’t that be a “Piss Leaving” test? 🙂

fgzk 2:18 pm 15 Jan 12

JB you could try pissing on both piles and see who has the moral outrage. The “Piss take” test.

matt31221 2:14 pm 15 Jan 12

Regarding the youtube clip – Ms Huntley was the only normal one on that panel. Mrs Reist is an absolute twit.

p1 2:02 pm 15 Jan 12

johnboy said :

I did wonder as I wrote this; if we stacked up the number of people hurt by permissive sexuality against the number hurt by religious fundamentalism where would the bigger pile of bodies be found?

I sometimes regret not having been spent more time engaged in permissive sexuality when I was younger. I never regret my lack of religion.

johnboy 1:56 pm 15 Jan 12

I did wonder as I wrote this; if we stacked up the number of people hurt by permissive sexuality against the number hurt by religious fundamentalism where would the bigger pile of bodies be found?

Dilandach 1:54 pm 15 Jan 12

I’ve found that people like herself force and expect a high level of moral behaviour from society as a whole out of some twisted guilt about not being able to obtain the same level of morality themselves. If they save everyone else then maybe they can save themselves.

p1 1:48 pm 15 Jan 12

Has she been kicked out by the Baptists for being drunk in church? Ha she converted to Islam? Scientology? Catholicism? Maybe, while she attends the Beconnen Baptist Chuch, it is simply to attend the function room where the Pagan Society meets at 7pm every second Tuesday?

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