For all those international readers, The Sun is a British newspaper which publishes a feature known as Page 3. Page 3 consists of a photo of a woman with ‘her tits out’. This feature has been running for 42 years, today. To mark this anniversary, protestors around the UK have been running campaigns to gather support for a No More Page 3 petition. I have just signed the petition, which you can find here. So, I thought I’d take the liberty of writing a brief post about why I have signed and why I think Page 3 is wrong.
Firstly, The Sun is a newspaper, supposedly, not a soft-porn magazine. What on earth do topless women have to do with the news? If someone wants to look at topless women, fine, but a newspaper should not be the first place to look. It’s irrelevant content and could be replaced with, I don’t know, actual news.
Similarly, as a popular national newspaper, The Sun tends to be found lying around in public. On trains, on buses, in pubs and cafes, it’s easy to get hold of. What sort of message are we sending to children who could easily pick up this ‘newspaper’ and flick through to page 3? That topless women are news, somehow? That looking at topless women is normal/everyday/to be expected? A right? That this is all women are? If The Sun added a page 4 with a sexy, mostly naked man, at least we’d have equality, but I don’t think the objectification of either sex is something we should be promoting in a newspaper. As a child, page 3 made me incredibly uncomfortable. To be honest, it still does, but to a lesser extent.
Why does it exist? What purpose does it serve? Other than giving men something to leer at in an acceptable and easily available form. Porn exists and it’s easy to get hold of but it’s not acceptable to look at in public because it might offend people or children might see. Guess what, the same applies to page 3. OK, it’s soft-core, but it’s still pornographic. My point is, there’s a time and a place for looking at naked/semi-naked women and it’s not on the bus on your way to town or in the staffroom on your lunchbreak.
It was created in the 70s. We’ve moved on from then. We’ve progressed. Sexual harassment of women at work is no longer commonplace or acceptable, so why is it acceptable to publish topless photos of women in a newspaper which can be found lying around offices and staff rooms all over the country? It was created in the 70s and it belongs in the 70s, not the 21st century.
You can argue that it’s not hurting anyone. Actually, I think it is hurting people, it makes many people extremely uncomfortable and it encourages leeriness. But let’s say it doesn’t physically hurt anyone. Would removing it physically hurt anyone? Would anyone suffer as a result? No. Maybe the leery old men wouldn’t be able to leer in public but I can’t say I see that as a bad thing. Also, The Sun’s sales might suffer. Again, I can’t say I see that as a bad thing.
If you agree with this point of view, please sign the petition by clicking here and filling in the form on the right hand side. Thank you.