Why I’ve Signed the ‘No More Page 3’ Petition.

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.

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4 thoughts on “Why I’ve Signed the ‘No More Page 3’ Petition.

  1. I think this is a far more difficult issue than you present it to be. I’m not sure what I think, I’m very much unsure about the page 3 campaign, but I’ll ignore that and instead try to represent the other side a little. First look at this:
    http://glasgowsexworker.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/guest-post-who-loves-the-sun/

    Also, you seem to be conflicting with other things you’ve blogged about. In the past you’ve defended the idea that it’s ok for children to engage I sex, and that sex-ed shouldn’t be trying to restrict the range of sexual expression to only within relationships, and only when they’re older. But here the reaction seems to be, OH GOD, SEX, IN THE MEDIA, KEEP IT AWAY FROM THE CHILDREN!

    Also, there’s no talk whatsoever of the women involved in the creation of these photos, the success of this campaign would take this source of income away from them then, so they can’t be left out of the picture. (Although, at least there’s not a hint of the slut-shaming and disrespect towards such women here that this movement is usually associated with.)

    Despite this all, I’m still unsure, but the campaign for 30% experts used by the media to be women seems like a FAR more valuable one, as are campaigns for greater numbers of women working in journalism.

    • It’s not so much sex in the media as the objectification of women in the media. Also, there’s a difference between children and teenagers. The ‘children’ having sex are a lot older than the (actual) children being taught to see women in this way.

      I don’t mention the women because it’s not them I have a problem with. I don’t have a problem with topless modelling, I just think a newspaper is not an appropriate place to publish it.

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