by Savitha C Muppala on  August 3, 2010 at 7:08 PM Women Health News
 Raunch Culture a Huge Setback Towards Raising Healthy Families
A leading Australian feminist has condemned 'Raunch culture' saying that it has set back women in Western societies by 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.

Source: ANI

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