Why I’m Against Page Three (Sign The Damn Petition)

17 Jan

Some things are so obviously bad for society that little argument is needed in order to persuade people to think so. Even if their actions speak otherwise. Heroin, for example, or cat-calling Margaret Thatcher’s coffin.

Others are disturbingly accepted by the smartest of people who have become pretty much desensitized to what I think remains one of the most archaic traditions in British culture. It pains me to say it, but that tradition is still Page Three of The Sun.

ImageUnfortunately, the internet has a nasty habit of twisting words and distorting arguments, so I’d like to point out that I am not against glamour models themselves, who I actually think are pretty damn cool (if they are doing their job as a manner of choice.) Nor, for that matter, am I against strip clubs, strippers, or bare breasts in general.

Page Three in the Sun though, is different. It has become the grossest of national institutions and a loathsome joke of a feature to anyone who has matured beyond the stage of Thirteen-Year-Old-Boy.

This is a ‘family’ newspaper that is available on the bottom shelf of any newsagent (though thankfully absent from our Student Union), which presents to you at the first turn, a topless female glamour model. There is so much wrong with this that I don’t quite know where to start. Feminism seems like a good place. It is frankly abhorrent to me that the female sex should be represented as some sort of sexualised ornament when it is in the midst of so much male-centric news.

 Young boys all around the country are daily faced across the breakfast table by this vile idea of what his sex means next to that of a female. He is policy maker and sport champion. She is silent and for the pleasure of men.

ImageCan you imagine a world in which there was a daily paper that was filled with female accomplishments and meetings, while on page three lurked a muscled man in a thong (or even, completely naked)? Because this would be exactly the same.

Other than the gross misplacement of such an image in a paper that will inevitably be seen by thousands of children every day, I am in no doubt whatsoever that this would create insecurities for many men. A male in his youth and in supreme physical condition who is lorded on one of the first pages as an item of perverted admiration is a clear area for impossible and crude comparison that would inevitably lead to feelings of insufficiency and self-hatred. Why is the real Page Three any different?

Girls everywhere are also being presented with a warped ideal.  He could be a policy maker or sport champion. She must have FF breasts.

Thousands are presented every day with a very thin, very busty young woman who not only represents perhaps one percent of the female population, but whose breasts are frequently (but not always) surgically enlarged. Very few look this way, and yet very many think that they perhaps should to please their partners. Despite popular opinion, this look is furthermore not the sole site of male arousal – many do not even like this cup size (yes, really.) [This is the point in my argument where I refuse to accept any insults regarding my ‘shit tits’. I am now too comfortable with myself to either believe it or care.]

Sometimes, the voyeuristic perversion of The Sun goes even further. When Oscar Pistorius allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva on Valentine’s Day 2013, the paper ran the story with a picture of the so recently dead woman in a bikini as the primary image. When people began dying in the wake of Winter 2013’s Glasgow helicopter crash, a tiny banner at the foot of the front cover was devoted to it (‘8 Dead in Copter Tomb’) while the lead story ran as ‘I’m A Celesbian’, outing Annabel Giles. When the paper decided to run stories on Fred West’s sex slaves, the features were sandwiched between a front cover lingerie-clad woman, and Page Three’s topless offering. I hope that these examples need no explanation to highlight their astonishing tastelessness.

ImageThe fact is that this kind of misogynist, disgracefully inappropriate and frankly creepy practice needs to stop.

I have spent too many hours worrying about my own perfectly normal breasts – and even having previously apologised for their size to past boyfriends – for the same insecurities to plague my own daughter, should I have one. It exasperates me to the point where I am actually ashamed to think that this feature still exists. Please sign the damn petition at https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-dinsmore-take-the-bare-boobs-out-of-the-sun-nomorepage3

 

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6 Responses to “Why I’m Against Page Three (Sign The Damn Petition)”

  1. J January 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    If the women want to appear, and people want to buy this newspaper why shouldn’t they be allowed. The point is, everyone knows what the Sun is, a fairly crappy newspaper, but just because some don’t enjoy something isn’t a reason to take it away from those that do.

    • jessatkinson7 January 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      Trust me, I’ve thought about this and I really see where you’re coming from. There’s a lot of people who will think it’s too nanny state. But even though we all know it’s crap, it’s still the most popular paper in the UK.
      To contradict you, just because some people enjoy it, doesn’t mean that the rest of society should suffer (and trust me, it does.)
      There is no place for such a misogynist practise in 2014.

      • A January 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

        It’s all good to try and draw a line on what is too misogynistic to accept in society, but why do you get the right to decide where that line stops? What if blokes feel annoyed by women’s-only gym sessions, while guys get no such exclusivity? How about black people disliking the word ‘nigger’ being used so loosely in songs by Jay-Z and the lot?

        I feel that as long as something offends you, stay away from it – it’s in your power to avoid stuff that you don’t like. You have no right to, however, decide why something should be universally banned or stopped just because you feel like that. Of course, lawbreaking stuff is another thing.

        There’s a whole culture of people out there who feel absolutely fine about being models for page 3, or reading page 3. I don’t see how them doing what they want to do affects me, you, or anyone who’s not them.

        All in all, I feel like these sort of articles are basically huge walls of text that essentially just spell out ‘I think XYZ is bad’ – well, another person out there will write ‘I think XYZ is good’ and nothing changes, nobody is right or wrong, and that’s fine – people are different and people like different things.

      • jessatkinson7 January 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

        Again, I was tempted to agree with you… But the fact is that The country’s most popular newspaper can’t be avoided, no matter how much you might like to. It’s everywhere, and so is it’s influence.
        Your argument is like saying that women should just avoid harassment if they don’t want to be involved in it. If your argument was valid, no one would have deep insecurities. I have never sought pictures of large breasted women but it has affected me growing up. It also affects children in the way I have already explained. If it didn’t affect anyone who didn’t read it, it wouldn’t be an issue would it?
        Ps, if it was a huge wall of text, why did you read it?
        Pps, this offends you and you could have avoided it

  2. Your Man, Mr Tibs January 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Page 3 being this kind of National Institution is nothing to be proud of for anyone.

    Slightly related, is the bullshit that is the Daily Mail. It will be complaining about something being too sexual on one page, but then print as many pictures of celebrities in their bikinis as possible.

    The common factor between the two is that both papers are read by numpties

    • jessatkinson7 January 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      That’s true! Everyone is so focused on page three that we forget all the other arse wipe publications!

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