On The Sun, Page 3 And Feeling Disappointed

No More Page 3

If The Sun was a child, I’d sit it down and tell it that I feel disappointed.

“You’ve let everyone down,” I’d say. “But most importantly, you’ve let yourself down.”

Because they really have. A few days ago, we thought that finally, Rupert Murdoch had come to his senses and made a decision to support 51% of the population (yes us women are in the majority) by cancelling running a photo of a topless woman on Page 3 of The Sun. I felt relief. Relief that my daughter would grow up in a world that is just that little bit more equal. I felt happy that even though it’s a relatively small gesture, it would have such a big impact on our society. I cringed at the thought that we had put up with Page 3 being part of every day life for so long. That women were being used as passive objects of desire to please the male readers of The Sun – reduced to nothing more than how they looked. “Can you believe that just last week, we had a ‘family’ newspaper print topless models every day?” I said to people. It already seemed like an incredible and unlikely idea.

Admittedly, it’s a bit daft that we all went bananas, celebrating something which was just a rumour. The Sun didn’t once comment on, or confirm, that they had ditched Page 3. We just took the idea and ran with it. What was initially reported as a rumour quickly became fact as the news was shared on Twitter and reported by the media.

The team at The Sun must have been rubbing their hands with glee and laughing.

I think that’s what upsets me the most about this whole affair. Us women – we’re being laughed at and ridiculed by a major UK newspaper. It’s just a joke to them, a PR stunt which got them talked about by the nation for the best part of a week. Are we really that unimportant to The Sun that we can be reduced to being the butt of a joke?

Going back to my initial point – The Sun really have let themselves down. They could have been applauded for being progressive and finally supporting women. Even if they were running pap shots of female celebrities in bikinis on Page 3, in place of the topless women, it was a step forward, y’know, we couldn’t see their nipples. But instead, they’ve succeeded in making women feel worthless.

Still, let’s look on the positive side. The Sun may still be running Page 3, but the No More Page 3 campaign, which arguably was ambling along without the media attention it had once got, will now be bigger than ever. I’ve seen women get fired up about this, women who two weeks ago might not have cared one way or another whether Page 3 continued. My Twitter feed has been filled with women who feel humiliated and angry, and it’s quite possible that this whole debacle has made many women – and men –   think about equality and feminism differently for the first time.

We need more people to fight for equality, so if you haven’t already, do sign the No More Page 3 petition and make your voice heard. Better still, buy a t-shirt and wear it this weekend.

 

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25 Comments

  1. January 22, 2015 / 10:20 am

    I think that’s exactly it Alison, I woke up feeling humiliated that I could have thought it was true and that I could have thought a paper like the Sun could ever been even the slightest bit progressive. I felt like we were all the butt of a joke. I’m so glad though that actually their behaviour has angered even people who weren’t that bothered about the movement. I’m buying my T-Shirt today! x
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  2. January 22, 2015 / 10:24 am

    Hear, hear! The Sun has shown itself up to be the low grade rag it is and I only hope that this serves to rally more people to take the No more page 3 campaign seriously. Thanks for writing this!
    Kathryn recently posted…A breath of fresh air from Cath Kidston. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

  3. January 22, 2015 / 10:26 am

    oh, you just said it lady! When I moved to England 5 years ago I was shocked when I heard about a ‘newspaper’ showing topless girls…really? Is that considered normal in this country? I’m with you, I signed the petition a long time ago

  4. January 22, 2015 / 10:26 am

    I feel absolutely gutted that the rumours were not true. I said to my husband last week, I don’t think I will have happened that easily and it’s all a big PR stunt. You can just imagine them chuckling and rubbing their grubby little hands in their office at how they fooled everyone. As a mum of one daughter and two sons, I feel physically sick that one day they will be of an age to see this kind of thing.
    Cardiff Mummy Says – Cathryn recently posted…Baileys hot chocolate – my new obsession. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

    • Alison Perry
      January 24, 2015 / 2:58 pm

      Hopefully it will be gone for good soon.

  5. January 22, 2015 / 10:26 am

    Totally agree! I cannot believe they have turned it into a joke and way of getting attention, you can just imagine all the pervy old men sat there laughing. So wrong. I just can’t believe that a paper found in cafes / pubs etc, places with children can be allowed to show young girls with their boobs out. I would be horrified if Cherry came across it, it teaches young girls such a warped view of themselves and the world x
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    • Alison Perry
      January 24, 2015 / 2:59 pm

      Absolutely. What kind of message is it sending young girls? It’s so messed up.

  6. January 22, 2015 / 10:41 am

    Sometimes the world is still such an odd and outdated place. I went to an all girls school till I was 18. And when I left nearly 20 years ago I thought I could do anything. We were told we could do anything. I thought the world was my oyster. But it’s still kinda not? Its odd. And I am sad that the Sun did this when it could have been progressive. Sad x

  7. January 22, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Great post. It is so disappointing that this objectification continues. Surely it does not help The Sun sell its papers and just makes it more of a laughing stock.
    Californian Mum in London recently posted…Keeping Eczema at Bay. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

    • Alison Perry
      January 24, 2015 / 3:00 pm

      I think the fact that it’s such a huge paper makes it worse.

  8. January 22, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Well said Alison! I hate anyone laughing at me, especially a smarmy twat like Murdoch, but that’s exactly what The Sun is doing isn’t it? Laughing at us because we’re just not deemed important. I too was naive in thinking we had a victory yesterday but I just hope it adds more fire to the belly of the NMPT campaign.

    • Alison Perry
      January 24, 2015 / 3:00 pm

      Too right.

  9. January 22, 2015 / 11:46 am

    Oh Alison, this is so well written, ‘disappointed’ sums it up for me too. So very very sad. I’m sad for our daughters. It’s just so dismissive somehow. I’m stunned to believe that they can think what they’ve done is funny.
    Sarah @tamingtwins recently posted…Nutella Swirl Loaf. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

  10. January 22, 2015 / 11:48 am

    Very well said. I find it particularly disappointing that Dylan Sharpe who is head of PR for The Sun took such great pleasure in tweeting about how lots of people were about to look very silly. Ugh. As for him tweeting topless photos to some of the women heading up the campaign, that was nothing short of creepy. I know this is The Sun we’re talking about here but seriously?! I’m more angry about this than ever before.
    (Mostly) Yummy Mummy recently posted…Slendertone: Does it really work?. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

    • Alison Perry
      January 24, 2015 / 3:01 pm

      Creepy is the right word.

  11. January 22, 2015 / 11:52 am

    It’s pathetic, pathetic that they tried to play everyone by The Times suggesting it had gone. It has made so angry and only invigorated my support for the NO MORE PAGE THREE campaign.
    Brilliant post. Sensible words and perfect timing.
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  12. January 22, 2015 / 11:53 am

    Of course it was a PR stunt, and it’s made me despise them even more for their underhand and snide tactics. Do you know what? I was almost empathising with the women I know (yes women, bizarrely!) who said they felt sorry for the girls they knew, who would no longer be able to make a good living from modelling for the Sun, and that it was harmless.
    I feel a bit stupid now. And I”m not stupid. So you’re right, where I may have been a little ‘meh’ previously, I”m totally all about shafting the Sun now wherever possible!
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    • Alison Perry
      January 24, 2015 / 3:02 pm

      I’m surprised by how many women support page 3. Some really don’t seem to see the link between it and the sexism and inequality women face.

  13. January 22, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    I just feel a little more uncomfortable in my own country now. Being mocked by Murdoch? Why am I surprised.
    Perfect post summing everything up…well….perfectly!
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  14. January 22, 2015 / 5:42 pm

    Doesn’t this just show the mentality of that publication and its readership?? Good post Alison 🙂
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  15. January 22, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    All of this had made me so angry and so incredibly sad. I don’t read The Sun, and I never will. The fact that this debate has left some women arguing about their rights to get their knockers out in a so-called “family” newspaper ridicules us all, and I am no prude. The abuse for feminists on Twitter has been awful as people have misunderstood the movement as a blocking of the rights of females to expose their bare breasts generally – I am sure Zoo and Nuts will continue in their work.
    Furious.
    And I don’t even read the bloody paper!!! 🙂
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  16. January 23, 2015 / 7:40 am

    This whole thing has shown what a properly creepy paper they are thinking they’re probably so clever using it as a big PR stunt. A small part of me wonders that there must be women that work there too, and what they think of the whole thing. I hope more and more people just stop buying the complete trash that it is.
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  17. January 23, 2015 / 7:58 am

    Some of the comments defending the paper where so horrible. A particularly old man (here in Ireland) said “all red blooded men like looking at naked women” and that it was a “class issue, people of Downtown abbey won’t be reading the Sun” but it is a “working class paper and after a long day of work, plumbers need it” Another local politician said he hope the “feminazis were happy” and that they’d put poor, hardworking girls out of a job. It’s this kind of thinking that leads to the mysoginist, victim blaming culture we live in. For my part, all I can do is raise my boys to be respectful and not to find enjoyment in the degradation of women.

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