Today, to help celebrate the birthday of the No More Page 3 campaign (see here: http://nomorepage3.org/) I wrote to the editor of the Sun.
I have never taken the time to write to you before, but I am doing so now in the hopes that just one more voice may make the message loud enough that even you can hear it.
We saw that you can take the time to reply to us when we shout loud enough. What I want to know is, can you actually listen? And not just to the women at the NoMorePage3 campaign, but the men and women across the country (more that 115,000 at last count, and growing every day) who have signed to say that ‘boobs aren’t news’. To the parents who don’t want to have to explain to their impressionable children why it is you think it is acceptable to reduce women’s visible contribution to your newspaper to a body part. To the young women who need positive images of womanhood in their lives, and who instead, you teach that this is what they are good for.
We all enjoyed your reply to the campaign. We particularly enjoyed the part when you said that you don’t believe that page 3 is ‘the basis of all evil’. That’ great David, really. Because we don’t think that either. What we do think is that page 3 contributes to a culture of objectification of women that is not only harmful to individual women, to women and girls throughout their lives, but to society as a whole as well. We need you to stop sending the message that this is what women are good for. We need you to stop putting pornography in the hands of our children (and by all reasonable, and indeed legal definitions, page 3 is pornography. If its purpose was not to elicit sexual arousal, you’d have a nice pot of begonias on the page instead of a mostly naked young woman).
Getting rid of page 3 won’t magically make all of women’s problems disappear. But it will take away one of the things that make our lives that little bit worse.
I know you must remember that high profile ‘breast is best’ campaign. I think you may want to extend that in your mind to ‘breast is best not in a newspaper’.
Do the right thing David. Get rid of page three. Oh, and stop talking to us like we’re idiots. It does not help us think you are not massively sexist.