May 092008

A 24 year old woman decides to express herself by appearing tastefully nude in an adult woman’s magazine. Then her employer finds out, and she’s sacked!

What kind of society are we becoming when we supposedly praise and defend the right to freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom to vote, etcetera, yet we seem to adopt knee-jerk reactions to something as simple and seemingly innocuous as a tasteful nude shot and a few words freely uttered in text? This issue of Lynne Tziolas being dismissed by the NSW Dept. of Education because she did something in her own time which she has no qualms about is akin to the outcry in the sixties over ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’. Shock and horror! A fictional novel about one man’s sexual desires and frustrations! Late 1960 Australia was aghast. Well, a very small minority were, and the message which eventually got through to that minority is that if you don’t like the content, don’t read the book.

The very same response can be given to the parent (singular, I note) who complained about Mrs Tziolas’s self-expression in Cleo. More so, if anything. From my perspective, it’s just another mindless mag pandering to a lot of mindless readers. Female readers, in the main and while I’m male and probably wouldn’t understand anyway, if a woman chooses to appear tastefully nude in an adult woman’s mag which has absolutely no impact on, or input into her working life and career, why should her employer be in any way concerned?

Is she knowingly corrupting the minds of children she teaches? Is she proselytising the benefits – if any – of doing what she did to others? I’m afraid I can’t find a single excuse for the parent who complained? What earthly business is it of theirs what Mrs Tviolas does outside school hours? Does this individual believe Mrs Tviolas ought to be adopting some form of prim school marm persona both in the classroom and outside it as well? I’m sure Mr Tviolas wouldn’t agree. As for the Code of Conduct she’s supposed to have contravened, according to her regional director’s letter of dismissal, I’ll warrant Mrs Tviolas has never been presented with any such code which declares she can’t appear tastefully nude in an adult womens magazine.

The whole issue is just absolutely fucking bizarre!!

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