So this week the #nomorepage3 debate/ fight/ outrage stepped up and attracted a lot of attention in the media, it had seemed as though the “fight” had been won and The Sun had decided to stop publishing pictures of naked ladies. “HOORAH” feminists everywhere cried, whilst I sat quietly and waited, and waited… and what I was waiting for happened. Today a half naked lady appeared on page 3, as usual, but this time with a little taunting message from the publication. I am not surprised; I am not for one second shocked or appalled, and why? Because this is what is expected of them, this is what they are, and this (sadly) is why they sell so many papers.
I don’t think that the problem here is page 3 showing, admittedly stunning women, in all their glory. I don’t think the problem is even the way that the publication portrays women in general. It is the fact that it seems there is such a demand for it from the great British public. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure a lot of the readers truly believe it is all light hearted and “so what if she wants to get her boobs out, it’s her choice!”. I think the problem is the fact that these readers go to this publication for facts, for news and for real life information as well as a lovely pair of boobs to look at. The clash of real and fantasy, the make believe and the fact, is what makes this situation uncomfortable. The fact that these hundreds of thousands of people are potentially picking this up, reading their “facts” for the day and then allowing that to help them form opinions is worrying. And that the people helping to shape those opinions have seen fit to openly manipulate and mock the No More Page 3 campaign as well as women across the country.
I agree that women should have the right to take their clothes off, be photographed, share those photos and be paid good money for it, if they choose. Good for them! What I don’t agree with is the fact that an image which is clearly intended to be sexual (read the accompanying words) is available and read in public areas where anyone can see them and have no choice in the matter. It can be seen by children, male and female, who are forming their own opinions of where they fit in the world. There is a place for images of naked breasts intended for sexual gratification, with appropriate age restrictions. The newspapers, are, and should remain, a space for news. This does not mean that I want women’s bodies to be hidden away, far from it actually: feed a baby with a breast; walk around your house comfortably naked to show it isn’t something to be ashamed of; find a nudist community to share your naked self with. Whatever floats your boat. But let’s be human and try and avoid this shameful way of objectifying and degrading women in “newspapers”. Let’s celebrate women and their achievements, and simply avoid this publication altogether.
Do I stand by the campaign to remove Page 3? Yes, and I am proud that these women (and many men) are standing up for what they think is right. Do I think The Sun will really change if the campaign is successful? No, sadly not, they seem to have a certain way of doing things and that is not a way that includes women as equals. So let’s keep Page 3, as in my opinion it will do little to help the portrayal of women in this newspaper, and focus on the people supporting this sort of publication. We need to educate ourselves and take a look around at the alternative methods of finding out what is going on in the world.
I heard an ex glamour model compare Page 3 to art, all those paintings and statues of naked people… See what I said there? PEOPLE, not just women, men as well, and not just to satisfy anyone’s urges but to celebrate the human form equally. It is biological and natural to want to see the human form but we need to start seeing everyone on the same page. We are civilised adults right? So the answer is not for The Sun to ditch Page 3, but for the rest of us to ditch The Sun.