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Open Right

Melinda Tankard Reist

Corporate, Education Consultant, Social Commentator, Speaking Out

Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, social commentator, Fairfax Media columnist, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is author/editor of four books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls, now in its fourth printing, and Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry. Her presentations aim to show us how stereotyped, limited and hypersexualised messages give distorted ideas of bodies, relationships and sexuality and give us tools for addressing the problem.

Where were you born?

Country Victoria. I grew up on a 70-acre vineyard, my life full of horses, dogs, cats, motorbikes, a very free and visceral childhood.

What are you passionate about?

Addressing the cultural forces which prevent young people being all they could be.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Women’s health, objectification/sexualisation and media (mis)representation of women, harms of pornography, violence against women, trafficking, empowering and equipping individuals to speak up.

Where have your works been published?

In addition to the books I’ve written and edited, I’ve been a columnist with Australia’s largest circulation newspaper, Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun and soon to be a Fairfax columnist. I also authored a chapter titled ‘Girls and the Online World’ in Steve Biddulph’s Raising Girls.

What have been the highlights of your career?

The privilege of addressing thousands of young people a year and seeing their response and desire to resist negative cultural messaging. And of course the successes of the grassroots movement I co-founded, Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, exposing corporations, advertisers and marketers who objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services.

Image courtesy of The Age

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