A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a campaign that was petitioning against Page 3 in The Sun newspaper. Headed by Lucy-Anne Holmes, this campaign has taken off and received support from thousands of people including celebrities such as Eliza Doolittle, Jennifer Saunders, Chris Addison and Caitlin Moran. The petition has also been signed by mothers and fathers alike, all disgusted by the idea that their children could grow up believing that the objectification of women is normal. And who can blame them? The Sun considers itself to be a ‘family’ newspaper. In what family is it acceptable to pass the paper round at breakfast so that everyone can get a good eyeful of Kelly, 21, from Daventry?
Previous efforts to cut Page 3 from newspapers were made in 1986 by Clare Short, a Labour party MP. The suggestion was shot down by MPs in the House of Commons and Short was nicknamed “killjoy Clare” by The Sun. Although her proposition attracted support from many women, it also attracted a shocking smear campaign from The Sun, quoting Page 3 girls who branded Short as, “fat”, “ugly” and “jealous” of them. These childish insults were only fuelled by the tabloid asking, “And who are we to disagree with their verdict?” The Sun’s immature reaction succeeded in ridiculing both the idea of removing Page 3 and also Short herself, with continued humiliation years later, when Short left Government, through the arrival of “half-dressed people” waiting outside the house that she shares with her elderly mother. This is not the behaviour of a ‘family’ newspaper.
We are in a truly sad and pathetic time if we allow this misogyny to continue to pollute our newspapers; how has it become acceptable for images of half-naked girl likes Danni, 25, from Coventry or Courtnie, 21, from Plymouth to stare out at families across the nation? There they are in nothing more than a skimpy pair of knickers and a necklace, conspicuously stuffed between recent news stories such as the attack of Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old Pakistani campaigner, shot because of her campaign for education for girls, or the court hearing of Mark Bridger, accused of murdering 5 year old, April Jones. There are more important things that should be published, face it; boobs aren’t news.
If Page 3 isn’t an example of modern day sexism and chauvinism then please, direct me to the nearest male equivalent. Where are the photographs of nearly naked men covering our newspapers? Oh wait, there are none. So, if you want to take a stand against such objectification and you believe that women deserve more than to be represented by Amii, 22, from Birmingham, then why not support the No More Page 3 campaign by signing the petition at the site below, like it on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and use the hash-tag, #NoMorePage3 to show others about the campaign. It’s time to take a stand and turn your back on Page 3.
By Meaghan Spencer