I hadn’t intended to write anything about the whole No More Page 3 thing – I didn’t consider myself radically feminist enough to put together a sufficiently rousing blog post in support of women everywhere – but after reading around the whole debate a bit today, I felt that I had to at least say something.
Just when you thought that The Sun couldn’t stoop much lower than its already rock-bottom standards, today it seems to be taking great delight in showing nothing but absolute contempt for those who would have liked to see the tabloid equivalent of the archaic saucy postcard consigned to history where it belongs. After allowing the No More Page 3 campaign and its supporters to spend a triumphant couple of days thinking David had taken on the nipple-strewn Goliath and won, the paper has essentially done the equivalent of presenting someone with an award only to snatch it back out of their hands going ‘Haha! Not really!’. Oh, and then shoving Nicole from Bournemouth’s boobs in their face.
So far, so unsurprising for The Sun bigwigs who must be literally wringing their hands with glee at the publicity their moral-free rag has got from all this. The thing that shocks me the most, however, is the sheer vitriol with which comments are being aimed at the No More Page 3 campaigners, as if somehow they are being the unreasonable ones for wanting to see the back of the daily dose of unnecessary bare breasts and tiny pants in a ‘family’ paper. As far as I can see, the campaign has never been about the nudity per se, or the right of the models to pursue their careers as they choose; it is about the context of the boobs in question in a so-called ‘news’paper and more importantly, what it represents to women and girls who constantly feel objectified by today’s society – which of course, some people will feel more strongly about than others. And the same can be said for opposers of the campaign.
These are just some of the comments from your general moron giving their unwanted two pence I have read today on other news sites running the story. This is what we’re actually up against.
“As for objectification, don’t make me laugh. Men will always objectify women, because that’s the way our sexuality works. We see an outline, some curves, and we think ‘hello hello hello’. Good luck stopping that one.”
“All these misandrists want is for me to feel sexually frustrated. It is just a matter of time before I start to watch free porn on the Internet. These are exactly the type of women who would make a false rape claim on you just because you didn’t return the call the next morning.”
“Heaven forbid if women have photographs taken wearing make-up. The feminists will be after them next. Half the world has gone tits up (no pun intended) and feminists are concerned about Page 3 in The Sun newspaper.”
“Modern feminists – snob-ridden self-righteous Mary Whitehouse prudes would be a better description.”
And on the initial but prematurely-celebrated ‘demise’ of Page 3:
“This represents a victory for small minded, meddlesome and sanctimonious middle class feminists who want to dictate what working class folks get to see and do….The thing is if you think this will satisfy their Taliban-like control freakery then you are extremely naïve. They’ll find something else to come after now and you’d better hope that it’s not one of your vices. Give this lot an inch and they’ll take a mile.”
You get the idea. Feminists are being compared to the Taliban. And it’s not just men who think those supporting No More Page 3 are wearing frumpy clothes and spoiling everyone’s fun. ‘Glamour model’ Rhian Sugden (who may have a vested interest in keeping the feature) Tweeted:
“It’s only a matter of time before everything we do will be dictated by comfy shoe wearing, no bra wearing, man-haters.”
Eloquently put Rhian, thanks for entirely missing the point and trotting out the old feminist stereotype. Because if some women don’t want to see gratuitous boobs in a national paper then they must hate all men and have no pride in their own appearance. As another insightful commenter put, he has ‘no doubt that [feminists] include a higher percentage of ugly people than the general population.’ Because they’re all just jealous.
My favourite comment from a woman though was from Jodie Marsh, for whom I almost have no words to describe, and I can’t even work out her logic here:
“The same women trying to ban ALL glamour girls from working are probably the same women who are PRO breastfeeding in public #workthatout”
Yes, Jodie, although I’m too busy trying to work out why that is a bad thing to tell you everything that is wrong with that sentence.
As it is, the No More Page 3 campaign will continue to admirably attempt to chip away at a traditional institution which shows no signs of going away without a fight, and neither will those who want to see it stay. Yes, there are bigger issues out there which cause much more damage to women on the face of it than ‘harmless’ Page 3, but some perky breasts in a newspaper are just indicative of the wider factors at play which influence some of those bigger issues, as the disrespectful misogynistic comments above will show.
Well done, The Sun, for taking a giant step back to the 70s and making women the butt of your joke. At least we are sure where we stand now, but we won’t go down without a fight either, ugly feminists or not.