One of my (female) Facebook friends made two points in commenting over on Facebook. 1. In her opinion, Bindi Irwin's outfit at the Logies was not all that sexual or necessarily inapppropriate for an 11-y.o. girl. 2. In her opinion, Deveny meant something more like (this is my paraphrase, not her wording), "Bindi Irwin looks so uptight. She oughtta go and get laid."
There are a few points to be made here. First, I can't find a photo of Bindi Irwin at the 2010 Logie Awards, so I can't provide a link to enable you to judge for yourselves. But I do think point 1. is plausible. What is hyper-sexualisation of children in Deveny's eyes might be harmless dress-ups in someone else's eyes. I actually do think there's too much moral panic on the Left about this issue of sexualisation of children. A lot of what gets damned by Lefty thinkers like Clive Hamilton strikes me as fairly harmless (though sometimes absurd, as when little girls are given padded bras). I also think that some of it is probably not so harmless. These are matters of judgment, and we could have an interesting discussion about any particular case.
But whichever side of the line Bindi Irwin's outfit falls on, and whether or not Deveny is jumping at shadows in this case, I see Deveny as belonging to the movement on the Left that is currently very jumpy about this issue of sexualisation. So that provides me with a context to read her in a certain way.
It's not a conclusive point, but it's a point.
Second, if Deveny had actually meant what my friend suggests, I think there would have been more natural and sufficiently pithy ways to express it, such as, "Bindi Irwin needs to get laid."
Third, if Deveny actually meant what my friend suggests, that would, indeed, be an outrageous thing to say about a pre-pubesecent child. Even I, one of the most sexually libertarian people you'll find, would be outraged.
Now, Deveny does say many outrageous things. Her other comment that got her into trouble was certainly outrageous, however interpreted, so she's not inhibited. But her more usual schtick is to say things that would outrage Christians, especially Catholics, as with her frequent claims to masturbate using a crucifix (again, claims which I assume are to be given a non-literal meaning such as: "I am contemptuous of the Catholic Church and its anti-sex ideology"). It would be out of character for her to make a comment so guaranteed to outrage people who share her social and political positions. So, knowing Deveny's modus operandi, I find the interpretation offered by my friend implausible. Possible, but implausible.
Fourth, for all that ... maybe my friend is right and I am wrong. I don't claim infallibility, I welcome intelligent discussion of the issue, and she has provided it.
Moreover, fifth, if she's right, then the outcry against Deveny is more justified. I feel slightly icky even spelling out the proposed interpretation. Being the person to say such a thing in the first place is a bit hard for me to comprehend.
But sixth, not only do I think what I think, for the reasons in this post and the previous one. I am also quite confident about what I think. Open to argument, but confident.